An illegal Bristol Airport car park has appeared after green fields were gravelled over during one night. Neighbours living close to the airport say just months after two unauthorised car parks were closed down, another has been created in what was a picturesque field. North Somerset Council confirmed the former field, which had around 100 holidaymakers cars parked on over the weekend, did not have permission and they are investigating. The access to the field, near the busy A38 may not be designed for this volume of vehicles. It appears that car parking businesses “hop from one location to another without any regard for planning laws or the health and safety of others.” A resident said: “The residents living nearby now have the view of a car park and comings and goings all night, in what was a field.” The Council said: “”People need planning permission to build car parks. However in green belt locations, such as this, the parking of cars would normally be inappropriate development.”We can take enforcement action by serving an enforcement notice requiring the inappropriate use to cease. Failure to comply is a criminal offence for which the council could start legal proceedings.” The Council shut down two unauthorised car parks in the area in January 2016, and they closed over 40 unauthorised airport car parks near Bristol airport in the past four years. Gatwick has similar problems.
Green field gravelled over to become illegal Bristol Airport car park
15.3.2016 (Bristol Post)
Green field gravelled over to become illegal Bristol Airport car park
A illegal Bristol Airport car park has appeared after green fields were gravelled over during the night.
Neighbours living close to the airport say just months after two unauthorised car parks were closed down; another has been created in what was a picturesque field.
North Somerset Council confirmed the former field, which had around 100 holidaymakers cars parked on over the weekend, did not have permission.
It is opposite the A38 junction with New Road between Hailstone cottages and Ashford Road.
Nearby residents said the car park had been created overnight on Friday and North Somerset Council confirmed it was investigating.
One said: “These businesses seem to hop from one location to another without any regard for planning laws or the health and safety of others.
“The access to this field from the very fast and often very busy A38 is not designed for this volume of vehicles.
“Look at the huge amounts of money spent to improve road safety nearer the airport – it just doesn’t make sense if businesses like this are able to just rip up greenbelt land and do what they want.”
Another added: “The residents living nearby now have the view of a car park and comings and goings all night, in what was a field.”
A spokesman for the council said: “We are aware of this site and are currently investigating.
“People need planning permission to build car parks. However in green belt locations, such as this, the parking of cars would normally be inappropriate development.
“We can take enforcement action by serving an enforcement notice requiring the inappropriate use to cease. Failure to comply is a criminal offence for which the council could start legal proceedings.”
The council shut down two unauthorised car parks in the area in January this year after a planning inspectorate agreed; they were an inappropriate use of greenbelt land.
The council issued enforcement notices to car park owner Gregory Wedlake last year relating to unauthorised car parks in Backwell. One was on land to the north of Coombe Dale, Potters Hill, and the other at Hyatts Wood Road.
The notices stated that the use of the land for parking vehicles was inappropriate development and he was given 14 days to comply with the decision.
“We take the issue of inappropriate development in the green belt very seriously and have successfully taken enforcement action against a number of unauthorised car park operators in the past,” the council spokesman added.
Enforcement notices have been made on illegal car parks on land across Downside, Backwell, Winford and Felton.
More than 40 unauthorised airport car parks near Bristol airport have been closed down by North Somerset Council in the past four years.
Passengers are warned to check the credentials of airport parking operators before making a booking.
This time last year the council had in excess of 30 active enforcement notices in relation to illegal car parks around Bristol Airport.
However, in the last five years only one operator has been prosecuted by the authority.
Parish councils have said the problem has only got worse and some are considering funding their own enforcement officers because of complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour.
Bristol Airport recommends booking parking on its authorised sites, for all those travelling.
The airport has a number of different car parking options, where car parks are fitted with CCTV, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), a secure fence and are monitored 24 hours a day.
It has a customer service team constantly on hand to help.
There are similar problems around Gatwick. Someone living near Gatwick commented:
Every year without fail at least 2-3 illegal airport sites pop up round here (that we know about!).
Mole Valley District Council are quite good at enforcement – within their limited resources.
Others (Crawley/Horsham/Mid-Sussex/Tandridge/Reigate & Banstead) not always quick enough.
One problem will always be that once an enforcement order is served, the operator will promptly appeal. This can drag on for anything up to 6 months so if they set the operation at Easter they get a good run until September (end of the tourist season), pack up with bags of cash and simply disappear.
Support from Gatwick airport in managing the problem is minimal – they shrug their shoulders and say its a local authority problem.
And some appeals by the car parking companies have been successful simply because government policy is to encourage new small businesses !
Sod the natives lets just rake the cash in, folks !
Illegal Gatwick Airport car park to pay more than £50,000 for turning land into 800 spaces
11 Nov 2015 (The Argus)
By Flora Thompson
DIRECTORS of an illegal airport car park have been ordered to pay more than £50,000 for turning land into 800 spaces.
Imran Shahid and Tariq Wasi, the directors of Airport Parking Limited, were prosecuted after converting land at Lower Hollow Copse in Copthorne into an unauthorised car park for Gatwick in 2014.
They stored the cars of holidaymakers travelling from the airport but did not get the necessary planning permission.
A number of people complained so Mid Sussex District Council’s planning enforcement team issued a stop notice.
The directors ignored the notice and continued to trade at the site so the authority took the pair to court.
Mr Shahid and Mr Wasi pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the stop notice. They were each handed a fine of £3,000 at Chichester Crown Court on October 29 and their company was fined £100. They were also told to pay a £120 victim surcharge and the district council’s £9,500 cost.
The pair will also have to pay nearly £34,578 under the proceeds of crime act because the pair had benefitted for 11 days of business after ignoring the council notice.
In separate legal proceedings, the company pleaded guilty in August to eight offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations act because the website said cars would be parked securely when they were left unlocked in fields.
They were fined £6,000 by Crawley Magistrates Court for the offences.
Councillor Andrew MacNaughton, the district council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “This is the first time that we have used the proceeds of crime act and it has sent a clear message. You will not be able to profit from ignoring planning regulations.
“Planning laws are in place for a reason. They protect the local environment from inappropriate development and give the people who will be affected by the scheme a chance to have their say. I hope this prosecution shows that if you try to bypass the planning system we will take action and pursue the matter through the courts if necessary.”
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Newham Council granted planning approval in February for London City Airport’s plans for expansion, allowing an increase in the number of flights from 70,000 per year to 111,000 and almost double the number of passengers, up to 6 million a year by 2023. In March 2015 Boris Johnson refused the plans, on noise grounds. The airport appealed, and the hearing starts on 15th March. Alan Haughton, from the local campaign group Hacan East will be speaking at the appeal, against the airport’s plans, representing the interests of the local community. Alan has worked for many years, to oppose the high handed manner in which the airport (owned till very recently by GIP, as a means to make quick, huge, profit) rides roughshod over the interests of local people. In a blog, Alan explains why he and Hacan East have worked so hard, unpaid, to give their community a voice. Alan says: “What we see happening at London City Airport is happening across London. Developers and businesses, working closely with Local Councils, are forcing their will on Communities for profit. … We attend the Planning Enquiry with no QC, no legal representation, no ‘experts’. We can’t afford those. … For me though, it’s about justice, about community, about local residents and community groups standing together to defend our local environment.” Good luck, Alan.
THE LONDON CITY AIRPORT APPEAL BEGINS
14.3.2016 (Stop London City Airport Masterplan blog – by Alan)
The London City Airport Appeal into the Mayor’s decision to refuse its expansion begins on March 15th 2016 at City Hall. A Planning Inspector will hear the evidence and submit the case to the Secretary of State to make a final decision.
For me this enquiry is not just about an airport but is a reflection on everything that is wrong with with our local councils and our planning system. Residents and Communities have all but been obliterated from the decision-making process.
I get a lot of flack for campaigning on non-airport issues under the Stop City Airport banner. For me though, it’s about justice, about community, about local residents and community groups standing together to defend our local environment.
Whether that campaign is ‘environmental’, whether it is about homes, social cleansing, air quality, airports or roads, in most cases, the campaign is the voice of local people who have been sidelined from a decision that has been made without their input.
What we see happening at London City Airport is happening across London. Developers and businesses, working closely with Local Councils, are forcing their will on Communities for profit.
From lives blighted by noise to forced evictions and the demolition of local heritage sites, it is all for the benefit of a business that cares little for the community around it. Decisions made behind closed doors, to the benefit of the few, not the many.
I’ve been campaigning for nearly 10 years now against London City Airport and its expansion aspirations. Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) bought it in 2006 for £750 million and depart this year after achieving an asking price of a suggested £2 billion. That’s a £1.25bn profit. While they talked about being a good neighbour and promoted small token gestures offered to the local communities, it was all breadcrumbs from the table.
They wanted to sweat their asset and make astronomical profits on the backs of those around the airport. Mission Accomplished.
I have now being fighting this latest planning application for nearly three years, alongside my fellow campaigners.
