“Gatwick Obviously NOT” serves Judicial Review upon the CAA, on airspace change, with Gatwick Airport as an “Interested Party”

The relatively new campaign, “Gatwick Obviously NOT”, (GON) which was set up in response to changes to flight paths to the east of Gatwick airport during summer 2014, has served a Judicial Review upon the CAA, with Gatwick Airport Limited and the Secretary of State for Transport  listed under the CAA as an ‘Interested Party’.   The claim is being brought by Martin Baraud, the Chair of GON.  The “Ground of Claim” is that there has indeed been a change in the use of airspace and that the CAA should first have consulted on such change before it was put into effect by GAL and NATS. To date no consultation has taken place and this whole procedure has been bypassed. GON wants proper consultation, and that a full airspace change process is carried out. They also want there to be no airspace changes by the CAA without approval by the Secretary of State. GON has already succeeded in raising over £100,000 and they will be fundraising further, for more legal costs.  
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Gatwick Obviously NOT say:

9.3.2015

http://www.gatwickobviouslynot.org/

We can now advise that we have served a Judicial Review upon the CAA, with Gatwick Airport Limited listed under the CAA as an ‘Interested Party’.

See the Judicial Review documents on our website:

  1. Witness statement by Martin  Barraud of GON:
    View here (Acrobat PDF – 147kb)
  2. Statement of Facts & Grounds:
    View here (Acrobat PDF – 205kb)

Our Ground of Claim is that there has indeed been a change in the use of our airspace and that the CAA should first have consulted on such change before it was put into effect by GAL and NATS, and so that the Secretary of State can make the final decision as to whether it should be allowed. To date no consultation has taken place and this whole procedure has been bypassed.

We were tasked with raising substantial funds by our legal team and in our first phase of fundraising did exactly that, with over £100,000 pledged locally in 5 days – such is the widespread fury out here.

We need to double this figure to see us through and will be turning to Crowd Funding in due course.

However, we would hugely appreciate it if you could see your way to any donations now. Below are our details for paying on-line.

Our Ground of Claim is that there has indeed been a change in the use of our airspace and that the CAA should first have consulted on such change before it was put into effect by GAL and NATS, and so that the Secretary of State can make the final decision as to whether it should be allowed. To date no consultation has taken place and this whole procedure has been bypassed.

We were tasked with raising substantial funds by our legal team and in our first phase of fundraising did exactly that, with over £100,000 pledged locally in 5 days – such is the widespread fury out here.

We need to double this figure to see us through and will be turning to Crowd Funding in due course.

Yours, with thanks

Martin Barraud
www.gatwickobviouslynot.org
ask@gatwickobviouslynot.org

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The legal documents are quite long, and in legal terminology. But see below:

Two paragraphs from the STATEMENT OF FACTS AND GROUNDS:

3. The matter being challenged is the CAA’s failure to ensure that public consultation takes place in respect of an Airspace Change or Changes in the routing of aircraft arriving at Gatwick Airport. The term “Airspace Change” is used in this Statement of Facts and Grounds to mean a “change to the design or to the provision of airspace arrangements, or to the use made of them… including changes to air traffic control procedures, or to the provision of navigational aids or the use made of them in air navigation”, as per paragraph 9 of the Civil Aviation Authority (Air Navigation) Directions 2001 (incorporating Variation Direction 2004) (the “2001 Directions”).

 

4. The relevant Airspace Change(s) for the purposes of this claim consist in revised vectoring practices in relation to aircraft arriving at Gatwick (“vectoring” is explained below). These revised practices had been trialled at Gatwick on a temporary basis but appear to have been adopted recently on a long-term or permanent basis, resulting in a narrowing of the swathe within which arriving aircraft are established on the approach to Gatwick, and accordingly a concentration of flights over affected areas and increased disturbance from noise. The CAA has adopted a definition of an Airspace Change (as explained in its response to the Claimant’s Pre-Action Protocol Letter (“PAPL Response”) [p. ]), which is wrong in law. It has therefore erroneously understood that its duties under the 2001 Directions do not arise in respect of the relevant changes (“the matters complained of engage no relevant function of the CAA that gives rise to any decision for it to take”: PAPL Response para.23).

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The Remedy sought, in the STATEMENT OF FACTS AND GROUNDS:

Remedy
50. The Claimant seeks:
50.1. A declaration that the changes in question constitute an Airspace Change or Changes;

50.2. Alternatively, a mandatory order requiring the CAA to make a lawful decision (in accordance with the Court’s judgment on the legal principles to be applied) as to whether the changes in question are an Airspace Change or Changes;

50.3. In any event, a mandatory order requiring the CAA to:

a. Advise the Secretary of State pursuant to para.1(a) of the 2001 Directions;

b. Ensure that public consultation takes place pursuant to para.1(b)
and (c) of the 2001 Directions and section 9 of the Guidance; and

c. Carry out the full Airspace Change process pursuant to the 2001 Directions and the Guidance;

50.4. An order prohibiting the CAA from promulgating the changes without
having first secured the approval of the Secretary of State;

…. and more ….

Read more »

Manchester Airport hopes to have over 30 million passengers per year by 2025

Manchester Airports Group boss Charlie Cornish says he hopes 30 million people will be using Manchester airport within 10 years. He also hopes it will have 55 million passengers in due course.   The airport has finally this year reached its pre-recession level of 22 million passengers and is aiming to have 23.5 million  next year. He said: “In three years, Manchester Airport will be vastly different to what it is today and in three years, it will be hugely different.”   He hailed the success of Cathay Pacific’s direct route to Hong Kong, launched in December, which may increase to a daily service.  He said rail links were very important:  “If you have got northern cities linking to Manchester Airport, that allows Manchester Airport to operate more as a true northern gateway and will give people very quick and very efficient access to us….That will lead to the opportunity for more long haul flights and, in turn, the creation of economic wealth….HS2 is an interesting one. Northern cities have to take account of the fact it is a huge opportunity and it is a huge risk, as it will take people both north and south …”
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Manchester Airport hopes to pass 30m mark by 2025

6.3.2015 (Manchester Evening News)

By Adam Jupp

MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish also says improvements to the rail network are key to the firm’s growth – but admits HS2 is a ‘huge opportunity and a huge risk.’

Manchester Airports Group boss Charlie Cornish says he hopes 30 million people will jet in and out of the region within 10 years.

The airport this year reached its pre-recession milestone of 22m passengers and is aiming to hit the 23.5m mark next year.

And he said: “In three years, Manchester Airport will be vastly different to what it is today and in three years, it will be hugely different.”

He added: “Manchester Airport will handle about 23.5m passengers next year and has the potential to grow to 55m. In 10 years, it will be 55m-plus.”

Mr Cornish was speaking at the Greater Manchester Business Conference, at which he also said improving the customer service experience and making better use of technology will also be key to the gateway as it grows.

