New 5 minute film, by CAGNE, highlights concerns of residents about a 2nd Gatwick runway

Residents of areas around Gatwick launched a five-minute video, called ‘What does a new runway at Gatwick mean to you?”  It was put together by Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE), through Sally Pavey.  The film shows reasons why some of the many people, including business owners as well as residents, affected by Gatwick are opposed to a 2nd runway. Some of the issues expressed in the film include the effect of a 2nd runway on traffic congestion near the airport (and further afield), the potential loss of business premises, the need for more social infrastructure to deal with extra employees at and around the airport, and the growth in the numbers of people affected by aircraft noise. CAGNE and groups largely experiencing noise from Gatwick departures to the west and working with groups troubled by Gatwick arrivals to the east of the airport.  All are opposed to the recent increase in the concentration of flight paths, causing intense noise nuisance for thousands. There are also concerns about impaired sleep for some communities, due to noise continuing at night. Recent CAA data show an 15% increase in the number experiencing night noise in 2014, within the 48 dB contour.


New film highlights residents’ opposition to Gatwick second runway

Residents launched a film entitled what does a new runway at Gatwick mean to you on Sunday November 1 outside the Red Lyon Pub in Slinfold


To watch the film visit

Slinfold photo group film

A film highlighting opposition to a second runway at Gatwick from business owners and residents was launched in Slinfold at the weekend.

The five-minute video, called ‘What does a new runway at Gatwick mean to you’, was put together by Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE) and was unveiled outside the Red Lyon pub on Sunday November 1.

In the film a number of residents speak about the effect a second runway could have on traffic congestion near the airport, the potential loss of business premises, and the amount of extra people affected by aircraft noise.

Sally Pavey, chair of CAGNE, said: “We are delighted by the turn out of local people, it plainly shows the anger residents currently feel towards Gatwick and the increase in flights and noise.”

The number of people affected by Gatwick night flights increased by 15 per cent in 2014, according to a report by the Civil Aviation Authority, although these figures include the Gatwick’s immigration removal centre for the first time.

While Sir Howard Davies recommended a third runway at Heathrow over expansion at Gatwick back in July, the airport has continued to press its case for a second runway.

The Government has yet to announce whether or not it will accept Sir Howard’s recommendations.

CAGNE said it would continue to press for less concentrated aircraft routes, which it argues is causing sleep deprivation for some communities.
The group was formed in February 2014 after trial flight paths started sending planes over Warnham and the surrounding area.

Both Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council voted to oppose a second runway earlier this year.

Since Sir Howard published his report, Gatwick has challenged the recommendation, called the findings ‘inconsistent and flawed’.

The Airports Commission concluded that the economic benefits of expanding Gatwick were ‘considerably smaller’ than those of expansion at Heathrow, while its conclusions were ‘clear and unanimous’.
To watch the film visit



See also

Number affected by Gatwick night flights up 15% last year – 12,850 in the larger 48 dB Leq contour

The CAA has released figures showing 12,850 people were adversely affected by Gatwick night flights, a 15% increase from the previous year. The increase comes despite the fact the airport has changed the way it counts complaints, with multiple issues raised by the same person on the same day now counted as a single incidence. Campaigners say the dramatic increase in complaints is proof a 2nd runway should not be allowed. A review of the changed arrivals flight paths, by Bo Redeborn, is due to be completed around the end of 2015. People are very stressed by noise from night flights, adversely affecting their sleep and their health. Gatwick made an even worse than usual comment. A Gatwick Airport spokesman said: “Gatwick recognises that aircraft noise has an impact on people living near the airport and will continue to do everything possible to minimise its effects…..The increase in people affected has been influenced by an increase in aircraft movements, a change in the fleet mix from planes with propellers to small jets, and an increase in population due to Gatwick’s immigration centre being included in the numbers.” (sic) On Sunday 1st November, CAGNE released a short film highlighting the plight of residents, businesses and communities beneath Gatwick concentrated flight paths.

Click here to view full story…


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Willie Walsh keen to get 2nd Dublin runway, which has planning consent

Planning permission for a new east-west runway, 1.6 kilometres to the north and parallel to the existing main runway at Dublin airport was granted  in 2007 and remains valid till 2017.  However a new planning application may have to be lodged because the original permission contained 31 restrictive conditions including a requirement that no flights operate from the 2nd runway between 11pm and 7am. The airport’s busiest time is the hour between 6am and 7am so airlines say a ban before flights taking off then is “impractical.”  The runway cost has been estimated at  €300m.  The likelihood of it being built is considered higher now after the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus which includes plans to use Dublin airport to feed traffic from Europe to North America.  IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh wants the runway, saying (predictably) Dublin airport is currently at full capacity during peak hours, leading to “congestion and delays”. Mr Walsh says he was open to an agreement with Ryanair that would see it feed passengers to the Aer Lingus long-haul network, and an agreement could be reached by summer 2016.  The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is re-examining its proposals for a second runway as passenger numbers have risen to more than 21 million in 2014 and it expects a rise of 15% this year.



IAG boss Walsh – new Dublin runway is ‘inevitable’

by Paul O’Donoghue  (Irish Independent)


Dublin proposed northern runway

The proposed runway to the north in an artists impression

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh is in favour of the construction of a second runway at Dublin airport, saying it is currently at full capacity during peak hours, leading to “congestion and delays”.

Mr Walsh also said he was open to an agreement with Ryanair that would see it feed passengers to the Aer Lingus long-haul network. He said an agreement could be reached by summer 2016.


Mr Walsh was speaking following the publication of IAG’s results for the nine-month period to the end of September.International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) acquired Aer Lingus in September in a €1.36bn deal.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Walsh said that Dublin Airport needed more capacity to cope with demand during peak hours.

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is re-examining its proposals for a second runway as passenger numbers have risen to more than 21 million in 2014 and that figure that is expected to increase by a further 15pc this year.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has also said that a new runway will probably be needed to cope with the predicted increase in demand.

Mr Walsh said: “There is space at times during the day but the airport is full during peak hours, which leads to delays and congestion.

“We would be very much in favour of it (a second runway), we think it is inevitable.

“The operators are all in favour of the extra infrastructure as long as it is cost-effective.

“We would also encourage the airport to look at utilising existing facilities as much as possible.”

Mr Walsh is also amenable working with Ryanair to bolster Aer Lingus’s long-haul network. The two airlines are in talks over an interlining arrangement that would see Ryanair providing transfer connections for its rival’s long-haul services.

The IAG boss said: “Customers are flying with them (Ryanair) anyway and if our customers are flying with Ryanair we want to connect them to airlines in our group. Reaching a sensible commercial arrangement will do that.

“I think there is scope to do work between Ryanair and Aer Lingus if commercial terms can be agreed. We do arrangements on a seasonal basis, (so) we could put something in place in April, (then) there is no reason an arrangement could not be put in place for next summer.”

He also said that IAG was keen to continue Aer Lingus’s long-haul expansion. Earlier this month, it announced three new US routes from Dublin, to Los Angeles, Newark and Hartford, Connecticut that will run from next year. This means it will now be flying to 12 destinations in North America.

Mr Walsh said that Aer Lingus would continue to add routes in North America, with a focus on the US.

“We would be thinking of about one or two a year, which reflects the strength of the Aer Lingus performance. We would be thinking of the US initially [and] would look at markets that would have a strong Irish diaspora. We would also look at Canada, which has a large Irish diaspora.”

IAG raised its 2015 profit outlook after third-quarter results beat expectations. The firm said full-year operating profit, excluding Aer Lingus, would come in between €2.25bn and €2.3bn, having previously forecast it at more than €2.2bn.

Aer Lingus made an operating profit of €45m since it joined the group in September. Total group operating profit was €1.2bn for the third quarter ,excluding the Irish airline.

IAG was formed from the merger of British Airways and Iberia in 2011 and is the world’s sixth-largest airline.

Irish Independent




Dublin Airport assesses new plan to build second runway

By John Mulligan (Irish Independent)
4.9.2015The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is re-examining its proposals for a second runway as passenger numbers are set to surpass peak levels reached during the boom.

The DAA already has planning permission for a second runway, but Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said the semi-State company is currently re-evaluating that. “We believe that due to predicted demand that’s now very likely to occur at Dublin Airport, there will be a need for a second parallel runway,” said Mr Donohoe.

“The Dublin Airport Authority is now evaluating what their plans will be in that area in the future. I do expect them to be coming forward with proposals in that area soon,” he said.