Even after the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, refused the latest expansion application, the airport dug deep into its pockets and launched this appeal, and not content with that, also launched a Compulsory Purchase Order, to take from the Mayor, our land it needed for the expansion. Greed never sleeps.
HACAN East are a Rule 6 Party in the current Planning Appeal, meaning it gives us the same rights, the same clout as all other groups involved such as the Airport itself, the GLA and Newham Council.
We are fighting tooth and nail to kill this expansion off for good, to give residents that missing voice and to protect them as much as we can.
I am incredibly proud of the work we have done, not only in the past three years, but over the last decade. We have given residents a voice, forcing the airport to listen to those concerns. We have held the airport and Newham Council to account on this expansion, which I think is reflected in the near three year planning application.
We have cross party support from GLA members to local MP’s. Residents contact us for advice and guidance. We have worked, with no funding, no money, and just a will to protect our community from the relentless onslaught of a greedy airport operator.
We attend the Planning Inquiry with no QC, no legal representation, no ‘experts’. We can’t afford those. Hell, even for me to attend the Enquiry at City Hall for the 13 days will cost me over £75 in tube fares, never mind loss of income.
Most residents don’t have this luxury. So it’s just us, speaking for them. Making our arguments the best we know how. HACAN East will be the only people in the room, not being paid to be there.
We haven’t always got it right and made some mistakes along the way. But when you have a system designed to keep you out, sometimes you need to kick the door in.
Thanks to all our supporters that have taken this journey along with us. Whether it be a kind word, a retweet or filling out a consultation response, it has been much appreciated and valued.
Thank you very much.
See earlier, about the appeal and the planning application:
London City Airport challenges Boris’ decision to block its expansion plans, over ‘noise ghetto’ fears
Boris Johnson blocked London City Airport’s expansion plans in late March, as he said it would create a “noise ghetto” for people living under the flight path. Now, as expected, London City Airport has appealed to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, against the decision. On March 26th Boris ordered Newham council to reject the plans on the grounds of noise disturbance and because the airport was intended for business rather than leisure. Under the plans, take-offs and landings were expected to increase from 70,000 a year to 111,000,with passenger numbers doubling to 6 million by 2023. It would also be able to accommodate larger planes, (and be more profitable). This coupled with the airport’s plans to use new PBN technology to create a much narrower and concentrated flight corridor over Wanstead, Leytonstone and Leyton had prompted fears that noise could become an issue. The airport says it is appealing because of the jobs it creates, and its economic impact. The decision by Greg Clark could take 5 months.
Click here to view full story…
Newham Council lacks the bravery of Boris to turn down unsuitable developments like City Airport expansion
On Saturday 25th April there was a local celebration party for people living in the Royal Docks area, close to London City Airport. They held their party to celebrate the fact that the London Mayor Boris Johnson had overturned Newham Council’s decision to grant permission for London City airport to expand. Local children have formed a lively choir, and they entertained the assembled guests. People who suffer from the noise from the airport are delighted that Boris has helped them, and opposed the airport’s environmentally-destructive plans that have been backed by the (Labour) Newham council. Though Newham argues that the airport would bring jobs for local people and local economic benefits, it actually provides little of either. No more than about 500 Newham residents are employed directly by the airport. The business passengers don’t linger round the airport, but head off to business meetings in the City or the West End. It was clear at Saturday’s event that the local community regards the airport on their doorstep not as a benefit but as problem which brings noise, air pollution and blight. They feel they might be better off with something else there. Compared to the nearby Excel Centre it provides far fewer jobs or wider economic benefit.
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Boris turns down London City Airport expansion plans on noise grounds
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has refused London City Airport’s plan to expand on noise grounds. In a letter he has instructed Newham Council, who had approved the application, to refuse it. The Mayor says the application does not “adequately mitigate and manage its adverse noise impacts.” Newham’s decision was always dependent on the Mayor’s approval. London City Airport wanted permission to build new taxiways to permit larger planes to use the airport. It also wanted more car parking spaces. The decision will be a bitter blow to the airport as it will now no longer be able to bring in the larger planes it wanted to serve new destinations. John Stewart, chair of HACAN East, which campaigned against the expansion plans, said “The airport is paying the price for being so cavalier about noise. Quite simply, Boris did not believe its claims that it was dealing adequately with noise. We salute his decision”. The decision appears to be final, and it is unclear whether London City Airport can appeal to the Secretary of State. They may do so.
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London City Airport expansion plan gets go-ahead but campaigners say it will create ‘noise ghettos and misery’
Newham Council has granted planning approval London City Airport’s plans for an extended terminal, a new taxi-way and additional parking stands for larger aircraft. A new six-storey four-star hotel with up to 260 bedrooms will also be built on site. The expansion will increase the number of take-offs and landings at the airport from 70,000 a year to 111,000 and will almost double the number of passengers to 6 million a year by 2023. The number of aircraft stands will increase from 18 to 25, and the newer, larger planes they will accommodate will expand the airport’s reach from destinations in western Europe to Russia and North Africa. It has been described as a boost for London’s aviation capacity, while the arguments for and against a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick (or neither) continue. There are claims for a large number of jobs, and Newham believes many will be for their residents – and there are claims of huge economic benefit for the local and UK economy. The expansion involves the tripling of the size of the terminal to 51,800 ft square and will see the number of flights increase from 38 to 45 during peak morning and evening rush hour times. Building work, subject to final planning approval being given by Boris, is expected to start by the end of 2015, with the first new aircraft seen on the runway in 2016.
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3rd February: Newham to hear City Airport expansion application
On 3rd February Newham Council will hear City Airport’s application to expand. This, despite the fact that the latest public consultation on the application only closed on 23rd January. Clearly Newham council officers are quick readers! The agenda is with the Planning Officers report, in which they recommend to grant the planning application both for the hotel and the infrastructure, can be found at http://mgov.newham.gov.uk/ieAgenda.aspx?M=10678.
Time 6.00 p.m.
Venue: Main Hall, Old Town Stratford, 29 Broadway, London E15 4BQ
Campaign group back’s Boris’s bid to have final say on flight numbers at London City Airport
January 14, 2015
Campaign group HACAN East supports Mayor Boris Johnson’s bid to have the final say over flight numbers at London City Airport. The group is backing Boris to have the final say over the number of planes which are allowed to use the airport., and he wants to have the authority to veto any future proposals to do away with existing cap of 120,000 aircraft a year. The Mayor has said this in his response to the airport’s current consultation on its plans for expansion. HACAN East chair John Stewart, said, “We fully support the Mayor’s request. It is a nonsense that one London borough, Newham, should decide how many planes can use the airport when the impact of the airport affects vast swathes of London.” The current consultation does not involve any request by London City to increase flight numbers. What it wants is permission to build an extended taxiway and bigger parking stands so that larger aircraft can use the airport. It also wants to double the size of the terminal and provide more car parking spaces. The consultation closes on Friday 23rd January, with Newham expected to make a decision later in the year.
Click here to view full story…
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Heathrow has posted, First Class, a leaflet (Heathrow Community Matters Bulletin, March 2016) to all the homes in the area threatened with compulsory purchase for a runway – and to an unknown number of other homes where the runway would make life virtually un-liveable. This has not caused reassurance to many, but increased anger and resentment. Heathrow will keep people, who have already lived with blight and uncertainty for years, in a state of anxiety and uncertainty for yet longer. Heathrow’s Nigel Milton wrote the leaflet, and uses the most evasive and emollient language he can for the unpleasant reality of people being evicted from their homes, against their will. He says Heathrow has been holding sessions for local residents to discuss “issues associated with Heathrow expansion.” …” the first point at which you will be able to ask Heathrow to buy your house will be after the Government designate their National Policy Statement for expansion at Heathrow… We would expect this to be somewhere between summer 2017 and summer 2018.”….”If people wait until a third runway planning consent is received to sell us their home, they will be eligible for the terms of our offer i.e. unblighted market price plus 25%, stamp duty, legal and moving costs. We currently expect to receive planning consent in 2020.” More stressful waiting …. more anxiety …. more years unable to make any future plans. It is cruel.
More psychological torture from Heathrow Airport Limited
Residents around Heathrow received this item of mail from Heathrow airport on 11th March.
The Heathrow leaflet uses the most bland imaginable language to puss-foot around the issue of compulsory purchase of people’s homes, and their forced eviction, in order to build a 3rd Heathrow runway.
Local residents understand it went to all 783 homes that could be in the 3rd runway footprint – and some more on the perimeter. It is known that a property some 25 metres from the boundary in Harmondsworth received one. The mailings came First Class.
Their arrival has caused a lot of stress among those who continue to live in the highly anxiety-provoking state of uncertainty about their future. This has been going on for years, and it deeply unfair and unkind to those affected.
Nigel Milton (Director of External Affairs, Heathrow Airport) says: “We appreciate that this has been a period of considerable uncertainty for those who live close to the airport and that you may have questions regarding the process. We have been holding a series of one to one “surgery sessions” for local residents who want to discuss issues associated with Heathrow expansion.”