He hailed the success of Cathay Pacific’s direct route to Hong Kong, launched in December, and said the carrier was already looking at increasing the service to a daily one.

It is currently running at 80 per cent capacity each time it flies, he added.

Mr Cornish also spoke of the importance of rail links to Manchester Airport.

He said: “If you have got northern cities linking to Manchester Airport, that allows Manchester Airport to operate more as a true northern gateway and will give people very quick and very efficient access to us.

“That will lead to the opportunity for more long haul flights and, in turn, the creation of economic wealth.

“HS2 is an interesting one. Northern cities have to take account of the fact it is a huge opportunity and it is a huge risk, as it will take people both north and south but we are sure that, as the region develops, we will be able to pull people north, rather than them going south.”

The GM Business Conference is organised by pro.manchester and the Chamber of Commerce. Earlier in the day, guests heard from Manchester council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein about the so-called Devo-Manc agenda.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/manchester-airport-hopes-pass-30m-8786225

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Some other recent Manchester airport news:

Manchester wants to persuade more in its catchment area not to fly via London airports

Manchester airport, the only UK airport apart from Heathrow to have two runways, had around 22 million passengers per year in 2005 and 2006, but then slumped down to a low point of 17.7 million by 2010. Passenger numbers have now grown, to return to the high point of 2006, and Manchester airport is feeling confident. It chief commercial officer says that their customers – leisure travellers and businesses – say they often prefer flying from Manchester, rather than having to travel to a London airport. However, around 4 million passengers from the airport’s catchment area still make the unnecessary journey to London airports every year. Manchester hopes to encourage more routes and better frequency services, to win these passengers and deter them from using London. He hopes this would help ease congestion at the London airport. Manchester is hoping to win increasing numbers of passengers, and it has its “Airport City” project close to the airport and hopes to “bolster our city’s growing presence as an international business and leisure destination.” The Greater Manchester built up area is the 2nd largest in the UK, after London, with a population of about 2.6 million, compared to about 9.8 million in London. There is logic in using Manchester’s capacity rather than building another south east runway.

Click here to view full story…

Manchester airport hope its first direct flight to Hong Kong will bring business and tourism boost

There is now a new direct Cathay Pacific flight from Manchester to China (Hong Kong), avoiding the need to hub via Heathrow, or any other European airport. This makes Manchester the first airport outside London to offer a non-stop direct route to China – which may be a boost to the region’s economy. There will be 4 flights per week. The airport hopes rich Chinese visitors – as well as business people – will come direct to Manchester, rather than all going to London. Manchester’s “Airport City” has had key investment from the Beijing Construction and Engineering Group. It has taken Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group, 3 years to secure the link. Mr Cornish has been appealed to the Airports Commission to ensure the country’s future aviation needs are met by a ‘network of regional airports’ – rather than money ploughed solely into Gatwick and Heathrow. The route will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, which can carry 300 passengers. From Hong Kong, passengers can connect to 22 cities in mainland China. As they have done successfully from flights from Heathrow for decades – without more direct city links from Heathrow. The UK has always had good links to Hong Kong, for historical reasons.

Click here to view full story…

Qatar Airways to increase Manchester flights

26 Nov 2014

Qatar Airways is to increase capacity on its Doha-Manchester route to make it double-daily service. The airline is currently operating 10 weekly flights on the route but this will increase to twice per day (ie. 14) from February 16, 2015 using Airbus A330-200 aircraft.   Qatar Airways is also planning to increase its Dreamliner service to Edinburgh from five-times weekly to daily (ie. 7)  from May 2015.   As part of its expansion of flights to Europe, the airline will increase Doha to Copenhagen frequencies from 7 to 11 per week, while Doha-Stockholm services will go from 7 to 10 per week. Both changes will take affect from February 2015.  Link 


 

Manchester City chief slams Heathrow’s ‘desperate’ attempt to woo Manchester business leaders

Heathrow has been working hard to try to get support for its 3rd runway from Chambers of Commerce across the country. It has been offering the Chambers in the north west around £3,000 to fund events to pitch their runway case. They want the regions to believe they risk losing their link to Heathrow if there is no new runway. Manchester Chamber of Commerce declined the offer, and Manchester Council leader Sir Richard Leese described Heathrow’s approach as ‘desperate’. He said: “I don’t think we should be supporting the Heathrow expansion plan. I think increasingly, evidence says that we don’t need the hub airport and what we ought to do is make better use of the network airports – including Manchester Airport…. What you see is both Heathrow and Gatwick increasingly losing the argument and getting increasingly desperate – as shown in this case. …. Why do our members want to traipse down to London when they can use the airport round the corner?” 25 Chambers have backed Heathrow, but Sir Richard Leese says of them they are getting an unbalanced view from Heathrow. “Perhaps I ought to write to London Chamber of Commerce to set up a meeting for Manchester Airport.”

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

HS2 Heathrow spur plans dropped by transport minister, before Airports Commission report

Plans for a new rail spur to Heathrow as part of the HS2 high-speed network have been ruled out by the transport minister Patrick McLoughlin.  He was responding to a question by MP Dominic Grieve (MP for Beaconsfield) about the Heathrow spur. Mr McLoughlin said: “I would now like to make clear that we do not intend to build the spur as part of Phase 1 or 2 of the HS2 scheme”. Previously the government had said any decision about the Heathrow spur would be delayed until the Airports Commission’s report with its runway recommendation – which is probably due at the end of June.  Mr McLoughlin cited the Airports Commission’s findings – published as part of its consultation in  November 2014 – which said: “This review … supports the view that an HS2 spur to Heathrow airport (whether to the airport site or a hub station) is not necessary to support expansion of the airport.”  Nick Hurd, Conservative MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner was “delighted” that the spur had been dropped, and believed the best way of connecting passengers to Heathrow was via Old Oak Common. Paul Prentice of Rail magazine said it was a “very sensible decision. Bearing in mind there is already a spur tunnel to Heathrow and another western link being built”.
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HS2: Heathrow spur plans dropped by transport minister

10 March 2015 (BBC)
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The Davies Commission’s full report is due in the summer of 2015
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Plans for a new rail link to Heathrow Airport as part of the HS2 high-speed network have been ruled out by the transport minister Patrick McLoughlin.

He was responding to a question by MP Dominic Grieve about the Heathrow spur.

Mr McLoughlin said: “I would now like to make clear that we do not intend to build the spur as part of Phase 1 or 2 of the HS2 scheme”.

HS2 is a planned high-speed rail network from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

Previously the government had said any decision about the Heathrow spur would be delayed until the Davies Commission’s report on future UK airport capacity had been completed.

Responding to Mr Grieve’s written Parliamentary question, the minister cited the Airports Commission review findings – published in November – which “indicated that an HS2 spur is highly unlikely to be necessary to support any expansion of Heathrow airport”.

Nick Hurd, Conservative MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner tweetedhe was “delighted” the government had dropped the idea and gave “credit to ministers for listening to our argument”.

