Residents and their MP in west Kent want Kent County Council to formally state their objection to a 2nd Gatwick runway

In 2012 Kent County Council produced a document called “Bold Steps for Aviation” in which it recommended to government the building of a 2nd runway at Gatwick airport (as well as high speed rail between Heathrow and Gatwick). It stated: “Capacity growth at Gatwick through the addition of a second runway after 2019. ” This has infuriated many people in west Kent who are increasingly badly affected by Gatwick, and its aircraft noise in particular. Now KCC’s councillor Matthew Balfour has said publicly that the support of KCC for a Gatwick 2nd runway is “history.” Sir John Stanley, Tonbridge and Malling MP, has sent a letter to Kent Council leader Paul Carter asking him to formally rescind the authority’s support of the 2nd runway. He has not received a reply. At a public meeting in Southborough, people were directed to the current document on the KCC website (Facing the Aviation Challenge - August 2014) that now states it currently has no preferred option.  “KCC gives support in principle to expansion at either airport as the right solution to the UK’s aviation needs” by 2030. Sir John Stanley MP does not feel that this new document is enough.
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KCC councillor Matthew Balfour claims statement supporting 2nd runway at Gatwick is ‘history’ at Southborough Town Council meeting

25 September 2014
by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas (Kent online)

Kent County Council’s support for a second runway at Gatwick airport is ‘history’, according to a councillor.

Matthew Balfour, deputy cabinet member for transport and environment for KCC, attended a Southborough Town Council meeting.

He was grilled by residents and campaign groups from across Tunbridge Wells about the council’s current position on the airport.

Residents of west Kent raised questions over KCC’s view on a second runway at Gatwick

Joint leader of campaign group Gatwickobviouslynot.org, Martin Barraud, questioned Mr Balfour about KCC’s views.

He believes documents relating to the issue available on KCC’s website are misleading and confusing for the public.

During the meeting he made several references to a statement online that currently reads: ‘Kent County Council recommends that a second runway at Gatwick is delivered soon after the 2019 planning agreement ends.’ [Verbatim text from Bold Steps on Aviation is “Capacity growth at Gatwick through the addition of a second runway after 2019. “]

When asked if this still stands, Mr Balfour said: “No, that is history.”

Sir John Stanley, Tonbridge and Malling MP, previously sent a letter to council leader Paul Carter asking him to formally rescind the authority’s support of the second runway but has not received a reply.

Those involved in the meeting were directed to a document on the KCC website that now states it currently has no preferred option.  [This is dated August 2014 and entitled “Facing the Aviation Challenge. Discussion Document. Kent County Council.  ]

Mr Balfour added: “After the consultation next year KCC will discuss with the Airport Commission and come to a decision then. But at this moment in time the council neither welcomes nor rejects a second runway at Gatwick.”

He urged those at the meeting to read the document titled, ‘Facing the Aviation Challenge’.

It states that Heathrow and Gatwick airports have put forward credible solutions to the problem of airport capactiy constraints.

“An additional runway at either airport are the options shortlisited by the Airports Commission in its interim report in December 2013,” the document adds.

“KCC gives support in principle to expansion at either airport as the right solution to the UK’s aviation needs.”

Sir John does not feel that this new document is enough and is urging Mr Carter to formally state that KCC objects to the proposals.

He said: “When KCC released the original document supporting the second runway at Gatwick it was damaging and very devastating for the residents of west Kent.

“It is all very well saying that it is history and putting another document in the air claiming they currently don’t have a stand on the proposal, but it doesn’t mean anything until they formally rescind that statement of support made to the Airport Commission.

“Mr Carter must write a formal statement rescinding the awfully damaging recommendation and cover it with a new one for expanding Heathrow. Until then, comments such as ‘that is history’ are meaningless” – Sir John Stanley…

“This new revised comment is buried in an extremely detailed document that 99% of people will not be able to find let alone have the time to trawl through. As well as that, their original statement can still be found on the website – so how are the public meant to know what’s right?

