Gatwick will get a Brüel & Kjær system to provide better flight and noise info for local people

Gatwick says it will soon improve the technology it uses, so local residents can get information on the details of planes using the airport. It will be using the EMS Brüel & Kjær system, also used by Heathrow. The website is due to be available in a few months. The system will also allow noise complaints to be submitted via an automated telephone line, which has been a key request from local communities for several years, since this was withdrawn by Gatwick and they had made complaining about noise very difficult. There will be “up to” 23 new noise monitoring terminals in surrounding areas, to monitor noise levels. These can then be presented in real time alongside flight information from the airport radar and other airport systems. Gatwick hopes this will be preferred by local people, and provide them with better information. Also that airlines might “use the data to analyse how they might improve the performance of their flights in terms of track keeping and noise.” A Gatwick public affairs person said “… we know that some residents are concerned by the impacts of aircraft noise.”… and Gatwick hopes it will ” improve our engagement with communities that are negatively impacted by aircraft noise.” 
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£1 million investment by Gatwick allows residents to access aircraft noise data

Gatwick has invested nearly £1 million in new technology that dramatically improves the monitoring of aircraft flights and associated noise – with information updated every second – so that local residents can access data and generate reports on demand, the airport announced today.

In a UK-airport first, the new system – provided by EMS Brüel & Kjær – also allows noise complaints to be submitted via an automated telephone line, a key request from the local community.

Up to twenty three new noise monitoring terminals will be introduced in surrounding areas to collect noise levels, which can then be presented in real time alongside flight information from the airport radar and other airport systems.

New noise monitor in front of aircraft landing on Gatwick’s main runway

The new technology helps to improve accessibility to noise information and the airport hopes it will also help to improve understanding among local communities by providing one of the most accurate and up to date noise and flight data systems.

Airlines can also use the data to analyse how they might improve the performance of their flights in terms of track keeping and noise.

The new system also makes aircraft noise information easier to access and understand through a new website – expected to be available in the next few months – that can be customised to show information on flights and noise relevant to a resident’s local area.

Tim Norwood, Director of Corporate Affairs, Planning and sustainability, Gatwick Airport, said:

“While many thousands of local people benefit from Gatwick’s jobs, connections and wealth creation, we know that some residents are concerned by the impacts of aircraft noise. The new noise and flight track keeping system means that residents can more easily and conveniently access information, and generate reports, on aircraft noise in real time. 

“The system is comprehensive, easy to use, and based on the latest technology and we very much hope that it also helps us to improve our engagement with communities that are negatively impacted by aircraft noise.” 

https://www.crawleynews24.co.uk/1-million-investment-by-gatwick-allows-residents-to-access-aircraft-noise-data/

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See earlier:

Gatwick now only allows noise complaints by online form (or paper post) – no longer by phone or email

After changing flight paths in 2014, Gatwick made other changes to flight paths that have affected a lot of people. Many who only had the occasional plane over them now find themselves subjected to one every 5 minutes or less, for hours on end, day after day. Gatwick has also slightly increased its numbers of flights. So people complained. The airport found itself inundated with complaints (which it rather charmingly calls “enquiries”). The number rose 6-fold in a year. Gatwick then changed the system so there could only be one noise complaint per household per day. Gatwick has now found a way to cut the complaints. While in the past people could email or phone their complaint, – now the only means of complaint is filling in a relatively long internet form.  Or sending in a complaint by paper post, which has now been made Freepost. This new system means anyone not able to access the internet is effectively prevented from complaining, unless they want to rack up bills. Under the new system there is no limit on the number of complaints per day but each time the ten lines of required information for the form must be filled in. Why is Gatwick so unhelpful? At least the complaint system at Heathrow allows someone to email, or phone and speak to a person. Gatwick’s treatment of its neighbours seems to have taken a further, downward, turn. Not being selected for a new runway, it has given up on any sort of charm offensive with the local residents.

Click here to view full story…

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And much earlier – what a wonderful woman !

 

NOT GUILTY of annoying the airport by complaining for 4 years about Gatwick aircraft noise

An elderly lady, Ann Jones, was recently arrested, at the instigation of Gatwick Airport, for lodging too many complaints with the airport noise complaints line. She was charged with the criminal offence of using a telephone to cause annoyance or anxiety – although she only spoke to an airport answerphone set up to receive noise complaints.  She was taken to court but found not guilty.  GACC said it was a disgrace the case had ever been brought, wasting public money.  Ann Jones had adopted the tactic of ringing the airport answerphone each time she heard a plane.  Although unusual, the court decided that this was not illegal.  As Ann said:  “What is the point of having a complaints service if one can’t use it to complain?” 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2011/02/not-guilty-of-annoying-the-airport-by-complaining-for-4-years-about-gatwick-aircraft-noise/
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Heathrow’s Fly Quiet results reach new heights of improbability

Heathrow has this week (22nd March) belatedly published the results from its Fly Quiet & Green programme for Q4 2018.  In this scheme Heathrow assesses 7 different aspects of environmental performance, but it only publishes a single, numeric “Fly Quiet points” score for each airline. That published score is the sum of the Fly Quiet points awarded to the airline for each of the 7 metrics. But that part that is far from transparent, with the 7 numbers per airline not made public. The results put out by Heathrow do not make any sense, and do not appear to properly reflect the actual noise. Rather, they appear to be manipulated to make  noise levels look lower than they really are. This time around instead of giving the airlines an average score of around 750 out of (optimum) 1000, as with previous quarters’ results (already grossly inflated), Heathrow has hiked the average score by over 8% to 813 points.  The expected average (mean and median) score should be around 500. But not content with inflating the scores even more than usual, Heathrow has also inexplicably excluded 5 (China Southern, El Al, Korean Air etc) of its 50 busiest airlines from the results – but added others instead.
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Comment from AvGen on the recent Heathrow noise figures

23.3.2019 (From Dave Reid, at AvGen)

http://www.avgen.co.uk

The Fly Quiet & Green programme aims to measure, assess and compare the environmental characteristics and performance of the airlines that serve Heathrow and the aircraft that they use (we fully support that aim, though not the way it has been implemented).

Heathrow assesses seven different aspects of environmental performance, but it only publishes a single, numeric “Fly Quiet points” score for each airline.  That published score is the sum of the Fly Quiet points awarded to the airline for each of the seven metrics.  That’s the part that is far from transparent and is, AvGen believes, flawed.

Heathrow consistently declines to provide a breakdown of how many of the points that make up an airline’s published total Fly Quiet score have been gained from each of the seven metrics. 

That refusal is ridiculous and disingenuous, particularly given that Heathrow identifies which airline is best, second-best, third-best, etc, for each of the metrics and states how those rankings are supposed to translate unambiguously into Fly Quiet points.

Our view is that Heathrow cannot publish the Fly Quiet points breakdown per metric because it would reveal that points are not being awarded in accordance with the stated rules of the scheme. 

Specifically, we believe that airlines performing poorly on any of the seven metrics are being overmarked, sometimes significantly, which inflates the resulting Fly Quiet points scores.

Heathrow could, if it chose, address our criticisms by simply publishing the points breakdown for the world to see.

http://www.avgen.co.uk

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Background to the “Fly Quiet and Green” scores

In July 2017, Heathrow published the first of a new series of quarterly Fly Quiet & Green statistics, ranking airlines on several different aspects of their environmental performance.

Shortly after publication, AvGen drew Heathrow’s attention to apparent anomalies in the calculation of the results. The published “league table” did not appear to be reproducible, despite using exactly the methodology and inputs published by Heathrow.

AvGen requested some worked examples of the methodology from Heathrow in an attempt to identify where the discrepancies lay. Heathrow did not respond to this request.

A subsequent request by AvGen elicited the response from Heathrow that it was satisfied with the accuracy of its results, but still without providing any examples to substantiate them.

AvGen then provided Heathrow with a paper highlighting (with specific examples) areas where it believed Heathrow’s analysis was flawed. No response was received to this.

See full details of the AvGen assessment of “Fly Quiet and Green” at 

Fly Quiet & Green Forensics V1.3

 

 


AvGen says:

We will never know how China Southern, El Al, Korean Air, Kuwait Airways or Pakistan International Airlines are judged to have performed, because Egyptair short/longhaul, Icelandair (ditto) and MEA longhaul (all with fewer flights than any of the above) have been substituted instead.  In fact El Al and China Southern had over three times as many flights as MEA longhaul during Q4.

We will, as usual, invite Heathrow’s comments on our findings, though past experience suggests there will be none.  Heathrow could, of course, choose to publish a breakdown of how many points each metric contributed to airlines’ aggregate scores – but that would make its flawed results even more obvious.