He said the best way of connecting passengers to Heathrow was via Old Oak Common. He said it also simplified the case for extending the HS2 tunnel to protect Ickenham and Colne Valley.

Paul Prentice, assistant news editor at Rail magazine said it was a “very sensible decision. Bearing in mind there is already a spur tunnel to Heathrow and another western link being built”.

Campaigner Lottie Jones from Hillingdon Against HS2 said the group was “delighted” with the decision but cautious that it was not “just a pre-election sweetener” that might be revoked.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-31814933

Embedded image permalink

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Related BBC Stories


Airports Commission document.  November 2014

Surface Access: Process Overview

This says (Page 4):

“The Commission further noted that neither Heathrow Airport Limited nor Heathrow Hub Limited had made a spur from HS2 a component of their core surface access strategy. The Commission asked Jacobs to conduct a review of the available literature regarding the case for the HS2 spur, to determine whether the Commission could agree that it was not essential. This review, which forms part of the package of documents published for consultation, supports the view that an HS2 spur to Heathrow airport (whether to the airport site or a hub station) is not necessary to support expansion of the airport. While the Commission’s extended baseline had originally included the HS2 spur to Heathrow, on the basis of continued uncertainty regarding political support for it and the conclusions of the Jacobs report, the Commission decided that the spur should no longer be considered to form part of the extended baseline.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/372341/ac10-surface-access-process-overview.pdf


 

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HS2: Heathrow spur work put on hold

28.1.2013 (BBC)

Work on a proposed new rail link to Heathrow Airport as part of the HS2 high-speed network has been put on hold.

Details of the next phase of the £32bn HS2 were unveiled earlier.

The government said it would wait until a report on future UK airport capacity needs was complete before making a decision on the Heathrow spur.

The Davies Commission’s full report is due in the summer of 2015 – after the next general election.

Passengers heading to Heathrow airport will have to change onto the new London east-west Crossrail service for an 11-minute transfer to terminals.

The government announced the preferred route of phase two running northwards from Birmingham will have five stops at: Manchester; Manchester Airport; Toton in the East Midlands; Sheffield; and Leeds.

Chancellor George Osborne said it was “the engine for growth in the north and the midlands of this country”.

More than 70 groups oppose HS2.

StopHS2 has argued that England’s north and Midlands will lose out to London, rather than benefit, and that projections do not take into account competition from conventional rail.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-21230325

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DfT hires Heathrow PR director Simon Baugh – to start briefing ministers etc on runways after 30th September

Simon Baugh, who is currently director of PR at Heathrow Airport, is moving to the DfT to take up the role of group director of comms. He takes up the new job on 30th March.  Baugh said: “I can’t think of a more exciting time to be joining the team or to be promoting the role that transport plays in driving UK economic growth.” He has been overseeing PR at Heathrow, which included the launch in late 2013 of Back Heathrow, a ‘grassroots’ (astoturfing – deeply controversial) campaign.  On 20th February Zac Goldsmith put a written question in Parliament: “To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recruitment process was used when hiring Simon Baugh, Group Director of Communications for his Department; and what role Mr Baugh will have in his Department after the Airports Commission has made its recommendation on airport expansion in the South East.”   Reply by DfT spokesperson:  “As Mr Baugh was previously employed by Heathrow Airport Ltd, he will not be involved in advising Ministers on issues relating to the work of the Airports Commission for the 6 months following his appointment, which starts on 30 March 2015.” ie. the Commission may report at the end of June, and Simon Baugh can start briefing etc by 30th September.

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Department for Transport hires Heathrow PR director Simon Baugh

3.2.2015 (PR Week)

by Anna Reynolds
Simon Baugh, director of PR at Heathrow Airport, is moving to the Department for Transport to take up the role of group director of comms.

Simon Baugh: Director of media and PR at Heathrow Airport is moving to DfT
Baugh, who has been at Heathrow for four years, will start in his new role on 30 March.

He is replacing Vickie Sheriff, who moved to Diageo last year to become global comms director. Scot Marchbank has been covering the position on an interim basis.

Baugh was previously director of airport comms at BAA.

Baugh said: “I can’t think of a more exciting time to be joining the team or to be promoting the role that transport plays in driving UK economic growth.”

He has been overseeing PR at Heathrow as the debate on expansion and capacity has intensified. This has included the launch in late 2013 of Back Heathrow, a ‘grassroots’ campaign aimed at garnering more support for expanding the airport.

http://www.prweek.com/article/1332084/department-transport-hires-heathrow-pr-director-simon-baugh

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More on Revolving Door below


 

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Simon Baugh: Written question – 224679

Q   Asked by Zac Goldsmith  (MP for Richmond Park)

Asked on: 20 February 2015
Department for Transport    Simon Baugh  224679

“To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recruitment process was used when hiring Simon Baugh, Group Director of Communications for his Department; and what role Mr Baugh will have in his Department after the Airports Commission has made its recommendation on airport expansion in the South East.”

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A   Answered by: Claire Perry

Answered on: 26 February 2015

“The recruitment process for this role followed the legal principle that a person’s selection must be on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as set out in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. The process was overseen at all stages by a Civil Service Commissioner and managed by executive search firm Odgers Berndston. The role was advertised nationally in September 2014, and the process that then followed comprised longlisting, shortlisting, psychometric testing and final interviews by a panel. The panel was chaired by the Civil Service Commissioner and otherwise comprised Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Transport; Alex Aitken, Executive Director of Government Communications, Cabinet Office; David Prout, Director General, High Speed Rail, Department for Transport; and Alison Rumsey, Group HR Director, Department for Transport. Prior to final panel interviews the shortlisted candidates met the Permanent Secretary and the Secretary of State for conversations in which the candidates had the opportunity to ask questions about the Department. The meetings with the Secretary of State were observed by representatives from the Civil Service Commissioner’s office in line with Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. As Mr Baugh was previously employed by Heathrow Airport Ltd, he will not be involved in advising Ministers on issues relating to the work of the Airports Commission for the 6 months following his appointment, which starts on 30 March 2015.”   [AW highlighting]

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-20/224679/

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Revolving door:

Wikipedia says:

“In politics, the “revolving door” is a movement of personnel between roles as legislators and regulators and the industries affected by the legislation and regulation.[note 1]

“In some cases the roles are performed in sequence but in certain circumstances may be performed at the same time. Political analysts claim that an unhealthy relationship can develop between the private sector and government, based on the granting of reciprocated privileges to the detriment of the nation and can lead to regulatory capture.

