“We didn’t think you’d notice”: Heathrow ‘apologises’ for not informing residents of new flight paths

Matt Gorman, the sustainability director of Heathrow airport, has told people in the Bracknell and Ascot areas why they were not given notice of the flight path trials overhead. He said: “We didn’t go as far as sending letters out to all the people that would be affected as we did not feel people would notice any change.” This is scarcely credible, unless Heathrow does not follow the news about rival Gatwick at all. The flight path trials at Gatwick have provoked massive opposition, with thousands highly angry and upset. Gatwick also decided not to give the public prior warning of their trial. At a Gatwick Consultative Committee meeting in January 2014, Gatwick’s Head of Corporate Responsibility, said: “If people were aware of the trial it was possible that they would be more alert to changes and feel obliged to comment.”  That backfired spectacularly. Another classic Heathrow comment recently, from Nigel Milton, to a meeting in Stanwell on 15th September, when asked why past Heathrow promises were allowed to be broken said: “The people who made those promises weren’t in a position to make these promises.” But the comment was made by the then BAA chairman, Sir John Egan. So Heathrow chairmen’s promises should not be taken seriously?
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PR disaster?  Especially as airports always hope that more “dialogue with residents” will stop them being so upset about the noise …..

 

RESIDENTS in the Bracknell area were not warned there would be noisy aircraft roaring over their homes because it was thought they would not notice, a Heathrow Airport boss has said.

The airport introduced new flighpaths over our area as part of a controversial five-month trial last month, without informing either residents or Bracknell Forest Council.

Since then, Heathrow has been swamped with complaints from people living in the Bracknell and Ascot area about the sudden noise invasion.

More than 4,700 have so far signed a petition and a public meeting, attended by airport bosses, will be held next month.

Matthew Gorman, sustainability director [sic]  at the airport, said: “We didn’t go as far as sending letters out to all the people that would be affected as we did not feel people would notice any change.”

Heathrow is experimenting with path changes and new technology systems in a bid to reduce ‘stacking’ in the air and speed up departure times.

It has admitted that the strength of feeling across Bracknell and Ascot had been stronger than it expected and also greater than other areas where it had previously carried out trial flighpaths.

Heathrow is trying out trial flightpaths in different areas in a bid to spread the noise disturbance to residents in South East England.

It is also hoped that reducing stacking would result in a reduction in noise pollution.

Mr Gorman explained: “We’ve been told by the Government to plan how the airspace will be used in the future in order to help coordinate travel. Not just in the UK but across Europe.

“We will take stock of the feedback as we start to redesign before 2016.”

Warfield resident Judy Martin said: “I am not at all happy about it. I have lived in Warfield for over 20 years and it’s never been like this.

“Siting in the garden today the flights are continous and much lower that they ever have been. We are never without the noise of one passing over and the next arriving.

“Sometimes you have to stop your conversation as you can’t hear each other speak.”

Annoyed at not being told in advance of the changes, Bracknell Forest councillors passed a motion last Wednesday demanding Heathrow inform the council of future changes and to consider the views of the borough’s residents.

Heathrow has now apologised to the council.

However, the council has stopped short of calling for the trials to end. Cllr Chris Turrell, Bracknell Forest’s main representative on the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HACC), said:

“Heathrow clearly did not understand the impact these trials would have.

“They are Heathrow’s trials and it’s important for residents to inform them what the implications are. Residents should have hard facts provided to them.”

Mr Gorman says that the airport has received some positive feedback on the trials from elsewhere and said: “We have received a significant number of complaints, but it should be said that some people say they have noticed the noise has improved in their area. Some people have more noise above but others have got less planes flying overhead.

“That’s the challenge of running these trials, I apologise that some people are unhappy with the trials but they will not last forever.” [The trials, by definition, will not last for ever. Of course. But the intention is that these flight paths, once introduced formally, would last for a very long time indeed. This comment from Matt really would not  be acceptable, from an honest company. AirportWatch comment]. 

http://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/news/bracknell/articles/2014/10/01/104111-we-didnt-think-youd-notice-heathrow-apologises-for-not-informing-residents-of-new-flight-paths/

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PR disaster No 2:

Another of Heathrow’s memorable statements:

Beryl Wilkins, a retired teacher, questioned why past promises were allowed to be broken, including an inspector who had said in a consultation meeting that Terminal 4 would be the last.

Nigel Milton, director of policy and political relations for Heathrow, said: “The people who made those promises weren’t in a position to make these promises.”

[The comment had been made by the Chairman of BAA a the time, Sir John Egan. He was CEO of BAA from 1990 to 1999

In a 'Dear Neighbour' letter to residents (April 1999) Sir John Egan writes: "We have since repeated often that we do not want, nor shall we seek, an additional runway. I can now report that we went even further at the Inquiry and called on the Inspector to recommend that, subject to permission being given for T5, an additional Heathrow runway should be ruled out forever. " ]   see link  

So we cannot trust anything Heathrow says, if we are later told we cannot believe any statement by the Chairman of the company?