This is remarkably evasive language. It manages to entirely omit any indication of eviction, compulsory purchase, and people being forced out of their homes – and away from the area. Nigel describes these (irritatingly awkward for Heathrow) as “issues associated with Heathrow expansion.” This treatment of residents is causing considerable anger and resentment.
Nigel continues, in his leaflet:
More choice use of language, designed to be as oblique as possible. Instead of actually coming out straight and talking about compulsory purchase of homes, and eviction – Nigel describes the problems as “the impacts of expansion on local people and the environment.”
He goes on to talk about, for those whose houses will be compulsorily purchased (and he managed to actually admit here that their homes will be demolished), how long people will have to wait for any indication of their future.
Nigel says, for those to be evicted:
…” the first point at which you will be able to ask Heathrow to buy your house will be after the Government designate their National Policy Statement for expansion at Heathrow. This means the point at which the Government’s policy of airport expansion would become agreed by Parliament. We would expect this to be somewhere between summer 2017 and summer 2018.”
Then he goes on to say (leaving the situation even more uncertain and worrying for those left in limbo, in continuing blight):
“If people wait until a third runway planning consent is received to sell us their home, they will be eligible for the terms of our offer i.e. unblighted market price plus 25%, stamp duty, legal and moving costs. We currently expect to receive planning consent in 2020.”
For those concerned about the process, Heathrow says they will provide “reasonable” legal and moving costs. But there is no indication of what “reasonable” means. Under the section dealing with valuation, note that if there is disagreement on the value of a house, after two valuations, a 3rd valuer appointed by Heathrow will be used to judge the value. Fair?
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Justine Greening, MP for Putney, long standing opponent of a 3rd Heathrow runway, and International Development Secretary, has said that David Cameron will abandon plans to build a 3rd Heathrow runway. She predicted that the Cabinet would conclude that Heathrow should not be expanded. Instead a new “long term” strategy should be drawn up to decide on a “sensible” future airport policy for the UK. The Telegraph says this risks a backlash and potential legal challenge from pro airport campaigners. Those wanting a new runway claim that it is needed to prevent flights and businesses going to other countries in Europe in the decades ahead. Last autumn Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary and Britain’s most senior civil servant, warned ministers not to comment on the runway issue before an announcement due to concerns that the final decision could be vulnerable to legal challenge by the losing side or its backers. Justine Greening said she did not think the Cabinet would back Heathrow as it was not a smart decision. “Trying to expand Heathrow is like trying to build an eight bedroom mansion on the site of a terraced house. It is a hub airport that is just simply in the wrong place.” She had said earlier that she might resign if Heathrow was granted a runway, but she my have changed her mind.
David Cameron will abandon Heathrow third runway plans, Cabinet minister declares
Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, predicts that the Cabinet will conclude that the west London airport should not be expanded
Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, predicted that the Cabinet would conclude that the west London airport should not be expanded.
She called for a new “long term” strategy to be drawn up to decide on a “sensible” future airport policy for the UK.
Her intervention, in an interview with The Telegraph ahead of this week’s Budget, risked a furious backlash and potential legal challenge from airport campaigners.
It came as 30 Tory MPs demanded George Osborne use his Budget to protect airports in England from higher rates of passenger tax than could apply in Wales.
Britain is running out of airport capacity in the south of England. There are fears that without a new runway serving London, flights and businesses will go to other countries in Europe in the decades ahead.
The Cabinet is still considering whether to proceed with a third runway at Heathrow, or approve a rival development at Gatwick instead.
Downing Street has banned ministers from making any statements on the question of where a new runway could be built, amid fears that such remarks could be used in legal action by the losing side.
But Miss Greening – a London MP and known opponent of Heathrow expansion – said she was confident that her colleagues in the Cabinet would reject the third runway plan.
“I don’t believe that this government will proceed with a third runway decision,” she told The Telegraph. “I just don’t think it is a smart decision.
“Trying to expand Heathrow is like trying to build an eight bedroom mansion on the site of a terraced house. It is a hub airport that is just simply in the wrong place.”
Miss Greening, the MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields, said she believed her fellow ministers would “reach the same conclusion”.
“The sooner that we can move onto working out a long term airport strategy for Britain the better,” she said.
Last autumn Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary and Britain’s most senior civil servant, warned ministers not to comment on Heathrow before an announcement amid concerns that the final decision could be vulnerable to legal challenge.
When she was Transport Secretary in the last parliament, Miss Greening said she would find it “very difficult” not to resign from the Cabinet if plans to expand Heathrow went ahead.
She has made campaigning against the third runway a key local issue in her constituency.
But she suggested that she could stay on in the Cabinet now that she no longer holds the transport brief, even if the eventual decision overHeathrow went against her wishes.
“There is no decision,” she said. “I do believe in Cabinet collective responsibility but I am in the Cabinet and I am absolutely continuing to represent my constituents’ concerns.”
Her comments came as a group of 30 Conservative MPs wrote to the Chancellor urging him to guarantee that airports in England will not be undercut by rivals in Wales.
Mr Osborne is said to be considering plans to devolve setting air passenger duty to the Welsh government.
But the group of MPs, all of whom represent constituencies in south-west England, warned that airports such as Bristol would lose business if the duty was cut at Cardiff Airport but remained unchanged in England.
In the letter to the Chancellor, the MPs, led by Liam Fox, warned that devolving APD to Wales could have an “extremely severe” impact on passengers and businesses in the region.
They predicted “more expensive travel for people in the South West when going on a hard-earned family holiday” and called on him to rule out devolving APD to Wales in the Budget on Wednesday.
Billions of pounds of investment and future income are at stake but but a final decision has been delayed and is not now expected until after the EU referendum in June.
A third runway OR an expansion of the airport’s existing northern runway
Led by: Heathrow Airport Ltd, or Heathrow Hub Ltd
Completion date: 2029
Cost: £13bn – £18bn
Capacity: Up to 260,000 additional flights per year
Supporters; Business leaders broadly favour Heathrow, given its existing globally-recognised status as a major airport. Some locals who believe an expanded Heathrow will bring thousands of jobs to the area;
Opponents: In 2009, David Cameron said a Conservative government would not build a third runway at Heathrow – “no ifs, no buts”. Locals worried about increased traffic, noise and pollution under the flight path. Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith
Rival bid: A second runway at Gatwick Airport
Heathrow: Cameron ‘preparing to drop opposition to third runway’
The government is preparing to announce the next phase for airport expansion within weeks, ahead of a new public consultation on increasing aviation capacity
By Tim Ross, Senior Political Correspondent (Telegraph)
7 Nov 2015
David Cameron has decided it would be politically safe to back a third runway at Heathrow, despite previously promising to block the expansion of Britain’s busiest airport, Whitehall sources have said.
The government is preparing to announce the next phase for airport expansion within weeks, ahead of a new public consultation on increasing aviation capacity.
The Prime Minister has been wrestling with a “difficult decision” over whether to approve a third runway at Heathrow because he promised before the 2010 election that he would oppose such a plan.
However, Whitehall figures said Mr Cameron has been offered a way out by the independent Davies Commission, which decisively recommended expanding Heathrow while leaving the door ajar to potentially extending Gatwick.
Government insiders say that the Prime Minister believes that the Davies Commission’s strong recommendation in favour of the new Heathrow plan would make it politically acceptable for him to reverse his opposition to the earlier third runway proposal.
Officials are preparing for an announcement before Christmas on how the aviation plans will progress.
Increasing aviation capacity in the South East represents one of the most expensive and controversial infrastructure decisions facing the new Conservative government.
A number of MPs including Cabinet minister and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, have vocally opposed a third runway at Heathrow, while others oppose expanding Gatwick.
However, Sir Howard Davies, who chaired the commission examining the future of aviation capacity in the South East, recommended decisively that the government should allow Heathrow to expand because this would lead to more jobs, and wider economic benefits than extending Gatwick.
One Whitehall source said: “There will be some sort of announcement next month. Officials are still analysing data. The decision will be for the Prime Minister but it is difficult for him because he made this ‘no ifs, no buts’ promise not to build a third runway.”
The Davies Commission was so clearly in favour of Heathrow over Gatwick that “in the Prime Minister’s mind” it would be safe to choose a third runway at Heathrow. It’s not yet clear whether the public would agree, the source said.
The Chancellor is likely to want a decision as soon as possible, given how he has sought to brand the Conservatives as the champions of new building schemes.
“It would be difficult for the Chancellor to stand up and say ‘we are the builders’ and then when he has been given a really clear direction to build Heathrow, to say, ‘actually, we’re the pragmatists,’” one government insider said.
Mr Cameron is understood to want all the analysis to be completed before he comes to a verdict. It has been suggested that the Chancellor will take control over the issue, making the crucial announcement about the government’s preferred option. This would potentially save the Prime Minister from awkward questions over a policy reversal.