“The “revolving door” between the DfT and the aviation industry is well known, and the movement of staff between the two has been going on for years.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolving_door_(politics)

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The quote below is from  Wikipedia:

“The aviation sector has close links with political decision makers which many players moving between roles through the controversial ‘revolving door‘. For example: Joe Irvin was advisor to John Prescott from 1996 and 2001 (Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions as well as Deputy Prime Minister) before working for various element of the aviation lobby and becoming head of corporate affairs at BAA in 2006 before he became ‘Special Advisor’ to Gordon Brown in 2007 when he became prime minister.[28][29] He was succeeded at BAA by Tom Kelly who took the title ‘group director of corporate and public affairs’; Kelly had previously been the official spokesman for Tony Blair when he was prime minister.[28]

Freedom to Fly was formed during the preparation phase of the “Future of Aviation white paper 2003” by BAA and others[30] It was ‘fronted’ by Joe Irvin, a former political adviser to John Prescott[31] who subsequently became Director of Public Affairs at BAA Limited[32] Their director, Dan Hodges, is the son of Glenda Jackson, Labour MP and former Aviation Minister.[33]

“In March 2009 senior MPs demanded a Commons investigation into evidence of a “revolving door” policy between Downing Street, Whitehall and BAA Limited

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expansion_of_London_Heathrow_Airport

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Maria Eagle (Labour’s then Shadow Transport Secretary) said of the DfT in 2011:

“….I am sorry that the government has not learnt from our own mistake – and I do believe it was a big mistake – to see the Department for Transport as a revolving door department. It’s bad for the sector. It’s bad for good governance.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2011/10/full-text-of-maria-eagles-speech-on-labours-ideas-on-future-aviation-policy/

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To conceal the real number of aircraft noise complaints, Gatwick now just records one per person per day

Gatwick Airport’s figures on noise complaints are no longer of much use, as they do not publicly report the full numbers.  The airport changed the system to only record one complaint per person per day, no matter how many complaints about separate flights they may make. Gatwick says they have introduced this system because people can use phone Apps to make multiple complaints. Gatwick is being urged to record separately the number of people making complaints;  the number of total complaints when only one-a-day is counted;  and the total number of complaints (including number of planes). At the recent noise seminar held by Gatwick airport on 4th March, Tom Denton (Gatwick’s Head of Corporate Responsibility) said, when questioned about the decision by GAL to only record one complaint, per person, per day that this has been the case for the last “2 – 3 years”. The wording on the GAL website was changed, to show one complaint only per day, in August 2014. Tom Denton says – incorrectly – that this is the practice at other airports like Heathrow.  Heathrow records “enquiries” (number of planes complained about), and “contacts” (number of complaint contacts/forms submitted), and “caller” (number of people). Every complaint, unless there are many on one form/email, is counted by Heathrow, even if several per day.  But not by Gatwick – meaning complaint figures are not comparable. Gatwick’s are artificially low.
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Too many complaints – solution, Gatwick Airport are to fiddle the figures!

8.3.2015  (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

“For years residents have had to endure the frustration of an answerphone listening to their aircraft noise complaints, even Heathrow Airport have human beings answering the noise complaint lines, but now Gatwick have seized upon a new way of logging complaints: they will only record one a day,” said Brendon Sewill, GACC Chairman.

In 2013 Gatwick Airport introduced new flight paths. The result was a six-fold increase in the number of complaints, up from 2,696 to 16,910 in the latest twelve months.

So Gatwick has hit on an ingenious solution. If a person complains more than once a day -only count it as one complaint!

According to Brendon: “The new departure flight paths have been narrowed so that people underneath are suffering a constant stream of aircraft overhead. Some of the complaints which are copied to us are heart-rending. People who had chosen to live in a quiet rural location have suddenly found their peace shattered by a constant stream of whining aircraft overhead. Some are on the verge of despair. Others are having to contemplate moving house, suffering a loss of many thousands of pounds.”

“The constant roar of aircraft starts at 5.00 am and continues until 11.00 pm. Every aircraft that goes over is a source of annoyance. Yet people are to be ‘forbidden’ to complain more than once a day!”

Gatwick Airport say they are introducing the new system because some people have taken to using a phone App to automatically record a complaint about each aircraft. Yet the only quoted instance of that happening was at Heathrow.

Even if true, the answer should be to publish three sets of figures:

– the number of people making complaints (as published at present);

– the number on the one-a-day basis;

– and the total number of complaints.

But in fact the Gatwick excuse won’t wash. In the past year the number of people complaining has also risen six-fold, from 535 to 3,285, showing that the average number of complaints per head has not increased.

A few years ago Gatwick took an elderly lady to court for complaining too often, and the case was thrown out. Now they have found an easier solution: don’t reply to people who complain often, and keep the number of complaints secret.

But as Sewill added: “fiddling the figures will only make people more angry.”

 www.gacc.org.uk

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Gatwick’s POLICY ON HANDLING AIRCRAFT NOISE COMPLAINTS

(as amended in August 2014)

http://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/business–community/b_7_aircraft-noise/yla-complaints-handling-policy2015.pdf

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Heathrow’s POLICY ON HANDLING AIRCRAFT NOISE COMPLAINTS

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowNoise2/Downloads/PDFs/noise_complaints_policy.pdf


What are the true figures?

Below is the table of noise monitoring indicators, for the 3rd quarter of 2014.  This slide was also shown at the Gatwick Airspace seminar for local residents, held on 4th March.

But what do the figures actually mean? When were they changed? How many complaints are no longer being recorded?  Gatwick claims every complaint is still being logged – but just not put in to the official figures.

Source

Gatwick Airport – Flight Performance Report – Q3 Data 2014

http://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/global/b_0_business_and_community_images/b_7_aircraft_noise/fpt-qrt-3-report.pdf

Gatwick noise complaints Q3 2014

 

This table shows that the number of noise complaints per caller was:

– 8.1 in 2006

– 7.8 in 2011

……..   (then a change…)

– 5.0 in 2013

– 5.1 in 2014

 

Other Gatwick Airport Flight Performance Team publications here 


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Heathrow

By contrast, Heathrow records:
Complaints – Number of Enquiries
Complaints – Number of Contacts
Complaints – Number of Callers

[Caller = person (“A caller is a person who contacts the FEU (either through telephone, e-mail, written letter or website).”)
Contact = number of times  (“A contact is the number of times that a caller contacts the FEU (Flight Evaluation Unit).”)
Enquiries = number of issues (“An enquiry is number of issues reported by the caller during a single contact”)  ie. how many flights a caller complains about in one complaint form ]

From Heathrow glossary ….

Heathrow Airport’s website on noise complaints states:

“All complaints made by email or through our online webform, will automatically receive a complaint reference number. The reference number will be sent automatically via email. All complaints by phone, voicemail, or letter will be registered and a complaint reference number will be provided on request.

“Where complaints are made about multiple aircraft events within one email or webform, only one complaint reference will be provided and this will be recorded as one complaint. Complaints about separate aircraft events should be made using separate emails or webforms if residents wish these to be recorded as multiple complaints.”