Incidentally, although Heathrow never acknowledges it when I send Matt Gorman, Richard Norman and Nigel Milton a copy our our quarterly findings, they have taken note of one of the issues I raised in the email.  Those have now been fixed on the website..

 

A more detailed look at the Q4 table shows:

  1. a) Individual airline scores are inflated by between 17% and 240%, with the poorest performing carriers receiving the biggest unjustified increase in their score. The 544 points score awarded by Heathrow to MEA shorthaul is over 380 points more than the airline actually merits based on its performance and Heathrow’s rules..
  2. b) 48 out of the 50 airlines in Heathrow’s table are awarded more than the correctly calculated average (based on Heathrow’s data and methodology) of 522.
  3. c) Turkish Airlines longhaul and Jet Airways are given an unexplained hike up the table, each by 15 places, compared to the positions that their performance merits.
  4. d) Among the airlines entitled to feel aggrieved with this quarter’s published results include Icelandair shorthaul, relegated 20 places from its rightful position.Turkish Airlines shorthaul, despite meriting 503 points by Heathrow’s own methodology, putting it just above Air Malta, bizarrely ends up ranked 21 places below the Maltese carrier.
  5. e) “RAG” (red/amber/green) classifications are again applied inconsistently; for example Thai Airways and TAP, ranked 44th and 45th, respectively, by Heathrow for early/late movements, get an “Amber” for that category while Scandinavian, ranked 34th for that metric by Heathrow, gets a “Red”.
  6. f) For the second successive quarter, 180 flights by Finnair’s A330 and A350 fleets (out of an airline total of 905) appear not to have been taken into account in calculating the results, with only its narrow-body A320 family flights having been counted.

Dave Reid
AvGen Limited
Reading, UK
+44 (0)118 975 7929
dave.reid@avgen.com


Another way of looking at the Fly Quiet anomalies – by AvGen

Consider just one airline: Oman Air.

We’re asked to believe that its environmental performance across the seven Fly Quiet
metrics in Q3 2018 merited an aggregate score of 917 – that’s only 83 points short of the 1,000 “perfect” score !

So how did Heathrow decide to deduct only 83 points ? The airport refuses to explain, probably because it makes no sense.

Leaving aside the 2 metrics where Oman Air ranked Number One and so didn’t lose any points for those (Track-keeping and Early/Late Movements), we are left with the other 5 metrics (Noise Quota Count, Noise Chapter, NOx emissions, CAEP and CDAs) where those 83 points must therefore have been deducted (for 24th, 8th, 34th, 7th, and 20th place, respectively).

We can easily deduce how much those 5 metrics each contributed to the 83 points lost, because Heathrow tells us how many places Oman dropped for each metric and the relative weighting per metric (50%, 50%, 50%, 50% and 150%, respectively).

For Noise Quota, Oman dropped 23 places (47% of the way down), but only lost 15.2 points (17%) from the 89.3 available.

For Noise Chapter, Oman dropped 7 places (14% of the way down), but only lost 4.6 points (5%) from the 89.3 available.

For NOx, Oman dropped 33 places (67% of the way down), but only lost 21.7 points (24%) from the 89.3 available.

For CAEP, Oman dropped 6 places (12% of the way down the table), but only lost 4.0 points (4%) from the 89.3 available.  [CAEP means Standard (engine emissions certification)]

For CDAs, Oman dropped 19 places (39% of the way down), but only lost 37.5 points (14%) from the 267.9 available.

BUT the Fly Quiet rules state that, for each metric, the proportion of points deducted from the maximum available score is determined solely by how far down the table the airline is for that metric. So the above scores make no sense at all.

If points deducted by Heathrow are compared with places dropped, then its flawed implementation of its own rules means that Oman, if it came bottom for every metric, would still be awarded 638 points instead of the 0 that the rules specify !

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See earlier:

Consultancy AvGen finds, yet again, Heathrow’s “Fly Quiet & Green” programme comes up with weird, incorrect, results

Heathrow has published the results from its Fly Quiet & Green programme for 2018 Quarter 1.  Unfortunately it seems determined to persist with the flaky arithmetic and absence of logic and common sense that characterised the results for previous quarters (which remain unaltered). For Q1, as with previous quarters, league table scores have again been inflated, this time by an average of around 44% compared to the results that are produced when Heathrow’s own published methodology and performance rankings are used.  Once again that increase has not been applied uniformly across all 50 airlines (a number of them have been awarded more than double the number of points that they merit), with the result that the relative league table positions are significantly altered. Below are some examples, from consultancy, AvGen, showing the arbitrary results – which do not appear to be based on much logic – of airlines being put into higher and lower rankings, based on their noise and emissions. By contrast with the Heathrow figures, those from AvGen show the greenest airline is Aer Lingus – not Scandinavian. The second greenest is Finnair, not LOT Polish Airlines. Curious that Heathrow does such odd things with the data ….

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/05/consultancy-avgen-finds-yet-again-heathrows-fly-quiet-green-programme-comes-up-with-weird-incorrect-results/

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Grayling’s team at DfT deliberately tried to conceal information about Heathrow 3rd runway noise, which might have risked “further scrutiny”

A totally damning, ‘smoking gun’ memo has been located, showing how DfT staff in November 2017 were keen to avoid information showing how bad Heathrow noise would be – and how many people would be affected – with a 3rd runway. The Times reveals how DfT staff plotted to cover up warnings about the extra aircraft noise, with a 6-page document sent to Chris Grayling (Transport Secretary) recommending blocking a plan to tell millions of households (up to 13 million people) about the extra noise they could face from a 3rd runway. Grayling and the DfT claim publicly that a 3rd runway could be introduced with fewer people affected by plane noise even with 265,000 more annual flights – which, of course, beggars belief of anyone with half a brain. The DfT memo wanted to avoid alerting people to the noise problem, for fear that would cause “disruption” and “public debate” and “further scrutiny” and “unnecessary controversy” before the parliamentary vote on the NPS (in June 2018). The memo included a map that reveals DfT officials knew well how badly vast swathes of London and southern England (and Grayling’s own constituency) would be badly affected. Disgraceful DfT behaviour.

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Grayling’s team tried to smother Heathrow runway noise warning

A ‘smoking gun’ memo shows aides wanted to stop the airport telling residents who might suffer from expansion

Officials at the Department for Transport plotted to cover up warnings about the extra aircraft noise created by a third runway at Heathrow, a memo reveals.

The six-page document — sent to Chris Grayling, the transport secretary — recommended blocking a plan to tell millions of households about the extra noise they could face from the airport’s £14bn expansion.

It puts more pressure on the embattled minister, nicknamed “Failing Grayling” after a series of bungles.

Chris Grayling and his department claim publicly that a third runway could be introduced with fewer people affected.
The memo, sent in November 2017, lays bare officials’ concerns about alerting residents living beneath potential flight paths about the disruption they might face on the grounds that the publicity could lead to “further scrutiny” of the scheme and “unnecessary controversy” before a parliamentary vote.

The memo included a map showing the area of London and southern England that could be flown over by planes at 7,000ft and lower.

“This memo is the smoking gun,” said Colin Stanbury, a noise expert commissioned by local councils to examine the impact of Heathrow expansion. “They knew the third runway would mean more noise for many more communities and this shows they didn’t want people to know.”

The map reveals that officials knew vast swathes of London and southern England could be affected. But Grayling and his officials insist publicly that a third runway, with an extra 265,000 flights a year across London and southern England, can be introduced with fewer residents affected by noise.

One council leader accused Grayling of a “giant con” by failing to publish relevant noise maps for the scheme before the parliamentary vote in June that backed the expansion.

The memo sent to Grayling warned that Heathrow planned to leaflet 5m people who could be affected by aircraft noise. The airport was also planning a publicity campaign that would reach about 13m people.

Officials warned that the plan was not “proportionate or sensible” and said a direct consultation was “not necessary”. The memo said it would underline the fact that no detailed flight paths had been published and could undermine support for a third runway. The memo was sent seven months before parliament voted to approve the runway. The minister was warned by his aviation team: “Using media to reach around 13m people who could be overflown by aircraft as a result of expansion is likely to create significant public debate and unnecessary controversy.

“Most of the people receiving this communication will not have previously engaged with the expansion of the airport.

“The possibility that people might be overflown is likely to create significant public disquiet and could cause previously supportive or neutral stakeholders to reconsider their position.”

Heathrow launched its expansion consultation early last year, with its leaflet and advertising campaign, despite the ministerial advice. The memo was produced as evidence by local councils and other parties for a judicial review of the Heathrow expansion scheme.