More than 21 million passengers used Dublin Airport last year. That figure is expected to rise by 15pc this year at one of the fastest-growing airports in Europe. In 2008, a record 23.5 million passengers used it. A parallel runway at Dublin could be used at the same time as its current primary runway. Mr Donohoe also ruled out a second airport for the city. “We have in Dublin Airport at the moment an airport that has made huge progress,” he said.

“Our national policy is clear, that we will look to support development of Dublin Airport as a European hub airport.”  Ryanair chief commercial officer David O’Brien said the airline backs an extra runway, “just in the same way as we were supportive of the second terminal”.

“But we were supportive the second terminal (to be built) at less than €200m,” he added.

“Ryanair supports a second runway provided it’s less than €200m, which is what it should cost.”

Mr Donohoe also said he is continuing to assess options for a rail link from the airport to the city centre and a decision will be made “soon”.

David O’Brien also confirmed that Ryanair has been in discussions with Aer Lingus about the smaller rival taking passengers from Ryanair’s UK network.

He said Dublin has more routes to the UK than Heathrow has domestic ones, adding: “Ryanair clearly offers a service with high frequency on many of those routes. So we are a natural partner, I would have thought, for the likes of Aer Lingus or BA in that regard.”

Mr O’Brien said the talks with Aer Lingus are “positive” and that the airline, now owned by IAG, is “interested”.

“The devil is obviously in the detail,” he said.


Plans for new Dublin Airport runway ready for take-off

By Jerome Reilly (Irish Independent)

Plans for a €300m second runway at Dublin Airport have gained dramatic new impetus following the IAG takeover of Aer Lingus which includes plans to use Dublin airport to feed traffic from Europe to North America.

Over the next five years IAG plan to boost Aer Lingus feeder traffic through Dublin by an extra 2.4m passengers a year.

But even before the IAG bid for Aer Lingus emerged earlier this year the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) had reignited plans for a new runway on the 2,500 acre site at Collinstown.
New research released last week by the respected aviation website anna aero shows that Dublin is the fastest growing airport in Europe for long-haul traffic this year
Now plans for the construction of a second runway, which first emerged more than 30 years ago, look set to be fast tracked.

Planning permission for a new east-west runway, 1.6 kilometres to the north and parallel to the existing main runway was granted back in 2007 and remains valid for the next two years.

But air industry sources suggest a new planning application may have to be lodged because the original permission contained 31 restrictive conditions including a requirement that no flights operate from the second runway between 11pm and 7am.

The hour between 6am and 7am remains the airport’s busiest time and a ban on flights leaving a new second runway before 7am is considered impractical. Passenger numbers travelling through Dublin leapt by 8pc to 21.7 million last year and are already 15pc up on that figure in the first four months of 2015.

A DAA spokespersonal told the Sunday Independent: “We are currently examining the various options regarding the delivery of a second parallel runway at Dublin Airport, but have not yet made a final decision in relation to this issue.”

“A second parallel runway has been part of the overall development plan for Dublin Airport for several decades and we’re fortunate that land was earmarked for this project many years ago within the overall Dublin Airport campus.”

“The various options relating to its development will be carefully considered before the company makes a final decision on the best way forward and a second runway remains a central element of Dublin Airport’s long-term plans,” the DAA spokesman confirmed
Dublin Airport now has two flights per day to Dubai and Abu Dhabi with Emirates and Etihad both flying twice a day since last year.

Passenger numbers to the Middle East and North Africa doubled between 2011 and 2013.
The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) has ruled that Dublin Airport will not be allowed to pass on any of the costs associated with the development of a second runway until passenger numbers pass 25 million in a 12 month period.

Between 2010 and 2014, Dublin Airport increased its transatlantic passenger numbers by 42pc with seven new transatlantic services during the same period.

This summer, Dublin Airport will be the sixth largest airport in Europe for services to North America with 318 flights per week (159 weekly departures) between Dublin and 15 separate destinations in the United States and Canada.
Sunday Independent




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Work on the new Nantes airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes might start by early next year

In 2008 plans to build a new airport for Nantes, 20 miles north of the city at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, were approved. The plan is to move the airport from its current site to the south of the city, Nantes Atlantique Airport, and build over farmland and wetlands, that are rich in wildlife and have good agriculture. The new  “Aéroport du Grand Ouest” is intended to be a “gateway to western France” with up to 9 million passengers per year by 2050.  For that tiny number, it wants two runways.   It has been bitterly opposed for years, and while it was originally to open in 2014, work may now eventually start soon. Opponents have done everything they could to stop it, including huge occupations of parts of the site, scuffles with the authorities that sometimes turned unpleasant, a hunger strike, and recourse to legal challenges on European law.  Finally it seems all legal avenues have been exhausted.  The Prefecture of the Loire-Atlantic announced in effect that work on the airport will start, and a call for tenders has been launched. Compensation will have to be paid to those having their land expropriated, and environmental mitigation will have to be done – including protection of water voles. There are still people (zadistes) occupying shacks on part of the site, and they would have to be removed. Opponents do not believe any work can start yet. They say the airport is not needed, it is not consistent with climate targets, and the damage to farmland and habitats cannot be justified.



For more news about the battle against the airport, over many years, see


Airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes: The State undertakes resumption

The prefecture has launched calls for tenders prior to the work on the site of Notre-Dame-des-Landes …

Opponents of the proposed airport at Notrde-Dame-des-Landes, September 22, 2015.
Opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, 22 September 2015 – SIPA


By Frederic Brenon (20 minutes, France)


(Imperfect translation below from the original French …)

After months of stagnation, the  Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project moves forward. This Friday night, the State, through the Prefecture of the Loire-Atlantic, announced in effect that it “committed the resumption of work.”  The call for tenders has been launched, for procedures for enterprises.

Launches Process

“The State asked the project owners of the future airport and its road access to implement the steps that will start work. This is reflected in particular by the settlement of compensation for expropriation, the resumption of relations with businesses and the launch of specialized markets.  Meanwhile, the State continues the conduct of the administrative procedures, including those relating to the water voles and Environmental Assessment of the project, in strict compliance with national and Community law, ” the prefecture announced in a statement.

What about the  Zad? [Zone a défendre]

On July 17, 2015, the Administrative Court of Nantes dismissed the actions committed by opponents of the transfer of the Nantes Atlantique airport to the site of Notre Dame des Landes. The prefect explained that the “prime minister has confirmed the operational continuation of this transfer  project. ”

No calendar dates have, for now, been revealed. The prefecture has also been careful not to rule on the possible eventual deportation of the Zad occupiers  of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.  (see article copied below).

The Aéroport du Grand Ouest Project is a planned new airport, to be situated 30 km (20 mi) to the north-west of the French city of Nantes in the commune of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. It is intended that the new airport will replace Nantes Atlantique Airport as the airport for Nantes, but also serve as an international gateway for western France.[1]

The €580 million project was approved in February 2008, with construction expected to start in 2014 and an opening date in 2017.[2] Initially the airport will have a capacity of four million passengers a year, increasing to nine million by 2050. This compares with the current capacity at Nantes Atlantique of three million passengers a year, a capacity that it is claimed cannot be increased because of the proximity of the airport to the city centre (a distance of only 8 km (5 mi)).[1] Opponents claim that Nantes Atlantique can increase its capacity to 4 millions passengers a year.[3]

The new airport will have two runways, and will be linked to the French motorway and rail networks.[1]

The airport has been met with strong opposition, notably led by The Greens, Ségolène Royal and Arnaud Montebourg, even though the French Socialist Partysupports it. Also various groups have set up numerous protest camps and squats around the area that will be build upon known as the “ZAD” (acronym of “Zone à défendre (fr)“) which means zone to be defended in English, ZAD is inspired by the French sentence “Zone d’aménagement différé (fr)“.

See also

Local group ACIPA say work cannot start yet on the airport.

Planned airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes deemed one of Europe’s “Grands Projets Inutiles et Imposés”

While the authorities in Loire Atlantique are hoping to start work on the new Nantes airport, to be built over good farmland and wetland at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, (NDDL)opponents say this is premature. While the French Prime Minister, Manual Valls, is keen for work to get started, the main opposition group to the airport plan – ACIPA – say President François Hollande has recently confirmed that the legal challenges should be allowed to run their course. There are still some procedures to go through. Opponents produced a huge beach art protest – writing in the sand: ” Pour le climat, pas d’aeroport a Notre-Dame-des-Landes.” ACIPA points out that when the airport and its backers say they will be “resuming” work on the site, they never in fact started. ACIPA also points out that the tendering for work contract is also a PR thing, as various administrative permits must first be obtained. The new NDDL airport is being considered as one of a class of Grands Projets Inutiles et Imposés – big unnecessary imposed projects – along with HS2 in the UK, a new high-speed Lyon-Turin line, gold mining using cyanide in Romania, and a high speed rail line in the Basque Country. A people’s tribunal in Turin will look at all these cases to reach a joint decision that will have ethical, moral, political value, in the broadest sense.