Government sources suggested that an announcement formally responding to the Davies Commission may not be part of Mr Osborne’s Autumn Statement on November 25 but could be made separately in December.
Justine Greening, the Tory MP for Putney and International Development Secretary, has promised to continue fighting against expansion at Heathrow.
She has told her constituents that she has been assured by Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, that there will be a new public consultation on plans before a final decision is taken.
The high costs of expanding Heathrow and the impact on the environment, including noise and air pollution, remain the subjects of considerable argument.
Heathrow has promised to charge airlines higher fees for landing noisier and more polluting aircraft at the airport in future. “We will encourage the world’s quietest aircraft to use Heathrow, charging more for noisier aircraft to land and quieter aircraft less and introduce “green slots” so that only the quietest and cleanest aircraft can use the capacity provided by a new runway,” the group said in a new report to MPs.
“We are clear – Heathrow expansion should only go ahead within strict environmental limits on noise, local air quality and in line with the UK’s climate change targets.”
Changes to road networks and new train links direct to Reading and Waterloo, as well as Crossrail, will help discourage travellers from driving to Heathrow, the airport said.
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A new report published by the Independent Transport Commission (ITC), a think tank supported by Heathrow and Gatwick, has argued that environmental concerns should not prevent a new runway being built. Now the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)has come out with a damning assessment. The report argues that “it is foreseeable that a range of solutions will enable forecasts of future growth to be delivered within acceptable environmental boundaries even without a “step-change” in technology”. AEF points out that what “acceptable environmental boundaries” are not clearly defined. On CO2 emissions AEF says the ITC has put too much faith in future market based measures to trade emissions, and used unjustifiably optimistic forecasts of fuel efficiency improvements (1.6% per year, when others expect 0.8% at best). On noise AEF says the ITC does not even consider health impacts, uses implausibly optimistic assumptions and some unclear use of noise measurements. On air pollution, the ITC argues this is largely not the airports’ responsibility and hopes levels will improve soon. AEF concludes: “Without clearer definitions of what constitutes “acceptable environmental boundaries”, and evidence that these can be achieved, the report’s conclusion that environmental impacts should be no barrier to expansion is unfounded.”
The AEF view: ITC report on the sustainability of UK aviation
A new report published this week (7th March) by the Independent Transport Commission (ITC), a think tank supported by Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, has argued that environmental concerns should not prevent a new runway being built.
In this blog, AEF takes a look at the report, ‘The sustainability of UK aviation: trends in the mitigation of noise and emissions’, and considers its merits on noise, CO2 emissions and local air pollution.
The report argues that “it is foreseeable that a range of solutions will enable forecasts of future growth to be delivered within acceptable environmental boundaries even without a “step-change” in technology” and that “aviation can meet almost all of its targets for sustainability by following the current trend (in improvements), helped by pragmatic engagement with communities and some regulatory intervention.”
A starting question then for assessing whether environmental concerns about a new runway can be addressed is: what exactly are “acceptable environmental boundaries” which enable UK aviation to meet all of its “targets for sustainability”?
The ITC unfortunately doesn’t clearly define these “acceptable environmental boundaries”, so below we’ve used AEF’s definitions, many of which were used by the Airports Commission to assess the likely impact of airport expansion.
We then take a look at the ITC’s proposals for how the challenges could be addressed.
AEF considers the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation that UK aviation emissions should be no higher in 2050 than they were in 2005 to be a minimum requirement for compatibility with the wider Climate Change Act.
The Airports Commission also considered any new runway within this framework. The ITC report acknowledged the Climate Change Act and the need for CO2 targets for the sector but stayed silent on whether the CCC’s recommended level should be regarded a “target for sustainability”. This could be because a new runway would make meeting these emissions levels much more challenging.
While acknowledging the limitations to take-up of biofuels and the fact that growth in aviation globally is forecast to outstrip efficiency improvements, the report argues that the issue of aviation CO2 emissions is “not an impossible problem to solve” due to market based measures combined with airframe technology and operating procedure improvements.
The report predicts annual efficiency gains of 1.6%, even without operational improvements or the use of alternative fuels, based on an analysis of fleet changes leading up to 2050. It’s a figure exceeding the UK aviation industry’s own forecast [“Sustainable Aviation’s CO2 Road-Map] of a 1.21% per annum improvement from the deployment of more fuel-efficient aircraft, and double the rate anticipated by official forecasts.
The Committee on Climate Change’s 2009 report recommended that Government should assume no more than a 0.8% annual average efficiency improvement, even allowing for an assumption that biofuel could comprise 10% of aviation fuel by 2050.
The Government’s own forecasts are similarly based on an assumed 0.8% annual average fuel efficiency assumption. A recent academic paper questioned whether the industry’s 1.5% annual efficiency gains goal could be maintained up to 2020 or beyond.
Sustainable Aviation have suggested that they have achieved average annual efficiency improvements between 2009 and 2014 of 1.9% but this is largely down to the baseline year used, and using 2010 as the baseline year leaves an average efficiency improvement of around 1% [source: AEF working based on Sustainable Aviation figures on page 19 here].
The ITC’s forecasts on efficiency improvements, the central component of its proposal for addressing CO2 emissions, appear highly optimistic.
AEF believes a sustainable limit would be for noise to reduce towards WHO recommended levels in the long-term. This reflects evidence that long-term exposure is associated with health impacts including increased risks of cardiovascular disease, an issue not considered in the report.
The Government, we believe, needs to set a clearer noise policy framework for airlines and airports to operate within, and against which the noise impacts of a new runway would need to be considered.
While technology can undoubtedly play a role towards reducing aircraft noise, as highlighted by ITC, annoyance from aircraft noise has been increasing even while individual aircraft have become quieter and noise exposure across the EU has been forecast to increase.
The ITC’s anticipated rate of take-up of quieter aircraft also needs scrutiny. The report argues that the introduction of new aircraft and retro-fitting of existing models will lead to the average aircraft being 9dB quieter by 2050, while changing operations in order to prioritise noise reductions could cut noise by an additional 9dB.
The driving force behind continued noise improvements is unclear, with ITC calling for clearer policy from Government and the use of limits based on ICAO standards for aircraft.
However, the most recent ICAO noise standard, which doesn’t take effect until next year, requires aircraft to be 7 dB quieter than its predecessor and represents an improvement of only 17dB since 1978.
These improvements are cumulative. In other words, they are the sum of the improvements at each of three tests points – approach, take-off, and sideline – meaning that the latest standard could permit aircraft to be as little as 1 dB quieter on landing (anything less than 3 dB is imperceptible to the human ear) and still pass the test.
Whether the technology improvements the report envisages will materialise without additional forcing is unclear, given the future trade-off the report acknowledges about fuel burn and noise.
Air quality limits designed to protect public health are laid down by law, but have been breached for many years in the Heathrow area.
The Airports Commission argued that although a new Heathrow runway would increase emissions further above the legal limit, it would not strictly ‘delay compliance’ with the legislation as long as other London roads are more polluted.
The ITC report argues that air pollution around airports is largely not the airports’ responsibility and, despite presenting no new modelling, that NOx levels are likely to reduce over time even without any new action. A new runway should therefore not be delayed, the report argues, even if the surrounding area is in breach of local air quality limits.
AEF’s view is that the report makes implausible assumptions on technology development to cut CO2 emissions, fails to acknowledge the scale and nature of the noise problem, and dismisses air pollution as something that is bound to resolve itself over time despite the UK Government currently facing the prospect of further legal action for failure to tackle a problem costing some 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.
Without clearer definitions of what constitutes “acceptable environmental boundaries”, and evidence that these can be achieved, the report’s conclusion that environmental impacts should be no barrier to expansion is unfounded.
See also, by AEF:
“Independent” transport think tank, pro-runway, finds the environmental challenges can all (honestly…) be overcome …
Heathrow is well aware that it has an almost insurmountable set of environmental obstacles that, in any logical system, would make a 3rd runway out of the question. However, it keeps hoping that it can persuade enough key people that all is well, and all environmental problems will just melt away. Now, in a slightly desperate attempt to get politicians etc to ignore the evidence, a report has been done by an organisation called the “Independent Transport Commission.” This is a body partly funded by Heathrow, by Gatwick, by NATS and many others. The report “The sustainability of UK Aviation: Trends in the mitigation of noise and emissions”, written by RDC Aviation Ltd, sets out to show that the aviation industry can soon overcome problems of noise, air pollution and carbon emissions – and adding a new runway will be problem-free. The report is thin on good detail to back up these claims. It is high on hopes, aspirations and what could be termed “mindless optimism” that new technologies will work out well, and everything that could help the aviation industry will do so. None of the real problems of an expanding industry, with additional problems from the sheer increase in plane numbers are dealt with. A report, which is hard to describe as “independent” in any meaningful sense of the word, advocates sacrificing the environment if holds the industry’s growth back.