The review, which has been heard over the past two weeks at the High Court in London, covered a range of complaints, including an alleged failure by the transport department to alert people who might be affected by increased noise.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, one of the parties in the judicial review, said: “It is not possible to put another airport the size of Gatwick on the site without massive consequences on air pollution, noise and impacts on local people.

“Many more people will be affected by aircraft noise and that is what has been covered up.”

A three-runway Heathrow would accommodate up to 740,000 flights a year, more than half as many again as the current 475,000. It is proposed that the third runway, which will require a development consent order, is completed by 2025. Some areas that have not previously suffered aviation noise are being warned that they may have up to 47 flights an hour passing overhead.

Council experts say the areas at risk of increased noise include large parts of London and towns in the home counties, including Epsom in Surrey, Slough and Ascot in Berkshire; and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.

Heathrow said: “We have put local communities at the heart of our plans and that is why we have already sought maximum public input during non-statutory consultations.”

The airport said the internal memo by Grayling’s officials had no impact on its final consultation between January and March 2018.

The Department for Transport said: “We cannot comment on ongoing legal proceedings. Our position is clear and remains that expansion at Heathrow is a critical programme which will boost the economy, increase our international connections and create tens of thousands of new jobs.”

@jonungoedthomas 

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/graylings-team-tried-to-smother-heathrow-runway-noise-warning-psmxp0nzh

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Hampstead and Highgate, with few flights overhead now, due to get bad levels of Heathrow noise

Heathrow wants to expand its operations to fly over areas with little aviation activity at present, including over north west London. The local paper for Hampstead and Highgate says that Hampstead is 500 ft above sea level and, in Heathrow’s first phase of expansion, (it wants an extra 25,000 flights per year in a couple of years from now – if permitted) it may be exposed to flights at 2,500 to 3,500 ft. The noise levels would be over 60 to 65 decibels (dB) – more than the level of background noise in a busy office – from 6am every morning. Highgate may be in the same position. That might work out as a flight overhead every 2.5 minutes between 6am and 7am and one every 10 mins thereafter from 7am to 11.30pm.  If there is then a 3rd runway, there could be a flight every minute, with the noise of most being above 65dB. The negative effects on health, (from noise and air pollution) and noise impacts on the education of children are well known. The paper says: “That Heathrow is pushing ahead with expansion despite these impacts beggars belief.” While more studies need to be done on the health risks of aviation noise, it is a serious concern for residents accustomed to zero noise who are then subjected to noise above 65dB at least 40 times a day.

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View from the street: Heathrow need to put the brakes on

20 March 2019 (Ham and High – Hamstead and Highgate)

Plans from Heathrow could see more planes over Hampstead. Picture: PA
Heathrow wants to expand its operations to fly over areas with little aviation activity at present, including over north west London.

Hampstead is 500 ft above sea level and, in Heathrow’s first phase of expansion, it may be exposed to flights at 2,500 to 3,500 ft with noise levels at more than 60 to 65 decibels (dB) above level of background noise in a busy office, from 6am every morning. Highgate may be in the same position.

Heathrow wants to send one flight every 2.5 minutes between 6am and 7am and one every 10 mins thereafter from 7am to 11.30pm. In the second phase of expansion with the third runway, there is potential for one flight every minute with most being above 65dB.

Aviation noise has environmental, health and educational impacts that are not well known outside of aviation circles and which are causes for concern for affected residents. That Heathrow is pushing ahead with expansion despite these impacts beggars belief.

Environmental concerns include that the air pollution (NOx/ PM10/PM2.5 particulates) around Heathrow is already at or above acceptable limits and London as a whole is close to being in breach of EU requirements for NOx pollution.

Sadiq Khan is introducing the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to bring London’s air closer in compliance with EU emissions requirements. A 50 per cent increase in flights over inner/outer London at low altitudes, emitting these particulates, will reduce our air quality.

Health concerns include the findings of two major medical reports that conclude high levels of aircraft noise cause increased risks of stroke, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease for both hospital admissions and mortality, disturbed sleep and sleep recuperation, hypertension, raised blood pressure during night sleeping periods, lower birth weight of babies, and raised blood pressure in children.

A 5dB increase in aircraft noise was associated with a greater increase in waist circumference of 1.5cm due to increased stress hormones which might contribute to central obesity. A 10dB increase in day-time or night-time aircraft noise was associated with a 28pc increase in anxiety medication use. With schools experiencing aircraft noise above 63dB, there are higher rates of hyperactivity symptoms for children.

While more studies need to be done on the health risks of aviation noise, the above is a cause for concern for residents accustomed to zero noise who are then subjected to noise above 65dB at least 40 times a day with the first expansion and then every minute with the third runway.

Education impacts include poorer reading, comprehension and memory skills for children at school and at home. A 5dB increase in aircraft noise can cause a two-month delay in reading age.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Community Noise Guidelines suggest the background sound pressure level in school classrooms should not exceed 35dB during teaching sessions to protect from speech intelligibility and information extraction. They also suggest playgrounds should not exceed 55dB during the recess period to protect from annoyance. With the planned noise levels of over 65dB for north west London, this will not be achievable for the 55 school sites in Hampstead with 12,500 children going to school here.

Heathrow hopes to mitigate with quieter planes, but they are not nearly quiet enough to reduce the terrifying impact on residents.

A report in 2009 required Heathrow expansion to be limited to 702,000 ATMs by 2050 (inc the third runway) but Heathrow wants to increase to 740,000 ATMs. The third runway should be denied and any plans for the expansion abandoned.

Perhaps the High Court in the current judicial review hearing will help to put the brakes on Heathrow’s ambitions.

https://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/ham-high-guest-columnist-jessica-learmond-criqui-local-campaigner-heathrow-needs-to-put-the-brakes-on-1-5949696

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See also

At Heathrow legal hearings, Court told Grayling left thousands of people in the dark over the impact of Heathrow flight paths if expansion allowed

Chris Grayling left thousands of people in the dark over increased noise pollution from an expanded Heathrow by under-stating the impact of new flight paths. At the High Court hearings, lawyers for five London councils, the London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Greenpeace claim this amounts to a breach of the law under which the Transport Secretary should have identified all areas that might be affected. The Councils say that instead of an environmental report showing which communities were going to be hit by noise from flights, Mr Grayling only published “indicative flight paths.”  They say “The flight paths were drawn in such a way that the numbers of people affected were minimised. This meant the health and environmental costs of the north west runway were under-stated.”  Maps compiled by the councils suggest as many as 1 million more households will be affected by planes at 7,000 ft, or below, with decibel levels of at least 65, (equivalent to a vacuum cleaner in a room). A vast circular area stretching from Didcot in the west, Dartford and Romford in the east, Tring, Harpenden and Welwyn Garden City to the north, and Godalming, Leatherhead, Epsom and Copthorne – and many more places – to the south would be affected. The NPS failed to deal properly with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.

Click here to view full story…

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council sends highly critical response to Heathrow’s expansion plans – inflicting hugely more aircraft noise on them

Epsom & Ewell Borough is an area that is currently overflown by Heathrow planes at about 6,000 and 7,000 feet. Its Council has submitted a robust response to Heathrow’s airspace change consultation, furious about the vastly worse noise burden with which the borough is threatened. The proposals would perhaps mean additional flights operating as low as 3,000 feet at a frequency of up to 47 flights per hour for arrivals, and 17 flights per hour for departures.  Even the extra flights, in the short term, through IPA, could result in 25 flights per hour operating as low as 3,000 feet between 6am to 7am and 6 flights per hour at other times. Cllr Eber Kington, Chairman of the Council’s Strategy & Resources Committee, said the changes could mean a four to five-fold increase in noise levels in addition to the significant additional impact from the frequency of flights overhead and the impact on air quality. Cllr O’Donovan complained at how bad the consultation was.  Residents are angry that their own MP, Chris Grayling, is pushing for these hugely damaging noise impacts on his own constituents and voters – with inevitable decrease in local quality of life.

Click here to view full story…

Severe impact of 3rd Heathrow runway on residents laid out in High Court hearing

The Government’s approval of a third runway is being challenged at the High Court by a coalition of councils, residents, environmental charities and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.  Representing five London boroughs, Greenpeace and Mr Khan, Nigel Pleming QC said the plans could see the number of passengers using Heathrow rise to around 132 million, a 60% increase.  Mr Pleming said: “The new development, if it goes ahead, will add, in effect, a new airport with the capacity of Gatwick to the north of Heathrow” and that the adverse effects and consequences for local residents of such an expansion are “bound to be severe”. The legal challenges (other than the one by Heathrow Hub) say the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) setting out its support for the project fails to properly deal with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.  The claimants argue the NPS is unlawful and should be quashed, which would mean the Government would have to start the process again and put it to another vote in Parliament. Scores of demonstrators gathered outside the court ahead of the hearing, addressed by MPs, Council leaders and campaigners. All are determined that this runways is NOT going to go ahead. The hearings will last for 2 weeks.