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=23036

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PR disaster No 3:

A similar statement by Gatwick airport, which indicates Heathrow knew only too well that people would notice their flight path change:

A recent meeting of the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee (GATCOM) said, discussing whether residents should be warned of the trial in advance 30th January 2014:

“It was felt that parish councils in particular should be advised of trial to enable them to respond to their constituents if problems arose. Mr. Denton [Head of Corporate Responsibility at Gatwick] would consider this but emphasised the need to obtain genuine feedback from those affected. If people were aware of the trial it was possible that they would be more alert to changes and feel obliged to comment.”  

ie. don’t warn them, because they might complain.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=20366

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Residents of west Kent pleased that Gatwick will delay decision on controversial airspace consultation

Gatwick will be delaying the decision on their very controversial flight path changes, to the delight of campaign groups across west Kent, and their local MPs. People have been experiencing, and complaining vociferously about, an increase in night flights, plane noise and low-flying aircraft. The Gatwick noise complaint lines have been swamped, and people have not been given satisfactory responses by the airport. Gatwick is postponing their plans till next year, but it is believed this is only being done in order to prevent further bad publicity during the Airports Commission consultation, starting this autumn.  Opponents of the airport’s 2nd runway say that if Gatwick are truly serious about “being a good neighbour they would publish what people really think to help the Commission decide.” Gatwick said in a statement that they would “Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations,” “Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options,” “Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise,” and “Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options.” But just talking to people about noise does not reduce it. They want they want less noise, not more “engagement.”
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Residents of west Kent pleased by Gatwick Airport revealing it will delay decision on controversial airspace consultation

1 October 2014

by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas  (Kent Online)

Gatwick Airport has revealed it will be delaying the decision on a controversial consultation – to the delight of campaign groups across west Kent and local MPs.

Residents have been complaining about an increase in night flights, plane noise and low-flying aircraft and have, until now, not received a satisfying response from the airport.

However, it has been revealed today that Gatwick Airport will delay a decision about whether to go forward with new flight paths until next year.

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

At a Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group (NATMAG) meeting, Gatwick said the changes to flight paths will be delayed until a better understanding of the available options and steps was acquired.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is an extension of the timeline – not a cancellation of the process altogether.

Gatwick said this additional time will allow it to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.

In a statement it said it will use the time to:

Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark is delighted by Gatwick’s decision to postpone the consultation after he sent a letter in August expressing the concerns of local residents. He said: “I am very pleased that both Gatwick and NATS have agreed with my call to go back to the drawing board with these proposals as they have caused immense worry to my constituents in the west of Tunbridge Wells.

“Both organisations have confirmed that there will be no change to the flight path until further work, including adequate consultation with the community, has taken place. This is a good outcome and I am grateful to Gatwick and NATS for responding to my request and that of the community.”

Gatwick officials have said the local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, head of corporate responsibility at Gatwick said: “We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals.”It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

A spokesman for Gatwick environmental campaign froups, including the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group (HWCAAG) , Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE)  and GatwickObviouslynot.org said:”We wish to engage with the management at Gatwick as they reflect on the feedback that has led to this delay – but the results of the public consultation by IPSOS MORI should be published.

“We do not believe that GATCOM has played any part in delivering this delay and we are suspicious that this is only being stopped in order to prevent further bad publicity during the Airports Commission consultation on an additional runway. If they are truly serious about being a good neighbour they would publish what people really think to help the Commission decide.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful.

“GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tonbridge/news/gatwick-delays-controversial-consultation-24325/

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The High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group is against a second runway at Gatwick

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See also:

Gatwick admits defeat and is postponing new flight paths in the face of vocal opposition

Gatwick is postponing the planned introduction of new flight paths, as a result of massive opposition. A proposed new departure flight path to the west, outlined in a recent consultation, has been postponed. This will set an important precedent for similar new flight paths proposed at Heathrow and at Birmingham. A new procedure for arriving aircraft – the point-merge system – proposed by NATS has also been postponed, in the face of widespread concern expressed across East and West Sussex, and Kent. A new flight path recently introduced over Beare Green, Holmwood, Reigate and Redhill is currently under review by the CAA. But other new concentrated departure tracks – which have resulted in a wave of agonised complaints, and vocal new anti-noise groups, up to 20 miles around the airport – remain in position. Brendon Sewill, chairman of the GACC Gatwick’s Big Enough campaign, wants not only a postponement, but all new routes cancelled. It is thought that Gatwick may have ordered the postponement as they realise the protests were undermining their case for a new runway. A new runway, with twice as many aircraft as now, would be far worse than the present situation. Determined opposition will continue, for as long as it takes.

Click here to view full story…

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Gatwick Airport Ltd press release

Gatwick to delay changes to local airspace

30 September 2014

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is a deferral or an extension of the timeline, not a cancelation of the process altogether.

Gatwick Airport approached NATS with the suggestion to defer any proposals following consultation with GATCOM and NATMAG – the noise and track monitoring advisory group that brings together representatives from the Department of Transport, NATS, airlines, Gatwick Airport and local authorities.

The additional time will allow Gatwick to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents. Gatwick Airport proposes using the longer timeframe to:

  • Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
  • Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
  • Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
  • Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

When any changes to airspace operation are eventually identified, Gatwick Airport believes it would be preferable for both Gatwick and NATS to submit their proposed changes to the Civil Aviation Authority for review at the same time, so as to avoid unnecessary confusion in the community or any period of prolonged uncertainty. The local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Gatwick Airport, said:

“We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals. It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful. GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

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Gatwick admits defeat and is postponing new flight paths in the face of vocal opposition

Gatwick is postponing the planned introduction of new flight paths, as a result of massive opposition. A proposed new departure flight path to the west, outlined in a recent consultation, has been postponed.  This will set an important precedent for similar new flight paths proposed at Heathrow and at Birmingham. A new procedure for arriving aircraft – the point-merge system – proposed by NATS has also been postponed, in the face of widespread concern expressed across East and West Sussex, and Kent. A new flight path recently introduced over Beare Green, Holmwood, Reigate and Redhill is currently under review by the CAA.  But other new concentrated departure tracks – which have resulted in a wave of agonised complaints, and vocal new anti-noise groups, up to 20 miles around the airport – remain in position. Brendon Sewill, chairman of the GACC Gatwick’s Big Enough campaign, wants not only a postponement, but all new routes cancelled. It is thought that Gatwick may have ordered the postponement as they realise the protests were undermining their case for a new runway.  A new runway, with twice as many aircraft as now, would be far worse than the present situation. Determined opposition will continue, for as long as it takes.
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Gatwick admits defeat on flight paths

1.10.2014 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Gatwick Airport has announced that it is postponing the planned introduction of new flight paths (copied below – original on Gatwick website).