Click here to view full story…
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Local resident-led group HACAN East has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fight the new, concentrated flight paths for planes to and from London City Airport. HACAN East is seeking to raise £25,000, in order to campaign to reverse these changes – which they describe as Noise Ghettos – within 12 months, when the CAA will review airspace changes. In February, new concentrated flight paths began operating over many parts of east & south-east London, leaving parts of many boroughs with levels of aircraft noise not previously experienced. HACAN East know that taking on the might of the aviation industry is not easy. It is only by the local community coming together that residents can win, to get the flight paths changed – and the noise reduced. People in the noise affected areas feel these “noise ghettos” are completely unacceptable. City Airport did not consult residents about the flight path changes. The levels of aircraft noise and pollution have increased to unacceptable levels – reducing people’s quality of life. At busy time of the day, planes can be coming over one every minute or so. They also suffer from Heathrow flights. Crowdfunding details here,if you are able to help.
ANTI-NOISE GHETTOS RESIDENTS GROUP SEEKS FUNDING FOR “CAMPAIGN OF A LIFETIME”
March 9th 2016 (Hacan East)
Short video at https://vimeo.com/158250476 explaining why the fundraising in necessary
Local resident-led group HACAN East today launches a crowdfunding campaign to fight the new, concentrated flight paths for planes to and from London City Airport.
HACAN East is seeking to raise £25,000 through crowdfunding, in order to campaign to reverse these changes within 12 months, when the Civil Aviation Authority reviews airspace changes.  This will help re-establish the local quality of life in the affected communities.
In February, new concentrated flight paths began operating over many parts of east & south-east London, leaving parts of the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Havering, Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth with levels of aircraft noise not previously experienced. 
John Stewart, Chair of HACAN East, said: “We are today launching this crowdfunding campaign to get these changes reversed. Taking on the might of the aviation industry is not easy and only by the local community coming together can we win this fight.”
Stewart added: “Local residents have chosen the title Noise Ghetto for the campaign because this is how they feel living under these flight paths. We think these noise ghettos are completely unacceptable. City Airport did not consult residents about these changes and have aircraft noise and pollution has gradually increased to unacceptable levels.”
Julie Evans, HACAN East supporter, said: “I am supporting this campaign, because me and my family live in a residential area – we’ve already been blighted by extra flights, particularly those late at night. Our quality of life is impacted both mentally and physically because we can’t enjoy being in our gardens due to noise of the planes. The prospect of even more noise is something I just can’t bear; it needs to decrease.”
London City Airport’s new concentrated flight paths have caused uproar across many communities in east London.
· HACAN East has been representing residents for a number of years now, giving a voice to people under the flight paths
· City Airport has gradually increased the number of flights and noise over particular communities in recent years.
· At busy time of the day, planes can be coming over one every minute or so. This is constant noise for many communities.
 The Crowdfunding page can be accessed at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hacaneast
 A full breakdown of which communities are impacted by these flight paths changes http://static1.squarespace.com/static/56507de4e4b018da2a5ce870/t/56b1e6a620c64715707cd43c/1454499505450/HACAN+East+February+Newsletter.pdf
HACAN East’s Campaign of a Lifetime.
These new concentrated flight paths were introduced on 4th February, 2016. Immediately after the changes commenced, HACAN East received HUNDREDS of complaints. We decided now is the time to act.
We are going to be mounting the ‘Campaign of a Lifetime’, which will aim to reverse these changes within 12 months, when the Civil Aviation Authority must review airspace changes. This will help re-establish the quality of life for people in the affected communities.
By concerted effort to mount ever-increasing pressure on the Civil Aviation Authority and on London City Airport itself, we know that we can make change happen. Bringing the fight to the authorities will elicit change.
It is only through the community working together that can we can effectively take on these authorities, reverse these concentrated flight paths and stop City Airport Expansion.
Though in order to help make this happen, we do need your help.
HACAN East says: “We need to raise £25,000 in order to make this campaign happen”
Campaigns cost money, and to make our work as effective as possible we need to attain MAXIMUM exposure. This can be achieved through activities such as leafletting, cost-effective advertising and spending on resident and volunteer organisation. Below are some examples of how we would be planning to spend donations:
- £5 will print 100 HACAN East campaign posters for supporters to display in their windows
- £25 enables us to undertake an online social media campaign, targeted at people living in affected communities
- £100 pays for a large round of leaflets
- £250 allows us to effectively leaflet for, advertise and pay for the costs of a public meeting to inform residents about the campaign
- £5,000 would fund a large public rally, which we would like to hold in the summer
Changes brought in by NATS on February 4th mean new noise ghettos in east London due to London City flights
On 4th February, NATS implemented the first phase of its LAMP (London Airspace Management Programme). It says this was approved by the CAA in November 2015. It means that routes into and out of London City airport will be altered, and routes will be concentrated – using PR-NAV (precision navigation). The changes involve use of a “point merge” system for arrivals, with the joining points to the ILS out at sea. They will mean all the planes from Westerly departures will be routed over for Bow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Redbridge, Barkingside, Collier Row and Harold Hill. For Easterly departures, all the planes will be routed over Barking Riverside, Dagenham, Elm park and Hornchurch. And for Easterly arrivals, all the planes will be routed over Bexley, Sidcup, New Eltham, Mottingham, Catford, Dulwich Village, Herne Hill, Brixton, Stockwell and Vauxhall. The changes are described by NATS in glowing terms – about “more efficient flights, saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions, reducing noise, keeping aircraft higher for longer and minimising areas regularly overflown.” And, of course, enabling more flights to be crammed into crowded airspace – to enable the aviation industry to increase the number of flights. HACAN East is talking to its lawyers about a JR against the CAA for failure to consult.
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Heathrow is well aware that it has an almost insurmountable set of environmental obstacles that, in any logical system, would make a 3rd runway out of the question. However, it keeps hoping that it can persuade enough key people that all is well, and all environmental problems will just melt away. Now, in a slightly desperate attempt to get politicians etc to ignore the evidence, a report has been done by an organisation called the “Independent Transport Commission.” This is a body partly funded by Heathrow, by Gatwick, by NATS and many others. The report “The sustainability of UK Aviation: Trends in the mitigation of noise and emissions“, written by RDC Aviation Ltd, sets out to show that the aviation industry can soon overcome problems of noise, air pollution and carbon emissions – and adding a new runway will be problem-free. The report is thin on good detail to back up these claims. It is high on hopes, aspirations and what could be termed “mindless optimism” that new technologies will work out well, and everything that could help the aviation industry will do so. None of the real problems of an expanding industry, with additional problems from the sheer increase in plane numbers are dealt with. A report, which is hard to describe as “independent” in any meaningful sense of the word, advocates sacrificing the environment if holds the industry’s growth back.
The ITC (Independent Transport Commission) press release is at http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/ITC-Aviation-Sustainability-PN-070316.pdf
The ITC press release
“UK aviation sustainability challenges can be overcome, finds transport think tank”
Part copied here:
The findings indicate that technological improvements will mitigate any future increases in noise, CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions arising from airport expansion. Improvements in these areas have been rapid over the past 30 years and the evidence suggests that progress is likely to continue.
• Aircraft noise – significant progress has been made in reducing noise, with evidence that advances will continue from a combination of technological and aircraft design improvements as well as alterations to airport operations (e.g. the use of continuous descent approaches and displaced runway thresholds).
• Carbon emissions – are likely to be mitigated by progress in aircraft efficiency (e.g. new technology will drive a 1.6% per year improvement in fuel efficiency) and operations. The research reveals that this is a global issue and cannot be addressed by the UK unilaterally restricting its own connectivity. They also identify that due to the use of larger aircraft, hub operations emit up to 24% fewer carbon emissions than if that same connectivity were provided through point-to-point services; however, the research notes that there is a trade-off because hub operations increase the noise burden on local residents.
• NOx and particulate emissions – the contribution of these pollutants to poor air quality is caused principally by surface transport. The issue transcends the aviation industry and requires separate measures from Government that have been shown to alter land-based travel patterns (e.g. modal shift from car to rail) and reduce the NOx and particulate emissions surrounding an airport.
“Having reviewed these important sustainability issues in-depth, [!!] it is clear that the environmental challenges of limiting the carbon emissions, noise and local air quality impacts are not insurmountable”, commented Dr Stephen Hickey, Chair of the ITC’s aviation working group and ITC Commissioner. [ Dr Stephen Hickey is a former Director General at the Department for Transport. AW comment]
He added: “Whether the Government pursues the proposal to expand Gatwick or Heathrow, the ITC research demonstrates that sustainability concerns should not stop the UK realising the great additional benefits that increased connectivity can provide. [This is, frankly, shocking. The report’s claims are little more than aspirations of future problems being solved, and this as much as says – don’t bother with the environmental problems – just get on with it …. and hope. AW comment]
“The findings suggest that noise and local air quality impacts can be managed downwards given the right mix of operational, policy and technological development, while incremental improvements in carbon Independent Transport Commission Registered Charity: 1080134 2 emission output are being delivered on an annual basis. Building public confidence and trust is essential. By arming an independent regulator with powers to monitor and control sensitive issues such as noise, the Government could play its part in delivering improvements for those affected by airport operations once a decision is made.”