The transcript of the proceedings on the first day of the hearings, Monday 11th March, can be seen here:   https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/110319.txt 

The transcripts of all the days of the hearings are at

https://www.judiciary.uk/publications/heathrow-claimants-v-the-secretary-of-state-for-transport-transcripts/ 

Click here to view full story…

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Austrian higher court approves construction of 3rd runway at Vienna Airport, refused on climate & noise grounds in Feb 2017

The Supreme Administrative Court in Austria has approved construction of a 3rd runway at Vienna Airport. The court overturned appeals made by local residents and environmental groups on the basis of noise complaints and environmental impact of the runway. Opponents had successfully argued that noise would be a problem across urban Vienna. Also that it could not be justified on climate change grounds.  But the airport appealed – and has now won.  It says the noise will not be a problem as there will not be landings over the Vienna city area during normal operations, and it aims at “decreasing noise pollution in the area.”  There are the usual claims that it will “reduce delays, fuel consumption, and noise by abolishing allotment patterns and queued aircraft during peak hours”.  Back in February 2017 a court said the increased greenhouse gas emissions for Austria would cause harm and climate protection is more important than creating other jobs. Also that the ability of the airport to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by its own measures were not sufficient, and emissions would rise too much. All now forgotten, it seems. Making money trumps climate stability.
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Austria court approves construction of third runway at Vienna Airport

20.3.2019 (Airport Technolog)

Vienna Airport

The Supreme Administrative Court (VwGH) in Austria has approved construction of a third runway at Vienna International Airport.

The court overturned appeals made by local residents and environmental groups on the basis of noise complaints and environmental impact of the third runway.

In their complaints, the citizens’ groups alleged that noise will be caused due to the landing of additional aircraft, especially in landings that cross the urban area of Vienna.

The VwGH clarified that the third runway is not intended for landings over the Vienna city area during normal operations, and it is aimed at decreasing noise pollution in the area.

“This decision ensures the long-term growth perspectives and competitiveness, not only for Vienna Airport but for the Austrian economy, industry, tourism and labour market.”

The management board of Flughafen Wien, the company which manages Vienna Airport, welcomed the verdict of the VwGH.

Flughafen Wien management board members Julian Jäger and Günther Ofner said: “Today is an important and positive day, not only for Austria as a business and tourism location. An overly long process has come to a positive and incontestable decision.

“This decision ensures the long-term growth perspectives and competitiveness, not only for Vienna Airport but for the Austrian economy, industry, tourism and labour market.”

The third runway is important for the future of Vienna International Airport, as it will reduce delays, fuel consumption, and noise by abolishing allotment patterns and queued aircraft during peak hours.

The airport said that it will now examine the court decision and provide information about the next steps in the near future.

Vienna Airport welcomed an increase in passenger numbers of just fewer than 11% for 2018 to 27 million. The airport expects to welcome more than 30 million travellers this year.

https://www.airport-technology.com/news/vienna-airport-austria-runway/

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See earlier:

 

Court in Austria blocks 3rd runway at Vienna airport, as climate harm outweighs a few more jobs

A court in Austria has ruled that Vienna Schwechat Airport cannot be expanded with a 3rd runway, on climate change grounds. It said the increased greenhouse gas emissions for Austria would cause harm and climate protection is more important than creating other jobs. The court said the ability of the airport to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by its own measures were not sufficient, and emissions would rise too much. It also said it was important to conserve valuable arable land for future generations to provide food supplies. The airport will appeal. It is using the same false arguments that the DfT and Heathrow are using here – that building a 3rd runway would (allegedly) reduce the amount of carbon emissions and noise because they claim (against common logic) that “fuel consumption and the noise are reduced, because the waiting times of the aircraft would be avoided at peak times.” The airport hopes the runway would bring more tourists into Austria to spend their money, and would be needed by 2025. The airport had 22.8 million passengers in 2015.  It is a mystery how such a low number of passengers could require 3 runways, when there is barely enough to fill one, let alone two, runway.

Click here to view full story…

Objections to plans for a 3rd runway at Vienna airport

September 14, 2012

Vienna airport has plans for a third runway, saying it is necessary due to increasing numbers of passengers etc. In July a consultation process started, on the environmental impact assessment. This has now closed, and there have been at least 25 appeals sent in. The second phase of the decision process will be handled by the Department of the Environment. Realistically, a final decision on the runway will not happen before 2014/15. Expansion opponents fear that their objections will not be listened to. A spokesman for the initiative opposing the runway plans said a few weeks ago that the construction of the road is already a foregone conclusion. The airport’s dialogue forum says residents groups are happy that more stringent noise and night flight regulations had been incorporated than provided by law.   Click here to view full story…

Important legal challenge by Vienna campaigners on noise compensation

October 28, 2012     Vienna airport has plans for a third runway, saying it is necessary due to increasing numbers of passengers etc. A decision due to be made on 8th November by the European Court of Justice could have major implications for campaigners across Europe. The court will decide whether compensation should be paid to residents who experience noise as a result of new flight paths being introduced. The compensation would be paid for loss of value of their property. The case has been brought by AFLG (Antifluglärmgemeinschaft) which consists of the 38 citizens’ initiatives who are opposed to the proposed 3rd runway at Vienna Airport. More details about the challenge in this newspaper article     Click here to view full story…

 

 

 

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At Heathrow legal hearings, Court told Grayling left thousands of people in the dark over the impact of Heathrow flight paths if expansion allowed

Chris Grayling left thousands of people in the dark over increased noise pollution from an expanded Heathrow by under-stating the impact of new flight paths. At the High Court hearings, lawyers for five London councils, the London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Greenpeace claim this amounts to a breach of the law under which the Transport Secretary should have identified all areas that might be affected. The Councils say that instead of an environmental report showing which communities were going to be hit by noise from flights, Mr Grayling only published “indicative flight paths.”  They say “The flight paths were drawn in such a way that the numbers of people affected were minimised. This meant the health and environmental costs of the north west runway were understated.”  Maps compiled by the councils suggest as many as 1 million more households will be affected by planes at 7,000 ft, or below, with decibel levels of at least 65, (equivalent to a vacuum cleaner in a room). A vast circular area stretching from Didcot in the west, Dartford and Romford in the east, Tring, Harpenden and Welwyn Garden City to the north, and Godalming, Leatherhead, Epsom and Copthorne – and many more places – to the south would be affected. The NPS failed to deal properly with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.

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Chris Grayling left thousands of people in the dark over the impact of expanded Heathrow flight paths, court told

By

Chris Grayling left thousands of people in the dark over increased noise pollution from an expanded Heathrow by understating the impact of new flight paths, the High Court will be told today.

Lawyers for five London councils, the London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Greenpeace claim this amounts to a breach of the law under which the Transport Secretary should have identified all areas that might be affected.

Instead of an environmental report showing which communities were going to be hit by noise from flights, Mr Grayling only published “indicative flight paths,” say the councils.

“The flight paths were drawn in such a way that the numbers of people affected were minimised. This meant the health and environmental costs of the north west runway were understated,” said Cllr Gareth Roberts, leader of Richmond Council, one of the five councils.

Maps, seen by The Daily Telegraph, suggest as many as 1m more households will be affected by planes at 7,000 ft with decibel levels of at least 65, equivalent to a vacuum cleaner in a room or a door on a noisy office being opened onto a quiet suburban garden.

The maps, compiled by the councils from Heathrow’s data, show a circular area affected stretching from Didcot in the west, Dartford and Romford in the east, Tring, Harpenden and Welwyn Garden City to the north, and Godalming and Copthorne to the south.

“The Secretary of State kept communities across south and west London in the dark about whether they would be affected by noise. If they couldn’t know they might be affected, they couldn’t be expected to respond to the consultation,” said Cllr Ravi Govindia, Wandsworth council leader.

The councils and Greenpeace claim the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) on Heathrow expansion fails to deal properly with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.

They argue the NPS is unlawful and should be quashed, which would mean the Government would have to start the process again and put it to another vote in Parliament.

The court was told yesterday the extra 260,000 flights a year from building a new runway effectively created a “new airport” the size of Gatwick, with “severe” consequences for Londoners.