Click here to view full story…


Notre-Dame-des-Landes: towards a resumption in 2016

Nearly three years after the complete stoppage of work to build an airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes near Nantes, due to legal and opposition guerrillas in the field of opponents, the state officially announced yesterday a recovery in 2016.

By Willy Colin(France 3 TV)

The project proponents are hoping for the first aircraft movements in 2017.

The announcement of the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique, following the statements to this effect by Manuel Valls, was preceded on Monday by launching a tender for “clearing works, restoration of fences and access road serving “l’aéroport du grand ouest à Nantes “, maturing on November 23th, 2015 for work” in 2016 “.

A speed that contrasts with the many delays that have gradually delayed by three years the airport that was meant to be a public utility in 2008 and originally scheduled to open in 2017. It is 10 km north of Nantes, to replace the existing Nantes Atlantique Airport located south of the city.

Intervention in October 2012

The first major intervention of the forces of law and order was launched in October 2012 with more than a thousand gendarmes.

One after the other farms or squatter huts were evicted and demolished, but by November 24, 2012, the government headed by former Socialist mayor of Nantes Jean-Marc Ayrault had suspended all operations.

There was then a “commission dialogue” but also (qu’aboutissent) delays caused by the many legal appeals, filed by opponents systematically at all stages of the project.  While proponents of the airport, foremost among which local authorities of Loire-Atlantique and Nantes, waited impatiently for resumption of the plan, the wooded wetland (zone humide bocagère) some of 1,600 hectares dedicated to the project only saw the construction of several dozen new cabins by anticapitalist opponents..

There are between 100 and 300 opponents installed on site, joined at each attempt at Intervention by an opposition of “institutional” farmers around the country through the peasant farmer Confederation, elected representatives and ecologists.

Some 200 anti “NDDL”  committees spread throughout France in 2012.


The “Holding Zones” demarcated in the 70s for this project that has seen a twenty-year break before being revived in the early 2000s has become a “zone to defend” (“Zone à défendre”  ZAD) populated by”zadistes” who gave their nickname to other anti-capitalist opposition in France, including Sivens (Tarn) against a proposed dam where Rémi Fraisse, an opponent died in October 2014.

A powerful demonstration

The last big show of force, an anti-Airport protest  in February 2014 demonstration in Nantes gathered 20,000 to 60,000 people, according to police and protesters.

Several hundred radicals using “black blocks” methods, had done significant damage in Nantes city centre.  The government had thenreaffirmed the need to wait for “the end of the appeal.”

Last July, the Nantes Administrative Court dismissed all appeals against the prefectural orders that authorized the launch of the future airport work by the contractor Aéroports du Grand Ouest (AGO), a subsidiary of Vinci.

The opponents appealed, but it is not (?) able to hold up the work,  and on 20 October the Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced the government’s intention to “pursue the project.”

The contents

“This is great news for all Great West”, was immediately welcomed the direction of the IAB Loire Valley, as the candidate Republicans regional Bruno Retailleau.

The disgruntled

“What makes me really angry is the government’s strategy that does not address the substantive arguments, they oppose an opaque silence and, worse, the practice of withholding information and even lying, ” said Françoise Verchère, one of the insurgents who chairs the CEDPA, one of the main opponents associations. “A state that does this is not respected. The rule of law no longer exists in our country.”

Denouncing “the will of the government to push through” and “hypocrisy” at a time when it is ready to receive the COP21, [the Paris climate talks]  a representative of “zadistes” expressed to  AFP their intention “to oppose any attempt to resume work.”

With AFP  (Agence France Presse)


Notre-Dame-des-Landes:  Will the state launch manoeuvers?

AIRPORT PROJECT While environmental cases brought by the anti-airport were rejected, two scenarios emerge now …A Francois Hollande campaign poster hijacked by opponents to the airport
A Francois Hollande campaign poster hijacked by opponents to the airport – Fabrice ELSNER / 20 MINUTES


By Frederic Brenon

17.7.2015  (20 Minutes, France)

After the rejection this Friday of legal environmental action, in which the opponents of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes founded many hopes, what will happen to the project on which work has been suspended for almost three years?

Two scenarios emerge.

1) Actions continue on appeal, the work does not resume

The first scenario is the status quo, that is to say the construction freeze in anticipation of the cessation of all legal actions brought by opponents. Enhanced assumption by the imminence of the World Climate Conference in Paris (Cop 21),where France wants to give an exemplary image and the regional elections, where the PS big risk. Anti-Airport have already announced Friday they would appeal the adverse ruling of the Administrative Court of Nantes. “We remember that the extension project of the port of Nantes-Saint-Nazare in Donges East had been appealed retoqué while environmental groups had lost at trial,” Positive Me Thomas Dubreuil, lawyer’s ACIPA and of CEDPA, the two main associations opposed to the project.

Brussels must in turn decide on the environmental soundness of the project, probably this summer. Opponents also promise to file a new appeal once the prefect of Loire-Atlantique take an order derogating for the destruction of the water voles, a species protected at European level.  Similarly, the new building permit of the future terminal, whose planning had been suspended, will be “watched closely” warned the spokesperson of ACIPA . [ACIPA is the local protest group].

A new report on the works,  however, would lengthen even more the already considerable delay of the process and expose the state to the anger of the Great West [the name of the new airport] and elected Vinci Project dealer [the airport project company] and influential economic player.

2) The State goes in strength and launches operations

The second scenario is that of a work starting in the coming weeks.  It is a possible hypothesis legally since the appeal does not suspend starting work.  This also gained weight politically with the statements of Manuel Valls on Friday saying that the decision of the Administrative Court of Nantes “should lead to resumption of work”. This is also what the supporters of the new airport are demanding loudly and strongly.

“The court’s decision reconfirms the validity of Grand Ouest Airport project, project of general interest. The rule of law must now be respected, “says Jean-Marc Ayrault, a former prime minister and former mayor of Nantes.”  [He was a key supporter of the project in its earlier stages.  It was even called an “Ayraultport”].

“The time for reflection and consultation is now over. Place now to Action “urges Jean-François Gendron, President of the CCI of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire.

Yes, but here, the political agreement reached between the PS [Partie Socialiste] and the Greens before the municipal elections in 2014 stipulated a freeze on work to exhaustion all legal remedies. Including grounds to appeal? “Of course,” says the deputy EELV François de Rugy. “Hollande himself recalled. ”

“The exhaustion of an appeal, from the point of view of the law, it is not only the first instance,”  Mr. Thomas Dubreuil supports, categorically. ” The interpretation that Manuel Valls makes on this agreement is untenable.  Starting work would be an outright violation. He would then take the consequences politically. ”

Another downside: the start of work on the airport site would also require to evacuate Zadistes occupying the land. “We are ready to deal with any eventuality. The movement’s resilience against the airport has been further strengthened since the eviction of the autumn of 2012,” they say. “There are extremists on both sides. Public authorities have an interest in playing appeasement “advises François de Rugy.

“The Zadistes must now be evacuated,” insists the ICC. “It would be unacceptable that the socialist government chooses, again, inaction and laxity” vilified Senator Bruno Retailleau (Republicans).

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Patrick McLoughlin insists government has not yet decided on runway options, despite Osborne rumours

It is still thought likely that the government will make some sort of announcement on whether it backs a runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, by the end of the year. Whether that will come before Christmas Eve is anyone’s guess.  The Times reported that George Osborne may be convinced by the Airports Commission report and is therefore ready to rule out Gatwick, considering it is “Heathrow or nothing.”  But Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said that the Government may reject the recommendation of the Commission’s report, that Heathrow should be expanded.  He said the report had just given 3 “options” with a “preferred option”, rather than a ruling with much weight. “…we are looking at the options that it gave us. We are doing the work that is required to see how those three options stack up.” He argued the Government would have to see if some of the report’s recommendations were “actually doable”, and that though the work of the Commission would make a decision on expansion easier, questions still remained.  An ally of the Chancellor told the Times: “George doesn’t have a settled view on this. He just wants to see a runway built somewhere as soon as possible once all the proper processes are concluded.”



McLoughlin insists airports commission which backed Heathrow gave ‘options’

30.10.2015 (Politics Home)

Patrick McLoughlin has given the clearest signal yet that the Government may reject the recommendation of the Davies report that Heathrow should be expanded.