As a result of massive opposition, the introduction of a new departure flight path to the west, outlined in a recent consultation, has been postponed.  This will set an important precedent for similar new flight paths proposed at Heathrow and at Birmingham.

A new procedure for arriving aircraft – the point-merge system – proposed by NATS (National Air Traffic Services) has also been postponed in the face of widespread concern expressed across East and West Sussex.

A new flight path recently introduced over Beare Green, Holmwood, Reigate and Redhill is currently under review by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).

However the other new concentrated departure tracks – which have resulted in a wave of agonised complaints up to 20 miles around the airport, and the formation of several new and vocal anti-noise groups  – remain in position.

Brendon Sewill, chairman of the GACC Gatwick’s Big Enough campaign, said ‘This is a victory, but only a partial victory so far.  It’s not all routes, and it’s only a postponement. We want to see all new routes cancelled.’

Sally Pavey, GACC committee member and leader of CAGNE which has campaigned –powerfully and now successfully – against the trial of a new flight path over Warnham and other villages, added: ‘The fight must go on.’

It is thought that Gatwick Airport bosses may have ordered the postponement because they realised that the protests were undermining their case for a new runway.  But GACC will continue the protests, pointing out that a new runway, with twice as many aircraft, would be far worse than the present situation.

 http://www.gacc.org.uk


 

 Gatwick Airport Ltd press release

Gatwick to delay changes to local airspace

30 September 2014

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is a deferral or an extension of the timeline, not a cancelation of the process altogether.

Gatwick Airport approached NATS with the suggestion to defer any proposals following consultation with GATCOM and NATMAG – the noise and track monitoring advisory group that brings together representatives from the Department of Transport, NATS, airlines, Gatwick Airport and local authorities.

The additional time will allow Gatwick to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents. Gatwick Airport proposes using the longer timeframe to:

  • Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
  • Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
  • Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
  • Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

When any changes to airspace operation are eventually identified, Gatwick Airport believes it would be preferable for both Gatwick and NATS to submit their proposed changes to the Civil Aviation Authority for review at the same time, so as to avoid unnecessary confusion in the community or any period of prolonged uncertainty. The local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Gatwick Airport, said:

“We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals. It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful. GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

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NATS postpones network changes relating to Gatwick

1.10.2014  (NATS press release)

NATS postpones network changes relating to Gatwick

NATS has decided to postpone the submission of proposed high level network changes (above 4,000ft) relating to Gatwick Airport, which was part of Phase 1 of the London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP).

This postponement follows the airport’s decision to undertake additional analysis in order to better understand their options and next steps for the low level airspace that they are responsible for (primarily routes below 4,000ft).

NATS remains confident that the proposals being developed for the higher level airspace network over the whole of the south east, including those for aircraft using Gatwick Airport, are robust and in line with CAA/DfT requirements.

NATS is still committed to delivering changes to the high level network, in phases, out to 2020; this programme of change will meet CAA requirements and is part of the Government’s Future Airspace Strategy (FAS).  The FAS constitutes the biggest change ever undertaken to UK airspace structures and modernising the airspace system is essential for the UK and Europe to remain competitive in the global market.

The FAS related changes to the route network will significantly reduce fuel and CO2 from aviation however, the delivery of these benefits for the network serving Gatwick will now be delayed.

http://www.nats.aero/news/nats-postpones-network-changes-relating-gatwick/


 

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Residents of west Kent pleased by Gatwick Airport revealing it will delay decision on controversial airspace consultation

1 October 2014

by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas  (Kent Online)

Gatwick Airport has revealed it will be delaying the decision on a controversial consultation – to the delight of campaign groups across west Kent and local MPs.

Residents have been complaining about an increase in night flights, plane noise and low-flying aircraft and have, until now, not received a satisfying response from the airport.

However, it has been revealed today that Gatwick Airport will delay a decision about whether to go forward with new flight paths until next year.

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

At a Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group (NATMAG) meeting, Gatwick said the changes to flight paths will be delayed until a better understanding of the available options and steps was acquired.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Future Airspace Strategy requires that changes to local airspace are implemented by 2020, so today’s decision is an extension of the timeline – not a cancellation of the process altogether.

Gatwick said this additional time will allow it to do as much as possible to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.

In a statement it said it will use the time to:

Reflect further on the feedback received during local consultations
Undertake detailed analysis work on final route options
Undertake further work on the possibility to introduce more respite for residents most affected by noise (including between 4000 and 7000 feet).
Consider how Gatwick can engage better on any new flight change options, including by developing a more detailed programme of engagement through GATCOM

In addition, NATS also agreed to delay implementing any changes to airspace above 4000 feet.

Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark is delighted by Gatwick’s decision to postpone the consultation after he sent a letter in August expressing the concerns of local residents. He said: “I am very pleased that both Gatwick and NATS have agreed with my call to go back to the drawing board with these proposals as they have caused immense worry to my constituents in the west of Tunbridge Wells.

“Both organisations have confirmed that there will be no change to the flight path until further work, including adequate consultation with the community, has taken place. This is a good outcome and I am grateful to Gatwick and NATS for responding to my request and that of the community.”

Gatwick officials have said the local community will also be appropriately engaged on any future proposals to change the use of airspace around Gatwick.