Nigel Pleming, QC, for the councils, said the plans could see the annual number of passengers rise to 132 million, up 60 per cent.

The councils also claim the Government has underestimated the impact of the increased traffic on pollution. They say daily passenger airport trips will increase by almost 100,000 to 370,000 a day, with freight journeys almost doubling to 36,500.

The councils say the Government’s own calculations suggest it would mean the UK continuing be at risk of breaching EU pollution limits in 2030.

“Even without further expansion, pollution levels in the area which already exceed statutory levels and will not be below legal limits for many years to come,” said Hillingdon council leader Ray Puddifoot.

The councils are one of five groups mounting judicial reviews, being heard over the next two weeks. They include Friends of the Earth, Plan B, Heathrow Hub and Neil Spurrier.

Lawyers representing Mr Grayling said the claimants’ case is “unarguable” and “premature”, as they will all have the opportunity to make representations at a later stage in the planning process.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/11/chris-grayling-left-thousands-people-dark-impact-expanded-heathrow/

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See also

 

Severe impact of 3rd Heathrow runway on residents laid out in High Court hearing

The Government’s approval of a third runway is being challenged at the High Court by a coalition of councils, residents, environmental charities and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.  Representing five London boroughs, Greenpeace and Mr Khan, Nigel Pleming QC said the plans could see the number of passengers using Heathrow rise to around 132 million, a 60% increase.  Mr Pleming said: “The new development, if it goes ahead, will add, in effect, a new airport with the capacity of Gatwick to the north of Heathrow” and that the adverse effects and consequences for local residents of such an expansion are “bound to be severe”. The legal challenges (other than the one by Heathrow Hub) say the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) setting out its support for the project fails to properly deal with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.  The claimants argue the NPS is unlawful and should be quashed, which would mean the Government would have to start the process again and put it to another vote in Parliament. Scores of demonstrators gathered outside the court ahead of the hearing, addressed by MPs, Council leaders and campaigners. All are determined that this runways is NOT going to go ahead. The hearings will last for 2 weeks.

The transcript of the proceedings on the first day of the hearings, Monday 11th March, can be seen here:   https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/110319.txt

Click here to view full story…

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Severe impact of 3rd Heathrow runway on residents laid out in High Court hearing

The Government’s approval of a third runway is being challenged at the High Court by a coalition of councils, residents, environmental charities and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.  Representing five London boroughs, Greenpeace and Mr Khan, Nigel Pleming QC said the plans could see the number of passengers using Heathrow rise to around 132 million, a 60% increase.  Mr Pleming said: “The new development, if it goes ahead, will add, in effect, a new airport with the capacity of Gatwick to the north of Heathrow” and that the adverse effects and consequences for local residents of such an expansion are “bound to be severe”. The legal challenges (other than the one by Heathrow Hub) say the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) setting out its support for the project fails to properly deal with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.  The claimants argue the NPS is unlawful and should be quashed, which would mean the Government would have to start the process again and put it to another vote in Parliament. Scores of demonstrators gathered outside the court ahead of the hearing, addressed by MPs, Council leaders and campaigners. All are determined that this runways is NOT going to go ahead. The hearings will last for 2 weeks.
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Heathrow expansion would have ‘severe’ consequences for Londoners, court hears

by KATY CLIFTON (Evening Standard)

11th March 2019

Controversial plans to expand Heathrow would have “severe” consequences for Londoners, the High Court has heard.

The Government’s approval of a third runway is being challenged by a coalition of councils, residents, environmental charities and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Representing five London boroughs, Greenpeace and Mr Khan, Nigel Pleming QC said the plans could see the number of passengers using Heathrow rise to around 132 million, a 60 per cent increase.

Scores of demonstrators gathered outside the court ahead of the hearing, which was told the expansion would effectively create a “new airport”.

Demonstrators gather outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London (PA)

On Monday, the first day of a two-week hearing, Mr Pleming said: “The new development, if it goes ahead, will add, in effect, a new airport with the capacity of Gatwick to the north of Heathrow.”

He added that the adverse effects and consequences for local residents of such an expansion are “bound to be severe”.

The case is being brought against Transport Secretary Chris Grayling by local authorities and residents in London affected by the expansion and environmental charities.

Just one of the many horrors of the expansion planned by Heathrow would be as many as 700 more flights using the airport per day. Every day. That means a MASSIVELY increased noise burden. And hugely higher CO2 emissions. And much more air pollution, from both planes & vehicles

 

They claim the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) setting out its support for the project fails to properly deal with the impact on air quality, climate change, noise and congestion.

The claimants argue the NPS is unlawful and should be quashed, which would mean the Government would have to start the process again and put it to another vote in Parliament.

Mr Pleming said the building of a third runway at Heathrow, which was chosen as the preferred option for expanding airport capacity in the south east of England, is “politically controversial”.

He told the court Heathrow is the “busiest two-runway airport in the world” and is situated in a densely populated area.

He said: “If the (third runway) is the means of achieving expansion, there will be widespread consequences.

“There will be hundreds of thousands of additional flights each year across central London, and also affecting the south east.

“Thousands of people’s homes will be demolished. Hundreds of thousands will experience increased noise, worsened traffic and harmful air pollution.”

He said there were “errors” in the steps leading to the NPS which mean it is invalid.

Charities Friends Of The Earth and Plan B argue Mr Grayling failed to take enough account of the impact on air quality when reaching the decision to approve the third runway.

Lawyers representing Mr Grayling said the claimants’ case is “unarguable” and “premature”, as they will all have the opportunity to make representations at a later stage in the planning process.

Support from Labour MPs helped push through the proposals to expand Europe’s busiest airport with an overwhelming majority of 296 in a Commons vote in June last year.

Mr Grayling said at the time that the new runway would set a “clear path to our future as a global nation in the post-Brexit world”.

Construction could begin in 2021, with the third runway operational by 2026, the hearing, which is before Lord Justice Hickinbottom and Mr Justice Holgate, heard.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, whose Hayes and Harlington constituency includes Heathrow, said: “This is an iconic battleground in terms of climate change.”

Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, who previously resigned over the Government’s decision before returning to the Conservative Party, said: “It is a massive issue locally, but it’s a London issue. If you look at the proposals for flight paths, they are not specific, but they affect most of London.”

Craig Bennett, chief executive of Friends Of The Earth, said: “We absolutely do not see how you can have aviation expansion in the UK… while cutting our carbon emissions by 50% in the next 12 years.”

Executive director of Back Heathrow Parmjit Dhanda, who supports the expansion, said: “There is an awful lot of support for this project. [There were about 6 people outside the court, in a wan looking little gathering …. AW comment]

“It is really important that we see both sides of the argument.

“I think if this expansion did not go ahead, it would be a disaster for Britain in a post-Brexit world.”

A Department for Transport spokeswoman previously said: “Expansion at Heathrow is a critical programme which will provide a boost to the economy, increase our international links and create tens of thousands of new jobs.

“As with any major infrastructure project, we have been anticipating legal challenges and will robustly defend our position.”

A Heathrow spokeswoman previously said: “Our work in delivering Britain’s new runway will continue in tandem with this process following overwhelming support in Parliament.

“We remain focused on the work needed for our development consent order submission in 2020 and we are getting on with the delivery of this project which will benefit the whole of the UK.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/heathrow-expansion-would-have-severe-consequences-for-londoners-court-hears-a4088571.html?

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The transcript of the proceedings on the first day of the hearings, Monday 11th March, can be seen here:

https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/110319.txt 

 

The transcripts of all the days of the hearings can be seen at

https://www.judiciary.uk/publications/heathrow-claimants-v-the-secretary-of-state-for-transport-transcripts/

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Severe’ impact on residents of 3rd runway at Heathrow laid out in court

Judicial review focuses on air quality, climate change, noise and transport access

By Josh Spero (Financial Times)

11.3.2019

Building a third runway at Heathrow airport would have “severe” negative consequences for local residents, the High Court heard at the opening of a legal challenge to the government’s backing of the scheme.

Heathrow’s expansion was recommended by the Airports Commission and approved by MPs in June 2018 with a majority of 296. After the vote, the government adopted a national policy statement, which contained principles for the expansion. The judicial review, which is expected to last two weeks, is looking at the process of the statement’s adoption.

Five challenges to the decision on the future of the UK’s biggest aviation hub are being heard together, including one brought by a consortium of local authorities, campaigning organisation Greenpeace and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, on the grounds of air quality, climate change, noise pollution and transport access.