The airports commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, said a third runway should be built at Heathrow rather than Gatwick when it published its report in July.


A decision on which airport will receive the long-awaited expansion programme will be made by the Government before Christmas, David Cameron has said.

Transport Secretary Patrick Mcloughlin insisted the report had given “options” with a “preferred option”, rather than a ruling with much weight.

“It gave us three options – we are looking at the options that it gave us. We are doing the work that is required to see how those three options stack up,” he told Radio 4’s Today Programme.

“It looked at a lot of other options and ruled those out and it came forward eventually with three.

“Yes, it came come forward with a preferred option but its right that we listen to the representations we are getting.”

The Cabinet minister argued the Government would have to see if some of the report’s recommendations were “actually doable”.

Mr McLoughlin said the work of the commission would make a decision on expansion easier, but that questions still remained.

“Of course there are questions as a result of that report which are now being worked on and we will take a decision in due course,” he said.


Chancellor George Osborne has similarly suggested the report’s decision could be rejected, arguing in a recent interview it had recommended expansion at “Heathrow or Gatwick”.

But today’s Times reports that Mr Osborne is expected to come out against Gatwick in the coming weeks, declaring: “Heathrow or nothing”.

Mr Osborne will face criticism from within his own party if he does so, including from high-profile anti-Heathrow campaigners Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith.


In its report, the commission said a third runway at Heathrow would add £147bn to economic growth and 70,000 jobs by 2050. [No, it said that, based on a novel economic model, it might produce “up to” £147 billion over 60 years, up to 2080. In more conventional assessments, the Commission said this might fall to £1.4 billion benefit over 60 years. That is tiny.  Details below   AW note] 

Sir Howard said the economic arguments for a new Heathrow runway were “much greater” than Gatwick’s alternative proposal.

“Heathrow offers the kind of long haul connectivity flights to emerging markets which are very important to the future of the British economy, and expanding it would allow Heathrow to offer more of those flights, [while] Gatwick is much more focussed on short haul intra-European flying,” he said at the time.

“Heathrow is also, by a long, long way, the centre for air freight, which is increasingly important particularly to those markets, and there is a network of logistics companies around Heathrow which support the airport, so you’d get a big boost to air freight exports as well.”




Not “up to” £147 billion by 2050, but perhaps as little as £1.4 billion by about 2080

It is remarkable that the Airports Commission itself has this figure of net benefit of a Heathrow runway at just £1.4 billion over 60 years.
See point 3.148 on P89 of the Commission’s Business Case and Sustainability Assessment – Heathrow NR Runway


Osborne set to rule out runway at Gatwick – sources

30.10.2015 (Politics Home)

George Osborne is reportedly set to rule out a third runway at Gatwick in a bid to boost the case for expansion of Heathrow.

Mr Osborne is expected to argue it is “Heathrow or nothing” in the coming weeks, according to the Times.


The Times reports sources close to Mr Osborne claiming he had been convinced by the Davies report and is therefore ready to rule out Gatwick.

But one ally of the Chancellor told the Times: “George doesn’t have a settled view on this. He just wants to see a runway built somewhere as soon as possible once all the proper processes are concluded.”

A committee of ministers, of which Mr Osborne is a part, will take the decision in the next few weeks.


The Times says that:
Officials in the DfT are poring over the Airports Commission’s findings along with Treasury officials and lawyers. They are taking fresh evidence from Heathrow and Gatwick, as well as the proposers of the Heathrow Hub scheme. [The DfT needs to ask them its own questions, to try to see if a scheme could be made to work. AW note]

The runway issue will be discussed by a ten-strong cabinet sub-committee, led by David Cameron, although it emerged last week that the final decision would only be taken after the prime minister referred the issue to the full cabinet.

The economic affairs (airports) sub-committee to  decide on the runway issue includes Mr Osborne, Sajid Javid, the business secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary, Liz Truss, the environment secretary, and Greg Clark, the communities secretary.

It does not include any critics of Heathrow, such as Philip Hammond, Theresa May, Justine Greening, or Greg Hands,  or Boris Johnson who all have constituencies near the airport.

The Times was told yesterday that, with Mr Cameron due to stand down by the end of this parliament, he is more concerned with the split that any decision will cause in the party than damage to his own reputation.

Times article at


Read more »

Molesey hope to form an alliance with the Teddington Action Group, opposing a 3rd Heathrow runway due to unbearable noise impacts

Molesey, south west of Teddington, has been badly affected by aircraft taking off from Heathrow, when there are easterly winds (around 30% of the time). Now a Molesey woman, Fiona Fraser, who is tired of the aircraft noise, which even makes her windows and doors “shake and rattle” has stepped up her campaign against plans for a Heathrow 3rd runway – which could only make the situation worse.  She is now linking the Molesey group up with the Teddington Action Group (TAG), which has been working effectively to get improvements to the noise problems they are caused by Heathrow. Fiona said that the aircraft noise – part of which comes from A380s flying lower than planes used to – is making life unbearable, especially early in the morning and last thing at night, up to 11.30pm.  She commented: “… if it carries on I’ll have to move. I just feel very helpless.” Paul McGuinness, from TAG, has welcomed Elmbridge residents wanting to join the campaign against Heathrow’s expansion. Community groups have been forming over a wide area affected by Heathrow [likewise at Gatwick].   Anyone opposed to the third runway proposals at Heathrow can help create a new Elmbridge action group by emailing



Molesey woman steps up campaign against Heathrow third runway with plans for Action Group

30.10.2015 (Surrey Comet)

A Molesey woman who says planes cause windows and doors in her home to “shake and rattle” has stepped up her campaign against plans for a third runway at Heathrow.


Fiona Fraser, from West Molesey, joined other protesters at the Say No to Heathrow demonstration in central London several weeks ago, and now wants to form a Molesey alliance with the Teddington Action Group, an organisation firmly against expansion.

Miss Fraser said: “The past five weeks have been really bad. The noise makes the house shake, the windows shake. It has become completely unbearable, particularly in the morning and last thing at night.

“It was all day yesterday, it was so bad that my front door shook with both of the planes going over.  It actually rattled.

“I love living in Molesey, but if it carries on I’ll have to move. I just feel very helpless.”

Elmbridge Council has created an airport expansion task group to explore the impact of the expansion on the borough, a spokesman said.

Paul McGuinness, of the Teddington Action Group has welcomed Elmbridge residents wanting to join the campaign against expansion.

Surrey Comet:

Protesters at the Say No to Heathrow demonstration in London several weeks ago

He said: “There are community groups cropping up all over the place that are horrified at the prospect of a third runway and we’d be very happy for that [a Molesey-based affiliated action group] to happen.

“To some extent we are the children of the 2014 flight trials and many people of course realise that the matter of the trends in which the planes are flying is quite awakening.”

East Molesey Councillor Steve Bax has also campaigned against Heathrow expansion.

He said: “It’s quite frustrating as a councillor and for residents. We definitely know it’s noisy on the ground and people are being disturbed at unreasonable hours of the day.”

East Molesey Councillor Peter Szanto said he did not think residents needed to form an alliance with other action groups in neighbouring boroughs.

He said: “We have a route today into senior management at Heathrow and really what people should be doing is channelling their comments through to Steve Bax rather than spreading the focus across several groups.”

Heathrow bosses claim that 80,000 people in London are on board with the expansion, which they say will create up to 38,400 jobs and £35.1bn worth of economic benefits by 2050.

The Airports Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, recommended Heathrow for expansion this summer.

The Government is expected to make its decision by the end of the year.

Anyone opposed to the third runway proposals at Heathrow can help create a new Elmbridge action group by emailing

Are you affected by the flight paths from Heathrow? Would you like to join an action group against the third runway? Get in touch at or call 020 8722 6313




Teddington Action Group show – from Heathrow report – that they are now suffering more aircraft noise

Residents in Twickenham and Teddington have been aware of greatly increased aircraft noise from Heathrow, over the past year. However, Heathrow have for months insisted that the noise has not increased. Now an independent report commissioned and paid for by Heathrow, by PA Consulting has shown that the residents are right.  Examining data between November 2011 and May 2015, the report confirms that planes – especially the heavier, noisier types – are flying lower than previously over the area, in greater numbers and concentrated within flight paths. Also that the periods of greatest disruption are increasingly late at night and early in the morning. Rather than being associated with the 2014 Flight Path Trials, which saw record numbers of noise complaints from residents, the report states that these developments merely reflect the general trend of fleet development and air traffic movements. TAG say they have more of the noisiest long haul planes flying over lower than before, sometimes at little more than 2,000 feet in Teddington and 1,400 feet in Twickenham.  Worryingly, if this disruption stems from new flight trends, it is only likely to get worse, and for many other areas overflown by Heathrow planes.