Tom Denton, head of corporate responsibility at Gatwick said: “We are taking more time to review the flight change options we have consulted on in order to further consider all the feedback received before making any airspace change proposals.”It is clear that airspace change is a sensitive issue for the communities around the airport and we encourage members of the community to engage fully with their GATCOM representative.”

A spokesman for Gatwick environmental campaign froups, including the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group (HWCAAG) , Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE)  and GatwickObviouslynot.org said:”We wish to engage with the management at Gatwick as they reflect on the feedback that has led to this delay – but the results of the public consultation by IPSOS MORI should be published.

“We do not believe that GATCOM has played any part in delivering this delay and we are suspicious that this is only being stopped in order to prevent further bad publicity during the Airports Commission consultation on an additional runway. If they are truly serious about being a good neighbour they would publish what people really think to help the Commission decide.”

Dr John Godfrey, Chair, GATCOM, said:

“I am pleased that the important role GATCOM has played in ensuring that the serious concerns of communities were addressed by the airport and NATS has been successful.

“GATCOM provides that vital link between the wider communities around Gatwick and the airport’s management enabling the communities’ voices to be heard. This has resulted in the Committee’s call for detailed consideration of feedback on the London airspace consultation options and the need for further consultation being positively acted upon.”

“GATCOM will continue to ensure that all parties are appropriately engaged and affected communities kept informed of progress and consulted.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tonbridge/news/gatwick-delays-controversial-consultation-24325/

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The High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group is against a second runway at Gatwick

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Heathrow lodges appeal with Planning Inspectorate over protection of Cranford against take-offs

Heathrow has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate over the London Borough of Hillingdon’s refusal, in March, to grant permission for taxiway infrastructure. If the government inspector approves the appeal, it would allow Heathrow to alternate the use of both its runways, regardless of wind direction. At present, due to the “Cranford Agreement”, made in the 1950s, planes cannot take off from the northern runway, to the east, except in exceptional circumstances. When there are easterly winds, planes therefore have to land from the west, on the northern runway, but take off from the southern runway. Ending the Cranford Agreement would give Windsor residents more respite, with up to 50% cut in the number of planes currently landing from the west of Windsor. The Cranford Agreement was formally ended in 2010, but to operate on easterly operations, Heathrow says the taxiways are required. But ending the Cranford Agreement will mean more noise, on easterly operations, for those in Old Windsor, Horton and Wraysbury, while residents in Windsor would get a better deal. People can submit comments – by 19th November. Details below.
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Cranford agreement map

NEWS that Heathrow is appealing a decision which will hugely and widely affect Royal Borough residents has received a mixed reaction.

The airport has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate over the London Borough of Hillingdon’s refusal, in March, to grant permission for taxiway infrastructure.

Appeal approval would allow Heathrow to alternate the use of both its runways regardless of wind direction.

This would grant Windsor residents more respite, with a predicted 50% cut in the amount of planes currently landing from the west of Windsor.

The application relates to the legacy of the 1950s Cranford Agreement in which aircraft were prevented from taking off over Cranford from Heathrow’s northern runway when the wind blows from the east – or easterly operations.

The agreement was formally ended in 2010, but to operate on easterly operations, the taxiways are required.

Matt Gorman, Heathrow sustainability and environment director, said: “Through this planning application, Heathrow aims to provide a fairer system of noise sharing, and bring greater relief for those living in Windsor from the noise of descending flights which is as the Government intended.”

The Royal Borough supported the planning application with a series of caveats over noise insulation as it could mean added misery for those in Old Windsor, Horton and Wraysbury, while residents in Windsor would get a better deal.

Cllr Malcolm Beer, who sits on the council’s Aviation Forum, said: “RBWM has sought the discontinuation of the agreement for many years because it caused nearly all easterly landings to use that runway after flying directly over Windsor.

“Unlike the Heathrow publicity, it is very much aware that if the appeal is allowed – hopefully with better noise mitigation – the halving of that burden will mean that far more landings will now fly far closer to Old Windsor, Wraysbury and Horton. Use of both flight paths will alternate on a weekly basis.

“RBWM qualified its letter of support of the planning application by stating that it was conditional upon the provision of sound proofing to meet EU standards for houses in our villages most affected by increased noise.

“It is anticipated that the borough will reiterate that to the planning inspector as the planning refusal was mainly on the grounds of inadequate noise mitigation.”

http://www.windsorobserver.co.uk/news/windsor/articles/2014/09/29/103996-royal-borough-backs-heathrow-over-taxiways-appeal/

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Notification of Appeal on Planning Application/ Enforcement Reference 41573/APP/2013/1288

Please ask for :
Stephen Volley
01895 250230
Residents Services
Tel 01895 250230
London Borough of Hillingdon
3 North, Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW
TOWN & COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990

SITE: NORTHERN RUNWAY, HEATHROW AIRPORT, HOUNSLOW,

DEVELOPMENT: Enabling works to allow implementation of full runway alternation during easterly operations at Heathrow Airport including the creation of a new ‘hold area’ at the western end of the northern runway, the construction of new access and exit taxiways, and the construction of a 5 metre high acoustic noise barrier to the south of Longford Village.

Appeal Ref : 7364   Our Ref : 41573/APP/2013/1288

PLANNING INSPECTORATE REFERENCE NO: APP/R5510/A/14/2225774

Appeal Starting Date: 8th October 2014

Appellant’s Name: Heathrow Airport Ltd.

An appeal has been made to the Secretary of State in respect of the above site. The appeal follows the refusal of this Council to grant  planning permission for the above application.

The appeal is to be decided on the basis of an inquiry.

Any comments already made following the original application will be forwarded to the Inspectorate and copied to the appelant and will be taken into account by the Inspector in deciding the appeal.