Introducing the councils’ case, Nigel Pleming QC said the expansion would enable Heathrow to add 260,000 flights a year to its current 480,000 capacity. “The new development will lead to a new airport with the capacity of Gatwick to the north of Heathrow,” he said, referring to the UK’s second-busiest airport. “The adverse consequences for affected residents . . . are bound to be severe.”

Mr Pleming, who acted for one of the councils in the 2010 challenge that derailed Heathrow’s last expansion attempt, laid out the grounds for the current review, which included a claim that the transport secretary had ignored the “high risk” that expansion would breach air quality standards.

He also said targets for changing how people travelled to Heathrow, moving from private cars to public transport, were “neither adequate nor achievable”, citing likely overcrowding on the London Underground’s Piccadilly line, which serves the airport as one example.

Lord Justice Hickinbottom, one of two judges presiding, said that while the complainants and members of the public had “sincere and deep concerns about issues such as air quality”, the review was concerned with the legality of the Airports National Policy Statement, rather than the merits or otherwise of expanding Heathrow.

Simon Dudley, leader of Windsor & Maidenhead council, one of the claimants in the review, said that since the Airports Commission had recommended a third runway at Heathrow, the process had developed a political inevitability: “We can’t stop going along that conveyor belt until we stop Heathrow in court,” Mr Dudley said.

He recommended building a hub airport elsewhere in the UK.

At a rally outside the High Court before the case opened, Susan Kramer, former MP for Richmond Park in south-west London, a constituency near Heathrow, said the cost of the third runway would finally fall on the public and compared it to budget overruns with Crossrail and the HS2 railway. “This whole strategy of underestimating the costs to get a project over the line and leaving it to the taxpayer to pick up the burden has run its course,” she said.

The Department for Transport said before the hearing opened: “As with any major infrastructure project, the government has been anticipating legal challenges and will robustly defend our position. We recognise the local impact of any expansion, which is why a world-class package of mitigations would need to be delivered.”

https://www.ft.com/content/3bf2da6e-4404-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3

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Epsom & Ewell Borough Council sends highly critical response to Heathrow’s expansion plans – inflicting hugely more aircraft noise on them

Epsom & Ewell Borough is an area that is currently overflown by Heathrow planes at about 6,000 and 7,000 feet. Its Council has submitted a robust response to Heathrow’s airspace change consultation, furious about the vastly worse noise burden with which the borough is threatened. The proposals would perhaps mean additional flights operating as low as 3,000 feet at a frequency of up to 47 flights per hour for arrivals, and 17 flights per hour for departures.  Even the extra flights, in the short term, through IPA, could result in 25 flights per hour operating as low as 3,000 feet between 6am to 7am and 6 flights per hour at other times. Cllr Eber Kington, Chairman of the Council’s Strategy & Resources Committee, said the changes could mean a four to five-fold increase in noise levels in addition to the significant additional impact from the frequency of flights overhead and the impact on air quality. Cllr O’Donovan complained at how bad the consultation was.  Residents are angry that their own MP, Chris Grayling, is pushing for these hugely damaging noise impacts on his own constituents and voters – with inevitable decrease in local quality of life.

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Epsom & Ewell Borough Council sends robust response to Heathrow’s expansion plans

1 March, 2019 (Epsom & Ewell Borough Council website)

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has submitted a robust response to Heathrow Airport Limited’s consultation on changes to existing airspace and future runway operations.

The consultation sets out how increased flights using the existing two runways and the proposed expansion to a third runway could operate in practice. This includes fundamental changes to the flightpaths and the geographic areas that are most likely to be impacted.

The borough of Epsom and Ewell is featured within four ‘design envelopes’ set out in Heathrow Airport Limited’s consultation on airspace and future operations. These proposals could result in the borough being overflown by aircraft far more frequently and at significantly lower altitudes.

Currently a proportion of aircraft arriving at or taking off from Heathrow airport fly over the borough at a height ranging from 7,000 to 22,000 feet [6,000 to 8,000 mainly. AW note] with the average being closer to about 12,000 feet.

However, the proposals for an expanded Heathrow airport specifies additional flights operating as low as 3,000 feet at a frequency of up to 47 flights per hour for arrivals, and 17 flights per hour for departures. 

Even without an additional runway, Heathrow Airport Limited’s proposed adoption of the Independent Parallel Approach (IPA) using the existing two runways would result in 25 flights per hour operating as low as 3,000 feet between 6am to 7am and 6 flights per hour at other times. In addition to the above, the borough borders an area directly to the North where it is proposed that aircraft would be flying at even lower altitudes i.e. down to just 2,000 feet. 

Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Council’s Strategy & Resources Committee, said: “For people living, working and studying in Epsom and Ewell these proposals could translate into an estimated four to five-fold increase in noise levels in addition to the significant additional impact from the frequency of flights overhead and the impact on air quality caused by increased air pollution levels including increased carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other compounds harmful to human health and the environment.

“Given the geographic topology of the borough, and the fact that Epsom and Ewell is already the most densely populated borough in Surrey, it faces greater risks from poor air quality and already has a declared Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). Therefore, significantly more residents and businesses would be impacted by the increase in air traffic and aircraft flying at significant lower altitudes in the airspace above and around the borough.”

Councillor Peter O’Donovan, Chairman of the Council’s Environment Committee said, “There were 26 consultation documents published on the Heathrow consultation website during the course of January 2019, much of which were highly technical including some that were over 500 pages long. Yet the consultation process itself which started on 8 January 2019 and is set to close on 4 March 2019 only allowed some 8 weeks for those impacted to read and analyse these documents before having to respond. The scheduling of just one local event for the whole borough of Epsom and Ewell with a population of some 80,000 was far from adequate.”

“Most of the questions posed in the consultation were highly constrained and leading, implying that significant increases in flights and flights operating at lower altitudes, with greater noise and pollution levels, were acceptable and enviable outcomes. This type of approach to consultation only serves to undermine trust and confidence in the process. It is vital that local communities including local businesses have the opportunity to be fully and properly engaged in the consultation on potential airport Expansion and that their voices are heard.”

Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Council’s Strategy & Resources Committee, added, “We will continue to argue in the strongest possible terms against any proposals for airport expansion that impacts so negatively on our borough.”

For details of the Council’s response to Heathrow Airport Limited’s consultation, please see: www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk

For info and to respond to the Heathrow Airspace and Future Operations consultation, which closes on 4 March, please see: https://afo.heathrowconsultation.com/

https://epsom-ewell.gov.uk/news/borough-council-sends-robust-response-heathrows-expansion-plans?platform=hootsuite

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Residents deliver scathing criticism of Grayling’s support for increased Heathrow flight paths

By Orlando Jenkinson Reporter – Kingston, Elmbridge & Epsom)
5th March 2019

Embattled Transport Secretary and Epsom and Ewell MP Chris Grayling came under fire from constituents over his support for Heathrow Airport’s expansion today (March 5).

Mr Grayling, who is facing calls to resign over his handling of Brexit contingency plans, was criticised by residents of his Epsom and Ewell constituency following a public consultation about the expansion proposals.

Responding to the Airspace and Future Operations consultation, Councillor Eber Kington, Chair of the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee refuted Mr Grayling’s 2016 claim that “fewer people will be affected by noise than is the case today” regarding the planned expansion.

Cllr Kington said: “These proposals could translate into an estimated four to five-fold increase in noise levels in addition to the significant additional impact from the frequency of flights overhead…Epsom and Ewell is already the most densely populated borough in Surrey, it faces greater risks from poor air quality and already has a declared Air Quality Management Area….”

“Significantly more residents and businesses would be impacted by the increase in air traffic and aircraft flying at significant lower altitudes in the airspace above and around the borough.”

One proposal for the expansion suggested new airspace arrangements which would see up to 47 planes per hour flying over the Epsom and Ewell constituency at just 3,000 feet.

Currently no planes fly over the area below about 6,000 feet altitude according to the Airspace and Future Operations Consultation document.

Speaking to the No 3rd Runway Coalition campaign, which is challenging the expansion plans, Epsom resident Sarah Clayton joined the growing chorus of voices demanding Grayling’s resignation.

Ms Clayton said: “These plans are deeply upsetting for my family and neighbours in the area. Not only has Chris Grayling’s never-ending list of failures had numerous negative impacts and cost the country hundreds of millions of pounds, but his keenness for a new runway at Heathrow is going to make the area a noise sewer.”

“He has actively supported and pushed through proposals to reduce the quality of life and the pleasantness of his own constituency. That is a derogation of duty to his own voters. I’d like him to resign.”