Teddington Action Group prepare to sue Airports Commission over lack of fair consultation on air quality

The Airports Commission and the Department of Transport have been notified by Neil Spurrier and Teddington Action Group (TAG) of their intent to apply for a Judicial Review of the Commission’s work. TAG is a group of residents affected by environmental nuisance in terms of emissions and noise from Heathrow flights. They have taken advice from leading counsel, and allege that the Airports Commission’s 3 week consultation on air quality, in May, was rushed and insufficiently publicised. This meant they (and many others) did not had a fair chance to respond. The consultation document was a highly technical 200 page report, containing a large amount of technical data. TAG say the lack of proper engagement by the Commission in relation to the latest air quality consultation is unacceptable and local people should be consulted in a meaningful way on an issue that directly impacts their health and well-being. TAG say the 3 week consultation is far shorter than the Cabinet Office guidelines which recommend three months for controversial or technical consultations. The length and nature of the air quality consultation was widely criticised, as being inadequate and unfair. TAG also questions the continuation of Sir Howard Davies in the role of chair of the Commission in the light of potential conflicts of interest, as he has been appointed to RBS.


Teddington residents miserable under Heathrow easterly take-offs – though officially they are not affected

Teddington is an area largely affected by easterly take-offs from Heathrow.  The wind direction in the south east of England is generally for westerly winds for around 70 – 77% of the time. The level of aircraft noise over Teddington is therefore not a problem during westerly take-offs.  The way aircraft noise is measured – by taking an average over a period of time, and over many months, rather than the plane noise on a particular day – means that Teddington and areas like it, are not deemed to be within the noise contours that imply a significant level of noise nuisance. However, during periods of easterly winds, which can last for over 10 days, the level of noise is deeply intrusive. The campaign, Teddington Action Group, has made a powerful short film that illustrates the noise they are subjected to, for perhaps 25 -30% of the year. Yet, on the noise averaging system used by the CAA and the Airports Commission, they are considered not to be affected by noise. They wonder how many other areas can be regarded as untroubled by noise, when the reality on the ground is very different. And how much worse would this situation get, with how many more affected, if there was a Heathrow 3rd runway.  Watch the film.







Read more »

Massive 170 acre business park planned outside Horley to produce a Gatwick airport city

Residents and businesses are shocked and appalled at news that Reigate and Banstead Borough Council  has agreed in principle to use compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) for a business park on 172 acres of land off Balcombe Road, in Horley. That’s equivalent to 85 football pitches. The council says major international businesses want to move to the area. Residents who would be affected say they knew nothing about the plan in advance. Green Party Surrey County Councillor Jonathan Essex said the development would use up green space, which separated homes in Horley, from nearby Gatwick airporta and “Horley should be a separate town, not just part of the urban sprawl of Gatwick.” A local Conservative councillor said information about the plans could not be made public previously because it was “commercially confidential” andt that “Now we have made the decision we will be talking to and consulting with residents, employers and landowners who could potentially be affected.” There is now a campaign called Keep Horley Green, to oppose the plans. They have a Facebook page and a petition to local MP Sam Giymah. People want green countryside preserved, rather then being covered in concrete. One of the properties under threat of compulsory purchase is Bayhorne Farm, 72 acres.  172 acres is a vast area for a business park – far larger than average.  It would become an “aerotropolis” project.


Keep Horley Green campaign started to fight business park plans


By Joshua Searle    (Surrey Mirror)

SAYING NO: Aneliese Whittaker has launched a campaign opposing council proposals for a business park in Horley 

Residents, businesses and landowners are determined to battle Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s plan to build a 172-acre industrial estate on farmland on either side of Balcombe Road, between the railway line and Burstow Stream.

As the Mirror went to press, more than 2,400 people had signed the Keep Horley Green petition, set up by Aneliese Whittaker.

The Ifield resident started the campaign after seeing a preliminary site drawing from the council, which suggests her family home, Bayhorne Farm, would need to be bulldozed to make way for the site.

The 72-acre farm, which is now an equestrian centre, has been open for more than 50 years and is the former home of David Whittaker, a well-known Horley farmer.

It has planning application history, too. In the 1990s, Horley Town Football Club was considering the area as a potential stadium location.

Miss Whittaker said: “My dad and grandfather fought long and hard to protect the farm from those plans, and these new plans are something I want to fight. If I don’t, then what would happen to our countryside?

“Will it all be destroyed and built on in the name of ‘progress’ – we have to draw a line somewhere.

“Many people live in Horley due to the small, rural feel of the town being an attraction – shall we just build on everything in sight and destroy the town completely?

“Horley was and has been my family home for generations. I hoped to return there to bring up my son too, but at this rate Horley will be changed greatly, and not for the best.”

Miss Whittaker is also concerned about the impact any building work could have on the area’s wildlife.

Along with Bayhorne Farm, council officers may have to force Indian restaurant Jai Ho and Cranbrook Adventurers Out of School Club to sell up and move on, should the business park go ahead.

Since creating the petition, 30-year-old Miss Whittaker says she has had an “overwhelming response”, adding: “The community want to preserve the countryside and its heritage, keeping the small town rural feel, rather than bulldozing all of the green open spaces we have and replacing them with yet more concrete.”

To keep up to date with Keep Horley Green’s activities, go to its Facebook page.

Those who object to the plan are also being encouraged to write to their ward councillor and East Surrey MP Sam Gyimah.

To sign paper copies of the petition, go to Jai Ho in Balcombe Road or The Airfield Tavern in Horley High Street.

To sign the petition online go to

The council says…

JOHN REED, head of property at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council said: “It appears that some assumptions are already being made about the proposals.

“The council and its joint venture partners have a significant amount of work to do before they will have any proposals or programmes to consult on before an outline planning application is made. There is a danger that assumptions could be made that are premature until this further work has been done.

“At this very early stage, we have simply identified the potential extent of the site, but how that could evolve needs a considerable amount of design work and numerous supporting studies.

“However, what is evident from our studies is that great employers – international companies – have been looking to invest in the borough and have been unable to find office accommodation that meets their needs. As a result they have gone elsewhere.

“This is precisely the location they would want and we can build them the space they require. Their presence will benefit both residents and business in the south of Horley. That benefit can and will be built in to the scheme and would come with thousands of jobs.

“At the moment, we are at the very beginning of a lengthy process. There will be many opportunities throughout this for the community to get involved in consultations about these proposals. We recognise the importance of keeping in touch with stakeholders and do, of course, welcome and encourage participation from residents and local businesses.”


Horley residents ‘shocked’ by business park plan

19.10.2015 (BBC)

Gatwick South Terminal approach
The land earmarked for the business park is near Gatwick South Terminal

Residents and businesses have been left shocked by council plans to buy 170 acres of land for a business park.

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council has agreed in principle to use compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) for the land off Balcombe Road, Horley.

“It was a very big shock. We are in a very bad state,” said Suresh Mara, manager of Jai Ho restaurant, which might be forced out.

The council said major international businesses wanted to move to the area.

Its executive discussed the business park and expressed its willingness to use CPO powers to buy the land on Thursday.

But, residents said they knew nothing about the plan in advance.

Mr Mara, whose business would be affected, said he did not know what was happening.

‘Commercially confidential’

“Nobody consulted us and suddenly we are getting this news,” he said.

“There are 15 or 16 staff whose families will be jeopardised.”

Green county councillor Jonathan Essex said the development would use up green space, which separated homes in Horley, Surrey from the West Sussex airport.

“Horley should be a separate town, not just part of the urban sprawl of Gatwick,” he said.

The local Jai Ho Indian restaurant could be affected by a Compulsory Purchase Order.
Conservative councillor Natalie Bramhall said information about the plans could not be made public previously because it was “commercially confidential”.

“Now we have made the decision we will be talking to and consulting with residents, employers and landowners who could potentially be affected,” she said.

“Attracting investment is really important in delivering economic benefits for the borough and jobs for residents.

“We have already had offers from major international businesses that want to move on to this site so we could be providing fantastic jobs for the local residents.”

Horley industrial park areaMap showing the location of the area to be compulsorily purchased, north of the M23 spur to the airport, and east of the railway line. 

Keep Horley Green
DEVELOPMENT: The area the proposed Horley business park could cover


Plans for huge Horley business park to go forward

26.10.2015 (Surrey Mirror)

RESIDENTS and firms who could be forced to relocate if plans for a Horley business park go ahead have been assured they would be treated “with understanding”.