“I am urging KCC to formally abandon its support for the second runway at Gatwick and cover that with a new recommendation for another runway at Heathrow where there is the capacity to build one.

“It has a responsibility to the people of west Kent and needs to take action to protect them.

“Mr Carter must write a formal statement rescinding the awfully damaging recommendation. Until then, comments such as ‘that is history’ are meaningless.”

Southborough Town Council will discuss its stand on the proposals at a meeting tonight.

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tunbridge-wells/news/kcc-support-gatwick-runway-history-24004/

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“No, that is history”

Mathew Balfour, Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Kent County Council, in reference to Kent’s stated support for the 2nd runway, at a recent Council meeting.

However Sir John Stanley, who has been heavily critical of KCC’s previous stance on this, said this does not go far enough and Paul Carter, Leader, KCC, must “formally abandon its support for the second runway at Gatwick” and that “it doesn’t mean anything until they formally rescind that statement of support made to the Airport Commission”.

Please write to Cllr Carter and ask him to confirm Cllr Balfour’s statement that it is indeed history, once – and for all.

paul.carter@kent.gov.uk

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Edenbridge councillors blast Gatwick second runway proposal

By Edenbridge Courier

May 25, 2012

EDENBRIDGE councillors have accused the Kent County Council leader of ignoring town residents’ concerns by calling for a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

Town councillors this week sent a stinging rebuke to Paul Carter, criticising his authority’s plan as “ill-considered”.

Edenbridge, Hever and Marsh Green are already subjected to the daily misery of low-flying jets approaching Gatwick, and councillors believe the proposals in KCC’s discussion document, released earlier this month, would worsen the situation in the coming years.

Councillor Jill Davison told the Courier: “Coming out with a very definite proposal for an extra runway at Gatwick was guaranteed to produce a poor reaction from Edenbridge residents, particularly at the southern end, which is under the flightpath.”

The KCC document, Bold Steps For Aviation, calls for a second Gatwick runway to be built after 2019 and for more passengers to be ferried from Heathrow on a new high-speed rail link. It also proposes greater use of regional airports such as Manston and Lydd in preference to the creation of an artificial island in the Thames Estuary.

Edenbridge Town Council’s response was agreed at a meeting on Monday evening, when Councillor John Scholey light-heartedly suggested KCC was only interested in keeping aircraft noise away from its own headquarters.

“Fundamentally, they are getting the problem away from Maidstone and Medway,” he said.

The councillors’ letter to Mr Carter expressed how “surprised and troubled” members were by the document, which they claimed “flies in the face of recent Government planning initiatives”.

One particularly hard-hitting section read: “KCC appears to be solely driven by commercial imperatives to the exclusion of any other factors.

“Your paper completely divorces itself from the disruptive impact that the wholesale expansion of numerous airports, including additional runways and new high-speed rail links, will have across the face of Kent.

“We believe this approach is unsupportable.”

Marsh Green resident Peter Breen, who is a member of the campaign group Gatwick Can Be Quieter, said the response was “on the money”, and added: “The KCC document is a complete nonsense.”

Despite clearly stating it “commends” its proposals to the Government, Mr Carter told the Courier that the paper should only be viewed as a discussion document at this stage.

“Their reaction is understandable,” he said. “Airports are never popular, wherever you locate them in this country.

“Everyone is perfectly entitled to have their input on what they think about it.

“They can do what they want in voicing their opinions on what is a potential solution to making sure we retain our international aviation capacity and retain London’s position as the centre of the globe.”

http://www.courier.co.uk/Edenbridge-councillors-blast-Gatwick-second/story-16184194-detail/story.html

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 2012 document

KCC document, Bold Steps For Aviation,  2012

The document recommended to government, among other things:

“Capacity growth at Gatwick through the addition of a second runway after 2019. “

And it states, on Page 15:

“The potential for Gatwick and Heathrow to complement each other as connected airports
can only be realised if a second runway is provided at Gatwick when the present
moratorium on planning expires in 2019. Capacity growth at Gatwick represents a more
acceptable long-term solution than expansion at Heathrow, due to the significantly lower
number of people that would be overflown by arriving and departing aircraft, the relatively
good rail and road access enjoyed by Gatwick, and the huge economic benefits that this
solution would bring to deprived communities in Kent, Sussex and South London.”