The report is at
Heathrow third runway: Environmental concerns ‘should not stop expansion’
Concerns over the environmental impact of expanding Gatwick or Heathrow should not lead to aviation plans being rejected, according to a think tank.
The Independent Transport Commission (ITC) report said research showed there had been “rapid” progress on aircraft noise and emissions over the past 30 years. [The industry always says this, when intending to mislead. Progress was indeed rapid many years ago. The “low hanging fruit” has been picked, and improvements are now much slower. AW note].
In July, the Airports Commission (AC) said the expansion of Heathrow was preferable to expanding Gatwick.
Anti-expansion campaigners said the ITC “was not living in the real world”.
The ITC researches the economic, social and environmental aspects of travel and recommends possible solutions to transport problems.
Its report said the reduction of CO2 emissions was “not an impossible problem to solve” and restricting aviation expansion in the UK would just push the carbon output to other countries.
It also said the rollout of Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 aircraft could deliver noise improvements too.
‘Carbon emission improvements’
“Whether the government pursues the proposal to expand Gatwick or Heathrow, the ITC research demonstrates that sustainability concerns should not stop the UK realising the great additional benefits that increased connectivity can provide,” said the ITC’s Dr Stephen Hickey.
“The findings suggest that noise and local air quality impacts can be managed downwards given the right mix of operational, policy and technological development, while incremental improvements in carbon emission output are being delivered on an annual basis.” [This is misinformation. The aviation industry manages around 1.5% annual improvements on aircraft fuel efficiency. But the industry plans to grow at least 4% per year. That means whatever small gains are achieved per plane are wiped out by the growth in numbers of planes. Not making this clear is concealing an important problem. AW note].
‘250,000 extra flights’
John Stewart, chairman of ant-Heathrow group Hacan, dismissed the report, saying it repeated “the myth that the noise climate” around major airports had improved.
“The report is right to say that individual aircraft have become less noisy but for most residents this is offset by the sheer rise in the number of planes,” he added. “This report really does skate too easily over the impact of another 250,000 flights a year at Heathrow if a third runway is built.”
Heathrow welcomed the report’s “unequivocal” conclusions, saying it confirmed that road vehicles were the principal contributors of air pollution around the airport. [Not surprising, as Heathrow is one of the funders of the “Independent Transport Commission” and it was carried out by an organisation that is very strongly in favour of airport expansion. AW comment].
The airport’s Director of Sustainability, Matt Gorman, said: “This report adds to the evidence presented by the Airports Commission that road traffic is the main contributor to poor air quality and it is a national problem which needs government action.
“Heathrow has worked to maintain airport-related traffic broadly static since the 1990’s and is taking action to reduce emissions further by switching to electric vehicles and increasing public transport options for passengers and colleagues.” [And that really is not going to solve the problem of unacceptable, illegal levels of NOx around the airport, with another 50% more passengers – and plans to double the volume of air freight, carried in diesel lorries. A few electric vehicles are not going to make more than a tiny impact. AW comment].
The AC has recommended building a new runway at Heathrow rather than providing a second runway at Gatwick.
But it did not completely rule out another runway at Gatwick or doubling an existing runway at Heathrow.
The government has said more work needs to be done on the environmental impact and his delayed its decision to the summer at the earliest.
John Stewart commented, on the hopes that Heathrow has for this rather weak little report, that:
“I suspect that it is also indicative of the fact that over the next few months – with Europe and the Mayoral elections dominating and Heathrow not news again until nearer the time a decision will be made – the industry will struggle to get significant coverage for many months.”
The “Independent Transport Commission” http://www.theitc.org.uk/
It says of itself:
“The Independent Transport Commission (ITC) is Britain’s foremost independent land use and transport think tank. We are research charity committed to providing insight and analysis of the most pressing long-term strategic issues in the fields of transport and land use. We explore the long-term consequences of current policy, we consider new approaches and we make recommendations on the way forward.
“The ITC was launched in 1999 in response to HM Government’s transport white paper, and quickly established itself as a leading research voice in the fields of land use and transport. The current Director is Dr Matthew Niblett and the Chairman is Simon Linnett, Executive Vice-Chairman of Rothschild.”
The ITC’s 4 Patrons are: http://www.theitc.org.uk/about-us/patrons/
The Rt Hon Lord Andrew Adonis PC
The Rt Hon The Lord Freeman PC
Sir Patrick Brown, KCB
Sir Terry Farrell, CBE, RIBA, FRSA, FCSD
The ITC says its Mission is:
The Independent Transport Commission is committed to providing insight and analysis of long-term strategic issues facing the fields of transport and land use. Our mission is to explore the long-term consequences of current policy, consider new approaches and make recommendations on the way forward.
We pride ourselves on our independence and the strength this gives to our research. Our distinguished Patrons and Commissioners are drawn from the widest range of expertise in the United Kingdom.
ITC past reports
The ITC has produced a number of reports on aviation in the past. http://www.theitc.org.uk/our-research/research-reports-2/
Time to Act: The economic consequences of failing to expand airport capacity
Dr Rebecca Driver (June 2015)
http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ITC-Economics-airport-inaction-Dr-R-Driver-June-2015.pdf (The conclusions of this report are totally in favour of getting on and building a runway soon, with an uncritical belief that it is vital for the UK economy).
Delivering improved airport capacity: The cost and impact of the Airports Commission’s shortlisted options
Peter Hind (February 2015)
Surface Connectivity: assessing the merits of the Airports Commission’s options for UK aviation
Dr T Ryley and Dr A Zanni (October 2014)
Aviation: the optimal size of a UK Hub airport
Peter Hind (February 2014)
http://www.theitc.org.uk/docs/113.pdf (Which advocates planning for the really long term and having two new runways…)
The ITC says its main funders are: http://www.theitc.org.uk/funding/
Arup Group Limited,
Associated British Ports,
Cubic Transportation Systems,
Go Ahead Group,
High Speed 2 Ltd
Peter Brett Associates,
and Transport for London,
Campaigners dismiss ITC aviation report as ‘ivory tower research’
7.3.2016 (HACAN – Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise – statement)
Campaigners have dismissed a new report published today which claims the environmental problems of airport expansion can be overcome as ‘ivory tower research’. The report by the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) argues that “concerns around noise, carbon emissions (CO2) and local air quality that arise from aviation operations do not need to be a show-stopper for the UK’s pursuit of airport capacity enhancements at either Gatwick or Heathrow”.
HACAN, which opposes a third runway at Heathrow, said the researchers ‘were not living in the real world’.
HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “The report repeats the myth that the noise climate around major airports has improved. But this is not living in the real world. You can only argue the climate is better if you ignore the significant rise in the number of planes passing over people’s homes. The report is right to say that individual aircraft have become less noisy but for most residents this is off-set by the sheer rise in the number of planes. I fear this is ivory tower research.”
The report argues that technological and operational improvements will deal satisfactorily with the noise, air pollution and climate problems caused by a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick.
Stewart said, “We welcome any advances in technology and any operational improvements but this report really does skate too easily over the impact of another 250,000 flights a year at Heathrow if a third runway is built.”
HACAN did welcome report’s endorsement of the setting up of an Independent Noise Authority and its recommendation that, if a new runway is built at Heathrow or Gatwick, the Government should ‘mandate the use of certain routing pathways to ensure airline flight plans are optimised for the needs of communities rather than to simply reduce fuel burn’.
Earlier, by contrast to the mindless optimism of the ITC paper:
New academic paper shows how “Technology myths” are unduly influencing aviation climate policy
A new research study by a group of academics from a range of countries has looked at claims made by the aviation industry that it will achieve substantial carbon savings in future. They conclude that many of these claims could be described as “myths” as they have often just been used to give favourable publicity to the industry, before rapidly being proven to be over-hyped. Some of these technologies are alternative fuels, such as animal fats or jatropha; also solar power planes; or new forms of aircraft. None of these hoped-for technologies have any likelihood of making more than small contributions to future fuel efficiency. At best, they will be small improvements per plane – set against far larger growth of the industry – resulting in a large overall increase in carbon emissions. The authors make the point that the hype and the positive media coverage that the “myth” technologies permit are damaging. The unrealistic hopes for low carbon flying in future convinces politicians (who maybe happy to be so persuaded) to give the industry the benefit of the doubt, and permit its continuing growth – ever hoping for a marvellous new technology, just around the corner, which will lead to “sustainable” flying. The unjustifiably optimistic PR of the industry has implications for decisions such as that of a new runway in the south east.