The assurances were made by councillors before deciding to progress with the plan for the industrial estate in the south of the borough.

The Mirror reported last week how the borough council wants to develop an area the size of 85 football pitches between Horley and Gatwick Airport.

Councillor for Horley East, Graham Knight, wanted assurances that “residents of Horley East and Central who may be affected by compulsory purchase are consulted and treated with dignity and understanding”.

Horley Central representative, Councillor Allen Kay, added: “Here we’re dealing with humans and people who have been in their houses a long, long time.

“I ask and urge that this council talks to these people at an early stage and we make a fair offer for the land if we need it.”

Councillor Natalie Bramhall, who presented the report as executive member for regeneration, said: “[This is] a significant opportunity for this council to work in partnership with private and public sectors to bring forward a scheme in the south of the borough, which has the potential to substantially enhance the scope and extent of employment opportunities for the residents.”

She said compulsory purchase powers would be used as a “last resort”, and there were “owners of significant parts of the proposed development that would be keen to progress the project, however there remain landed and other interests that would be necessary to acquire or reach settlement on to enable the project to progress.”

Councillor Julian Ellacott, ward member for Redhill West, welcomed the proposal, saying: “We have a very highly skilled local workforce many tens of thousands of whom have to travel elsewhere, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that businesses would relocate here that would attract existing workers living in the borough.”

Councillor for Horley East Tony Schofield said: “I think it will help massively with the ongoing regeneration of Horley.”

The council’s executive committee agreed to enter a joint venture with a number of parties to bring the project forward.


Greens oppose Airport City Gatwick plans

I am supporting residents opposed to the construction of a 172-acre business park to the east of Horley.

Although I serve on both Surrey and Reigate and Banstead Councils, the first I heard about this was when the proposal for ‘Airport City Gatwick’ came to Reigate and Banstead’s Executive last week for agreement – you can read the paper here.

There is no need for a new business park in this area. There is very low unemployment in Horley and the wider Gatwick area [1].

Pressure on housing and transport

Creating new jobs here will mean bringing people in from outside the local area. Where will they all live? It will inevitably increase pressure for housing, when we’re already being forced to consider housing on the Green Belt near Redhill and Reigate. And it will increase commuter traffic on our already congested roads.

The proposed business park would seriously damage the local environment around Horley. It would join the built-up area of Horley with Gatwick Airport, meaning urban sprawl all the way from Horley to Crawley with no green buffer. I am concerned about the impact of Gatwick expansion on the local environment, but this, Reigate and Banstead Council say, could be built even if the airport is not expanded.

The site is within the ‘Rural Surrounds of Horley’, and partially within the ‘Gatwick Open Setting’ area – Gatwick’s own green belt – it should be protected.

Who benefits?

Reigate & Banstead Council talked of ‘economic benefits’ but the big winner appears to be Surrey County Council, not local residents.

Local residents told me that 42 acres of this land belongs to Surrey County Council [2]. The land is currently valued for farming, but as real estate its value could be as much as a million pounds an acre.

So it seems the economic benefits could be to Surrey County Council, who dropped their opposition to Gatwick expansion in 2013 [3].

The pressure to build this business park, and the value of the land, could be even greater if the government approves plans for Gatwick’s second runway, which would be built on part of Manor Royal industrial estate in Crawley.

So this looks like speculation on the possible expansion of Gatwick Airport.

At present this remains just a proposal – I will support residents opposing it.

Read more:

Keep Horley Green – Facebook campaign group


  1. Local labour market statistics
  2. According to local residents, 42 acres of the affected farmland to the west of the Balcombe Road belongs to Surrey County Council and around 30 acres to housebuilders Wimpey. I don’t know who owns the land on the east of Balcombe Road.
  3. Surrey County Council voted in July 2013 to no longer oppose Gatwick or Heathrow expansion, with a motion backed by Conservative Councillors. I proposed an amendment to this, acknowledging that any new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick would have seriously detrimental effects to many Surrey residents and the environment. This was not supported by Conservative Councillors, so was not adopted. See the motion and my amendment here




Keep Horley GreenHorley, Surrey



Say NO – Keep Horley Green by rejecting plans for the 172 acre business park in Horley

Why is this important?

Creating the 172 acre business park will mean wiping out green fields, businesses and a restaurant. Bayhorne Farm is a 72 acre farm – currently a well established and large Equestrian centre, the only one left in Horley and just one of the many green areas which will be destroyed and build on! If this plan goes ahead many people will lose their businesses, livelihoods, farm land, and homes. Not to mention the impact to the environment and wildlife!

Bayhorne Farm has been farmed by 6 generations of the Whittaker Family – due to recent developments it is now the last remaining SCC farmed land left in Horley.

Not only will the development plans create a substantial flood risk to the local area which is prone to flooding – it will be catastrophic to the large arrays of local wildlife who call the farm land and Bayhorne home, some of which are protected, such as, Badgers, Deers, Geese, Owls, Hedgehogs, Adders, many species of Birds, Bats, and other animals. Many of these animals return to Bayhorne EVERY year to the same areas of the farm.
We have also been contacted by neighbouring residents who said they have confirmed crested newts. The farm has a large quantity of Bluebells which are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The farm is also home to a listed building, and the land has an historical interest too.

The people of Horley have voiced their opinion – they do not want yet more developments, they want to preserve the very reason they love Horley – the countryside and its heritage – keeping the small town rural feel rather than bulldozing all of the green open spaces we have and replacing them with yet more concrete! Utilise the existing empty commercial spaces.

Help us to #KeepHorleyGreen and help us petition against these plans!

Find us on Facebook @ Keep Horley Green.



Keep Horley Green is a lively new group opposing plans for a 172 acre business park that would destroy green fields, farmland, homes businesses.

The proposal to be decided by Reigate and Banstead Council , for the ‘Joint Venture’, to turn the land into ’employment lands’ is evasive as so much is ‘commercially sensitive’. On the last page – a map and the project is called ‘Airport City Gatwick’
Keep Horley Green campaign web pages:


Facebook group


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New group formed in Tunbridge Wells, TWAANG, against increased aircraft noise from Gatwick

The area to the west of Tunbridge Wells, and the town itself, have found themselves increasingly affected by aircraft noise from Gatwick over the past year or more. Now the local councillor for The Pantiles and St Mark’s ward has backed the formation of a new local group to oppose the noise nuisance, which many are finding intolerable. The new group is TWAANG – Tunbridge Wells Anti Aircraft Noise Group, set up due to an upsurge in complaints about plane noise and to get the voice of Tunbridge Wells heard.  This group joins the many others that have sprung up recently, including Gatwick Obviously NOT – which originated around Penshurst, the Langton Green Village Society, the Speldhurst Action Group and the High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group. The new group is keen to work in conjunction with the other groups, avoiding any nimby tendency for each area to ask for the flight misery to be put over someone else.  The increased number of flights has been especially noticed this summer, due to altered flight paths and also Gatwick having a busier summer than usual.  The group’s email is and local people are urged to get in touch and sign up, if they are concerned about plane noise.


A screen shot  from Gatwick’s Casper website, showing planes over two hours, arriving into Gatwick from the east. Many fly over, or close to, Tunbridge Wells at around 3,800 to 4,000 feet (ie. noisy)

Tunbridge Wells and Gatwick

New anti-Gatwick group to fight the ‘intolerable’ noise

21st October 2015  (Times of Tunbridge Wells)

A borough councillor has thrown his support behind the creation of a Tunbridge Wells action group to coordinate the fight against ‘intolerable’ changes in Gatwick’s flight paths.

Cllr Lawrence Heasman, who represents The Pantiles and St Mark’s ward, said TW No to Gatwick is ‘in its infancy’ but had come about in response to an ‘uprising’ of people complaining about the recent surge in aircraft noise.

And while much of the surrounding countryside has seen action groups spring up to represent the villages and small towns affected, a group for Tunbridge Wells has been noticeably absent.


He said: “I feel given the feedback I’m getting as a councillor that residents in Tunbridge Wells are fed up with the persistence of overflights.

“There are many residents’ groups that I’m sure would wish to join with TW No to Gatwick action group in order to get Tunbridge Wells’ voice heard.”

Mr Heasman said that although changes to the flight path started to have an effect last year, it took time before people really noticed the impact.

He added: “It’s only more recently that Tunbridge Wells became aware of the huge amount of flights overhead but people have realised it is now a lot more noisy.”

The fledgling group already has the backing of the Warwick Park Residents’ Association, Cllr Heasman said, with other associations showing an interest in signing up.