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2014 document

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KCC document Facing the Aviation Challenge, dated August 2014.  [This was written before the Airports Commission ruled out an estuary airport, from its further deliberations].

 

Facing the Aviation Challenge states:

Continuous over flight of arriving aircraft into Gatwick causes significant detrimental impact
for residents of West Kent and impacts on the tranquillity of the countryside, including
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); where the CAA discourages over flight, if17
practical, below 7,000ft20. KCC urges that aircraft avoid flying over the major tourist
attractions that are of significant national heritage value in West Kent.

Night flights at Gatwick are also very frequent due to a lower quota set by the DfT compared
to Heathrow, and sleep disturbance has detrimental effects on the health of people living
under flight paths. KCC has made the case to Government for a reduction in night flights at
Gatwick so that the number of permitted night movements is more comparable with the
quota set by the DfT for Heathrow. KCC is against night flights that disturb residents;
however, KCC recognises the economic arguments for allowing limited night flights in the
shoulder periods, particularly long haul flights from emerging economies, which bring
economic benefits to the UK. KCC’s views on noise have been submitted to the Airports
Commission in response to the discussion paper on aviation noise (September 2013)21.

and:

Executive summary
In Facing the Aviation Challenge Kent County Council sets out its recognition of the growth
in aviation and its position on how the UK can meet this need through expansion of existing
airports – Heathrow or Gatwick (as shortlisted by the Airports Commission in its interim
report in December 2013) and better utilisation of regional airports including London
Ashford Airport (Lydd) and London Southend Airport, combined with improved surface
access by rail. This is a far more affordable and deliverable solution than building a new hub
airport in the Thames Estuary; and this document sets out the reasons for Kent County
Council’s robust opposition to the proposals for an airport on the Isle of Grain, which the
Airports Commission is investigating further in 2014.

Expanding existing airports will allow the UK to compete with other European hub airports,
although the UK’s current competitive disadvantage with high rates of Air Passenger Duty
(APD) also needs to be addressed.

However, aviation growth needs to be balanced against the adverse impacts, such as noise.
Therefore measures need to be put in place to minimise noise impacts and protect people
living near airports.

Kent County Council recommends to Government:

• The need for correction of the UK’s competitive disadvantage in terms of APD.
• The creation of a National Policy Statement (NPS) for airports that supports the growth
of existing airports with one net additional runway added in the South East by 2030.
• The NPS should not, however, support the development of new airports.
• The NPS should support a phased approach to adding runway capacity to keep pace with
demand, therefore allowing existing airports to add additional runway capacity when
the need arises, most likely a second net additional runway in the South East by 2050.
• The need for better utilisation of regional airports, especially in the short and medium
terms, as this will provide much needed capacity across the South East and bring
significant economic benefits to regional economies.
• Investment is needed to improve surface access to airports; especially rail access and the
development of an integrated air-rail transport system that will be beneficial to London
and the South East’s connectivity to global markets.
• An independent noise authority should be set up (as recommended by the Airports
Commission) and measures taken to properly measure, minimise and mitigate the noise
impacts of existing airport operations and airport expansion.
• Proposals for a new hub airport must not be progressed any further. Action is needed
now and this can only be achieved by building on the UK’s existing airport infrastructure.
In the interests of the national economy, action on these issues is needed now.