Should people wish to withdraw or modify their earlier comments in any way or request a copy of the appeal decision letter, they should write direct to:

The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/26b TQ House, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN

within 6 weeks of the starting date above, quoting their reference number.

People need to send 3 copies to the Inspectorate and ensure they are all received by 19th November 2014, otherwise they will not normally be seen by the Inspector and will be returned.

“The Planning Inspectorate have introduced an online appeals service which you can use to comment on this appeal. You can find the service through the Appeals area of the Planning Portal -see www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs. Please be aware that the Planning Inspectorate may publish details of your comments, on the Internet on the Appeals area of the Planning Portal. This may include your name,address, email address or phone number. Please ensure that you only provide information that you are happy will be made available in this way. If you supply information belonging to a third party, please ensure you have their permission to do so. More detailed information about data protection and privacy matters is available on the planning portal.

“The application documents, including plans and any decision notice, may be inspected on the Council’s website www.Hillingdon.gov.uk , alternatively they may be viewed together with any appeal documents at the Residents Services Reception, Level 3, Civic Centre, Uxbridge during office hours. A copy of the Inspectorate’s booklet “Guide to Taking Part in Planning Appeals” is available from this office, free of charge.”

 


 

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Earlier:

Heathrow bid to end Cranford Agreement is rejected

Councillors unanimously refuse planning permission for work needed to enable regular departures over Cranford

Heathrow has been refused planning permission for the works needed to enable regular departures over Cranford .

In a major set-back for the airport, councillors on Hillingdon Council’s major applications planning committee last night unanimously rejected its application.

It means people living in Cranford will not have to put up with planes taking off overhead for now , preserving in practice at least a 60-year-old gentlemen’s agreement protecting them from the noise.

However, the decision will dismay people to the west of the northern runway, in Windsor and Maidenhead, who have to endure more landings because regular take-offs over Cranford are not possible.

The airport had applied to Hillingdon Council for permission to create new taxi-ways and carry out other ground work needed so planes could depart regularly over Cranford.

Only a relatively small number of planes have taken off over the village since a 60-year-old gentlemen’s agreement was ended in 2009, but this work would have enabled about 35,000 planes a year to do so. However, it would have not allowed an increase in annual flights above the current cap of 480,000.

A Heathrow spokeswoman said: “We know noise is an issue for communities under Heathrow’s flight path which is why we encourage airlines to fly their quietest aircraft into Heathrow by charging airlines more for noisier aircraft and have schemes to insulate local schools and homes.

“We are disappointed Hillingdon Council has chosen to reject our planning proposal which would mean noise being more evenly distributed between our neighbours. We will be looking into this decision in more detail before deciding whether to appeal.”

Councillors were partly swayed by a letter from Judy Matthews, chair of governors at Cranford Primary School, which lies under the flight path and is already affected by the noise of planes arriving at the airport.

She wrote: “With the Cranford Agreement coming to an end we are extremely concerned about the detrimental effect that the change in the alterations of the northern runway will have on our pupils.

“The proposed changes mean that in future the school will be exposed to the noise from departing aircraft. When this is happening the noise will be worse than currently experienced.”

They were also concerned about recent statistics highlighted at the meeting, showing the borough of Hillingdon has seen the highest increase in England in the percentage of deaths attributable to air pollution.

Labour councillor Janet Duncan said: “I was concerned to read the letter from the school. Children’s concentration at school is negatively affected by air craft noise.

“We know that deaths caused by air pollution here is the worst in the country, so we cannot in all consciousness do anything to increase that.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/heathrow-bid-end-cranford-agreement-6698885

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HACAN briefing including the Cranford Agreement:

http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/alternation.cranford.agreement.explained.pdf

The briefing covers the context of runway alternation etc, but the section on the Cranford Agreement states:
What is the Cranford Agreement?

The Cranford Agreement prevents planes taking off over Cranford, which is at the eastern end (the London side) of the northern runway. It came into force in the early 1950s. It was
argued that, because Cranford was so close to the runway, take-offs would be unbearably
noisy for is inhabitants.

What is the effect of the Cranford Agreement?

Planes land and take off into the wind. It means that the Cranford Agreement is only relevant
when planes are taking off to the east (i.e. on the days that the wind is blowing from the east,
about 30% of the time in a typical year). On those days, all planes are required to take off
from the southern runway. That, in turn, means all planes must land on the northern runway
(as, at present, at Heathrow planes don’t land and take-off from the same runway).

This means that, on east wind days, places like Windsor under the flight path to the west of
Heathrow get planes all day long. Clearly, they would benefit if the Cranford Agreement was
to go.

Why does the Government want to get rid of it?

Simply, mixed-mode would not be possible if the Cranford Agreement remained in place
because mixed-mode requires planes to land and take-off from both runways at the same time.

The Government is not interested in weighing up any potential benefit to Windsor weighed
against the increased noise levels in Cranford. It simply sees the Cranford Agreement as an
obstacle to brining in more planes.

At present when an east wind is blowing planes land on the northern runway all day long.
With mixed-mode in place, they would land on both the northern and southern runway. This
would reduce the number of aircraft landing over areas like Windsor, but areas under the
southern approach paths, such as Old Windsor and Wraysbury, would experience a significant
increase.

for more see http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/alternation.cranford.agreement.explained.pdf

 


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From Wikipedia:

The Cranford Protocol or Cranford Agreement was an oral undertaking given in 1952 by the British Government to the residents of Cranford in London regarding the usage of the runways at London Heathrow Airport to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on local residents.