Mr Heasman is keen to capitalise on the review into flight paths which has been launched by Gatwick, as reported by the Times last week.

He said: “It’s a good thing a review is being held and it will be an opportunity to get our voice heard. I shall be attending a meeting with review leader Bo Redeborn next week at Gatwick.”

Mr Heasman is clear on his desire to co-operate with neighbouring action groups rather than look out for Tunbridge Wells alone and push the problem on to others.

He said: “We want the voice of this town in the mix, but it is vital we work with the other groups.”

But while the email address has now been registered by Mr Heasman, he warned the group will not get very far unless people took a proactive approach.

He explained: “We need younger residents in Tunbridge Wells who can help set this up just as Gatwick Obviously Not has managed to do.”

Jo Howell, a Wealden district councillor who represents Frant, said she ‘welcomed’ the creation of a new group for Tunbridge Wells adding: “None of us chose to live next to an airport, but recently Gatwick has had a huge impact on people, businesses and tourism in this area.

“We don’t mind taking our fair share of flights, but we do mind taking all of it.”


Sally Pavey, a committee member of Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (Cagne) also welcomed the creation of a Tunbridge Wells action group, adding that it is one of many new groups set up in recent months.

She said: “They are not alone, we are seeing the formation of many specific groups. It is a reaction of residents to the typical ‘go away’ letters from Gatwick.

“Until Gatwick accepts concentration of flight paths does not work, many more groups will pop up. We would very much like them to work with us in trying to resolve this.”


Screen shot from Casper on 29th October 2015  at 06:02:46  showing a plane from Dubai (OMDB) flying over Tunbridge Wells

Casper 29.10.2015 06.02.46 TOM 2989 ft and UAE at Tonbridge





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Heathrow staff face reduced pension rights and one third will get 30% reduction in salaries by 2018

Heathrow airport is preparing designers, architects and suppliers to build its third runway, though it has not has its runway plans approved – let alone all the stages of consultations, legal challenges, parliamentary stages and planning procedures.  But Heathrow says it will be looking at contracts in January for the workers it will need in the first couple of years to get planning consent. John Holland-Kaye keeps up the PR and the spin, capitalising on every opportunity to do so, though refusing to agree to Heathrow paying for associated transport costs, or to no night flight, or even to rule out a 4th runway. But the Financial Times said that Heathrow is “also looking to make more savings on employee costs. By the end of 2018, Heathrow aims to have about a third of its employees on salary packages that are about 30% lower than existing terms and conditions.”  Heathrow has to cut its overheads, and agreed with the CAA to remove £600m of costs during the 5 years 2014 to 2018. The FT says it has already secured £400m of cost efficiencies. Heathrow is renegotiating its defined benefit pension plan, to cut costs.  The changes include the introduction of an annual cap of 2% on future increases to pensionable pay for active members, resulting in a one-off reduction of £236m in the scheme’s liabilities.




Shock news for Heathrow staff; reduced pension rights and 30% reduction in salaries by 2018


John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow Airport, has announced that following renegotiations to its defined benefits pension scheme which will cap increases to 2%, he also seeks to inflict pay cuts of 30% on a third of the workforce by 2018.

The announcement was made this afternoon in an article with the Financial Times announcing another profitable year for the airport.



Heathrow lays groundwork for third runway as revenues rise

Mr Holland-Kaye said the renegotiation of its defined benefit pension plan, which came into effect from October 1, would further improve costs. The changes include the introduction of an annual cap of 2 per cent on future increases to pensionable pay for active members, resulting in a one-off reduction of £236m in the scheme’s liabilities.

It is also looking to make more savings on employee costs. By the end of 2018, Heathrow aims to have about a third of its employees on salary packages that are about 30 per cent lower than existing terms and conditions.


Full FT article at






Heathrow cutting 200 jobs (20% of total core staff) due to CAA restriction on landing charge rises

Heathrow Airport is planning to cut 20% of its core workforce despite turning its first profit since 2006 and said it is undergoing a “major” restructuring.  Its full-year results statement showed it made a £426m pre-tax profit last year, up from a £33m loss previously, helped by the £1.5bn sale of Stansted in February 2013. Heathrow says it is making the staff cuts due to the CAA not allowing it to increase landing charges, though  Heathrow can appeal till March 27th.  These will be reduced in real terms by 1.5% below the rate of inflation every year until 2019. Colin Matthews said the cuts are likely to affect around 200 staff but no front-line roles, such as security, will be affected. Heathrow employs 7,000 people in total but 1,000 of those roles are part of its “central” head office structure, which is where the job losses are, partly due to having sold off its other airports. In 2013 Heathrow’s revenue rose 11.3% to £2.5bn, and it had 72.3 million passengers, though that is far below earlier forecasts for 2013 traffic.  Excluding money from selling Stansted, Heathrow’s EBITDA rose 23.1% in 2013 to £1.4bn.  The number employed by Heathrow Airport Ltd in 2012 was 5,278 (compared to 5,265 in 2011 and 5,148 in 2010).





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Birmingham airport to get 8 flights per week to Doha by Qatar Airways

After the runway extension at Birmingham was finally opened in May 2014, the airport has been keen to get some long haul flights to justify it. Now from March 2016 there are to be 8 flights per week by Qatar Airways Boeing 787s between Birmingham and Qatar. There will be one flight per day, but two on Saturdays. This means there is capacity for 100,000 people per year to fly between Birmingham and Qatar. The 787s have 22 business class seats,and 232 economy seats (= 254 seats. Variants of 787 seating plans can be from 242 to 335 passengers, so this few passengers is not particularly fuel efficient). Birmingham says they are the 4th airport (with Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh) in the UK to have flights to Qatar. This is being sold as being a useful link for people from the Midlands wanting to watch the World Cup final in 2022. Birmingham airport’s CEO, Paul Kehoe is enthusiastic about “a choice of 152 destinations served by the airline, including South East Asia, China and Australasia” from Qatar, for “commercial and leisure links.”  With more Qatar flights from Edinburgh and Manchester, it will operate 71 flights per week between the UK and Qatar from March 2016. Again, reducing the alleged need for a new south east runway, for this sort of flight.



New Doha flights as Qatar Airways signs up with Birmingham Airport

BY GRAEME BROWN (Birmingham Post)

Eight flights a week will travel to Hamad International Airport, in the Qatari capital, from next March. Flights from Birmingham to Doha will be offered on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787.

New flights from Birmingham to Doha have been announced after Qatar Airways became the latest airline signed up by the city’s airport .

Eight flights a week will travel to Hamad International Airport, in the Qatari capital , from next March, with Birmingham becoming just the fourth UK airport to offer them.

The tie-up, the first time Qatar has flown from Birmingham, means Brummies will be a single flight away from the World Cup final in 2022.

The flights mean more than 100,000 people a year will be able to head from the city to Doha, which is one of the world’s strongest economies.

Birmingham Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe said Qatar becomes the tenth new airline to announce or launch from the city this year.

He added: “Not only will our passengers have the choice of flying with the award winning carrier to Doha’s state-of-the-art hub Hamad International Airport, they will have a choice of 152 destinations served by the airline, including South East Asia, China and Australasia.”

The Qatar Airways flights will begin on March 30 and will fly every day of the week and twice on Saturdays.

Currently, the UK’s only direct flights to Doha are from London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh.

While the potential for a World Cup visit will interest many, it is Birmingham’s business credentials which attracted the airline.

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said as this was home to the largest concentration of businesses outside of London, boasting 34,285 companies including over 700 international firms, it was the right place for the airline.

He said: “We are delighted to announce Birmingham as Qatar Airways’ fourth destination in the United Kingdom from March 2016. This additional route strengthens Qatar Airways’ commitment to the regions across the UK and will create new commercial and leisure links between the city of Birmingham and the 152 destinations served by the airline.”

The route will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner which has 22 seats in business class and 232 economy class seats.

It opens up onward flights to places like Pakistan, Thailand Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

Qatar Airways UK and Ireland country manager Richard Oliver said: “The addition of Birmingham to the Qatar Airways network marks an important milestone in our commitment to the UK market. Following our recent increase in services to both Edinburgh and Manchester, Qatar Airways will operate a total of 71 flights a week between the United Kingdom and Qatar from March 2016.”

