GACC confirms that Gatwick’s Noise Action Plan is just a regurgitation of the old one, barely changed

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, (GACC) has checked through the Noise Action Plan that the airport has put out, as a revised plan. The prospect of a better plan may have raised the hopes of thousands of people affected by aircraft noise that there would be some significant changes,. But those hopes have been quickly dashed. The plan is little more than the Noise Action Plan which was published in November 2013 and, after a rushed consultation, submitted to the Government in February 2014. It is still dated Nov 2013.  A significant failing of the Plan is that it was submitted to the Government before the introduction of new concentrated departure routes and before the recent consultations on departure and arrival routes, so there are now many more people with an interest than when it was written. Many of the promised actions have already taken place – and people find them disappointing.  The promised “respite” has  not yet materialised. Contrary to what is said in the Noise Action Plan, Gatwick is encouraging airlines to fly more night flights. And so on.
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Gatwick’s regurgitated noise action plan

26.9.2014  (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Gatwick Airport have put out a press release announcing what appears at first sight to be a new ‘Noise Action Plan’, thus raising hopes among the thousands of people adversely affected by new flight paths that some relief may be at hand.

But on close examination, confirmed by Gatwick (at a meeting of NATMAG, the Gatwick noise committee, held on 25 September) it turns out to be nothing more than the Noise Action Plan which was published in November 2013 and, after a rushed consultation, submitted to the Government in February 2014.

Indeed the front cover is still dated November 2013 !  As are all the pages.  All that has happened is that the Government, after a long delay (waiting for noise action plans from elsewhere) has approved it.

 

GACC, of course, welcomes any positive action to reduce aircraft noise. But the new so-called Action Plan is well past its sell-by date.

 The Noise Action Plan produced in November 2013 was not new; it was a hurried revamp of the Noise Action Plan produced in 2009.  [GACC’s responses to the 2009 action plan, and to the 2013 action plan, are here.]  GACC believes the job should have been done properly with plenty of time for input from affected communities.

 The Noise Action Plan was submitted to the Government before the introduction of new concentrated departure routes and before the recent consultations on departure and arrival routes, so there are now many more people with an interest than when it was written.

 Many of the promised actions have already taken place – and people find them disappointing. The consultation which is promised has already taken place. [These were Gatwick-NATS London Airspace consultation October 2013 – January 2014, and Gatwick Airport Airspace consultation May-August 2014].

 The Gatwick press release promises to “Explore whether ‘rotating respite’ can be provided to communities most affected by noise from aircraft – potentially benefiting more than 11,000 residents.”  Respite on both arrival and departure routes was suggested by GACC in our recent letter to the CAA  [www.gacc.org.uk/latest-news scroll to ‘GACC says scrap new flight paths’ / letter to CAA].  But the only respite proposal the airport has put forward is for a concentrated route to be taken by every arriving aircraft every night – creating misery for the affected communities.

 The incentives in this Noise Action Plan for the use of quieter aircraft are inadequate. Indeed Gatwick has failed to persuade operators of the A320 type aircraft to retrofit a simple piece of kit that would eliminate an infuriating whine as aircraft approach Gatwick. The Noise Action Plan refers to a positive response but since then, the airlines have simply refused to take any action.

 Contrary to what is said in the Noise Action Plan, Gatwick is encouraging airlines to fly more night flights.

 The press release promises that Gatwick will: “Explore other innovative methods to minimise noise – such as the airport’s continuous descent approach, where aircraft use less thrust by gliding and descending at a continuous rate. This approach keeps the aircraft higher for longer and generates significantly less noise.”  But continuous descent approach has been in use since 2000, and 92% of approaches already use this procedure. [See link. Page 10].

 A useless item is: ‘Request that the Department of Transport explores ways to describe and measure aircraft noise more clearly to help people understand noise impacts.’ People understand noise perfectly well, and want less of it!
Gatwick’s press release says: “However Gatwick recognises that much has still to be done to realise the airport’s long term objective of gaining the trust of our stakeholders.”

A spectacular understatement!

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www.gacc.org.uk


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See also

 

Gatwick airport makes a few cosmetic changes to its Noise Action Plan – not actually reducing noise

Gatwick airport has added a few, small changes to the Noise Action Plan that it wrote in November 2013. The airport says this is in response to comments they received to their airspace consultation from Oct 2013 to Jan 2014. The few changes will do very little to actually reduce noise. Logically, that will not be possible, with ever increasing numbers of flights. However, the changes include: “Explore whether ‘rotating respite’ can be provided to communities most affected by noise from aircraft;” increasing CDA landings (already doing that); more consultation with residents (in the vain hope this deflects opposition); “commission noise studies to gain an insight into the noise climate” (ongoing); Request that the DfT explores ways to describe and measure aircraft noise more clearly to help people understand noise impacts;” “Gatwick Airport Ltd will write to the DfT requesting research be undertaken to fully understand the effects of aircraft ion human health;” (by 2018) and “Commission public studies on noise impacts on particular areas.” So not a lot of action by Gatwick itself. Or any action at all really. A bit more PR – requiring careful reading of the small print.

Click here to view full story...

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Gatwick airport makes a few cosmetic changes to its Noise Action Plan – not actually reducing noise

Gatwick airport has added a few, small changes to the Noise Action Plan that it wrote in November 2013. The airport says this is in response to comments they received to their airspace consultation from Oct 2013 to Jan 2014.  The few changes will do very little to actually reduce noise. Logically, that will not be possible, with ever increasing numbers of flights. However, the changes include: “Explore whether ‘rotating respite’ can be provided to communities most affected by noise from aircraft;” increasing CDA landings (already doing that); more consultation with residents (in the vain hope this deflects opposition);  “commission noise studies to gain an insight into the noise climate” (ongoing);  Request that the DfT explores ways to describe and measure aircraft noise more clearly to help people understand noise impacts;”  “Gatwick Airport Ltd will write to the DfT requesting research be undertaken to fully understand the effects of aircraft ion human health;” (by 2018) and “Commission public studies on noise impacts on particular areas.”  So not a lot of action by Gatwick itself.  Or any action at all really. A bit more PR – requiring careful reading of the small print. 
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Gatwick publishes revised Noise Action Plan

25 September 2014

Following recent consultations with the local community, Gatwick Airport has today published a revised Noise Action Plan.

The plan says the airport will:

  • Explore whether ‘rotating respite’ can be provided to communities most affected by noise from aircraft – potentially benefiting more than 11,000 residents
  • Explore other innovative methods to minimise noise – such as the airport’s continuous descent approach, where aircraft use less thrust by gliding and descending at a continuous rate. This approach keeps the aircraft higher for longer and generates significantly less noise.
  • Consult with local residents on the measures above.
  • Request that the Department of Transport (DfT) explores ways to describe and measure aircraft noise more clearly to help people understand noise impacts.
  • Ask the DfT to undertake research on effects of aircraft noise on human health.
  • Commission public studies on noise impacts on particular areas.

Independent experts say Gatwick is among the leading airports worldwide with regards to noise mitigation and compensation measures. However Gatwick recognises that much has still to be done to realise the airport’s long term objective of gaining the trust of our stakeholders.

The plan outlines Gatwick’s continued commitment to minimise the impacts of aircraft noise. To achieve this, Gatwick will continue to:

  • Use the quietest aircraft fleets possible. To this end, 99% of the aircraft currently using Gatwick are of the quietest type possible. One way Gatwick achieves this is by incentivising airlines by charging them less to use quieter aircraft.
  • Employ effective and credible noise mitigation schemes. This includes Gatwick’s industry leading noise insulation scheme which provides homes with up to £3,000 towards double glazing and loft insulation. The scheme has recently been expanded by 15km each end of the runway so that 40% more homes are protected from noise than before.
  • Engage with the local community to better understand their concerns and priorities so that the airport’s noise strategies and plans are well informed. Gatwick has introduced an annual noise seminar and is committed to reporting annually on the airport’s performance against its action plan and its effectiveness in addressing community concerns.

Noise generated by the airport has been steadily reduced in the last 15 years. This is demonstrated by the land area (noise contour) covered by the loudest noise levels reducing from 90km² to 41km² during this time.

Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility at London Gatwick, said:

“We have reduced noise generated by the airport in recent years, but we are not complacent. We understand that noise has an impact on our local communities and we strive to do everything possible to mitigate its effects.

“Our revised Noise Action Plan demonstrates how Gatwick will employ some of the world’s most innovative methods to reduce aircraft noise. Our plans will also evolve and we will adopt the latest advances in technology and leading practices as soon as is practicably possible.”

To read the revised Noise Action Plan click here.