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GACC assesses Gatwick’s economic claims, and find them to be flimsy, at best

In May 2014 Gatwick submitted to the Airports Commission their case for building a new runway, but this document has not been published. In July Gatwick published a document “Connecting Britain to the Future. Faster” which was said to be a summary of their case.  On examination, however, it appears to be a collection of assertions chosen for their publicity value but with virtually no supporting evidence. That is particularly true for the claims that a new runway would create substantial economic benefits. GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has assessed the claims made. Many are shaky, at best. On the issue of the alleged benefit to the wider UK economy of £28 billion, from more trade, inward investment and inbound tourism, GACC points out that it is illogical to count the benefits of inbound tourism but not the cost of outbound.  Official forecasts show that Gatwick in 2050 will handle around three outbound tourists for every one inbound. The main effect of building a new runway would be a net increase in tourist expenditure abroad, thus having a negative effect, not a positive benefit, for the UK economy.  GACC: “If Gatwick Airport Ltd were using this document as a basis for a contract they could be sued for misrepresentation.”
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GACC says:

“If Gatwick Airport Ltd were using this document as a basis for a contract they could be sued for misrepresentation.”

“If Gatwick were using their claims to sell shares, they could be sued for issuing a ‘fraudulent prospectus’. ” Read study.


 

Would a new Gatwick runway bring substantial economic benefits?

An examination of claims made by Gatwick Airport Ltd

September 2014  by GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

In May 2014 Gatwick Airport Ltd (GAL) submitted to the Airports Commission their case for building a new runway.  This was a 3,200 word document but it has not been published.  Heathrow Airport has criticised Gatwick for not being prepared to reveal details of their proposal.

Instead in July GAL published a document Connecting Britain to the Future. Faster [1] which was said to be a summary of their case.  On examination, however, it appears to be a collection of assertions chosen for their publicity value but with virtually no supporting evidence. That is particularly true for the claims that a new runway would create substantial economic benefits.

The purpose of this paper is to examine these claims.

Statement 1

The cost to the wider economy of failing to address the demand for growth could amount to £30-45 billion over 60 years.[2]

This statement is lifted directly from the Interim Report of the Airports Commission [3] but needs qualification:

  • It applies equally to a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick;
  • It is a cumulative figure over 60 years;
  • The Commission indicate that the cost would be higher after 2050 when the London airports become full.   In the next 30 years the figure might average around £200 million a year – about 10p per head per week for the adult population;
  • It ignores the tax subsidy to aviation (see statement 5 below). Some years ago it was proved, using the Department for Transport computer model, that if air travel paid the same rate of tax as car travel there would be no need for any new runway, and no economic benefit in building one. [4]

 

Statement 2

Gatwick expansion will deliver around £90 billion of economic benefits to the UK, much higher than expansion at Heathrow …. .[5]

This figure, which has frequently been quoted in Gatwick’s runway publicity campaign, is suspect as it is far higher than the estimate made by the Airports Commission mentioned above.  It is subject to all the same qualifications.

Some explanation of how the £90 billion is calculated is given in statements 3 – 6.

 

Statement 3

Expansion of Gatwick will enable an additional 45 million passengers every year to travel, on business, holiday or visit friends or relatives.  Oxera estimates the monetary value placed by these individuals on their ability to travel to be £51 billion. This figure also captures the increase in airline competition and a corresponding reduction in airfares.[6]

No details are given of the calculations by the consultants Oxera [7] but the following comments can be made:

  • The extra 45 million passengers would not occur until Gatwick reaches full capacity of two runways, a good many years into the future;
  • In normal economics the value placed by individuals on the ability to travel is measured by the price they pay, and is thus already included in the figure given by the Airports Commission: to include them again is double counting;
  • The assumption that a new runway at Gatwick would increase competition and reduce fares is not valid: most competition is between airlines, not between airports.  Moreover it ignores that fact that there will be ample competition from Stansted and Luton, so a new runway at Gatwick would make little difference;
  • The need to pay the cost of building a new runway would mean an increase in Gatwick air fares, not a reduction (see comments on statement 6 below).

 

Statement 4

Benefits to the wider UK economy = + £28 billionThese benefits are generated by increased levels of trade, inward investment and inbound tourism created by extra air travel to and from the UK.[8]

As has often been pointed out, it is illogical to count the benefits of inbound tourism but not the cost of outbound.  Official forecasts show that Gatwick in 2050 will handle around three outbound tourists for every one inbound.[9]  The main effect of building a new runway would be a net increase in tourist expenditure abroad, thus having a negative, not a positive, benefit for the UK economy.