Under normal operations the agreement prohibited take-off on the northern runway towards the east (towards London) because of the proximity of Cranford to the east end of this runway; however this runway could be used in exceptional cases, for example when the southern runway was not available for departures or when departure delays are excessive.

Although no formal written agreement exists, the Government acknowledges that an oral undertaking was given by a senior government official at a meeting of the Cranford Residents’ and District Amenities Association on 31 July 1952.The protocol is included in the Heathrow Manual of Air Traffic Services and the airport’s noise abatement notification, and thus is a part of the airport’s operating rules.

On 15 January 2009, the Labour Government announced that it was ending the Cranford Agreement as part of the controversial expansion of London Heathrow Airport. Although in May 2010 the Coalition Government cancelled the Heathrow expansion plans, in September 2010 it reaffirmed the decision to end the Cranford Agreement. It was welcomed by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, to the west.

To the east, the London Borough of Hounslow has called for mitigation or compensation to be offered by BAA to those affected by ending the Cranford Agreement.

However the decision has not been implemented yet because BAA has not applied for planning permission for the taxiway works which would be needed. The delay is because BAA wants to wait until the end of trials in 2012 of new operating procedures for the runways.

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

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And there is more detail at:

Heathrow bid to end Cranford Agreement – allowing easterly take-offs from northern runway – is rejected by Hillingdon Council

12.2.2014The Cranford Agreement was a binding commitment the UK government made in 1952 to the residents of Cranford to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on residents. It prohibits, under normal Heathrow Airport operations, easterly take-offs (i.e. towards central London) on the northern runway.  In January 2009, the government announced it was ending the Agreement (as part of consultations on a proposed Third Runway). In  September 2010 the current UK government reaffirmed the decision to end the Cranford Agreement.  A planning application by Heathrow airport in June 2013 concerns the creation of taxiways on the Northern Runway, required  to enable the practical implementation of the ending of the Agreement  as well as consideration of the associated environmental impacts. It also included the erection of a 5m high noise barrier around parts of the village of Longford. This application has now been unanimously rejected by Hillingdon Council – which means Heathrow will not be able to have regular departures to the east from the northern runway. This preserves the 60-year-old gentlemen’s agreement protecting Cranford residents from the noise. The downside is that people living in Windsor and Maidenhead continue to endure more landings. Heathrow is considering whether to appeal. http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=19889

 

There is information on the Heathrow website at     http://www.heathrowairport.com/noise/what-we-do-about-it/measures-already-in-place/runway-use/cranford-agreement

 

about the Cranford agreement. This includes this paragraph:

The ending of the Cranford Agreement – what happens next?

Aircraft technology has moved on since the Cranford Agreement was drawn up in the 1950s. During take-off, modern aircraft climb higher more quickly. The noise they make is less disruptive to the residents of Cranford than it would have been 60 years ago.

In 2008, the previous government asked residents whether the Cranford Agreement should stay or be abolished.In response to feedback, it announced that the Cranford Agreement would end in 2009. The decision was confirmed by the current government in September 2010.

With the Cranford Agreement gone, we can apply runway alternation throughout the year, no matter which direction the wind blows. But we can’t do it straight away. Because Heathrow has developed within the context of the Cranford Agreement, it’s not yet geared up to full-time runway alternation. There are too few access taxiways to the northern runway and too few exit taxiways from the southern runway.

To operate runway alternation efficiently, we first have to make changes to Heathrow’s taxiways. The building of these taxiways requires planning approval from the London Borough of Hillingdon. We submitted our planning application in May 2013.

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The Cranford Agreement – June 2013 update (554 KB)
Contour map (2MB)

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Airlines in the US have been flying slower to cut fuel bills

Higher oil prices have made US airlines work to control costs. Between 2002 and 2012, the price of jet fuel quadrupled and fuel bills rose from 15% to more than 40% of the operating costs of US airlines, and their single largest operating expense. Airlines have made many efficiencies to cut fuel consumption, including now flying more slowly. Most of the fuel economies which have been implemented in the last decade will not be undone, even if oil prices were to fall (partly due to the possible future costs of CO2 emissions).  There is an optimal cruising speed for each aircraft based on altitude. Flying faster increases the amount of fuel burnt. Historically, commercial aircraft have flown on average about 8% faster than their optimal cruising speed. Getting the aircraft to its destination quicker to pick up another load of passengers and minimise crew cost was worth the extra fuel expense. There is a trade-off between fuel consumption and time. But between 2004 and 2011, the average ground speed of seven major US airlines fell by 1.1%. More than anything else, however, airlines have focused on reducing excess weight.
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The accompanying report: http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666128.pdf 

 

Airlines fly slower to cut fuel bills

By John Kemp

(Reuters) –

Higher oil prices have had a traumatic effect on U.S. airlines, forcing carriers to re-examine every aspect of the way they do business in a bid to control costs.

Between 2002 and 2012, the price of jet fuel quadrupled from 70 cents per gallon to over $3. Fuel bills rose from 15 percent to more than 40 percent of the total operating costs of U.S. airlines to become their single largest operating expense.

The airlines have responded by changing almost every element of their operations – from restricting capacity growth, eliminating short routes and hiking baggage fees to instructing crews to fly aircraft more slowly and reducing the amount of water carried on board for lavatories and washing.

The results have been impressive. After peaking in 2005, jet fuel consumption in the United States has fallen by almost 15 percent, the equivalent of more than 200,000 barrels per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

U.S. airlines’ fuel saving programme is just one example of how higher oil prices over the last decade have transformed transportation, and led to demand destruction which is likely to prove permanent. Most of the fuel economies which have been implemented in the last decade will not be undone, even if oil prices fall.

RESTRAINING CAPACITY

“There is a strong correlation between airline mission fuel efficiency and fuel price,” the National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research wrote in a recent report (“The impact of oil prices on the air transportation industry” March 2014).