For more information contact:

Gatwick Airport press office

t: + 44 (0) 1293 505000
e: gatwickmedia@gatwickairport.com

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http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/content/detail.aspx?ReleaseID=2395&NewsAreaId=2


 The revised Noise Action Plan is at  https://www.gatwickairport.com/PublicationFiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/aircraft_noise/NoiseActionPlan_2013.pdf

It is dated November 2013

It states, in a footnote at the end:

“This EU Environmental Noise Directive (2002/49/EC) Noise Action Plan for London Gatwick Airport was adopted on 4th August 2014 by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as required by the Environmental Noise Directive and the Environmental
Noise (England) Regulations 2006 (as amended).”

The only visible changes, and almost the only mention of changes, are on Pages 23, 45, 49 and 51. The changes are otherwise not clearly indicated, or dated, in the text. They may exist.

These are the changes clearly indicated in the revised Noise Action Plan:

Gatwick Noise Action Plan changes Nov 2013 amended Aug 2014

 


The introduction by Stewart Wingate (with  no date) on page 3 states:

“This action plan was duly adopted and in light of new noise mapping, we have now
reviewed, revised and refreshed it taking account of operational updates, proposed
new activities relating to noise and progress made against current action plan actions.
Having taken feedback on the revised Noise Action Plan into account we have included
a number of new actions and these are detailed in the Action Plan Update Tracker
later in this document.”

[There is no “Action Plan Update Tracker” in the document, but the document’s Section 9 starting on page 45 called “Our Action Plan”is presumably what the earlier comment refers to. Gatwick, as in their airspace consultation, would not win any prizes for the clarity of their documents]. 


Their section on the earlier consultation states (P 23):

The London Airspace Consultation The London Airspace Consultation ran from 15 October 2013 to 21 January 2014 and was a joint consultation between NATS and Gatwick Airport Ltd. New European legislation required all member States, including the UK, to revise their
airspace to incorporate the latest aircraft navigation capability. The consultation was about how best to enable that change.

This consultation was the first stage in a wider programme of proposed changes to deliver the UK’s Future Airspace Policy, developed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with the support of the aviation industry. It will deliver significant benefits, including fuel savings for
airlines which will also mean fewer CO2 emissions, and less noise overall for people living below.

This first stage addressed changes to the airspace supporting Gatwick Airport from ground level up, and to the airspace supporting London City Airport above 4,000ft. Later stages will address proposals for airspace supporting other parts of the London airports network, to
be complete, by 2020.

The following points should be noted:
• We consulted on broad areas of airspace within which routes will need to be positioned. Final route positions will be determined after considering the consultation feedback

• The net effect of these proposals will be less noise – aircraft will climb higher, more quickly on departure and stay higher for longer on arrival

• However, flight paths will change, some areas may be overflown more, others less and some will not notice any significant change

• We include the possibility of “respite routes” – additional routes that could provide some predictable respite from noise for people living below flight paths near Gatwick

• Our new design concept, making the most of modern navigation capability, will significantly reduce the use of conventional holds (or stacks), and put new route structures over the sea
where possible

• This change will improve efficiency – reducing the average amount of CO2 emitted by each flight


 

Earlier:

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Responses to the Gatwick airspace consultation (closed 16th August)

On 23rd May Gatwick launched a consultation on airspace changes it proposes. This is part of the airspace change programme to “modernise” flight paths, in line with the UK Future Airspace Strategy published by the CAA. The consultation was widely regarded as inadequate, badly written and presented, and effectively almost impossible for ordinary people – unused to the jargon and the technicalities – to either understand or respond to. The consultation finally ended on 16th August. Many organisations, and MPs, have asked for the consultation to be considered void, due to its deficiencies, and re-done to include maps, showing all proposed flight paths at Gatwick for arrivals and departures up to 10,000 feet. These were not included before, making responses difficult. These are some of the consultation responses sent in from local councils and parishes, representing their members. They all comment negatively on the quality of the consultation. One comments: “The air travel industry appears to be in total denial of the collateral damage which would be caused by these proposals”

Click here to view full story…

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Gatwick flight path changes revealed as 12 week airspace consultation launched

Gatwick airport has started another consultation on changes to its flight paths. This will last for 12 weeks and end on 15th August. The earlier “consultation” done by Gatwick, that ended on 15th May did not include any flight path details, which many who attended the exhibitions found frustrating. Gatwick’s consultation is complex and not intended to be easy for a non-expert to understand. It is rich in acronyms and jargon, that is not properly explained. One could conjecture that making the consultation so hard to understand is deliberate. At its heart the consultation is about Gatwick managing to get more planes using its current flight paths, with changes to get planes taking off separating earlier, so more planes can use the runway with shorter intervals between them. There remains the issue of whether the noise should be concentrated down narrow routes, or dispersed in “swathes” of several kilometres. The Noise Preferential Routes, for planes below 3,000 feet or 4,000 feet, are meant to be routes where the least noise nuisance is caused. However, planes above 4,000 feet are still a real noise irritation. Gatwick’s proposals for more planes on more routes will mean many more people being exposed to a lot more plane noise, either way.

Click here to view full story…

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Manston Airport site sold to developers for manufacturing and homes

Manston airport has been bought by developers, Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave who have done two other regeneration projects in the UK – the largest being in Billingham. They are part of joint venture company Wynyard Park Limited. They recently met with former airport owner, Ann Gloag, and reached agreement to acquire a majority interest in the Manston site. Future development will be aimed at providing space for a wide range of businesses, with a focus on attracting companies interested in advanced manufacturing, as well as the provision of housing, shops, schools and community facilities. They say it is still is too early to be specific about their plans, but they will be looking to comprehensively redevelop the whole site to create a mixed-use community. The airport has closed, the equipment has been sold and it will not reopen. “We are aware that there were a number of job losses when the airport closed and a far greater number will replace these.”  They plan a 20-year £1bn redevelopment to “create more than 4,000 jobs”. Roger Gale, Tory MP for Thanet North, said it sounded “remarkably like opportunist land-banking”. 
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Manston Airport site sold for manufacturing and homes

23.9.2014 (BBC)

Manston Airport closed in May with the loss of 150 jobs

Manston Airport in Kent has been sold to regeneration specialists who plan to develop the site for manufacturing, housing and schools.

Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave, part of the consortium behind Discovery Park, Sandwich, have bought a majority stake for an undisclosed fee.

They plan a 20-year £1bn redevelopment to “create more than 4,000 jobs”.

But Roger Gale, Tory MP for Thanet North, said it sounded “remarkably like opportunist land-banking”.

Redevelop ‘whole site’

Manston was bought by Ann Gloag, who co-founded the Stagecoach Group, for £1 last October but it closed in May with the loss of 150 jobs.

Mr Musgrave said: “Whilst it is too early to be specific about our plans, we will be looking to comprehensively redevelop the whole site to create a mixed-use community.

“This is in light of the fact that the airport has closed, the equipment has been sold and it will not reopen.

“We are aware that there were a number of job losses when the airport closed and a far greater number will replace these, and that the benefits will reach the whole of east Kent.”

Mr Gale said he believed it was in the “national and the local interest” for Manston to remain open as an airfield.

He added: “If he [Trevor Cartner] wishes to pursue that route alongside airport-related industries then he will have my support and if he wishes to tear up the airfield and smother the land in industrial premises that can and should be located elsewhere in Thanet, or to assist Ms Gloag in the realisation of her plan to create a significant housing development, then I shall oppose his plans in the interests of those that I represent.”

Ms Gloag said Mr Cartner and Mr Musgrave were “a credible team with a proven track record in creating high-quality jobs through redevelopment opportunities”.

She said: “Their business plan looks thorough, considered and viable and, with the support of the local community, will deliver thousands of local jobs and many community benefits”.

‘Fantastic track record’

Thanet District Council said it was still considering whether a compulsory purchase of the site, to keep it open as an airport, would be a “viable option” as part of a “wider review of the options for the site”.

But in a statement, the council added: “As part of this we would seek further details from the new site owners to understand more about their proposal.

Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council, welcomed Manston’s sale to Mr Cartner and Mr Musgrave, describing them as having a “fantastic track record in taking over large and difficult sites following the demise of earlier uses”.

He added: “I have every confidence that they can do even more at Manston.”

Stephen de Nardo, of US investment firm RiverOak, which had three bids to buy Manston Airport turned down, said he still thought the site should be reopened as an airport.

In a statement, he said RiverOak urged Thanet District Council “to maintain its resolve to compulsorily purchase the site”.

The airport was shut after it was revealed it was losing £10,000 a day and offers, that were not “viable or credible”, to buy it were rejected.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-29326000


Who are the new Manston airport owners?

23.9.2014 (Isle of Thanet Gazette)

MANSTON airport has been bought by the developers who created the Discovery Park consortium, which took over the former Pfizer site in Sandwich in 2012.

Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave were also behind the regeneration of the Samsung factories in Billingham after the electronics giant announced it was quitting the area.

The pair are part of joint venture company Wynyard Park Limited, which has brought in more than £250 million of private investment and some 60 companies, employing 2,000 people, to the 207-acre Billingham site since 2005.

The scheme has received £35 million in private investment and has tenants including BSkyB, Stockton Riverside College and Balfour Beatty. A second phase of development is planned and will include 2500 new homes, a school, hospital and retail.

Mr Musgrave, 48, and Mr Cartner, who is listed as a director of more than 25 active companies, were backed by Palmer Capital for their investment in the Sandwich site.

The pair recently met with former airport owner, Ann Gloag, and swiftly reached agreement to acquire a majority interest in the site.

Future development will be aimed at providing space for a wide range of businesses, with a focus on attracting companies interested in advanced manufacturing, as well as the provision of housing, shops, schools and community facilities.

Mr Musgrave said: “While it is too early to be specific about our plans, we will be looking to comprehensively redevelop the whole site to create a mixed-use community. This is in light of the fact that the airport has closed, the equipment has been sold and it will not reopen. We are aware that there were a number of job losses when the airport closed and a far greater number will replace these, and that the benefits will reach the whole of east Kent. We will assemble a first class team to produce and deliver high quality plans for the site.”



Manston sale: Ann Gloag finally speaks out

23.9.2014 (Kent News)

Following the news that the former Manston Airport site has been sold to developers, previous owner, Ann Gloag has made a statement.

The business woman, who set up travel empire Stagecoach, bought the site for £1 in October 2013, and has so far refused to sell, despite three offers from American investment company RiverOak.

It appears that Ms Gloag still owns part of the site, as the new developers, Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave, the regeneration specialists behind Sandwich’s Discovery Park, have acquired a majority stake of the site.

Ms Gloag said: “Trevor and Chris are a credible team with a proven track record in creating high quality jobs through redevelopment opportunities.

“Their business plan looks thorough, considered, and viable and, with the support of the local community, will deliver thousands of local jobs and many community benefits in the coming years.

“This development is an exciting opportunity for Manston, Thanet and beyond and can transform the future of East Kent.”

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Mary Dejevsky: “Momentum is gathering behind Heathrow’s 3rd runway. We need to stop it in its tracks”

Writing in the Independent, Mary Dejevsky writes persuasively about the real issue of noise from Heathrow airport, affecting perhaps half a million Londoners. She says it is only near the airport that noise is monitored, regulations apply and residents qualify for insulation. “Noise elsewhere on the flight-path is not regarded by the aviation authorities as any real nuisance.” And complaining is unrewarding and ineffective. “The Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, told the Labour Party conference yesterday that all options for a new runway were on the table, including Heathrow.”  Mary pours scorn on the distasteful full-page ad by Heathrow recently, a small child and implying (unconvincingly) that her future welfare is dependent on a 3rd Heathrow. Mary says what is not mentioned in the advert is “the noise and the pollution not just around the existing airport, but the noise, pollution and safety considerations that somehow don’t count because they are not absolutely on the airport perimeter.”  And “what about other little girls, and the parents who hold down demanding jobs and collect them from school, despite losing a couple of hours sleep a night, are they not “stakeholders” in the country and its transport system, too?”
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The appalling Heathrow advert that Mary refers to is copied below:

BxuZLxyCQAA5vdG

 


Momentum is gathering behind Heathrow’s third runway.  We need to stop it in its tracks

(Mary is the chief editorial writer and a columnist on the Independent)

Noise and pollution are bad enough blights on Londoners as it is

At 0440 yesterday morning, I was yanked awake by what sounded a very big and very heavy plane on its approach to Heathrow. By 0500 three more of these monsters had passed low overhead. It’s always hard to know – for this is no isolated occurrence – whether these pre-0500 planes are counted as part of the airport’s night flight quota, or whether they are being stacked to join the daytime quota. Either way, it was well before dawn and I was unlikely to get to sleep again, even though the planes started flying much higher after 0500 and the noise was more of a hum than a roar.

Now, if you lived in the immediate vicinity of the airport – in Staines, say, or Hounslow – or even one of the capital’s outer south-western suburbs, you might have included low-flying aircraft into your calculation. But these planes were traversing the very centre of London, as they regularly do, and waking – I would guess conservatively – upwards of half a million people.

Yet it is only in the immediate vicinity of the airport that noise has to be monitored, regulations apply and residents qualify for insulation. Noise elsewhere on the flight-path is not regarded by the aviation authorities as any real nuisance. If you try to complain, there are three separate websites for doing so and even then it is not obvious how to do it; if you penetrate that thicket, the padding in the stock replies carries no conviction at all.

The only politician who accepts, without ducking and weaving, that noise is a blight – and, of course, there are pluses and minuses to this association – is the mayor, Boris Johnson. But his ardour for an new island airport seems to have cooled following the rejection of his project in July. Nor can we rely any longer on the Labour Party to wade in on green ticket. The Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, told the Labour Party conference yesterday that all options for a new runway were on the table, including Heathrow, in an apparent effort to burnish his party’s business-friendly credentials.

The upshot of all this is that the third runway campaign seems emboldened. For conclusive evidence, look no further than a full-page advert that appeared in newspapers on Sunday, paid for by supporters of Heathrow’s expansion.

If this had simply made the commercial argument, then we would all have known where we stood. But this advert purported to represent the broader national interest into the future, and its centrepiece was a little girl, of primary school age, sitting at her desk and eagerly putting up her hand. Here’s a flavour of the accompanying text.

“We don’t know what this little girl wants to be when she grows up. But we’ve got a pretty good idea what she’ll need to get there. By the time she and her classmates are paying their taxes, Britain’s economic health will be even more dependent on trade with other countries. … Direct flights to long-haul destinations build twenty times more trade with /the emerging markets// them than indirect flights. They are also more environmentally efficient….

But to make all that possible, Britain needs to keep its hub airport…. which is why we need a new third runway. It will deliver more than 120,000 jobs, and least £100 billion of economic benefits the length and breadth of the country. So even if our little girl never leaves home, she’ll still feel the benefit… So while we’re imagining the future for our children, let’s stop speculating. And start building Heathrow’s new runway now.”

Note all the buttons pressed: not just the business case, but the protection of the environment, job creation, some totally undefined “economic benefits” for the country as a whole and, cue soft music – the future of “our” children. And note what is not mentioned: the noise and the pollution not just around the existing airport, but the noise, pollution and safety considerations that somehow don’t count because they are not absolutely on the airport perimeter. I hardly need add that the latest “consultation” on a new runway did not include anyone living under the London flight-paths, only those who might be considered “local” to the airport.

This advert was headed: “Heathrow expansion. It’s time we heard from our most important stakeholders.” That is what the picture of the sweet little blond child was supposed to convey. But what about other little girls, and the parents who hold down demanding jobs and collect them from school, despite losing a couple of hours sleep a night, are they not “stakeholders” in the country and its transport system, too?

Quality of life may be hard to count, but clean air and nocturnal quiet surely have a value. So why is the potential harm to residents beneath the flight-paths not set against an airport’s – dubiously calculated – commercial benefits? How many parents must there be whose little girls (and little boys) go to school tired and stressed because of noise and pollution?  The costs of lobbying, alas, make it unlikely we will see them featured in newspaper adverts, trying to cover their ears against the pre-dawn din.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/thirdrunway-momentum-is-gathering-we-need-to-stop-it-in-its-tracks-9749342.html

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See also

Does Heathrow advert implying a small girl needs a 3rd runway, for her future, meet Advertising Standards?

Earlier this week, Heathrow put out full page advertisements for their 3rd runway. This is part of an on-going, and expensive media campaign. However, they may have mis-judged the tone of this one. It features a small girl, aged about 5, with her hand up – and the text makes out that her future well being will depend upon ….. guess what?? …. a new Heathrow runway. The advert says the 3rd runway will deliver “… at least £100 billion of economic benefits [no timescale given] the length and breadth of the country. …. So, even if our little girl never leaves home, she’ll still feel the benefit.” People may have been inspired to write to the Advertising Standards Authority, to complain about this rather dubious text, with unsubstantiated claims, making use of a small child, to try to make a PR point. One such letter to the ASA has been copied to AirportWatch, in which the writer clearly puts the case that what this child needs is a stable climate for her future, not accelerating carbon emissions. The writer believes the advert to be misleading, and asks the ASA to have it withdrawn.