“All complaints made to the Community Relations team are reported daily on our Heathrow operational data website (see www.heathrowoperationaldata.com); in the airport’s quarterly Flight Performance Reports (available at Heathrow.com/noise); and to the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (www.hacc.org.uk).”

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowNoise2/Downloads/PDFs/noise_complaints_policy.pdf

 

However, as with Gatwick, it is not made clear whether the number of callers  regards one person who complains once during a year/quarter, and one person who complains 50 times over that period, as equally being “one person.”


Heathrow Airport’s Cheryl Monk (Head of Community Relations and Policy) has said:

“We count every complaint now that we have better software.  Previously we had a policy that only applied to a handful of people who made hundreds of complaints a day and because they had to be manually logged, we had a policy whereby we recorded one complaint for every day they complained.  Now we count every single email, webform, phonecall or voicemail regardless of how many they send each day.   This is the link to our complaints policy.

http://www.heathrowairport.com/static/HeathrowNoise2/Downloads/PDFs/noise_complaints_policy.pdf

“The relevant bit is this

Complaint reference numbers

“All complaints made by email or through our online webform, will be recorded and a complaint reference number will be sent automatically via email. All complaints by phone, voicemail, or letter will be recorded and a complaint reference number will be provided on request.

“Where complaints are made about multiple aircraft events within one email or webform, only one complaint will be recorded. Complaints about separate aircraft events should be made using separate emails or webforms if residents wish these to be recorded as multiple complaints.”

 


 

 

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Polar bear flashmob at Heathrow Terminal Two draws attention to aviation threat to UK CO2 target

Over 30 polar bears invaded Heathrow’s recently opened Terminal Two in a protest against plans for a 3rd runway.  In  a lively flash-mob, the polar bears hung up banners, played in the terminal and danced to music produced by sound systems.  They were watched by somewhat bemused travellers …….The action, which started on the dot of 11am, lasted about 30 minutes.  No arrests were made, as the protesters left of their own accord.  The direct action network Plane Stupid is thought to have been behind the protest which was timed to coincide with the big “Time to Act”  climate change march that took place in central London at lunchtime.  Many of the polar bears travelled to Westminster, to take part in the march. The building of a new south east runway, whether at Heathrow or at Gatwick, would mean that UK aviation carbon targets would be breached (the Airports Commission is aware of this) and UK carbon targets would also be at risk. To permit expansion of aviation CO2 emissions, all other sectors have to make cuts of over 85% – even 90% – in their carbon emissions. Otherwise the UK would not meet its legally binding carbon target for 2050. A Plane Stupid spokesperson said: “If the Government is serious about tackling climate change, it should not even be thinking about a third runway at Heathrow.”
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Polar Bears invade Heathrow Terminal Two

8.3.2015

Great video of the dancing etc toohere

Polar_bears_at_heathrow smaller

On Saturday over 30 polar bears invaded Heathrow’s recently opened Terminal Two in a protest against the third runway. The bears hung banners, played in the terminal and danced to sound systems.  The action, which started on the dot of 11am, lasted about 30 minutes.  No arrests were made as the protesters left of their own accord.

The direct action network Plane Stupid is thought to have been behind the protest which was timed to coincide with the big climate change march that took place in London yesterday.

“Rob Gray” from Plane Stupid said, “If the Government is serious about tackling climate change, it should not even be thinking about a third runway at Heathrow.”

John Stewart, chair of HACAN, the anti-third runway campaign group, which was alerted to the protest, said, “Plane Stupid played a famous role in defeating the third runway last time round.  This action is a warning that the direct action protesters will be out in force again if a new runway is given the green light.”

ENDS

 rsz_polar_bear_no_home_to_go_to 

rsz_polar_bear_will_dance_4_ice

rsz_polar_bears_serious_about_heathrow


 

One of the polar bears, interviewed after the event, commented:

As well as about 30 bears, there was someone dressed as a pilot who unfortunately got attacked by bears! There was lots of chanting “No Third Runway” etc and banners.  A couple of polar bears tried to display a banner over the balcony of a café but this was rapidly taken down by staff  – who were definitely not amused! There were mixed reactions from other airport staff.   One security woman would have liked to cart us all off to the Tower. Other airport staff thought it amusing and took photos of the flashmob,  as did many real tourists. As well as the bears (many of whom were young bears) having great fun, there was a deep sense of commitment and determination – and very real concerns about the climate impacts of a new runway.


 

Many of the polar bears then made their way , on public transport, to take part in the Climate March taking place in central London.

Polar bears at Parliament


See also

Strong “No New Runways” bloc gets its message across at the London Time To Act Climate March

The huge “Time To Act” on Climate Change march was held in London on Saturday 7th March. There was a good turnout, described by some as “over 5,000″ and by others as nearer 20,000 (numbers are always hard to be accurate on). The “No New Runways” bloc had a good attendance, from Gatwick and from Heathrow opposition groups, as well as many individuals. Gatwick protesters from CAGNE wore pantomime devil horns, and T-shirts with the logo “Gatwick, Neighbour From Hell.” Many people who stand to lose their homes, to be bulldozed for a new Heathrow runway, too part. The AirportWatch banner read “No New Runways”, and another” Aviation Expansion = Climate Threat.  The runway bloc were with others in the transport bloc,  and marched from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Parliament, where the speeches took place. During the speeches John McDonnell (the MP for Hayes and Harlington, which the Heathrow north west runway would wipe out) spoke of the need for climate action, not least to oppose a new runway – digging up the village of Harmondsworth. He described the level of protest and direct action that would happen, if the north west runway was recommended, as unprecedented and the “mother of” all environmental battles. The aim of the march is to put pressure on political parties before the general election, and raise the profile of climate change ahead of crucial climate talks in Paris in December.

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http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/03/strong-no-new-runways-bloc-gets-its-message-across-at-the-london-time-to-act-climate-march/

No New Runways outside Downing Street gate
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2 banners outside Parliament

 

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Heathrow opposition rally shows united cross-party rejection of 3rd runway

Simply No.  That was the message of a cross-party rally staged by HACAN in central London on March 3rd.  MPs from across the political spectrum lined up with environmental NGOs, local authority leaders, businessmen and trade union leaders to pledge opposition to a 3rd runway at Heathrow.  Hundreds of people from London and the South East, including many whose homes are threatened by a new runway, showed their determination that the runway will not be built.  Twickenham MP Vince Cable made it clear that Liberal Democrat policy remained one of total opposition to a third runway. He said there was no sound economic reason why Heathrow needed to expand.  John McDonnell, the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, thousands of whose constituents are facing the loss of their homes, predicted that any decision to go-ahead with a new runway would result in the biggest direct action environmental protest in Europe. As a reminder of the determined and successful campaign against the runway, last time around, people at the rally held up pictures of the huge “NO” spelt out on the ground in Sipson, at the May 2008 protest. HACAN chair John Stewart said: “The rally sent a loud and clear message to the next Government: build a new runway at your peril. The coalition which saw it off last time round is still alive, well and fighting.”