“There is ample evidence that airlines adopted new operational strategies to reduce total fuel burn for the same amount of traffic,” the centre concluded.

Some of the changes have been obvious. U.S. airlines have restrained growth in capacity and increased seat occupancy.

U.S. airlines measure capacity in available seat-miles while utilisation is measured in revenue passenger-miles.

Between 2007 and 2013, the number of available seat miles flown in the United States was cut by around 34 billion (3.25 percent) while revenue passenger-miles rose by 6 billion (0.8 percent).

The result is that seat occupancy, which the airlines call “load factor”, has risen from around 76 percent in 2004 to almost 83 percent in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

While airlines have mostly maintained capacity on major trunk routes, shorter and less profitable ones with lower load factors have seen the number of seats cut or been eliminated altogether.

Carriers have also shrunk the amount of space between seats to increase the number of passengers on each flight and saved more space and weight on the aircraft by installing thinner seats.

FLYING SLOWER

Other changes have been much less visible. One of the biggest fuel savings has come from flying aircraft more slowly.

From the perspective of fuel consumption, there is an optimal cruising speed for each aircraft based on altitude. Flying faster increases the amount of fuel burnt.

Historically, commercial aircraft have flown on average about 8 percent faster than their optimal cruising speed. Getting the aircraft to its destination quicker to pick up another load of passengers and minimise crew cost was worth the extra fuel expense.

The trade-off between fuel consumption and time is captured in the airline cost index and implemented in the carrier’s flight management system.

But between 2004 and 2011, the average ground speed of seven major U.S. airlines decreased by 1.1 percent, resulting in an even bigger reduction in fuel consumption, according to the centre for operations research.

REDUCING WEIGHT

Airlines have been pushing for other changes in crew behaviour and operations. Several airlines told the operations researchers they had instructed pilots to use only one engine while taxiing around the airport in order to save fuel.

Most airlines are also trying to maximise the use of ground power for aircraft instruments, heating, cooling and starting turbine engines when the aircraft is on stand rather than using the aircraft’s own auxiliary power units (which consume jet fuel).

One airline has stipulated ground power must be plugged in within 1 minute of the plane arriving at the gate.

More than anything else, however, airlines have focused on reducing excess weight.

In most cases, airlines found aircraft were carrying more water than was actually consumed on the journey. By modelling consumption by the number of passengers and the length of the flight airlines have been able to cut the amount of water loaded on board.

The number of magazines carried has been reduced, and those that are must “pay their way”. Airlines have removed onboard ovens from flights that didn’t need heated food. Safety equipment for a water landing has been removed from aircraft which do not fly over water.

One airline told the researchers that its weight reduction programme had cut the weight of a typical Boeing 777 by 700 pounds.

For some fleets, average weights have actually been cut by as much as 10-15 percent, according to the operations research centre.

USING BIG DATA

One of the most attractive targets for weight reduction is the amount of fuel carried on board. Aircraft must carry contingency fuel to deal with delays, storms or diversions but the reserves add significantly to aircraft weight.

Most airlines are now trying to trim the amount of contingency fuel by using modelling to estimate how much extra fuel must be carried to ensure safe operation of the aircraft based on weather conditions and the availability of alternative airports in case the flight must be diverted.

In fact, big data and computer modelling are revolutionising most aspects of aircraft operation, but changing behaviour is not always easy.

There is often a tension between trusting decisions about contingency fuel, water and flying speed up to the professional judgement of the pilots and allowing them to be determined by a computer model. In many cases pilot contracts limit the operational data which gets reported back to the airline and the ways in which it can be used.

“Two airlines noted the difficulty of enforcing the single engine taxi policy,” the operations researchers explained. “The reason for this is because pilot contracts with airlines often limit access to pilot specific performance data, which includes specific reverse thrust settings.”

Cutting fuel reserves has been a particular source of contention. “For pilots, fuel is like insurance, they take extra fuel to deal with uncertainties in flight. They more fuel the less they care if uncertainties like traffic or weather come up. For the pilot, carrying more fuel means less stress.”

But most airlines are now using computer models to encourage pilots to modify their decisions, and in some cases to compel changes in operating practices.

The result has been a huge improvement in fuel efficiency. Between 1991 and 2012, U.S. airlines cut their fuel consumption at an average annual rate of 2.27 percent per revenue passenger-mile.

Between 1991 and 2001, when jet fuel prices were stable, most of the improvement came from upgrades in the aircraft fleet. Older more fuel hungry aircraft were replaced by more modern and efficient ones. After 2004, however, most of the gains have come from network rationalisation and changes in operating behaviour.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/09/26/airlines-fuelcells-kemp-idUKL6N0RR2ZO20140926

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Wikipedia:

Factors in aircraft fuel economy

Each model of aircraft has a maximum range speed for a given total load (fuel plus payload), which is the speed at which it is most fuel efficient Flying slower or faster than this optimimum speed increases fuel consumption per mile flown.

There is an optimum speed for efficiency because the component of drag resulting from airframe skin friction against the air increases at a square function of air speed, but the drag resulting from generating lift decreases with air speed. (These are technically called parasitic drag and induced drag, respectively.)

The desirability of a low maximum range speed to reduce environmental and climate impacts is at odds in aircraft design with the benefit to revenue streams of making that design speed higher, to increase the passenger miles flown per day.

Aircraft weight is also a factor in fuel economy, because more lift-generating drag (induced drag) results as weight increases. If airframe weight is reduced, engines that are smaller and lighter can be used, and for a given range the fuel capacity can be reduced. Thus some weight savings can be compounded for an increase in fuel efficiency. A rule-of-thumb being that a 1% weight reduction corresponds to around a 0.75% reduction in fuel consumption.