Schedule between Doha and Birmingham from March 30th 2016.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

Doha (DOH) to Birmingham (BHX) departure 1.25am arrival 6.45am

Birmingham (BHX) to Doha (DOH) departure 9.15am arrival 6.05pm

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

Doha (DOH) to Birmingham (BHX) departure 7.30am arrival 12.50pm

Birmingham (BHX) to Doha (DOH) departure 3pm arrival 11.50pm




American Airlines to launch direct flights to New York from Birmingham

Birmingham Airport says it will have a daily service to JFK New York, by American Airlines, from next spring. It hopes to have nearly 100,000 seats on the route, per year. There is already a route from Birmingham to Newark, by United Airlines. The route is likely to be used by more people on leisure trips, than business, though some American tourists may come to places like Stratford and further afield. But the airport CEO Paul Kehoe said: “Last year, the West Midlands exported £4.5 billion worth of goods to North America and has the largest trade surplus with North America of any UK region… etc etc.” This is seen as the first test of the business model of the runway extension. The route will be operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft with 22 Business Class seats and 160 Main Cabin seats. Whether or not this new service actually needs the new runway extension, or could have managed on the old runway, is a moot point. 757s can use Luton’s runway (2160 metres), and Birmingham’s was 2,650 metres before the recent 400 metre extension, to now be 3,050 metres long. So justifying the extension?

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Birmingham delighted to get daily flight to India, largely for tourism and VFR

Birmingham airport’s is encouraged by a decision by Air India to increase the number of flights between Birmingham, Delhi and Amritsa from 4 per week to 7 per week. This will start from November, when its 18th Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is inducted into service. Birmingham has now had direct flights to India for one year, after having none for 5 years. Though some passengers are on business, the majority are tourists and people visiting friends and relatives in India. Having three more flights per week will mean an extra 1,500 seats a week, as the Air India Dreamliners have 256 seats (256 x 3 x 2 = 1,5360. Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive, said “The West Midlands receives more foreign direct investment from India than any other region outside of London and Birmingham’s VFR (visiting friends and family) market grew by 71% in 2013, now attracting more visitors from India than any English city other than London.” The runway extension, that opened in April, is enabling more flights to longer haul destinations. The flight path trials, due to the runway extension, are causing real concern and distress to those south of the airport, now finding themselves seriously overflown.

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Birmingham Airport wildly optimistic in anticipating 8,000 jobs from its runway extension

April 11, 2014

David Cameron has visited Birmingham airport, and effusively welcoming the announcement that 8,000 new jobs would be created, principally as a result of the long-awaited runway extension, with anticipated direct links to destinations like the West Coast of America and China. Shamelessly linking the airport jobs announcement with totally unrelated Government tax-cutting measures, the PM boomed: “The announcement of 8,000 jobs from Birmingham Airport is more great news in a week when we are cutting tax for 26 million hard-working people and taking over three million people out of income tax altogether.” Paul Kehoe used the PM’s visit for his PR purposes. Kehoe says by 2020 he forecasts Birmingham airport will have 15 million passengers a year, up from 9 million now. He claims this will create 4,000 jobs on-site and a further 4,000 in the immediate supply chain (doubtful figures, generally involving much double counting and optimism). “Politicians and business leaders are very good at talking the talk, but not always so assiduous at walking the walk.”

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Public meeting in Crowborough hears from Bo Redeborn about his review of Gatwick flight paths

The MP for Wealden, Nus Ghani, organised a meeting on 23rd October for people in the Crowborough area who are being disturbed by flights over them, arriving at Gatwick. In August, in response to the high degree of opposition to changes to fight paths, Gatwick set up an “independent review” of air traffic, which will focus on Westerly Arrivals. This is being led by Bo Redeborn, who is being “assisted by a small independent review team which has been tasked with ensuring the involvement of local communities most affected.”  The review is to look at  whether everything that can reasonably be done to alleviate the problems which local communities are raising is in fact being done, (by Gatwick,  NATS, CAA, DfT or the airlines); and the approaches which Gatwick has adopted for providing information to the local community and for handling complaints are fully adequate for the task.  Bo Redeborn was present at the Crowborough meeting, and also Graham Lake, the Technical Adviser to the review team. They answered questions from concerned residents, who are not persuaded that Gatwick has either done enough or responded appropriately to concerns.  To submit your views about Gatwick Airport to Nus Ghani MP download a copy of the consultation form: Gatwick Feedback Form. 

Terms of Reference for the Review can be found at the following link.



A couple of hundred people at Gatwick meeting in Crowborough

26.10.2015 (Crowborough Life)

Nus Ghani Wealden MP has thanked the residents who attended a public meeting at which constituents were able to question the leaders of the independent review of air traffic around Gatwick Airport.

The Gatwick meeting was held In response to complaints about noise by some local residents.  Gatwick has commissioned an independent review of the flight paths taken by arrivals.

The review is being led by Bo Redeborn who was previously Principal Director of Air Traffic Management at EUROCONTROL, the pan-European air traffic management organisation.

After the former MP Sir John Major stepped into the row earlier this year, Sir Roy McNulty Chairman of Gatwick said they were willing to look again at the policy which resulted in complaints from householders living under the flight path.

Mr Redeborn is being assisted by a small independent review team which has been tasked with ensuring the involvement of the local communities most affected. The stated aims of the review are to consider whether:

Everything that can reasonably be done to alleviate the problems which local communities are raising is in fact being done, whether this involves action by the airport or by other parties most closely involved – NATS, CAA, DfT or the airlines;


The approaches which Gatwick has adopted for providing information to the local community and for handling complaints are fully adequate for the task.

At the meeting at All Saints Church in Crowborough on Friday evening (23rd October), Nus was joined by Mr Redeborn and Graham Lake, Technical Adviser to the review team. They had both kindly agreed to meet with her constituents and hear their concerns.

Nus said:

A huge number of my constituents feel very strongly that Gatwick Airport has not been doing enough to respond to their concerns about noise pollution. They are also clear that changes can be made to alleviate the disturbance they face, while making sure that Gatwick remains a vital economic resource for East Sussex.

That’s why I asked Bo and Graham to join me for this public meeting, which I’m very grateful to them for doing. Hundreds of consultation forms were filled in, which I hope will inform the conclusions of this independent review so that we can reach a mutually beneficial solution for all concerned.

Those who were unable to make the meeting shouldn’t feel that their voices are going unheard. I’ve posted the consultation form on my website, so anyone who wants to have their say should send it to me by Friday 30 October and I will pass their feedback on to the review team.

To submit your views about Gatwick Airport to Nus Ghani MP download a copy of the consultation form: Gatwick Feedback Form

Nus Ghani’s email address is:



Gatwick airport page on the Review

Terms of reference



Gatwick noise campaigners “optimistic” about flight paths review by Bo Redeborn

After weeks of negotiations, campaigners have reached an agreement with Gatwick over the terms of its review into controversial flight paths. Since last year there has been disturbance, upset and anger for miles around Gatwick, from increased aircraft noise, narrowed and altered flight paths. In  August Gatwick’s Chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, commissioned an “independent review” of air traffic, which will focus on Westerly Arrivals. It is led by Bo Redeborn, who for many years was Principal Director of ATM for EUROCONTROL. Local group Gatwick Obviously Not had threatened to ‘step up its campaign further’ if ‘substantial concerns’ about the terms initially proposed by the airport were not addressed. These included doubts about the transparency and impartiality of the process, its failure to consider both easterly and westerly arrivals and, crucially, the absence of ‘a fair and equitable dispersal’ policy. Now meetings have left campaigners optimistic that the process could be helpful. The review’s terms of reference have been altered, to include an assurance that “the review team will give particular attention to assessing the feasibility and implications of adopting a policy of fair and equitable dispersal’ which a number of campaign groups have expressed as a priority.”


Gatwick announces “independent review” of Westerly Arrivals due to the extent of opposition to changed flight paths

Due to the level of disturbance, upset and anger for miles around Gatwick, from increased aircraft noise, narrowed and altered flight paths, Gatwick’s Chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, has commissioned an “independent review” of air traffic, which will focus on Westerly Arrivals (ie. planes arriving from the east, to the airport, when there are westerly winds).  The review will be led by Bo Redeborn, who for many years was Principal Director of ATM for EUROCONTROL. Gatwick airport says Mr Redeborn “will be assisted by a small independent review team which has been tasked with ensuring the involvement of local communities most affected.”  The review is to look at whether, for westerly arrivals: “Everything that can reasonably be done to alleviate the problems which local communities are raising is in fact being done, whether this involves action by the airport or by other parties most closely involved – NATS, CAA, DfT or the airlines.”  And if Gatwick’s approach to providing “information to the local community and for handling complaints are fully adequate for the task.”  Thousands of people do not believe Gatwick is succeeding on either. The review is to begin on 1st September 2015. It may end in November, but may be extended if more consultation is needed. There will be a review of Easterly Arrivals later on.


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