Click here to view full story…

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Big protest in Queens, New York, against unacceptable level of aircraft noise from La Guardian & JFK airports

People living near La Guardia airport, and JFK airport in New York have been protesting against the aircraft noise to which they are being subjected. On 14th September, the local community group, QUEENS QUIET SKIES” organized a rally of 250 – 300 people against the plane noise, saying the residents are fed up with the noise. Residents say changes over the past few years have made backyards (=gardens) unusable and had a very negative effect on their neighbourhoods. They want less noise, with the acceptable noise level reduced to 55 decibels from the current 65-decibel day-night average sound level. This could be done by more dispersed flights. They also want better noise abatement programs. People in Queens want the issue of aircraft noise tacked on a national level, and say the current noise standard, which has been in place since the 1970s, “is no longer a reliable measure of the true impact of aircraft noise.” As it England and elsewhere the impact is that people can no longer enjoy sitting in the garden, a barbeque with friends – or even just the basic “luxury” of opening the windows on a hot day. One commented: “No one should be subjected to planes flying at low altitudes at one-minute intervals for 18 hours a day every day. Enough is enough.”
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250 rally against jet noise from LaGuardia, JFK airports

Protesters gathered in Cunningham Park in Queens on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, to speak out against what they call an increase in airplane noise and air pollution from LaGuardia and Kennedy airports. (Credit: Newsday / Jessica Rotkiewicz)

About 250 people rallied Sunday against noise from jets landing and taking off at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, saying that changed flight patterns over the past few years have made backyards unusable and altered neighborhoods for the worse.

Elected officials, including Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), called for reduced noise levels deemed acceptable and additional noise abatement programs by the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Living on Long Island, it’s like living in Baghdad during the war,” Israel said at the rally in Cunningham Park, near Fresh Meadows, Queens. Israel has said he would withhold billions in FAA funding if the agency doesn’t keep a promise to limit night flights over some Nassau County communities.

He and 25 other lawmakers from across the country sent a letter Friday urging the FAA to lower its acceptable noise pollution level to 55 decibels from the 65-decibel day-night average sound level.

“Rather than addressing this issue piecemeal in fragmented areas of the nation, we believe it is time for the FAA to tackle this issue on a national level,” the representatives wrote.

The current noise standard, which has been in place since the 1970s, “is no longer a reliable measure of the true impact of aircraft noise.”

Representatives from Queens Quiet Skies, an advocacy group that organized Sunday’s rally, said that a lower standard would allow for more areas to qualify for subsidized soundproofing and force more dispersed flight paths.

About three years ago, Elaine Miller said planes started flying over her house in the Nassau County village of Malverne, where she had lived 15 years.

“It was a peaceful community,” said Miller, who teaches the deaf and hard of hearing. “Now it’s a nightmare.”

She came to the rally because she said it was important for groups that want the FAA to be responsive to public concerns to stick together.

Lynn Andres, who has lived in Bayside for 27 years, said her neighborhood changed two years ago when the steady stream of planes started flying over her house. “I just woke up one day, heard a plane and thought it was going to crash into my house,” she said.

She said backyard barbecues and neighborly chats have all been impeded by the planes. “I haven’t had my windows open in a year and a half.” In a statement Sunday, the FAA blamed predominant winds from the north for increased air traffic over some areas.

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/250-rally-against-jet-noise-fuel-odor-from-laguardia-jfk-airports-1.9310536

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Queens residents rally against airplane noise

Councilmember Rory Lanceman speaks to the crowd at the Rally Against Airplane Noise at Cuningham Park in Oakland Gardens Sunday. Photo by Chris Palermo
Bayside resident Rosemarie Brennan holds a sign advocating for no noise at the Rally Against Airplane Noise at Cuningham Park in Fresh Meadows Sunday. Photo by Chris Palermo
Sisters Elpida and Tiffany Hatzidimitriu voice their concert through a sign at the Rally Against Airplane Noise at Cuningham Park in Oakland Gardens Sunday. Photo by Chris Palermo

More than 300 Queensites came out to a rally at Cunningham Park Sunday afternoon to demand an end to the constant din emanating from airplanes traveling to and from the borough’s airports.

Advocacy group Queens Quiet Skies hosted the rally, which was attended by a long list of elected officials and community leaders, to put pressure on the Federal Aviation Administration to reduce air traffic and the noise that comes with it.

“I can’t sleep. I can’t watch TV. I can’t sit on my terrace,” said Susan Carroll, a Flushing resident and member of Queens Quiet Skies. “I have to keep the AC on even in cooler weather to drown out the noise.”

Protesters said the increasing amount of planes passing above them has made their suburban neighborhoods uninhabitable and has severely damaged their quality of life.

In November, Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated a series of roundtable discussions between residents, the PA and the FAA about the issue, and several meetings have been held since.

But Queens Quiet Skies has been disappointed with the format of the forums, as there have been separate meetings for each of the area’s major airports.

“In recent months, we have created noise roundtables to bring together the Federal Aviation Administration, the Port Authority, elected officials and community to discuss noise problems, unveiled a feature on the PA’s website that allows residents to track planes and decibel levels over their communities and deployed more noise monitors around both airports to help collect additional data,” said PA spokesman Ron Marsico. “Additionally, the agency is nearing selection of a consultant to help implement the governor’s request for federal Part 150 noise studies at both JFK and LaGuardia [airports] to determine what steps may be possible to help alleviate specific noise issues.”

The FAA said that while it has not made any changes to air traffic routes over the Nassau County-Queens border, there has been an increased usage of air traffic routes that go over some areas due to predominant winds from the north.

U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Steve Israel (D-Melville) announced at the rally that they have sent a letter, signed by 26 members of Congress, to the FAA calling for the national standard for noise levels to be lowered. The Congress members said the standard should be lowered from the current 65 decibel Day-Night Sound Level to 55 DNL.

“We are here to demand once and for all that the FAA enforce the law, maintain safe skies, but keep the peace on the ground,” Israel said. “Study after study has agreed the decibel level should be lowered. The longer the FAA waits, the louder it gets. Quit waiting. Quit studying. Give these communities the peace and the quiet they deserve once and for all.”

Carroll lives in an apartment building in Flushing, where the PA placed a noise monitor to collect data. She said it has broken down three times since it was installed and lost six days worth of data. It has also shown decibel level readings that are frequently in the 80s and 90s, she said.

“We deserve better,” Carroll said. “No one should be subjected to planes flying at low altitudes at one-minute intervals for 18 hours a day every day. Enough is enough.”

http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2014/38/queensquiet_tl_2014_09_19_q.html

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Video clip (only for those subscribed to Time Warner cable) at

http://queens.ny1.com/content/news/215518/bayside-residents-protest-plane-noise/


 Local community group, QUEENS QUIET SKIES

 https://www.queensquietskies.org/

Mission Statement and Specific Goals of Queens Quiet Skies is listed below:

MISSION STATEMENT

– Reduce Noise from New York, New Jersey and Long Island Aircraft Flights, without merely moving noise from one place to another.

– Educate the public about this complex problem, leading to an opportunity to fix the airspace and modernize airports.

– Create a Public Forum where stakeholders from all affected parts of Queens and Nassau County — citizens and elected officials, key decision makers from The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the FAA, the Airlines, and other stakeholder groups — collaborate to make significant changes.

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SPECIFIC GOALS

– Now that an Aviation Roundtable has been mandated by Governor Cuomo, make sure that decisions are made by a Roundtable of all affected parties — citizens, Port Authority/airport, airlines, and the FAA — as in 25 other locations around the country.

– Require the Port Authority to develop a solid noise abatement program to educate pilots and other airport users, to reduce noise from individual aircraft flights.

– Now that Governor Cuomo has required the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to prepare a Noise Compatibility Study that meets the requirements of FAA’s “Part 150” for Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports, watch the process very closely, while actively participating.

– Demand that the FAA and Port Authority prepare a full Environmental review of flight changes, as has been done in most other major U.S. airports; continue to oppose the FAA proposal to exempt such flight changes from environmental review; and actively participate in FAA’s OAPM for the Metroplex.

–  Require the installation of many more noise monitors at LaGuardia, where there were only 5 (4 for Queens, 1 for the Bronx), and JFK where there were only 11 (7 in Queens and 4 in Nassau County) at airports of similar size across the U.S., there are as many as 30 or even 40 noise monitors per airport.

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Earlier:

Cuomo orders plane noise studies

Residents in northeast Queens fighting the increase in airplane noise rejoiced this week after Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the Port Authority to complete a series of tasks intended to address their concerns.

In response to a growing number of complaints from homeowners, including many in Queens, Cuomo ordered the agency to double the number of portable noise monitors currently in place and more closely track any aircraft that violate the decibel limit so necessary fines can be enforced.

He also directed the Port Authority to begin carrying out a Part 150 noise study that he approved last November as a way to carefully look at how noise from nearby airports affects residents living around them.