Coordinator of the Coalition Rob Barnstone meanwhile cited specific health disturbances which could result from the expansion as a central reason why so many residents in Epsom and Ewell were opposed to Mr Grayling’s support for more flight paths at Heathrow.

Mr Barnstone said: “We know that disturbance from aircraft noise, particularly at lower levels of altitude, has a series of health impacts, including but not limited to hypertension, onset of heart disease, decreased mental wellbeing and performance of children at school.

“Chris Grayling has failed the very people he represents in Parliament. By spearheading Heathrow expansion, he is dumping on his own constituents and many hundreds of thousands of others who will be newly overflown or have many more Heathrow planes over their homes as a result.”

Mr Grayling’s Westminster and Constituency offices were contacted for comment.

The response from residents followed a Richmond and Twickenham Times report which showed that the proposals could see new flight paths directly over Royal Park in Richmond. The park, which stretches over 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres), is a site of special scientific interest, a national nature reserve and a European conservation area.

Mr Grayling refused calls from the Labour opposition to resign his role as transport secretary on March 5 after it was revealed that UK taxpayers in effect paid the Eurotunnel company £33 million in a settlement after the company brought legal action against the “secretive” process purportedly pursued by Mr Grayling to strike shipping deals aimed at guaranteeing key supplies if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March.

“I will carry on serving the Prime Minister as long as she wants me to,” Mr Grayling told Sky News.

https://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/17478008.residents-deliver-scathing-criticism-of-graylings-support-for-increased-heathrow-flight-paths/

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Council leaders say Grayling’s claim a 50% larger Heathrow, with new flight paths, will mean fewer people affected by plane noise is a giant con

Heathrow’s own noise maps in its current “consultation” show vast areas in and around London to be negatively affected by aircraft noise from Heathrow, if it was allowed 25,000 more annual flights or a 3rd runway. Many areas of the capital and the home counties that have not previously suffered jet noise, could be getting up to 47 flights per hour overhead.  Many areas not currently overflown could have planes over them as low as 3,000 feet. Some areas currently somewhat overflown will get more planes going over them, and at lower altitudes. Heathrow deliberately keeps the details vague. In October 2016 Grayling promised parliament that “fewer people will be affected by noise than is the case today” after the third runway was built – even though there would be than 250,000 extra flights a year, equivalent to bolting an additional airport almost the size of Gatwick onto the existing site. Affected councils are challenging the government decision in the courts, starting on 11th March. Ravi Govindia, the Tory leader of Wandsworth council, said the public had been the victims of a “giant con”: “It beggars belief that people will believe Chris Grayling in his assertion that no more people will be affected.”  The DfT commented that “We absolutely refute these claims and are confident that fewer people will be affected by noise pollution under the new flight paths planned.” (sic)
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Chris Grayling’s expansion plan for Heathrow is a ‘giant con’

Council leaders who have seen new reports reject claims that fewer people would be affected by noise than are today

The embattled transport secretary, Chris Grayling, was fighting for his political life this weekend as Tory council bosses accused him of a “giant con” over Heathrow’s third runway.

Jet noise maps, published by the airport and analysed by local authorities, reveal the potential noise impact, once the runway is complete, across huge swathes of London and southern England that were not previously overflown.

In some areas of the capital and the home counties that have not previously suffered jet noise, the noise maps reveal that up to 47 flights an hour might pass overhead.

In October 2016 Grayling promised parliament that “fewer people will be affected by noise than is the case today” after the third runway was built. He made the pledge even though the expansion would mean more than 250,000 extra flights a year, equivalent to bolting an additional airport almost the size of Gatwick onto the existing site.

A three-runway Heathrow will accommodate up to 740,000 flights a year, more than half as many again as the current 475,000. Grayling believes aircraft will be quieter and so affect fewer residents.

This weekend council bosses, including the leaders of Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead, said the documents demolished Grayling’s claim. Court proceedings on the case will start next week.

Ravi Govindia, the Tory leader of Wandsworth council, said the public had been the victims of a “giant con”.

He said: “It beggars belief that people will believe Chris Grayling in his assertion that no more people will be affected. When you see the maps, virtually the whole of London and a large part of the southeast will be affected by additional flights.

“There are people in the south of this borough who have often said aircraft noise is not their problem. Well, it’s coming to their doorstep now.”

The new row comes after Grayling has been accused of incompetence and mismanagement over the awarding of a ferry contract to a firm with no ships. The government agreed to pay £33m in compensation to Eurotunnel last week over the “secretive”contract process.

The new maps, released as part of a Heathrow consultation on airspace and future operations that began in January, identify “design envelopes” where planes may pass overhead at sound levels of 65 decibels and higher after the completion of the third runway by 2025.

Council experts who have analysed the documents say the areas at risk of additional noise include large areas of London, such as parts of Westminster, Kensington, Chiswick, Balham, Fulham, Tooting and Hammersmith. Towns and commuter-belt communities in the home counties, including Chertsey and Epsom in Surrey; Maidenhead, Slough and Ascot in Berkshire; and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, are also caught up.

Five councils — Windsor and Maidenhead, Richmond, Wandsworth, Hillingdon and Hammersmith and Fulham — are seeking a judicial review of the Heathrow expansion in a hearing due to start next week.

Simon Dudley, Tory leader of Windsor and Maidenhead council, said he believed the noise maps now available had been previously withheld by Grayling’s officials “with the intention or deceiving and misleading public”.

The battle over Heathrow has been one of the most controversial planning battles in recent decades. In May 2010 the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition scrapped plans for a third runway, but two years later the proposal was back on the table as an independent commission was set up to examine airport expansion. The Heathrow proposal was backed by ministers in 2016, and MPs voted in favour of the plans in June last year.

The Department for Transport said: “We absolutely refute these claims and are confident that fewer people will be affected by noise pollution under the new flight paths planned. The airports national policy statement agreed by the government makes it clear that we expect noise mitigation measures to limit, and where possible reduce, the impact of aircraft noise.”  [This is the department for which Grayling has responsibility. It is still putting out this nonsense.  The claim can only be justified by using extraordinarily distorted definitions of noise, far from the reality any ordinaryperson would understand. Distorting noise metrics for the DfT’s and Heathrow dishonest convenience. AW comment]. 

A Heathrow spokesman said, “Parliament voted overwhelmingly to back Heathrow expansion last year, and we continue to engage with local people as we develop our plans.”  [They voted for it partly because most MPs do not have constituencies affected by Heathrow; – they did not really care;  the Tories were whipped into voting in favour; some powerful unions lobbied very hard to get Labour MPs to vote for it, with unrealistic hopes of future jobs; and Grayling misled Parliament on many issues – this noise one as a case in point. He also ignored the climate implications, and the Paris Agreement. As well as most air pollution, more than 2km from the airport.  All shocking abuse of the role of Parliament.  AW comment].   

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/chris-graylings-expansion-plan-for-heathrow-is-a-giant-con-tc0czq6xm

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Packed hall attend Teddington Action Group meeting to discuss Heathrow’s Airspace Consultation

Over 300 people attended a meeting organised by the Teddington Action Group (TAG) to discuss Heathrow’s Airspace Consultation, and urge residents to respond by 4th March. Among the speakers, Paul McGuinness (Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition) reminded the audience that these were the first details of how Heathrow plan to break the promises made to communities at the time its 5th Terminal was built – that the airport would accept a cap of 480,000 per year and never apply to build a 3rd runway: “… by any reasonable standards, what Heathrow is demanding communities to endure so it can increase flights by over 50%, is wholly disproportionate”. Speakers explained how massive the noise impact would be on Richmond and Twickenham. Stephen Clark said: “Easterly departures will carry more planes along concentrated flight paths, at lower altitude, while arrivals traffic would now fly above them simultaneously”. Physicist Dr David Gilbert, explained how the DfT assessment of noise had significantly underestimated its impact, and how Richmond residents living under the proposed Independent Parallel Approaches (IPA) will be subjected to continuous, unbroken days of noise.

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Packed House attend Teddington Action Group meeting to discuss Heathrow’s Airspace Consultation

14.2.2019  (TAG – Teddington Action Group)

The Baptist Church, Church Road, Teddington, on Wednesday 13th February

Over 300 people attended a meeting organized by the Teddington Action Group (TAG) to discuss Heathrow’s Airspace Consultation, and urge residents to respond by 4thMarch.

Among the speakers, Paul McGuinness (Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition) reminded the audience that these were the first details of how Heathrow plan to break the promises made to communities at the time its 5th Terminal was built – that the airport would accept a cap of 480,000 per year and never apply to build a third runway. He stated: “In terms of poor air quality and noise, and by any reasonable standards, what Heathrow is demanding communities to endure so it can increase flights by over 50%, is wholly disproportionate”.