 

Statement 5

Public accounts revenues to the Exchequer = + £15 billionMore air travellers will generate additional tax revenues for the Government, in the form of Air Passenger Duty, VAT and fuel duties.[10]

It is difficult to see how this statement can be justified.  Airlines pay no fuel duty and no VAT.  Based on Treasury figures it has been estimated that this results in a £12 billion a year loss of revenue.  Air Passenger Duty brings in £3 billion a year.  The result is a net loss to the Exchequer, a tax subsidy to aviation, of £9 billion a year.

 

Any increase in the number of passengers would tend to increase the size of this tax loss, or tax subsidy, proportionally.

 

 

Statement 6

Expansion at Gatwick will give a much greater stimulus to competition and can be expected to reduce air fares across the entire system to the benefit of all passengers.  Airfares will be up to £30 billion lower over 60 years with a second runway at Gatwick.[11]

As noted in the comments on statement 3, the assumption about a greater stimulus to competition is flawed.

 

GAL’s claims about lower air fares all relate to the long term.  They are calculated on an assumption that the cost of a new runway can be spread among the eventual 95 million passengers per year.  But in the early years after a new runway was built, the extra traffic would be small, especially as Gatwick would face intense competition from Stansted (which would have no extra runway cost).  It has been shown that in these circumstances the cost of a new runway would result in an increase in air fares of around £50 per return flight.[12]

 

Conclusion

 

GAL seem to be assuming that most members of the public find it difficult to envisage the difference between a million pounds and a billion pounds.  But that is no excuse to make inaccurate statements.  It is clear that the claims for economic benefits contained in Connecting Britain to the Future are seriously exaggerated.

If Gatwick Airport Ltd were using this document as a basis for a contract they could be sued for misrepresentation.

If Gatwick were seeking to sell shares on the basis of this document they could be sued for issuing a fraudulent prospectus.

GACC

September 2014

 

[1] http://gatwickairport.com/PublicationFiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/2014/Connecting_Britain_to_the_Future._Faster.pdf

[2]  Connecting Britain to the Future page 10.  http://gatwickairport.com/PublicationFiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/2014/Connecting_Britain_to_the_Future._Faster.pdf

[3]  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271231/airports-commission-interim-report.pdf   page 10

[4]  http://www.aef.org.uk/downloads/HiddenCost.pdf

[5] Ibid.  Page 8

[6]  Connecting Britain to the Future, page 22.

[7]  Oxera are a firm of consultants often used by the aviation industry because they can be relied upon to produce the required conclusions.

[8]  Connecting Britain to the Future, page 22.

[9]  Department for Transport Aviation Forecasts 2011, Table G7.  Gatwick with one runway: with two runways the proportions would be unlikely to be very different.  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/4503/uk-aviation-forecasts.pdf

[10]  Ibid, page 22

[11]  Ibid, page 22

[12] http://www.aef.org.uk/2014/03/10/new-report-highlights-a-new-runway-at-heathrow-or-gatwick-would-mean-big-increases-in-passenger-fees/

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Read study. 

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www.gacc.org.uk

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Councillors are told Durham Tees Valley Airport must focus on its Amsterdam routes if it is to survive

The strategic planning director of Peel group, which own the airport, says that its existing routes to Amsterdam and Aberdeen must be prioritised ahead of new London or international routes. The Peel Group gave an overview to local Darlington Borough councillors, of the airport’s masterplan to develop businesses and houses at the airport site. Peel says any future London routes were dependent on increased capacity being granted at Heathrow or Gatwick airports something that could take more than 15 years to get through government. Peel say the airport should secure its routes to Schiphol and Aberdeen, while keeping an eye on the London opportunities, as and when they arise. Durham Tees Valley lost its route to Heathrow in 2009. That was not because it was not making money, but Heathrow could make a lot more money by using the slot for a long haul route. A councillor commented: “To keep the airport going we need to accept that expanding leisure flights is not viable. You can’t get enough of those flights to keep the airport paying its way.”  Peel want to “look at the site as a whole by growing the airport, the employment park and also the community aspect with the housing.”
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Durham Tees Valley Airport must focus on its Amsterdam routes if it is to survive, councillors are told

26 September 2014

by Vicki Henderson  (Northern Echo)

THE man behind the plan to secure the future of Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has told councillors that its existing routes to Amsterdam and Aberdeen must be prioritised ahead of new London or international routes.