Cuomo also urged the Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration to work together with concerned residents as decisions are made that will affect their communities in the future.

Janet McEneany, president of the Queens Quiet Skies advocacy group, said she and the other advocates fighting the increase in airplane noise were pleased to hear about Cuomo’s decision and praised him for not taking their concerns lightly.

“Overall, we’re very happy with the direction this is going,” she said on behalf of the northeast Queens group. “This will, for the first time, allow for public input, transparency and public participation in the decision-making.”

Residents in Queens, including Queens Quiet Skies members, have pushed for community involvement in a roundtable that would facilitate formal discussions and negotiations between the FAA and homeowners who say they are burdened by airplane noise in their neighborhoods. Cuomo’s directive requires the Port Authority to begin taking part in such meetings as early as April.

“Airport noise is rightly an important concern for residents of Queens, the Bronx and Nassau County, and that is why I am directing the Port Authority to open a full and thorough dialogue with the impacted communities while also pursuing a noise study to better address the issue,” Cuomo said. “We will listen to local residents and ensure their input is used to make both JFK and LaGuardia airports better neighbors.”

Aside from setting a goal of next month for the roundtables to begin, Cuomo’s directive did not provide a timetable for when he expected the Port Authority to have all studies and monitor installations complete.

But McEneany said she believes the Port Authority is getting ready to start the bidding process to find a contractor to conduct the study, and it will then take between 18 and 36 months to complete.

Officials from the Port Authority said they are committed to taking whatever steps are needed to address the concerns of those living around the city’s major airports.

“The Port Authority understands it must strive to be a good neighbor in the communities where its airports are located,” Port Authority Aviation Director Thomas Bosco said. “We will seek noise mitigation with the FAA where feasible.”

http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2014/13/portauthority_bt_2014_03_28_q.html

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Queens Quiet Skies member meets with FAA

A plane flies over a highway in Queens.

The battle for quieter skies in northeast Queens traveled across the country last month as one borough advocate attended a conference to address airplane noise with representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration.

In a meeting of about 170 people, the FAA met with civilians from across the nation in Palm Springs, Calif., in February to hear concerns about increased air traffic and changes in flight patterns that have led to a rise in the amount of airplane noise in residential communities.

Bob Whitehair, a Douglaston resident and vice president of Queens Quiet Skies, made the trip to join the group on behalf of homeowners around the borough who say they have suffered as a result of the increase in noise.

Much of the discussion at the meeting, according to Whitehair, was about complaints the FAA has received from residents who live near major U.S. airports, including LaGuardia and Kennedy in Queens.

Many Queens advocates say much of the noise increase is a result of changes in flight paths that have rerouted more planes over the city and allowed them to fly closer to residential neighborhoods.

Despite all the talk about plane volume, the discussion at the conference mentioned no direct link between the flight path changes and the increase in noise, Whitehair said.

“They didn’t talk much about how it has increased the noise, and I think that was a mistake,” he said. “We would like to see more studies done on that.”

One change in particular, known as the tnnis climb, has rerouted planes over northeast Queens and has led to what some residents say is non-stop noise as aircraft constantly come in and out of LaGuardia and JFK airports.

Whitehair said the FAA is planning on making a significant number of changes to flight plans in large metropolitan areas around the country, and he said Queens Quiet Skies will continue to fight for a seat at the table as the decisions are made.

“The tnnis climb has been a disaster for the citizens of northeast Queens and more of that would not be good for us,” Whitehair said. “We just don’t like the way these changes are being done and they’re not addressing how we are going to have procedures that will result in less noise.”

Whitehair said there were also a large number of presentations given about the environmental impact of the extra air traffic that New York’s airports have taken on, with more than half of the 25 presentations focused on topics such as sustainable fuels and reducing emissions from airports.

He said the group also discussed strategies other cities across the country are using in order to settle similar issues with their nearby airports. The Douglaston resident said one possible solution is to enter into an agreement that would regulate the number of flights allowed in and out of airports and would also closely monitor the noise level that results.

“Noise has really been our biggest gripe all along, and it continues to be, and I think we would like to see some kind of agreement here,” Whitehair said. “These officials are very smart people and are very good at their jobs, but I just don’t think their efforts are focused where they need to be focused.

http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2014/12/aviationmeeting_bt_2014_03_21_q.html

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Does Heathrow advert implying a small girl needs a 3rd runway, for her future, meet Advertising Standards?

Update:    10th December 2014

There is still no decision by the Advertising Standards Authority on the Heathrow advert.  The ASA now say:

“….the investigation had been delayed due to some new points being raised by additional complainants.  Since then another couple of issues have been added to the investigation, meaning that we have had to again engage in further discussion with the advertiser.

“However, we have now received Heathrow’s response on all points, including the newest ones.  We are currently in the process of drawing up the documents for the next stage of the case, and hope that we may be able to send these out [to those who submitted complaints] by the end of the month.”

…. and they say “… the issues around advertising claims of this nature are complex and our investigation will necessarily take some time”   …. and they are working to address the concerns of the many people who complained as promptly as they are able.


 

The Heathrow advert

Earlier this week, Heathrow put out full page advertisements for their 3rd runway. This is part of an on-going, and expensive media campaign. However, they may have mis-judged the tone of this one. It features a small girl, aged about 5, with her hand up – and the text makes out that her future well being will depend upon ….. guess what?? …. a new Heathrow runway. The advert says the 3rd runway will deliver “… at least £100 billion of economic benefits [no timescale given] the length and breadth of the country.  …. So, even if our little girl never leaves home, she’ll still feel the benefit.”  People may have been inspired to write to the Advertising Standards Authority, to complain about this rather dubious text, with unsubstantiated claims, making use of a small child, to try to make a PR point. One such letter to the ASA has been copied to AirportWatch, in which the writer clearly puts the case that what this child needs is a stable climate for her future, not accelerating carbon emissions. The writer believes the advert to be misleading, and asks the ASA to have it withdrawn. There is now an Avaaz petition to the ASA on this ad.

Later news (October): The ASA have now taken this matter up with Heathrow airport, to be dealt with under the ASA’s formal investigations procedure. After various stages, including giving Heathrow the opportunity to send evidence to support their claims, the ASA’s decision will be published on their website. Timescale not known.
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Copy of the Heathrow full page advert, as it appeared on 16.9.2014 on Page 11 of City AM.

BxuZLxyCQAA5vdG

Formal complaint against Heathrow Airport

An advert in today’s Observer (21st September 2014) is based entirely on the supposition that expansion of Heathrow with a 3rd runway would be to the benefit off children and future generations.

But this is a false supposition.  World scientists agree that the world has reached a crucial point in the acceleration of climate change caused by human emissions, and that air travel forms a crucial part of these emissions.  To build more runways producing yet more emissions could set off a series positive feedback as detailed in Professor Houghton’s textbook on Global Warming, reaching irreversible tipping-points with the potential to make this planet uninhabitable for future generations.

Global warming is already estimated to be responsible for thousands of deaths around the world – by such means as increased incidents of flooding, droughts, crop failures leading to starvation, landslides, forest fires, etc., etc.  To allow greenhouse emissions by all means but particularly air traffic where the effects are magnified, is to subject children of today and future generations to even greater such calamities.

Thus Heathrow Airport, by presenting its expansion as being wholly to the benefit of future generations without even mentioning the risks and dangers of such increases in air traffic, is consciously misleading the public.

The advertisement should therefore be immediately banned and withdrawn.

Submitted to Advertising Standards Authority, 21st September 2014


 

Petition

Avaaz petition to the ASA asking them to ban the Heathrow advert.


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To make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, see

http://www.asa.org.uk/Consumers/How-to-complain.aspx

The ASA states:

Make a complaint

1. First, check whether your complaint is covered by the ASA. [This advert is covered].  Find out what we cover here, or if you’re still not sure, call/textphone us to discuss your complaint.Our contact details can be found here.

Advertising Standards Authority Limited
Mid City Place
71 High Holborn
London
WC1V 6QT

Tel: 020 7492 2222

2. If it is, submit your complaint online, or telephone,textphone, or write to us.Online form 
3. We’ll give you the name of the person who will handle the case and be your point of contact.
4. The names of those who make a complaint are kept confidential from the advertiser, unless you are asking us to have your name taken off a mailing list or the complaint is from an individual, competitor or organisation with obvious interest in the outcome of the complaint (such as consumer bodies and pressure groups).
5. We can often resolve complaints quickly. For instance, we can have an ad changed if it’s a minor mistake or chase up an undelivered mail order item on your behalf. If it’s not that simple, we may need to conduct a formal investigation, which can take longer.
6. A formal investigation means the ASA Council will rule on the matter. We contact all parties involved (complainant, advertiser and, if appropriate, the broadcaster) and inform them of the process. We ask the advertiser and broadcaster to provide evidence for any claims they make and, if needed, to provide justification about why they thought the ad was appropriate.
7. We consider all the information we receive and place the facts of the case before the ASA Council which decides whether the Advertising Codes have been breached.
8. We publish our rulings in full every Wednesday and make the findings available to the media.
9. Ads that break the rules are required to be amended or withdrawn, if they aren’t, we will take steps to make sure our ruling is followed.