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Cross-Party Rally Says NO to a Third Runway

3.3.2015

Holding up images of the resounding “NO” that  was created – by hundreds of people forming the letters – at Sipson during the May 31st 2008 protest, the rally repeated its determined opposition to a 3rd Heathrow runway.BRITAIN HEATHROW AIRPORT EXPANSION

The massive NO in Sipson  31.5.2008  link 

 

Rally-Says-No-Twitter 3.3.2015

Simply No.

That was the message of a cross-party rally staged by the campaign group HACAN in central London on March 3rd.

Politicians from across the political spectrum lined up with environmental chiefs, local authority leaders, businessmen and trade union leaders to pledge opposition to a third runway at Heathrow.

Hundreds of people from London and the South East, including many whose homes are threatened by a new runway, filled the hall.

Twickenham MP Vince Cable made it clear that Liberal Democrat policy remained one of total opposition to a third runway. He said there was no sound economic reason why Heathrow needed to expand.

John McDonnell, the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, thousands of whose constituents are facing the loss of their homes, predicted that any decision to go-ahead with a new runway would result in the biggest direct action environmental protest in Europe.

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith spelt out the impact of another 250,000 planes a year on local communities.

HACAN chair John Stewart said: “The rally sent a loud and clear message to the next Government: build a new runway at your peril. The coalition which saw it off last time round is still alive, well and fighting.”

The Airports Commission which is looking into the case for a third runway at Heathrow or a second runway at Gatwick is expected to make its recommendation towards the end of June. The next Government will need to decide whether or not to accept that recommendation.

HACAN campaigns to stop further expansion of Heathrow and to cut the noise people hear from the existing airport. Find out more here.

http://hacan.org.uk/

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Vince Cable tweeted:

Thanks to HACAN for rally and too. Case against a 3rd runway has never been stronger.

Vince Cable at the NO rally 3.3.2015 Vince Cable and Natalie Bennett, voting against a 3rd Heathrow runway at the rally


Support came from across west London and beyond.

Support came from across London

HACAN Chair John Stewart, interviewed by London Live.

Media attended the Rally

The speakers included:

VINCE CABLE MP Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
NATALIE BENNETT leader Green Party
STEVEN NORRIS former Conservative transport minister
JOHN SAUVEN chief executive Greenpeace
ANDY ATKINS chief executive Friends of the Earth
RAVI GOVINDIA leader Wandsworth Council
CHRIS BAUGH Assistant General Secretary PCS union
JILL SEYMOUR MEP UKIP’s national transport spokesman (unable to attend, so replaced by Cliff Dixon )
CAROLINE PIDGEON Liberal Democrat leader Greater London Assembly
CHRISTIAN WOLMAR Labour mayoral candidate

Zac Goldsmith MP

John McDonnell MP

John Randall MP

Mary Macleod MP

Andy Slaughter MP


 

Cross party Heathrow opposition on display at runway rally

Many of the speakers at the event organised by HACAN highlighted the inconsistency between building additional airport capacity and meeting climate change commitments, which is detailed in our policy brief here. There was also widespread recognition of the challenge for Heathrow Airport of meeting EU air quality limits with modelling recently published by Government revealing that the area around Heathrow is unlikely to be within the limits before 2030 even without a third runway. Our air pollution briefing is available here.

Conservative MPs Zac Goldsmith, Adam Afriyie, Mary Macleod and John Randall, as well as former transport minister Stephen Norris, all stated their opposition to Heathrow expansion, as did Labour MPs Andy Slaughter and John McDonnell, and Mayoral Candidate Christian Wolmar.

Vince Cable MP, speaking on behalf of his constituency and the Liberal Democrat party reiterated the party’s opposition to a new runway anywhere in South East England.London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon also spoke at the event, emphasising the near total opposition of the London Assembly to Heathrow expansion.

Cliff Dixon, UKIP parliamentary candidate for Hayes and Harlington, stated UKIP’s opposition to a third runway at Heathrow and proposed using available capacity at other London and South East airports as the solution.

Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, emphasised the party’s opposition to increasing airport capacity in the UK.

Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary of the PCS Union, stated the need to oppose the unabated expansion of an industry as carbon intensive as air travel. In 2013, PCS published areport on aviation which highlighted the need to “to protect jobs with a more environmentally-friendly policy towards unchecked expansionism”. PCS has also recently published an updated booklet, available here.

This Saturday (7/3/15) there is a protest march taking place on climate change and there will be a section devoted to the “no new runways” message. Details are available here.

http://www.aef.org.uk/2015/03/04/cross-party-heathrow-opposition-on-display-at-runway-rally/

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Adam Afriyie blasts Heathrow expansion plans at huge rally

“The breadth of speakers from all major political parties at the Rally against the Third Runway shows that Heathrow’s plans are completely politically undeliverable.

“Airport expansion is essential for the trading future of the country. But Heathrow is not the answer.

“Heathrow will cost the taxpayer tens of billions, disrupt millions of residents’ lives with huge increases in noise and pollution, lead to congestion and entrench its position in the aviation market.

“We need a long term solution to our aviation capacity needs and a third runway at Heathrow would be no more than a short-term sticking plaster.

“Heathrow expansion would only help Heathrow and its shareholders, not the country. I will continue to fight tooth and nail against this ill-advised plan to the end.”

http://adamafriyie.org/index.php/2015/03/04/adam-afriyie-blasts-heathrow-expansion-plans-at-huge-rally/#.VPdcY_msXCu

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In USA the FAA’s new air traffic control system NextGen is causing major noise pollution

The American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s new air traffic control system NextGen is causing considerable upset in parts of the USA, in the same way that precision navigation that is being promoted by the CAA is in the UK. The overhaul of airspace and flight paths in the USA is intended to save airlines fuel and time. But the new routes are causing misery to the people who now find themselves, unexpectedly and with no warning, under them. One resident, in Phoenix, said:  “If you can imagine yourself at an air show, that’s what it would sound like.” Planes sometimes every 30 seconds for hours at a time.  “Am I angry? Absolutely. I’m furious.” In Phoenix planes now fly low over heavily populated neighbourhoods.  The Mayor said the FAA did not hold a single public hearing notifying neighbours of the change, nor did the agency ever meet with him. The Mayor commented: “I think that the choice that was made to have such a disproportionate impact over such a small number of people is really fundamentally unfair and unacceptable.”  A 2012 Congressional FAA authorization bill fast-tracked the roll out of NextGen by exempting it from normal environmental impact reviews and public hearings. NextGen is also causing problems for people at JFK and LaGuardia airports.
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FAA’s new air traffic control system NextGen causing major noise pollution

See the 4 minute video clip about the situation, and what people want done about it.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/faa-new-air-traffic-control-system-nextgen-causing-major-noise-pollution/

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America’s antiquated air traffic control system is getting an upgrade.