Twickenham MP, Sir Vince Cable, remarked that: “Heathrow would appear to have not lost their flair for public relations. I have just received a letter relating to this matter from Heathrow, addressed to my late wife who died 18 years ago”.

Dr. David Gilbert and Stephen Clark, of TAG, revealed analysis demonstrating just how great the adverse noise impacts of Heathrow’s “Flight Path Envelopes” would be on the residents of Richmond and Twickenham. “Easterly departures will carry more planes along concentrated flight paths, at lower altitude, while arrivals traffic would now fly above them simultaneously”, said Stephen Clark. Physicist Dr David Gilbert, explained how the Department for Transport’s assessment of noise had significantly underestimated its impact, and how Richmond residents living under the proposed Independent Parallel Approaches (under which two lines of arrivals will fly side by side) will be subjected to continuous, unbroken days of noise.

Greeted as a hero, Neil Spurrier, a resident of Strawberry Hill, spoke about his experiences as one of the claimants against the government’s Aviation National Policy Statement, which gave the green light for Heathrow to apply for expansion. Other claimants in this Judicial Review proceeding, which commences at the High Court in March, include the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames.

Chair of Teddington Action Group, Katie Williams urged all of those present to make their objection known to Heathrow, and for those who were unable to make the meeting to visit the Teddington Action Group website (www.teddingtonactiongroup.com)

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14TH FEBRUARY 2019
The Heathrow Airspace AND Future Operations Consultation runs from 8 Jan until 4 Mar 2019. Here’s the link to the consultation…
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Here’s the link to the consultation https://afo.heathrowconsultation.com/consultation/

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and there are the usual upbeat little videos which fail to point out the very real horrors we face under their proposals.  The question numbers go 6,7,8,1,2,3 and 4 – apparently to coincide with the links. There are lots of detailed documents there to read which explain all this in greater depth.

Question 6: Factors to be aware of when designing flightpaths for third runway.

Suggested answer: I don’t want low and concentrated flightpaths over my home. No planes should go over at 1000 or 1500ft this far from the runway and never with arrivals layered on top.  These proposals are about cramming too many planes into too congested an airspace and then pitting communities against each other. You are not limiting or reducing noise by your proposals and will harm our health and quality of life irreparably. Communities around Heathrow up to 30 miles from the airport are being sacrificed to line the pockets of Heathrow’s foreign shareholders.

Question 7: Factors to be aware of when designing new arrival paths to make better use of existing 2 runways.

Suggested answer: We are already severely impacted in Teddington when on Easterlies and won’t get runway alternation for several years. We do not want any extra planes going over this densely populated area. Our health is already being damaged by aviation noise and pollution and any expansion is incompatible with climate change.

Question 8: Any other comments

Suggested answer: A third runway is estimated to add an additional 54,000 cars a day on local roads, and this will increase the toxic air for residents. Scientific evidence has shown that particulate matter is found under flightpaths 10km from airports and this can raise the risk of miscarriage and dementia. Also, a study in 2017 found a particularly high number of airborne nanoparticles of heavy metals, harmful to human health, in the grounds of Montreal Airport. Putting more planes in the sky over such a densely populated area will cause its own dangers.

Question 1a: Do you support our proposals for a noise objective?

Suggested answer:  No

Question 1b:  Comments on proposals for noise objective

Suggested answer: The local noise policy does not conform with nationally adopted health and environmental protections. National aviation policy makes noise minimisation the top priority at low altitudes – this can’t be qualified by aviation’s commercial considerations. If Heathrow wanted to limit and reduce the effects of noise on health and quality of life it wouldn’t be expanding Heathrow or trying to add 25,000 more planes now. No-one believes that an expanded Heathrow will be quieter than 2013 no matter how much the noise footprint is manipulated. No-one, especially children, should be kept awake late into the night or woken around 5am by planes.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 8 hours of undisturbed sleep and current operations prevent this for many of us already.

Question 1cAny other comments on developing a package of noise measures

Suggested answer: The way noise measurement is averaged out is meaningless – single noise events are what wake people up. The WHO strongly recommends reducing average noise levels to below 45decibels as aircraft noise above this level is associated with raised blood pressure, cardio-vascular disease, stress etc. Protecting communities from aviation noise should always take priority over commercial interests.

Question 2a:  Would you prefer to have longer periods of respite less frequently (all day on some days but no relief on other days) or a shorter period of respite (e.g. for 4-5 hours) every day? Please tick one of the following options:

  • A longer period of respite, but not every day
  • A shorter period of respite every day
  • I don’t know

Both options are unacceptable.  The best they seem to be offering are breaks from “overflight” but how low or how far away a plane has to be to be considered overflight took the CAA 38 pages to clarify and there remain many areas of uncertainty.

Question 2bReasons for your preference

There is no research on what constitutes an acceptable period of respite, whether this can be achieved at Heathrow or penalising the airport for failure to adhere to respite.

Question 2c: Any other comments on runway or airspace alternation

Neither of the respite periods suggested are long enough to prevent harm to health and there are no formal governance structures planned to enforce respite arrangements.

Question 3aShould we continue to prefer westerly operations during the day and easterly operations at night to reduce the total number of people affected by noise?

Suggested answer: Yes.

Question 3b: Please tell us reasons for your answer

Suggested answer: Planes are louder on take-off because they have to climb and carry heavy fuel loads. Westerly preference was created to protect the greatest number of people from the severest impacts of louder departures. This should not be changed. If any variations were to be considered it would have to be accompanied by very clear legally binding rules including comprehensive compensation for those communities that will be impacted, as historically people would have moved to areas to avoid Heathrow’s impacts.

Question 3c: Should we sometimes intervene to change the direction of arriving and departing aircraft to provide relief from prolonged periods of operating in one direction – even if that means slightly increasing the number of people affected by noise?

No.

Question 3d:

No – unless Heathrow were to adopt a completely different approach to noise management including flying much higher and quieter, and accept legally binding obligations to minimise its significant adverse health impacts. It would need to commit to noise sharing between communities on a fully fair and equitable basis and crucially to making all areas in its catchment fit for human habitation having regard to independent health advice (such as WHO).

Question 3e:

Please see above

Question 4a: To help inform our consideration of the options, we want to know whether you would prefer for us to:

Please note the exact times are subject to further evaluation of the options.

  • Option 1 – Use one runway for scheduled arrivals from 5.30am (runway time 5.15am)
  • Option 2 – Use two runways for scheduled arrivals from 5.45am (runway time 5.30am)
  • I don’t know

Neither of the options are acceptable. Areas under departures such as ours experience no scheduled departures before 6am and as a minimum this threshold must be maintained for all departures (the question relates to arrivals). However, for arrivals, it is apparent Heathrow is even seeking to erode the proposed 6.5-hour night flight ‘ban’ by excluding taxiing time before planes take off or disembarkation, due to its own ‘scheduling’ considerations.

Question 4bPlease tell us reasons for preference.

Suggested answer: Internationally accepted medical advice is that 8 hours sleep a night is necessary for good health. Scheduled flights should not start before 7am so that the community, and particularly children, can attempt to get closer to the recommended 8 hours of sleep for good health.

Question 4cAny other comments on morning arrivals

No suggested answer. A night flight ban should mean no flights whatsoever and not be eroded for ‘scheduling’ or other operational reasons. Late evening departures should stop at 11pm and stringent sanctions must be imposed for overrunning (contingencies should be built into the timetable to avoid late departures).

Question 5aPlease provide comments on how to encourage use of quietest aircraft at night (outside proposed scheduled night flight ban)

Suggested answer: There should be effective restrictions on the noisiest aircraft, with much higher charges at night. These should relate directly to the health damage done to communities under the universally accepted ‘polluter pays’ principle. Any operational bans or methods of “encouragement” require a formal governance structure, limitations on Heathrow operations to prevent environmental blight on communities miles around the airport must be formalised and no longer a voluntary option for Heathrow.

Question 5bAny other comments on night flights and restrictions.

Suggested answer: Late-running planes have been a far too common occurrence, and this is often caused by far too many planes being scheduled from 10.15pm onwards. This is an abuse of the system and results from the ‘voluntary nature’ of Heathrow’s operational restrictions.  Over scheduling has blighted the lives of communities on both sides of the airport for years and must be stopped.

http://www.teddingtonactiongroup.com/2019/02/14/tag-suggestions-for-responding-to-the-heathrow-airspace-and-future-operations-consultation/

TAG suggestions for responding to the Heathrow Airspace and Future Operations Consultation

 

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