Click here to view full story…
They are an adamantly pro-aviation, pro-aviation expansion company, very eager to see a new runway at Heathrow.
Its customers are (almost) all airlines and airports http://www.rdcaviation.com/Customers/
Aviation Economics is the consultancy branch of RDC –http://www.aviationeconomics.com/Team.aspx
In the table below is a timeline going back to 1963 on successive UK Government’s procrastination on the runway issue.
From RDC Aviation
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Backers of a 2nd Gatwick runway (few as they are) such as the Gatwick Diamond are keen to promote the view that it would greatly help local business. However, many businesses in the area would, in reality, be harmed by it. Employers fear the airport’s expansion would mean higher wage expectations and wage inflation. As there is almost no local unemployment, it would become hard to employ local staff. There would also be much more road and rail congestion, from all the extra travel demand generated – with a negative impact on local companies. The pressure on office space and business locations would increase, pricing some firms out of the area. Where are they to relocate to? Gatwick is meant to have an “Engagement Charter” (written in 2014) through which it keeps in contact with local “landowners and occupiers” but some say they have had no contact from Gatwick. There is meant to be one to one support from the airport – especially on compulsory purchase. Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE, commented: “At last local businesses are starting to realise what a second runway at Gatwick will mean for them. It’s not going to be all good news for them.” Local campaign GACC produced an excellent, easy-to-read 6-page paper in December 2014, “Bad for Business” setting out a range of topics, illustrating how negative the runway’s impacts would be.
By Mark Leftly – Associate Business Editor (Independent)
The Early Engagement period is until a 2nd Gatwick is recommended by the Government “through adoption of a National Policy Statement or other procedure.”
During the Early Engagement Period, GAL will:
• Operate a helpline number that is dedicated to responding to queries from local landowners and occupiers.
• Maintain a website that provides relevant updates on progress being made by GAL and the Commission.
• Periodically issue a “newsletter” that provides information on progress that GAL is making with its proposal for a second runway at Gatwick.
• Provide a clear and timely response to relevant issues raised in correspondence received by or on behalf of affected parties. GAL will respond to all written correspondence as soon as possible and in any event within ten working days.
• If, and as, required allocate each affected party a named “case manager” at GAL who will offer to meet with the affected party to understand their concerns and the potential implications for the property concerned. The case manager will provide their full contact details and will be available for ongoing dialogue as reasonably necessary.
• Continue to operate the Property Market Support Bond and Home Owner Support Scheme, in either their existing or an updated form. Details of these schemes, which apply to residential, agricultural and small commercial premises, will be available on the GAL website and can also be provided by the GAL case manager on request.
• Ensure all correspondence is treated confidentially.
“NOTE: Under current legislation, GAL is likely to apply for a DCO to achieve the necessary planning (and other) consents necessary to build a second runway including planning permission and any compulsory purchase powers that are required. The DCO process applies to applications for projects that qualify as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and is set out in the Planning Act 2008.
“The first step in the DCO process is when the promoter (in this case, GAL) notifies the Planning Inspectorate that it intends to submit an application for a DCO at some future date. This notification of intention is likely to be made soon after the date on which the GAL Board confirms its intention to proceed with a planning application.”
“Ater the date on which GAL confirms it’s Board has resolved to proceed with a planning application, it will:
• Work together in a spirit of co-operation with owners and occupiers of property which GAL requires to purchase or in respect of which it has granted options to sell with a view to reaching an early form of agreement.
• Provide every directly affected landowner and occupier with a “case manager”. (In some cases, a case manager will have already been appointed during the Early Engagement Period.)
• Advise land owners as early as possible of any survey requirements that will require entry to their land before the applications are submitted. We will seek to agree terms of entry that will minimize inconvenience and disruption and will pay compensation for any damage or crop loss.
• Seek to understand the key risks, issues and concerns identified by affected landowners and occupiers and consider an appropriate strategy to deal with these. For commercial occupiers this will include understanding of replacement property type, size and geographical requirements.
• Provide every directly affected landowner and occupier with details of the “Compulsory Purchase Helpline” operated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and provide an undertaking on the basis on which reasonably incurred professional fees will be reimbursed.
• Seek to agree at an early stage, the basis on which it is (or will be) appropriate for GAL to pay compensation.
• Provide a clear and timely response to all relevant issues raised in correspondence received by or on behalf of affected parties. GAL will respond to all written correspondence as soon as possible and in any event within ten working days.
• Provide all relevant qualifying owners and occupiers of property which GAL requires to purchase or in respect of which it has granted options to sell with a financial offer to acquire their interest within one month of having been provided with an opportunity to inspect the property and relevant additional supporting information. This offer may be on an outright purchase or option basis.
• Ensure all correspondence is treated confidentially.
If GAL fails to meet any of its commitments set out herein, any affected landowner or occupier should follow the complaints procedure, which is set out below;
• In the first instance, the complainant should inform their GAL case manager of the specific nature of their complaint and seek a resolution. It is hoped that the majority of complaints can be resolved in this manner.
• If it is not appropriate to contact the GAL case manager, or the complainant is not happy with the response received, a formal written complaint should be submitted to the CEO of GAL.
• Any complaint will be acknowledged within five working days and responded to as soon as possible and in any event within fifteen working days.
• If the complainant remains unsatisfied with the written response received, it may refer its concern in writing to an appointed independent person appointed by GAL.
• Any complaints will be monitored to ensure that GAL maintains a high standard of service delivery in its engagement with affected landowners and occupiers.
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Four Conservative-run local authorities have appointed a legal team, (Harrison Grant Solicitors) warning that if the Government did not rule out a 3rd Heathrow runway, then legal action will be launched. The four are the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. All are long-standing opponents of a 3rd runway. The solicitors have written to the Prime Minister on their behalf explaining how “insurmountable environmental problems” would make government backing for a new runway “irrational or otherwise unlawful”. Local campaign group in the Heathrow Villages, “Stop Heathrow Expansion” representing residents in the south of Hillingdon whose lives would be directly impacted by the runway, welcomed the letter. Christine Taylor, Harlington resident and Stop Heathrow Expansion supporter, said: “Residents of the Heathrow Villages have had enough – we’ve been fighting this for over 30 years. We want to draw an end to the repeated threat of Heathrow expansion on our communities.” Rob Gray, the voice of the “Back Heathrow” group, complains residents will be furious that councils are spending money. He ignores the fact that residents could be equally furious that Heathrow has, yet again, put the councils in the position where they have little choice other than to defend themselves from the airport’s plans.
Heathrow Airport third runway: Campaigners react to legal threat from councils
BY KATHERINE CLEMENTINE (Get West London)
Heathrow villagers say the threat will provide a reminder to David Cameron’s ‘no third runway’ pledge, but a waste of money say pro-expansion group
Christine Taylor, from Harlington, and the Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) group. And Rob Gray, [the (only?) employee of “Back Heathrow” with a model taxi. Certainly taxi drivers who work at Heathrow back expansion, and other airport workers and their families. But how many others locally?]
Heathrow Airport campaigners have spoken out after councils threatened David Cameron with legal action , should the third runway go ahead.
Four Conservative-run local authorities appointed a legal team, warning that if the Government did not rule out expansion at Heathrow Airport, then legal action will be launched.
The four local authorities are made up of the London Boroughs of Hillingdon , Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.
All these authorities are long-standing opponents of a third runway at Heathrow.
Harrison Grant Solicitors has written to the prime minister on their behalf explaining how “insurmountable environmental problems” would make government backing for a new runway “irrational or otherwise unlawful”.
Heathrow villagers have ‘had enough’
Stop Heathrow Expansion was founded in 2014 as a successor group to NoTrag, representing residents in the south of Hillingdon whose lives would be directly impacted by Heathrow expansion, and welcomed the letter.
Robert Barnstone, Campaign Co-ordinator, said: “We welcome this timely letter to David Cameron. It serves as an important reminder that he must not break his pledge that a third runway will not go ahead, no ifs or buts”.
Christine Taylor, Harlington resident and Stop Heathrow Expansion supporter, said: ” This is no idle threat.
“Residents of the Heathrow Villages have had enough – we’ve been fighting this for over 30 years.
“We want to draw an end to the repeated threat of Heathrow expansion on our communities.”
‘Squandered’ taxpayers’ money
But Pro-Heathrow expansion group, Back Heathrow, say residents will be “furious” at the threat from councils.
Robert Gray, Back Heathrow Campaign Director, said: “Thousands of taxpayers living in these four boroughs will be furious that councils are spending their money on preparing to sue the Government, rather than on providing vital local services.
“Many residents work at Heathrow and local businesses have strong links with the UK’s largest single site employer; they will wonder why taxpayers’ money is being squandered in this way.
“Heathrow is a vital national asset and the government should not be held to ransom by four councils when there is enormous support for expansion from local residents, businesses, communities and MPs across the UK.”