10. We take every step to make sure the process is fair, which is why there is an Independent Review Procedure that allows complainants and advertisers to request a review of a ruling.

This leaflet provides a straight forward guide to our process Making a complaint.

You can also read our detailed complaints handling procedure for both broadcast and non-broadcast advertising.

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Another complaint about the Heathrow advertisement said:

The advert shows a small girl, aged about 5. The text implies that a 3rd Heathrow runway will be important for her future well being. It used various figures that are unsubstantiated, and offers no supporting data for its claims, like a national benefit of “£100 billion” – though gives no timescale for this. And claims about future jobs etc.

The advert also completely ignores the fact that this small child (if it is current photo) will actually need a stable world to grow up in. This will require a stable climate. At present we have a serious threat of an altered climate, from man made carbon emissions. An expanded Heathrow would be one of the largest, if not the largest, emitters of CO2 in the UK. Growing the carbon emissions from UK air travel are probably not the thing this small child needs most.

It also seems distasteful to try to push this runway, which would cause serious adverse impacts for thousands of people locally, using a child as a marketing aid.

I believe the advert is inaccurate, contains dubious claims, ignores important details, and is in poor taste.

It should therefore be withdrawn, and Heathrow should be advised that it should advertise more responsibly in future.

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On the economic claims by Heathrow:

Prime Economics: “Out of thin air – the economic case for a 3rd Heathrow runway”

Prime Economics, a group of independent economic thinkers, has taken a look at Heathrow’s claims about the economic case for a 3rd runway. They are not impressed. While Heathrow (see its latest advert) says: “If we want Britain’s economy to keep growing, we need to grow Heathrow”, the reality is very different. Among Heathrow’s dodgy 3rd runway economic claims, they say: “• It will bring economic benefits of £100bn • It will bring 120,000 new jobs • Every month the problem goes unresolved is costing the British economy £1.25bn through lost trade”. Prime Economics says “the evidence for each of these is very thin and hypothetical …. The link between trade and airport capacity is at best indirect, and certainly opaque. At a macroeconomic level, the impact is simply invisible.” They say “Economies depend on many factors, and hub capacity is one of the least significant, at least once you reach a decent threshold of scale.” They pick to pieces the £1.25 billion figure; the idea that the UK needs flights to every destination in every country; and the hub competition between EU countries. “The current debate assumes exponential growth both of our economies and of our travel into the indefinite future. This will not happen … Airports …are not the main drivers of economic success nor of national well-being.” Well worth reading.

Click here to view full story…

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Protesters line route of Tour of Britain to campaign against Gatwick flight paths

Local campaign group, Communities Against Noise and Emissions (CAGNE), which is helping residents oppose increased aircraft noise from Gatwick, lined part of the route of the Tour of Britain last week. They watched cyclists as they passed through Horsham, with banners and  placards about their campaign. CAGNE chairman Sally Pavey said: “We took the opportunity of the tour to raise awareness of our campaign. We had lots of interest from people, some of which have found themselves suddenly under a trial flight path.” Though the ADNID flight path trial, which concentrated flights over areas south west of Gatwick, has now ended, the problem is still there. Having experienced the deeply unpleasant and intrusive noise nuisance of the flight path trial, people are now very concerned about the prospect of a 2nd Gatwick runway, realising the noise implications.  CAGNE started in Warnham, when the trial began in April, and it has quickly attracted hundreds of members Warnham, Rusper, Kingsfold, Rowhook, Broadbridge Heath, Slinfold parishes and north Horsham. Other groups have now formed to the east of Gatwick, to oppose the new noise they are also suffering.

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Protesters saddle up to campaign against new flight paths at Gatwick Airport

Protesters gather to oppose new flight paths for Gatwick Airport at the Tour of Britain

Protesters gather to oppose new flight paths for Gatwick Airport at the Tour of Britain

  • 20.9.2014 (The Argos)

An airport pressure group is hoping to have new momentum after lining the route of the Tour of Britain.

Communities Against Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) stood at the roadside watching cyclists as they passed through Horsham last weekend as they campaigned against new flight paths for Gatwick Airport.

CAGNE chairman Sally Pavey said: “We took the opportunity of the tour to raise awareness of our campaign. We had lots of interest from people, some of which have found themselves suddenly under a trial flight path.

Final recommendations on airport expansion are due next year and Gatwick and Heathrow have intensified lobbying for a new runway.

The Gatwick bid promises Sussex would reap the economic reward, and claims it offers the quickest, easiest and cheapest solution to the UK’s air travel problems for a generation. The plans could cost billions of pounds but would be privately financed.

But opposition to the plans say it would lead to the urbanisation of the county.

The group started in Warnham when homeowners suddenly found themselves living under the new flight path trial in April and it quickly attracted hundreds of members. It has members from Warnham, Rusper, Kingsfold, Rowhook, Broadbridge Heath, Slinfold parishes and north Horsham.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/11485690.Protesters_saddle_up_to_campaign_against_new_flight_paths_at_Gatwick_Airport/?ref=rss

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The three main groups campaigning against increased noise from Gatwick .- and its second runway plans are:

CAGNE  (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

Gatwick Obviously NOT

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Heathrow seeks 20-year landing charge deal with CAA so investors will fund 3rd runway

For many years, Heathrow has been in dispute with the CAA about the level of charges to airlines using the airport.  It is now reported to be demanding a 20-year deal on landing charges in return for building a 3rd runway. Heathrow says it needs a fundamental review of the regulatory regime, where prices are reviewed every five years, if it is to bear the risk of the £15 billion capital outlay that a new runway would require. The request, part of its 400-page submission to the Airports Commission, is likely to infuriate airline customers, who have been complaining bitterly about its high passenger charges. Assessment of the financial viability, and possibility, of the runway proposals is part of the task of the Airports Commission. Heathrow said a deal on regulation needs to cover a period “from the point of committing the first significant investment, for at least 15 years” and it wants the government to guarantee that all “efficiently incurred” expenditure is included in the company’s regulated asset base (means a proxy for an airport’s value – which rises in line with investment in new facilities, such as terminals and runways) in future — with safeguards to prevent write-downs. 
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Heathrow seeks 20-year landing charge deal

Heathrow is reported to be demanding a 20-year deal on landing charges from the Civil Aviation Authority in return for building a third runway.The airport has argued that it needs a fundamental review of the regulatory regime, where prices are reviewed every five years, if it is to bear the risk of the £15 billion capital outlay that a new runway would require.

The request, part of its 400-page submission to the Airports Commission, is likely to infuriate airline customers, who have been complaining bitterly about its high passenger charges, The Sunday Times reported.

The commission will begin to assess the three shortlisted proposals to build a new runway in south-east England next month, after deciding that the plan for a Thames Estuary airport was too costly and too difficult to carry out. Its recommendations will be given to the government next summer.

Heathrow said a deal on regulation needs to cover a period “from the point of committing the first significant investment, for at least 15 years,” the newspaper reported.

It wants the government to guarantee that all “efficiently incurred” expenditure is included in the company’s regulated asset base (means a proxy for an airport’s value – which rises in line with investment in new facilities, such as terminals and runways) in future — with safeguards to prevent write-downs. The larger a company’s asset base, the more money it can make when price controls are set by the regulator [the CAA].

Any deal should also include “a longer visibility horizon” for Heathrow’s cost of capital, which is usually set by the regulator and can go up or down every five years depending on the likely cost of borrowing money for construction.

Emma Gilthorpe, director of strategy at Heathrow, conceded that charges for airlines would go up for a period but said the question of how long “depends on when we start the investment cycle”.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2014/09/15/49329/heathrow-seeks-20-year-landing-charge-deal.html

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Heathrow has said the cost of its runway plan would be £16.8 billion, inclusive of a £1.2 billion bill for the government for new road and rail access costs. The balance would be met by debt and equity investment from its investors.


 

Heathrow Airport Plans to Raise Landing Fees by 20% to Cover Costs of Proposed £16.8bn Third Runway

By Jerin Mathew  (International Business Times)

July 1, 2014

UK Airports Commission

Reuters

John Holland-Kaye, the new CEO of Heathrow Airport Holdings, has said the UK’s largest airport will raise landing fees for airlines.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Holland-Kaye said Heathrow will raise landing charges for airlines by as much as 20% as part of its draft funding plan for a proposed third runway at the airport.