Peter Nears, strategic planning director at owners Peel Group, gave an overview of the masterplan to develop businesses and houses at the airport site to Darlington Borough Council members today (Thursday).

Mr Nears said any future London routes were dependent on increased capacity being granted at Heathrow or Gatwick airports, something that could take more than 15 years to get through government.

Although he said the Tees Valley, its MPs and local authorities should lobby for DTVA to be given routes at any expanded South East airport, he cautioned against focussing on London.

Instead, he said, the airport should secure its routes to Schiphol and Aberdeen, while keeping an eye on the London opportunities.

He said: “When we lost the route down to Heathrow in 2009 it wasn’t because it wasn’t making money. It was just that a long haul route out of the same slot can make tens of millions.

“We are fighting to get access to Heathrow, but we also need to jealously guard our Amsterdam link. We can’t endanger that, it is incredibly important to us.”

Councillor Paul Harman said: “To keep the airport going we need to accept that expanding leisure flights is not viable. You can’t get enough of those flights to keep the airport paying its way.

“Whenever I’ve flown from DTVA in recent times the flights are full and prices are high, which suggests there’s no need to discount – it seems to me that the mass market is not necessarily the priority at the moment.”

Speaking about the plans to develop houses and businesses on the airport site, Mr Nears said that DTVA was not unique in its need to diversify, citing Newquay and Manchester Airports as examples.

He added: “The masterplan is about safeguarding the airport and making its core for business use, making use of the landholdings we have, some of which has lain idle for years.

“We have got to create sustainable revenue by bringing in outside investment. Getting people employed on the site is an important aspect of it.

“We need to look at the site as a whole by growing the airport, the employment park and also the community aspect with the housing.”

Asked about the housing proposals, Mr Nears confirmed that the capital from development was vital to underpin the employment park element of the masterplan and that about 320 houses were likely to be built.

Darlington councillors will work to develop a series of recommendations for Peel Holdings to take into account in future, as Stockton Borough Council has already done.

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11497931.Durham_Tees_Valley_Airport_must_focus_on_its_Amsterdam_routes_if_it_is_to_survive__councillors_are_told/?ref=rss

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Some recent news stories about Durham Tees Valley Airport:

 

Airport objects to being included in a neighbourhood plan that could stop its housing development plans

The Northern Echo: FUTURE PLANS: Bosses at Durham Tees Valley Airport have disagreed with parish council plans to influence their development

BOSSES at Durham Tees Valley Airport have flexed their muscles at a parish council and demanded the facility be removed from a local planning document that could affect its proposals to build 400 homes in its grounds. Airport director Peter Nears said it is “wholly unnecessary” to include the site in Middleton St George’s proposed neighbourhood plan and argued the parish council did not have the knowledge or resources to comment on airport planning. Middleton St George Parish Council has spent months working on a neighbourhood plan, a legal document setting out what the village is willing to allow in terms of future housing or business developments up to 2025. The parish council was spurred into action by a number of planning applications that would add several hundred properties to the village, which locals say is already overstretched, and had planned to include the airport – which lies partly within the parish – in the document. Residents fear the airport’s economic masterplan, which includes proposals to build 400 homes in its grounds, close to Middleton St George, will put extra strain on village services.

link to article …..