[Rob Gray ignores the fact that residents could be equally furious that Heathrow has, yet again, put the councils in the position where they have little choice other than to defend themselves from the airport’s plans – which would have hugely negative impacts on the areas the councils look after. AW comment]
Four councils affected by Heathrow threaten to take legal action against Government if it backs Heathrow runway
Four Conservative controlled councils – Hillingdon, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead councils – are preparing to sue the government over a proposed 3rd Heathrow runway. The four councils are near Heathrow, and affected adversely by it. The warning to David Cameron, from their lawyers, says an escalation in the number of flights would be “irrational and unlawful”. The legal letter to No 10 says court proceedings will be launched unless the Prime Minister categorically rules out expansion of Heathrow. It says “insurmountable environmental problems” around the airport mean it can never be expanded without subjecting residents to excessive pollution and noise. The councils have believed, since the launch of the (government appointed) Airports Commission’s final report, that it made a “flawed assessment” of Heathrow’s ability to deal with environmental issues (noise, NO2, and carbon emissions among them). The councils also say David Cameron’s previous promise – “No ifs, No buts, no 3rd runway” – had created a “legitimate expectation” among residents that there would be no runway. The authorities have appointed Harrison Grant, the solicitors that led a successful High Court challenge in 2010 against the former Labour government’s attempt to expand Heathrow.
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Heathrow is hoping to get backing from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the regions, by tempting them with the prospect of lucrative contracts to supply the construction of the 3rd runway (which it presumes it will be getting). It also hopes it can persuade companies that another Heathrow runway will boost their businesses. Heathrow says it will “need more SMEs from the Northern Powerhouse in Heathrow’s supply chain to deliver an expanded Heathrow.” To help get more SMEs on board, there will be “Business Summits in Manchester (7th June) and Leeds (29th September). The days “will consist of speed-dating style sessions of interviews with procurement managers representing businesses based at the airport. By forging connections and winning new business, SMEs have the opportunity to enter Heathrow’s supply chain before development work kicks off as well as using the airport’s international presence to project their brand globally.” There is also an annual Heathrow’s flagship Summit which takes place at the airport each November. Heathrow is hoping to lure them, saying: “with the airport spending over £1.5 billion annually with over 1,200 suppliers from around the UK….[the role of SMEs] will grow with the airport’s expansion.”
Calling all SMEs – Heathrow’s Business Summit hits the road
3.3.2016 (Heathrow airport press release)
” “We’ll need more SMEs from the Northern Powerhouse in Heathrow’s supply chain to deliver an expanded Heathrow” declared Phil Wilbraham, Heathrow’s Development Director at the BCC’s [British Chambers of Commerce] annual conference as he announced Business Summits in Manchester and Leeds.
With strengths in complex manufacturing, science and innovation, SMEs in the Northern Powerhouse will be integral to Heathrow’s ability to deliver an expanded hub airport for the UK on-time and on-budget.
SME involvement in Heathrow’s supply chain is thriving, driven by massive increases over the past three years. Today, almost half of Heathrow’s Tier 1 suppliers are SMEs compared to just over a third three years ago.
Heathrow is looking to actively engage even more SMEs at all levels of the supply chain with the launch of Business Summits in Manchester and Leeds following a successful trial with Business Summit North last year. The Northern Business Summits will complement Heathrow’s flagship Summit which takes place at the airport each November.
Now entering its 20th year, Heathrow’s annual Business Summit gives SMEs a unique opportunity to engage directly with each other and the airport’s supply chain – enabling the face-to-face interactions that are key to cementing relationships and connecting SMEs to growth opportunities at the airport and around the world.
SMEs already play a key role in Heathrow’s supply chain – with the airport spending over £1.5 billion annually with over 1,200 suppliers from around the UK – and their role will grow with the airport’s expansion.
Overnight Heathrow expansion will become the UK’s largest infrastructure project and a diverse supply chain will be required to deliver it. The first wave of new jobs from the £15.6 billion project will come from the planning and development of an additional runway and new terminals, offering significant opportunities for SMEs across the UK.
Phil Wilbraham, Heathrow’s Development Director said:
“SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and have played an indispensable role in helping us transform Heathrow into a world-class airport Britain can be proud of.
We started the Heathrow Business Summit 20 years ago and we’ve seen the proportion of SMEs in our supply chain grow ever since. I’m proud that this year we’re able to host Business Summits across the Northern Powerhouse – enabling us to do our part to encourage their continued growth.”
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Policy Director Chris Fletcher said:
“Greater Manchester Chamber is really pleased to work with Heathrow in putting forward business opportunities to our members and other local businesses. This is proof that major organisations have real openings to work and trade with other businesses irrespective of their size or location. The UK economy can only get stronger by all businesses taking advantage of such opportunities and we encourage as many companies as possible to get involved.”
West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Graham Cooper said:
“The event last year was a great example of how the Chamber can work with organisations like Heathrow to highlight national supply chain opportunities for businesses in our region. It also demonstrated that Heathrow has a genuine appetite to create and build long term relationships with companies who operate within a variety of sectors .The length and breadth of Heathrow’s supply chain provides a massive opportunity, one which I would encourage businesses to take advantage of at the event in 2016.” ”
The Northern Powerhouse Heathrow Business Summits will take place in Manchester on 7th June and Leeds 29th September. SMEs wishing to register for the Manchester Business Summit should contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for the Leeds event. More information is also available on the Heathrow Business Summit webpage: www.heathrow.com/businesssummit
The day will consist of speed-dating style sessions of interviews with procurement managers representing businesses based at the airport. By forging connections and winning new business, SMEs have the opportunity to enter Heathrow’s supply chain before development work kicks off as well as using the airport’s international presence to project their brand globally.
…. and more at ….http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Corporate-operational-24/6029
Heathrow highlights importance of ‘Northern Powerhouse SMEs’ to expansion plans
3.3.2016 (B Daily)
By Billy Wood
Heathrow Airport has outlined the importance role SMEs from across the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will play in delivering the airport’s expansion plans.
Ahead of the government’s decision in the summer on any potential third runway, Heathrow’s Development Director, Phil Wilbraham has been talking up the key role the North’s SMEs will play were the hub to expand.
The airport already spends over £1.5bn a year with over 1,200 SMEs across the UK as part of its supply chain, and it claims there will be significant opportunities in planning and developing an additional runway and new terminals if the £15.6bn project is to go ahead.
The claims come as the airport announces its Heathrow Business Summits for 2016, in Manchester on 7 June and Leeds on 29th September, which give SMEs the chance to come face-to-face with the airport’s suppliers.
Talking up the input of SMEs in the continued development of the airport, Wilbraham said: “SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and have played an indispensable role in helping us transform Heathrow into a world-class airport Britain can be proud of.
“We started the Heathrow Business Summit 20 years ago and we’ve seen the proportion of SMEs in our supply chain grow ever since. I’m proud that this year we’re able to host Business Summits across the Northern Powerhouse – enabling us to do our part to encourage their continued growth.”
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Policy Director Chris Fletcher, commenting on Heathrow’s Business Summits, believes the benefits of a third runway will be felt right across the country.
He said: “Greater Manchester Chamber is really pleased to work with Heathrow in putting forward business opportunities to our members and other local businesses.”
“This is proof that major organisations have real openings to work and trade with other businesses irrespective of their size or location. The UK economy can only get stronger by all businesses taking advantage of such opportunities and we encourage as many companies as possible to get involved.”
West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Graham Cooper added: “The event last year was a great example of how the Chamber can work with organisations like Heathrow to highlight national supply chain opportunities for businesses in our region.
“It also demonstrated that Heathrow has a genuine appetite to create and build long term relationships with companies who operate within a variety of sectors. The length and breadth of Heathrow’s supply chain provides a massive opportunity, one which I would encourage businesses to take advantage of at the event in 2016.”
Heathrow to work on research into impact of runway on SMEs and their exports (imports?)
February 2, 2016
Heathrow Airport is to commission a report to look into the impact of a potential 3rd runway on the UK’s SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) community across the country. It will be a consultation by Heathrow itself and a small business support group called Enterprise Nation. The study starts in February, will seek the views of Enterprise Nation’s community of over 65,000 small businesses to gauge how they feel the airport’s development plans will impact them. The aim is for Heathrow to try to prove that its runway will help the UK to export more. (It does not mention imports – which are actually larger by tonnage and by value than exports.) Heathrow says that once completed, the findings will be used to develop an SME growth strategy within Heathrow’s expansion plans, focusing on what can be done to drive SME export growth in line with the Government target of over £1 trillion of UK exports by 2020. John Holland-Kaye made the usual comments including the runway providing “up 40 new trading links and improve domestic connectivity; making it cheaper and more efficient for SMEs to sell their products in fast growing markets around the world,” The findings of the report are due in April. Earlier Heathrow said the value of its air freight in 2014 was £101 billion. But the value of its exports was £48 billion. That is 47.5% of the total – a bit under half. The rest is imports.
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