Holland-Kaye takes over as the CEO of Heathrow Airport Holdings on 1 July. In addition to Heathrow airport, Heathrow Airport Holdings owns and runs a number of other UK airports – Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton.

The plan for the third runway costing about £16.8bn ($28.6bn, €21bn) was submitted to the UK’s Airports Commission. Holland-Kaye intends to open the runway in 2025.

He told the FT that he was confident about obtaining government approval for the plan.

“I am confident, I think [a third runway is] absolutely deliverable,” he said.

Heathrow, the busiest airport in Europe, has been overrunning its capacity and facing problems such as flight delays and lengthy immigration queues.

Holland-Kaye is proposing a third runway at the airport to solve the issues. He claimed that Britain is starting to lose the “race for [economic] growth” because Heathrow airport cannot expand.

Dubai International airport is set to replace Heathrow this year as the world’s largest hub by numbers of international passengers.

He noted that his plan has the backing of people in six out of seven nearby boroughs, saying “local politics are changing.”

“Jobs and growth allied to marginal seats makes [the third runway] politically deliverable,” he added.

Nevertheless, the proposed hike in landing fees is likely to be opposed by airlines, the FT reported.

Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited is co-owned by Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial, Qatar Holding, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, Alinda Capital Partners, China Investment Corporation and Universities Superannuation Scheme.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/heathrow-airport-plans-raise-landing-fees-by-20-cover-costs-proposed-16-8bn-third-runway-1454800

 


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Earlier:

CAA proposes Heathrow charges rise in line with inflation over next 5 years

3.10.2013The airport regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, has proposed that Heathrow should cap its landing charges so that they rise in line with inflation for the 5 years 2014 – 2019. Heathrow is complaining about this, as it wants a much larger increase in its charges and says this price cap would have “serious and far-reaching consequences” for passengers. Heathrow had submitted its request to the CAA for charges to be allowed to rise by 4.6% above the Retail Price Index (RPI), which is a measure of UK inflation. The CAA had initially proposed that the annual increase at Heathrow should be RPI minus 1.3% but said a key reason for its proposal to allow rises in line with inflation was “due to an increase in the cost of capital driven by higher debt costs”. If the proposals are accepted it will put an end to over a decade of prices rising faster than inflation at Heathrow. Airlines like BA at Heathrow had asked for a 9.8% a year cut in landing charges over the 5 years. The CAA propose allowing charges at Gatwick to rise by 0.5% above RPI for 5 years, and is yet to decide on charges at Stansted.  The CAA’s final proposals for all 3 airports would take effect if the CAA makes a final decision in January.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17722.


 

CAA proposals to limit airport charges at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted over next 5 years

30.4.2013Proposals by the CAA on changes to the regulatory regime for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted are the most significant reform of airport regulation since the 1987. Heathrow is likely to be prevented from raising its charges to airlines as much as it had hoped.  The CAA plans could mean cheaper air fares from Heathrow, though the airport had wanted to be allowed to raise charges by 5.9% per year in real terms between 2014 and 2019  – to pay back to shareholders. The CAA wants a rise only in line with inflation, at the most.  The CAA will be consulting on its proposals and make its final decision in October. Heathrow’s charges are higher than those of Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Hong Kong, because airlines like to fly there and there is little spare capacity – hence the market would allow the cost to rise. In the past, the CAA allowed Heathrow to rise its charges, to pay for infrastructure like T5. The CAA is now considering removing caps on aeronautical charges at Gatwick and Stansted from next year. They would then be able to agree aeronautical charges with the airlines, but the CAA would retain the right to intervene if it regards the agreements as unacceptable.  The civil aviation act in 2012 gave the CAA  new powers over airport regulation.http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1783 

 


 

 Regulated Asset Base (RAB)

Regulatory asset base (RAB) is a measure of the asset value of Heathrow used in Heathrow’s regulatory dealings with the CAA and in its financing arrangements

Great Britain developed the RAB to provide comfort to investors in privatised network utilities such as electricity, natural gas, railways, telecoms, transport and water that their investments would not be treated unfairly. RABs were initially developed in the early 1990s for UK infrastructure industries by Ofwat (the economic regulator of the water industry in England and Wales). Ofwat created the first infrastructure RAB for the purpose of setting its five-year price limits in 1994.

In the UK, RAB protection has become the de facto major perceived underpinning of investor expectations for UK infrastructure industries, particularly against retrospective ‘asset-taking’ and prospective asset-stranding. RABs exist in a number of other countries for both privately and publicly owned utility infrastructure industries.

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 Heathrow Airport Limited Regulatory Accounts Year ended 31 March 2014  states:

Regulatory Asset Base (‘RAB’)
The Closing RAB at 31 March 2014 was £14.8bn, an increase of £1.1bn against the closing RAB at 31 March 2013. Capital expenditure of £1.36bn was £0.9bn higher than the expenditure forecast in the CAA decision on extending the current price regulation in Heathrow and Gatwick airports in out-turn prices. This is the result of significant changes to the phasing of expenditure during Q5 and recovers the underspend in
cumulative Q5 capital expenditure reported at 31 March 2013. The actual 2013/14 expenditure was within £10m of the forecast included in the CAA’s Q6 decision (in March 2014 prices).

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowAboutUs/Downloads/PDF/Heathrow_2013-14_Regulatory_Accounts.pdf

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Prices of long-haul flights from Scottish airports slashed as Middle East airlines compete – cheaper than going via Heathrow

Air passengers from Scotland, travelling to the Middle East and Australia are benefitting from a price war between the major airlines. Emirates and Qatar Airways are bitter rivals, founded less than 10 years apart in 1985 and 1993 respectively, and then the arrival of Etihad in 2003 put both under pressure.  Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad now compete for long haul passengers from Scottish airports, to Dubai, Thailand and Australia. The price of a ticked on Etihad from Edinburgh to Sydney for next summer is about £790, cheaper than the cost of an Etihad flight from Heathrow. Emirates has slashed its return fare from Glasgow to a low of £771 for the same dates. The same flight with Qatar Airways comes in at £995 return. Industry experts predict fierce competition between the 3 carriers, undercutting each other.  Due to the 3 Middle East airlines competing, fares to Australia are cheaper from Scotland than from Heathrow or Amsterdam. So one less reason to need to expand Heathrow, or worry about losing traffic to Schiphol. 
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Prices of long-haul flights slashed as airlines compete

By Helen McArdle (Herald Scotland)

16 September 2014

AIRLINE passengers heading from Scotland to the Middle East and Australia are benefitting from a price war between major airlines.

Etihad yesterday cut the cost of a round-trip, economy-class ticket from Edinburgh to Sydney for next summer to as little as £790, cheaper than the cost of flying with it on the route from London’s Heathrow.

The fare battle came as the arrival of a third United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier puts ­pressure on operators flying from the Central Belt.  Rival Emirates has slashed its return fare from Glasgow to a low of £771 for the same dates. The same flight with Qatar Airways comes in at £995 return.

Consumers have been spoilt for choice for long-haul flights since Doha-based Qatar launched its service from Edinburgh in May, with Etihad announcing in July that it would also begin flying from the capital via its Abu Dhabi hub next summer. Its first flights, which went on sale yesterday, will start on June 8.

The move marked the first ­serious competition in Scotland for Dubai giant Emirates, which has operated from Glasgow Airport since 2004.

Industry experts predict fierce competition between the three carriers, which will not only try to undercut one another on the Scotland-to-UAE corridor but on popular holiday destinations in the Far East and Australia.

Kevin Thom of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association said: “We’re definitely seeing strong competition now with all three Middle Eastern carriers operating from Scotland. You’ve got the double daily flights with Emirates from Glasgow, Qatar from Edinburgh and now Etihad on the way.

“So I do suspect you will see them cutting fares. [£771] is a very competitive price for Australia and hopefully a sign of things to come.

“Before the competition was KLM via Amsterdam, maybe Lufthansa or even British Airways through Heathrow, and you might be able to get a return flight in the region of £800 to 900 on offer, but these were very restricted. Looking at KLM for next month, a return flight to Sydney would cost you £1600.”

Fares to Bangkok, another popular destination for Scots, have also benefitted from the competition, with Etihad squeezing an economy ticket to £505 return next June, ahead of £560 for Qatar Airways or £562 for Emirates.

By comparison, the cheapest direct flight currently available for Glasgow to New York on June 8 next year comes in at £680 return.

Emirates and Qatar Airways are bitter rivals, founded less than 10 years apart in 1985 and 1993 respectively, and both former ­holders of the prestigious “World’s Best Airline” crown – Emirates in 2013 and Qatar Airways in 2011 and 2012.