Facebook campaign launched by local frequent flyer to ‘save’ Durham Tees Valley Airport

March 3, 2014

A frequent flyer who uses Durham Tees Valley airport has launched a Facebook campaign to ‘save’ the Airport. She is concerned about the airport’s “master plan.” This aims to secure the airport’s long term future by the development of 400 homes on land to the west and north of the terminal which officials say would generate millions of pounds of investment to put back into the airport. The frequent flyer says she gets “so frustrated that we cannot use Teesside Airport.” The Facebook page has over 2,000 “likes” with many people irritated by the behaviour of t he owners, Peel Holdings. One typical post says: “COME ON people of the North East…..we have a mountain to climb ……we MUST get our message across to politicians and councils (supposedly who have our interests at heart) that we are not prepared to sit back and watch this “BEAST” of a company take our airport away !!!” The airport had 159,300 passengers in 2013 compared with over 900,000 in 2005 and 2006.

Click here to view full story…

 


 

Durham Tees Valley Airport should go for Government cash a third time, claims Sedgefield MP

1 Nov 2013

Durham Tees Valley Airport bosses should try to secure Government regeneration cash a third time, Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson has claimed. MP for Sedgefield Phil Wilson says the Government needs to play its part in keeping Durham Tees Valley Airport going, despite 2 failed bids by its owners for Regional Growth Fund (RGF) cash to pay for road infrastructure. Meanwhile, Balkan Holidays has said it was naturally “disappointed” by the airport’s decision to drop its August 2014 Bulgaria flight. The MP said: “The Government needs to play its part. I would encourage the airport to put in another bid for RGF cash but I can understand any reticence in not doing so. “Peel can’t carry on losing millions a year. They’re doing their best, but the Government has turned them down

twice.” http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/business/business-news/durham-tees-valley-airport-should-6262956


Durham Tees Valley Airport scraps mainstream holiday flights – now just links to Schiphol, Aberdeen and Jersey

October 30, 2013

Durham Tees Valley Airport has decided, after a review of its business, to axe its holiday flights in order to concentrate on business travel. The struggling airport will continue passenger flights to Amsterdam, Aberdeen and Jersey only – but all holiday charters will end next summer. Scheduled daily passenger flights to Schiphol (Amsterdam) – operated by KLM – and Eastern Airways’ flights to Aberdeen will continue as normal, and Flybe link to Jersey. But the airport will be “streamlining operations and moving away from all mainstream holiday charter programmes”. Tour operators affected by the move are Thomson/First Choice and Balkan Holidays. Thomson Holidays has cancelled its two flight destinations for 2014 from Durham Tees Valley. The terminal will undergo changes, making the operational area smaller . Investment in the new layout will make it more suited to customers on scheduled flights with “new retail offerings and business services”. They are trying to keep some aviation use for the airport and will have their masterplan for public consultation from mid-November.

  Click here to view full story…

 


 

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Heathrow flight path trial over Teddington & Twickenham “could be shortened” due to volume of complaints

The Heathrow flight path trial affecting Teddington and Twickenham could be shortened – from its due end on 26th January 2015 – due to pressure from thousands of residents. Heathrow has temporarily changed easterly departure routes as part of the Government’s future airspace strategy, but the move has prompted an average of 350 complaints per day affected by the noise increase. An online petition, run by TeddingtonTown.co.uk, has received thousands of signatures from people furious with the increased noise from planes and those calling for an end to the trials. Twickenham MP Vince Cable has stepped in and demanded an urgent meeting with senior management at the airport. He said:  “There has always been a problem with easterly take offs over local residences, especially late at night, but the latest trials have had especially serious impacts in Teddington.” Mr Cable knows well that the increased noise is a sign of what could happen on a permanent basis if there is a 3rd runway.  There is due to be a public consultation about defining permanent routes in 2016 and the final decision is taken by government.
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Heathrow flight path trial over Teddington and Twickenham “could be shortened” due to complaints

Noisy: Residents are unhappy with the noise created by the new flight paths

26 September 2014
by George Odling, (Richmond & Twickenham Times)
A trial testing flight paths over Teddington and Twickenham could be shortened due to pressure from thousands of residents.

Heathrow has temporarily changed easterly departure routes as part of the Government’s future airspace strategy, but the move has prompted an average of 350 complaints per day affected by the noise increase. [Heathrow complains lines are swamped]

An online petition, run by TeddingtonTown.co.uk, has received thousands of signatures from people furious with the increased noise from planes and those calling for an end to the trials.