30.1.2015 (CBS News)

The overhaul is designed to keep up with increasing air travel and the push for on-time flights. But parts of the country, including the area hosting Super Bowl XLIX, are paying a steep price for progress, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

Nicole Marquez just moved her bedroom into the middle of her house and put Plexiglas on all of her windows. She lives in Phoenix, so it’s not to keep the heat in, but rather to keep the noise out.

“If you can imagine yourself at an air show, that’s what it would sound like,” Marquez said.

She said there is a constant barrage of airplanes flying over her home in a historic neighborhood near downtown Phoenix — every 30 seconds for hours at a time.

“You’re going to rip your hair out. 6 o’ clock in the evening, you’re ripping your hair out trying to eat dinner,” Marquez said. “Am I angry? Absolutely. I’m furious.”

This is the unintended consequence of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). It uses satellites instead of old-fashioned radar to guide airplanes. This allows for more planes in the air, safely spaced closer together, and burning less fuel because their flight paths are more direct.

But in Phoenix, that change mean planes that used to take off and turn nine miles out now make that turn at two to three miles, flying low over heavily populated neighborhoods. Noise complaints have taken off too, soaring from 221 in all of 2013 to more than 3,300 in just the past four months since the flight paths were changed.

Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, said the FAA did not hold a single public hearing notifying neighbors of the change, nor did the agency ever meet with him. The FAA said it did notify the airport as far back as 2012.

Stanton said he feels blind-sided by the FAA.

“I think that the choice that was made to have such a disproportionate impact over such a small number of people is really fundamentally unfair and unacceptable,” he said.

A 2012 Congressional FAA authorization bill fast-tracked the roll out of NextGen by exempting it from normal environmental impact reviews and public hearings. The FAA declined CBS News’ request for an interview.

“It’s the Federal Aviation Administration, not the federal arrogance administration,” New York Congressman Steve Israel said.

He said NextGen is also causing problems for people in the Northeast as flight paths at JFK and LaGuardia airports are also changing. He wants the FAA to start meeting homeowners as it rolls out NextGen across the country through 2025.

“I’m not asking for NextGen to be rolled back. I’m not asking for it to be reduced. I’m asking for the FAA to be sensitive to community concerns and ensure that not one community bears the noise, but that there’s a fair and common sense distribution in the vicinity of airports,” Israel said.

Nicole Marquez said NextGen may be good for the country and the airline industry, but the pain should be shared.

“I don’t think that the airlines should be able to bank on other people’s misery,” she said.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/faa-new-air-traffic-control-system-nextgen-causing-major-noise-pollution/

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See also

Residents in Auckland, New Zealand, fighting the noise nuisance of planes over the city

People in Auckland New Zealand, are fighting the nuisance of aircraft noise, which has become a serious problem in recent years. The airport is close to the city, and aircraft frequently use flight paths over densely populated areas, as they turn either when landing or taking off. The problem has been made worse in the past year, because concentrated flight paths are being used, in the same way that is happening in UK, Europe, USA and everywhere.  The concentrated routes are causing a lot of anger and distress. The local group is Auckland: The Plane Truth (ATPT), working hard to restore some peace and quiet for Auckland residents. ATPT says: “At the least, the noise is physically and emotionally taxing: at the worst, unbearable. Unable to cope, some residents have been forced to move house or to take medication  for depression and anxiety, and so they can sleep.” There is a petition, asking for a curfew at night, between 10pm and 7am because of the recent changes to flight procedures over Auckland, and the planned significant increases in traffic through Auckland Airport. The type of houses in Auckland, have weatherboard with tin roofing and single glazing. These are difficult to insulate against noise, exacerbating the problem.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/01/residents-in-auckland-new-zealand-fighting-the-noise-nuisance-of-planes-over-the-city/
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and

Residents and city officials in Palo Alto area gear up to fight increased San Francisco aircraft noise

People in Palo Alto, California, (about 40 km south east of San Francisco) and surrounding areas have become increasingly concerned about the recent increase in aircraft noise.  As for so many areas in Europe, they are being subjected to more concentrated flight paths, as the FAA works to make airspace more efficient, in their programme called NextGen (Next Generation Air Transportation System). People are getting together to oppose the changes, which have significantly increased the perceived noise for many people since NextGen was started across the Bay Area.  “Citizens’ groups are springing up along the Midpeninsula with the support of their city governments.”  “The NextGen changes have alarmed communities across the nation where the program has rolled out.  Starting in June 2012 over Queens, New York, planes began flying at low altitudes every 20 seconds to a minute from 6 am to midnight….” The SFO Community Roundtable addresses airport noise issues and represents every major city in San Mateo County, just south of San Francisco. There are also concerns that FAA is freeing up airspace, by flight path concentration, for drones that may have economic benefits.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/10/residents-and-city-officials-in-palo-alto-area-gear-up-to-fight-increased-san-francisco-aircraft-noise/

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Passionate letter from a distressed victim of Gatwick’s concentrated flight path noise

Dear Mr Wingate.  On weekdays my alarm is normally set for 06:40 am.  At 05:52 today one of your metal gods tore through the sky above my house and woke my entire family. This happens on a daily basis now and more often than not earlier than this. One child in tears, a wife in despair and I, with an ever growing sense of rage and contempt towards your airport.  I also understand that the narrow and concentrated flight path which you began in 2013 may have wiped £XX,000 off the value of my house, for which I paid a hefty premium to live in a quiet Tudor village. If you do not understand or appreciate the horror your concentrated narrow flight path has created, it is time someone made you wake up to it.  My family, my neighbours and I have had enough, Mr Wingate.  You should act on this email and the thousands of other similar letter you have received, and revert to multiple broad flight paths arriving at Gatwick. This needs to be done sooner rather than later….. The actions of a private company (Gatwick Airport)  should not be bringing about emotional and financial ruin for thousands of people. And this is precisely what is happening. Imagine if Jaguar Land Rover built a testing track next to their factory without any kind of permission which generated this amount of noise and ran it from before 6am to 12pm incessantly, every day. Would that be permitted to carry on?
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5.52am flight over Chiddingstone

Screen shot of the plane flying over Chiddingstone at 5.52am on 3.3.2015 – with details added to identify the flight.  http://flighttracking.casper.aero/lgw/

 

Letter to Stewart Wingate:

3.3.2015

Dear Mr Wingate

On weekdays my alarm is normally set for 06:40 am.

At 05:52 today one of your metal gods tore through the sky above my house and woke my entire family. This happens on a daily basis now and more often than not earlier than this. I have had enough.

One child in tears, a wife in despair and I, with an ever growing sense of rage and contempt towards your airport.

I also understand that the narrow and concentrated flight path which you began in 2013 may have wiped £XX,000 off the value of my house, for which I paid a hefty premium to live in a quiet Tudor village.

If you do not understand or appreciate the horror your concentrated narrow flight path has created, it is time someone made you wake up to it.