The arrival of Etihad in 2003 put both under pressure, though Emirates bosses at Glasgow airport are said to be confident exclusive facilities like their newly opened executive lounge will give them an edge over their Edinburgh airport competitors.

Douglas McNeill, aviation industry analyst at London-based Charles Stanley, said the prices were “excellent”, though he questioned whether all three could survive in the relatively small Scottish market long-term.

He added: “They are all efficient operations in comparison to their European-based counterparts.”

l Lufthansa has puts its first premium economy seats from Scotland up for sale. Passengers from Edinburgh and Aberdeen can sample the new seats, which offer 130° recline – the biggest in the industry – and 50 per cent more space on routes to destinations including Hong Kong and Singapore from December.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/transport/prices-of-long-haul-flights-slashed-as-airlines-compete.25336019?utm_source=www.heraldscotland.com&utm_medium=RSS%20Feed&utm_campaign=Scottish%20News

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See also:

Etihad to launch daily nonstop Edinburgh-Abu Dhabi service

July 21, 2014 (eturbo news)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will next year launch its first service from Scotland with the start of a nonstop daily flight from Edinburgh to its home base of Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital city.

The new route, which will commence on 8 June 2015, will be operated with a two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft, offering a total of 22 seats in Business Class and 240 seats in Economy Class.

In addition to providing a direct connection between Edinburgh and Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub, the forthcoming service will enable passengers and cargo from Scotland to connect conveniently to Etihad Airways’ destinations across the Gulf region, Asia, Australia and Africa.

Edinburgh is Etihad Airways’ first Scottish destination, and its third departure point from the UK. It currently offers triple-daily flights from London, and double-daily flights from Manchester.

From the Gulf region Etihad will face Edinburgh competition from Qatar Airways who fly daily into Doha, and at Glasgow Etihad with its Dubai services. All connect at their hub airports to numerous destinations east and south

Source: etihad.com

http://www.eturbonews.com/48199/etihad-launch-daily-nonstop-edinburgh-abu-dhabi-service


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See earlier:

Qatar Airways makes Edinburgh its latest city in Europe

4.6.2014 (Anna Aero)

Qatar Airways, now operating all flights from Hamad International Airport, began operating a new route to the UK on 28 May.
Edinburgh (EDI) became the airline’s third destination in the UK (after London Heathrow and Manchester), with five weekly 787 flights on the 5,550-kilometre route from Doha (DOH).
The airline faces no direct competition on the route, and neither Emirates nor Etihad Airways serves the Scottish capital as yet.
Gordon Dewar, CEO, Edinburgh Airport, said: “This truly is a historic day, not just for our airport, but for the city of Edinburgh and for Scotland. Today’s inaugural flight to Doha marks the first direct link from Edinburgh to the Middle East and means Scotland’s capital is finally connected with Asia, Australia and China. We’re absolutely delighted to celebrate this occasion with our city partners and the Scottish Government, whose hard work has helped us reach this milestone. A direct link to Doha will not only enhance trade and culture links but will truly reaffirm Edinburgh Airport as where Scotland meets the world.”
Humza Yousaf, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, said: “Scotland and Qatar are both strong oil and gas producing countries and the relationship between our two countries has continued to strengthen over recent years. This service will help build on this important link and promote Scotland as a great place to do business.
“By removing the need for extra connecting flights, it will also make Scotland a more attractive destination for tourists. We want to improve Scotland’s international connectivity and we could attract more direct flights like this by cutting rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD), something that we don’t currently have the power to do but which has wide support in the aviation industry.
“2014 is an exciting time for Scotland and we look forward to welcoming friends from around the world for our exciting programme of events that includes the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and a second Year of Homecoming.”
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Heathrow flight path trials branded an “omnishambles” by councillors, given no prior warning (and then asked to back 3rd runway)

During a full Bracknell Forest Council meeting on 17th a motion put forward by Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker to ensure the borough’s residents views are considered by the airport was unanimously carried. The motion came after councillors received complaints from people in Winkfield, Warfield, Binfield and Ascot who noticed a large amount of planes flying over their homes in July.  Local MP Adam Afriye, who himself lives in Old Windsor, knows the problem. He has said he will continue  his 10-year campaign to fight any changes in flights which expose residents to higher levels of aircraft noise. He has received extensive correspondence from distressed residents who feel the aircraft noise pattern has changed and is now unbearable. Bracknell councillors are very angry they were not consulted by Heathrow in advance of the trials. One councillor said he was disgusted to receive no information about the trial, but at the same time get a letter asking him to back Heathrow’s campaign for a 3rd runway. He said: “This has been an own goal in PR terms, the only way to describe it is an omnishambles….The irony of neighbours receiving this letter should not escape any of us.”

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Heathrow Airport flight path trials branded an “omnishambles”

A trial of flight paths by Heathrow Airport which has increased air traffic over Bracknell Forest has been branded an “omnishambles”.

During a full council meeting last night a motion put forward by Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker to ensure the borough’s residents views are considered by the airport was unanimously carried.

The motion came after councillors received complaints from people in Winkfield, Warfield, Binfield and Ascot who noticed a large amount of planes flying over their homes in July.

Adam Afriyie: I know only too well how intrusive low-flying aircraft can be

Cllr Brunel-Walker’s motion also demanded Heathrow Airport admit it should have consulted Bracknell Forest Council about the trials which are expected to last until January.

Cllr Rob McLean, who represents Warfield Harvest Ride, said he was disgusted to receive no information about the trial at the same time as receiving a letter to back Heathrow’s campaign for a third runway.

He said: “This has been an own goal in PR terms, the only way to describe it is an omnishambles.

“The irony of neighbours receiving this letter should not escape any of us.

“The purpose of this is to make it perfectly clear they have screwed up because they didn’t tell us about this trial.

“Our residents were given no warning of this, they didn’t even know it was a trial period and have struggled to find any information about what is happening and why.”

Councillors, who asked to be kept up-to-date with discussions, also used the debate to encourage as many people as possible to attend a meeting next month with representative from Heathrow Airport, the National Air Traffic Control Service (NACS) and the Civil Aviation Authority to voice their concerns.

The meeting, at Ascot Racecourse in High Street, will begin at 7pm on Monday, October 13.

Cllr Brunel-Walker’s motion stated: “Bracknell Forest Council supports the continued success of Heathrow but regrets it was not consulted about the current trial of new flight paths over the parishes of our borough.

“Members have received approaches from many residents and the council is resolute in making sure their voices are heard as part of any consultation.

“Therefore, the council asks Heathrow Airport and NATS to confirm they are taking fully into account the views of our residents in this trial and will in future ensure this council is informed of all such changes to flight paths, timings etc. that have the potential to cause concern to our residents.”

Issues can also be raised about the trials by contacting the airport on 0800 344 844 [goes through to answerphone, as the airport is swamped by complaints] or noise_complaints@heathrow.com.

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/heathrow-airport-flight-path-trials-7791497

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Adam Afriyie: I know only too well how intrusive low-flying aircraft can be

“I will continue my 10-year campaign to fight against any [changes] in flights which expose residents to higher levels of aircraft noise.”

As we are all aware, Heathrow is trialling new flight paths over the constituency, with the current phase due to last until January 2015.

As a resident of Old Windsor, I know all too well how intrusive low-flying aircraft can be; not only does it disrupt our sleep late at night and in the early hours of the morning, but it has an impact on our work and social lives, too.

It is disturbing, therefore, to have received so much correspondence from distressed residents who tell me that the aircraft noise pattern has changed and is now unbearable.

Having already contacted Heathrow Airport to request more information about the current trials and to address the concerns of those who have contacted me directly, they will now be carrying out a more in-depth analysis of flight patterns in the area, the results of which it plans to share with residents.

I know our hard-working councillors have also been receiving lots of calls and emails and, as always, they are being incredibly proactive in responding to the issues affecting our local area.

Bracknell Forest Councillor Tony Virgo is doing a fantastic job at representing constituents’ concerns to Heathrow and the Civil Aviation Authority, and liaising with Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to arrange a public meeting at which Heathrow can answer some key questions.

The meeting will give residents a chance to voice their concerns, and allow Heathrow to share its analysis and clarify the reasons for these trials. Heathrow Airport Ltd must take local concerns seriously, and I urge them to find a solution that is acceptable to the community.

A third runway will affect one million people within the crucial 55 decibel noise zone and hundreds of thousands are likely to be exposed to aircraft noise for the first time.

I will continue my 10-year campaign to fight against any [changes] in flights which expose residents to higher levels of aircraft noise.

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/local-news/adam-afriyie-know-only-well-7790711

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