Twickenham MP Vince Cable has stepped in and demanded an urgent meeting with senior management at the airport.

Dr Cable said: “There has always been a problem with easterly take offs over local residences, especially late at night, but the latest trials have had especially serious impacts in Teddington.

The Business Secretary said he was promised a meeting for residents to discuss the issue, and believes the increased noise is a sign of what could happen on a permanent basis if the airport expands.

He said: “While there is, rightly, a focus on the third runway issue, we are being reminded that unfavourable take off patterns and times can have a comparable, or bigger, impact in the short run.”

The trials are intended to continue until January 26, 2015, before a public consultation about defining permanent routes in 2016, but the backlash could see the trial ending sooner.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “While enough time is needed in the trials to gather relevant data, Heathrow is working with the National Air Traffic Services and Civil Aviation Authority to explore if the trial period can be shortened.

“Ultimately it will be for the Government to decide what changes will be made to UK airspace and a thorough public consultation in 2016 will take place before permanent flight paths are decided.”

http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/11497333.Heathrow_flight_path_trial__could_be_shortened__due_to_complaints/

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See earlier:

Teddington petition to Heathrow to stop the easterly departures trial and not allow it to become permanent

Finding themselves now affected by a newly concentrated flight path for Heathrow easterly departures, people in Teddington are now up in arms about the intensified noise. The trial started on 28th July and is due to last till 15th January 2015. They have set up a petition, to Heathrow, to ask that the current noise level does not continue. The flight path trials are part of the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) with the aim of getting ever more planes using Heathrow, more efficiently. People in Teddington are angry that Heathrow have stated that: “Before the trials started in December last year we briefed local authorities; residents groups; campaign groups and MPs around Heathrow” yet Heathrow will not provide any details on who was contacted and when. In reality most people were not informed or warned. They would have liked to have been informed (so much for airports stating how much better they are getting at communication with communities ….). The affected residents are calling on Heathrow to halt these trials as soon as possible due to the negative impact on the quality of life they are causing for many people. They also call on Heathrow to recommend that the flight path changes are not made permanent.

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

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

26.9.2014  (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A spectacular understatement!

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www.gacc.org.uk


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See also

 

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

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

Click here to view full story...

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

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

25 September 2014

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

The plan says the airport will:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To read the revised Noise Action Plan click here.

For more information contact:

Gatwick Airport press office

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

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


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

It is dated November 2013

It states, in a footnote at the end:

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

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

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

Gatwick Noise Action Plan changes Nov 2013 amended Aug 2014

 


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

Earlier:

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

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

Click here to view full story…

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Gatwick flight path changes revealed as 12 week airspace consultation launched

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

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Manston Airport site sold to developers for manufacturing and homes

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

23.9.2014 (BBC)

Manston Airport closed in May with the loss of 150 jobs

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

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

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

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

Redevelop ‘whole site’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Fantastic track record’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Who are the new Manston airport owners?

23.9.2014 (Isle of Thanet Gazette)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Manston sale: Ann Gloag finally speaks out

23.9.2014 (Kent News)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BxuZLxyCQAA5vdG

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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See also

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

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

Click here to view full story…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Queens residents rally against airplane noise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 Local community group, QUEENS QUIET SKIES

 https://www.queensquietskies.org/

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

MISSION STATEMENT

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

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

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

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SPECIFIC GOALS

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

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

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

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

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

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Earlier:

Cuomo orders plane noise studies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Queens Quiet Skies member meets with FAA

A plane flies over a highway in Queens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Formal complaint against Heathrow Airport

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

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

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

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

The advertisement should therefore be immediately banned and withdrawn.

Submitted to Advertising Standards Authority, 21st September 2014


 

Petition

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


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To make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, see

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

The ASA states:

Make a complaint

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

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

Tel: 020 7492 2222

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

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

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

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

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Another complaint about the Heathrow advertisement said:

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

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

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

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

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

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On the economic claims by Heathrow:

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

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

Click here to view full story…

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