My family, my neighbours and I have had enough, Mr Wingate.

You should act on this email and the thousands of other similar letter you have received, and revert to multiple broad flight paths arriving at Gatwick. This needs to be done sooner rather than later.

Yours sincerely,

(Name supplied)
Chiddingstone
Kent
TN8


This aircraft noise victim has also written to his MP, Sir John Stanley to say:

Dear Sir John,

We should not have to write emails like the one below – and innumerable emails at that.

The actions of a private company (Gatwick Airport)  should not be bringing about emotional and financial ruin for thousands of people. And this is precisely what is happening.

Imagine if Jaguar Land Rover built a testing track next to their factory without any kind of permission which generated this amount of noise and ran it from before 6am to 12pm incessantly, every day. Would that be permitted to carry on?

I don’t really know what else to say, other than I am drifting into a state of despair and desperate people do desperate things.

I will not let this man and his foreign company steal my family’s quality of life. It is theft, plain and simple.

I know you are doing all you can to help, and it is greatly appreciated.

However, if I feel like this, and I consider myself a pretty stable and lucky individual, imagine how many other of your constituents must be feeling.

This is a genuine catastrophe in waiting with seemingly no senior Governmental support or understanding of the real situation.

This noise bombardment has to stop. West Kent cannot take another Spring/Summer of this.

I urge you to elevate this to the very highest level please.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

(Name supplied)

Chiddingstone

Kent TN8

 

 

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After voting against Heathrow runway, Runnymede councillor puts new motion to reverse decision

On 22nd January, Runnymede Borough Council voted against a Heathrow 3rd runway. They have previously been supportive.  However, Councillor Furey (also a Surrey County Councillor) has put down a motion for discussion at a Council meeting on 5th March, to reverse that position. The motion states: “This Council reconsiders the current policy to support Gatwick Airport expansion at the expense of Heathrow. I call on Members to consider the economic and social benefits that could be derived from a third runway and the harmful impact of undermining Heathrow’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub. Members are asked to support reconsideration of the recent policy change and restore support for Heathrow expansion, subject to suitable noise, transport and infrastructural mitigation.”  Local campaigners are dismayed by this attempt to reverse the runway decision, after such a short time. They do not believe the somewhat nebulous  claims of ‘social and economic’ benefits of Heathrow expansion. No local councillor has been able to adequately quantify or qualify what exactly these benefits are for local residents. Residents of Runnymede are urged to attend the Council meeting on 5th March at 7.30pm at the Civic Centre, Addlestone.
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Runnymede document here

https://www.runnymede.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=12244&p=0

 

NOTICE OF MOTION FROM COUNCILLOR J R FUREY

AIRPORTS POLICY

Motion to be moved by Councillor J R Furey:

“This Council reconsiders the current policy to support Gatwick Airport expansion at the expense of Heathrow. I call on Members to consider the economic and social benefits that could be derived from a third runway and the harmful impact of undermining Heathrow’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub.

“Members are asked to support reconsideration of the recent policy change and restore support for Heathrow expansion, subject to suitable noise, transport and infrastructural mitigation.

Your support greatly appreciated.”

 


The local campaign says:

Local campaigners from the Stop Trial Flight Routes over Englefield Green, are being encouraged to attend the meeting, which will be on

Thursday 5 March 2015 at 7.30pm
in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre, Addlestone.

They say that although this specifically affects those living in Runnymede borough, support from all affected by Heathrow greatly appreciated.

The Englefield Green group was instrumental in getting Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) to overturn its support of Heathrow’s expansion in January this year. Now, unbelievably, Cllr Furey, Addlestone, has tabled a motion to overturn this.

Your attendance and support is – once again – vitally needed at this crucial time.

Some councillors seem determined not to listen to the very sensible arguments put forward against airport expansion – which we heard so clearly articulated by Cllrs Taylor, Kusneraitis, Gilham, Prescott etc at the recent committee meeting that determined RBC’s position.

It is disappointing to note that Cllr Furey cites the ‘social and economic’ benefits of expansion at Heathrow. To date, none of the councillors who trot this line out have been able to quantify or qualify what exactly these benefits are for local residents.

Whereas the disadvantages for those of us in the borough have been clearly laid out (full details can be obtained from the EG response to the Davies Report which you can find on our website www.stopegtrials.com ).

It is also interesting to note that Cllr Furey has – once again – included the word mitigation in his motion. Hiding behind the spurious term of mitigation just is not acceptable when the adverse affects can be clearly seen.

Even the Surrey County Council submission in response to the Davies Report states that any ‘mitigation’ needs to be clearly defined before the council can support expansion. There seems to be considerable disarray amongst some parts of the council.

There remains the fear that the council is prepared to abandon constituents and residents in North Runnymede (Egham, Thorpe) and particularly those who are especially hard-hit in parts of Englefield Green for some nebulous notion of benefit for the greater borough.

Every day more evidence surfaces that calls into question Heathrow’s integrity regarding expansion e.g. The disclosure that £17m has been spent on expansion propaganda; the fact that EU air quality standards will be breached by 2030 – even without a 3rd runway.

That parts of our council are refusing to acknowledge the evidence is of great concern.

We had a packed public gallery in January when this last went to vote – and it was clear that those in attendance were passionately against expansion and backed the committee’s decision.

Please try to attend the full council meeting on Thursday 5th March at 1930 at the RBC offices in Addlestone as, once again, a good attendance is important.

If you can spread the word that would be really helpful. Also, those in the area: please lobby your councillors.

Although we can count on the support of Cllrs Taylor, Prescott and Kusneraitis, it would be helpful to make your views known to e.g. Cllr Meares – and others outside of Englefield Green (in the borough of RBC).

NB for further info on Cllr Furey, a google search will turn up some interesting info [including a drink driving offence, and little interest in the protection of Green Belt land. AW note]..

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Earlier:

Runnymede Council drops its support for Heathrow 3rd runway

At a meeting on Thursday 22nd January, Runnymede Borough Council voted against their previous pro-Heathrow expansion stance.   Runnymede has became the first council to change from a position of supporting a new runway at Heathrow. A packed public gallery burst into applause when the council’s Corporate Management Committee voted by six votes to three to change the policy. Many of the residents were from areas that had seen an increase in flight numbers during the recent trials by Heathrow. The Committee argued that the environmental downsides outweighed any economic benefits that Runnymede might get from expansion.  Unfortunately the council voted instead to back a 2nd runway at Gatwick. The way the Airports Commission process has been conducted, the impression has been given that there will be a runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick. In reality, it is still very much whether there will be any new runway – so not a binary choice. The vote by Runnymede leaves only two councils, Slough and Spelthorne, as fully behind a Heathrow 3rd runway. The Council meeting and the vote came about due to pressure from local groups, such as Englefield Green and Windsor.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/01/runnymede-council-drops-its-support-for-heathrow-3rd-runway/

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