Flight altitude affects engine efficiency. Jet-engine efficiency increases at altitude up to the tropopause, the temperature minimum of the atmosphere; at lower temperatures, the engine efficiency is higher. Jet engine efficiency is also increased at high speeds, but above about Mach 0.85 the aerodynamic drag on the airframe overwhelms this effect.

This is because above that speed air begins to become incompressible, causing shockwaves form that greatly increase drag. For supersonic flight (Mach 1.0 and higher), fuel consumption is increased tremendously.

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

Although modern jet aircraft have twice the fuel efficient of the earliest jet airliners, they are only slightly more fuel efficient than the latest piston engine airliners of the late 1950s such as the Lockheed L-1649 Starliner and Douglas DC-7.

Nonetheless, jets have about twice the cruise speed. The early jet airliners were designed at a time when air crew labor costs were higher relative to fuel costs than today. Despite the high fuel consumption, because fuel was inexpensive in that era the higher speed resulted in favorable economics since crew costs and amortization of capital investment in the aircraft could be spread over more seat miles flown per day.

Today’s turboprop airliners have better fuel efficiency than current jet airliners, in part because of their lower cruising speed and propellers that are more efficient than those of the 1950s-era piston-powered airlines. 

Among major airlines, those which have turboprop equipped regional carrier subsidiaries typically rank high in overall fleet fuel efficiency. For example, although Alaska Airlines scored at the top of a 2011-2012 fuel efficiency ranking, if its regional carrier—turbo-prop equipped Horizon Air—were dropped from the consideration, the airline’s ranking would be lower.

Weight effect

As over 80% of the fully laden take-off weight of a modern aircraft such as the Airbus A380 is craft and fuel, there remains considerable room for future improvements in fuel efficiency.

The weight of an aircraft can be reduced by using light-weight materials such as titanium, carbon fiber and other composite plastics. Expensive materials may be used, if the reduction of mass justifies the price of materials through improved fuel efficiency.

The improvements achieved in fuel efficiency by mass reduction, reduces the amount of fuel that needs to be carried. This further reduces the mass of the aircraft and therefore enables further gains in fuel efficiency. For example, the Airbus A380 design includes multiple light-weight materials.

Aerodynamics

Airbus has showcased wingtip devices (sharklets or winglets) that can achieve 3.5 percent reduction in fuel consumption. There are wingtip devices on the Airbus A380. Further developed Minix winglets have been said to offer 6 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

Winglets at the tip of an aircraft wing, can be retrofitted to any airplane, and smooths out the wing-tip vortex, reducing the aircraft’s wing drag.

NASA and Boeing are conducting tests on a 500 lb (230 kg) “blended wing” aircraft. This design allows for greater fuel efficiency since the whole craft produces lift, not just the wings.

The blended wing body (BWB) concept offers advantages in structural, aerodynamic and operating efficiencies over today’s more conventional fuselage-and-wing designs. These features translate into greater range, fuel economy, reliability and life cycle savings, as well as lower manufacturing costs.

NASA has created a cruise efficient STOL (CESTOL) concept.

Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Applied Materials Research (IFAM) have researched a shark skin imitating paint that would reduce drag through a riblet effect. Aircraft are a major potential application for new technologies such as aluminium metal foam and nanotechnology such as the shark skin imitating paint.

Jet aircraft efficiency

Jet aircraft efficiencies are improving: Between 1960 and 2000 there was a 55% overall fuel efficiency gain (if one were to exclude the inefficient and limited fleet of the De Havilland Comet 4 and to consider the Boeing 707 as the base case).

Most of the improvements in efficiency were gained in the first decade when jet craft first came into widespread commercial use. Between 1971 and 1998 the fleet-average annual improvement per available seat-kilometre was estimated at 2.4%.

Concorde the supersonic transport managed about 17 passenger-miles to the Imperial gallon; similar to a business jet, but much worse than a subsonic turbofan aircraft. Airbus states a fuel rate consumption of their A380 at less than 3 L/100 km per passenger (78 passenger-miles per US gallon)

…… and there is more. See  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_economy_in_aircraft

 

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George Osborne’s speech at conference omits climate, and says Tories will “decide where to put a runway”

Chancellor George Osborne has today again underlined his commitment to delivering a shale gas revolution in the UK, in a conference speech that ignored climate change threats. Osborne told the Conservative Party conference that the country needed to fast-track infrastructure decisions if it was to deliver on his vision of becoming the most prosperous and creative nation in the industrialised world.  Some verbatim quotes: “We will build the high speed rail, decide where to put a runway and support the next generation with starter homes in a permanent Help to Buy.”  And ” Let’s face it, even today this country has spent forty years failing to take a decision about building a new runway in the South East of England.”  While making the case for investment in new high and low carbon infrastructure the speech contained no mention of climate change, despite David Cameron last week telling the UN that he regards it as “one of the most serious threats facing our world”. New Environment Secretary Liz Truss could only manage, on climate, to say this:” we’re now leading international efforts to tackle climate change.”
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Osborne promises new wave of high and low carbon infrastructure

Chancellor argues fracking, runways and new roads must be delivered alongside nuclear and renewables

By James Murray (Business Green)

29 Sept 2014

Chancellor George Osborne has today again underlined his commitment to delivering a shale gas revolution in the UK, in a conference speech that ignored climate change threats highlighted by his colleagues and promised urgent action to deliver new roads and runways.

Osborne told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham that the country needed to fast-track infrastructure decisions if it was to deliver on his vision of becoming the most prosperous and creative nation in the industrialised world. He acknowledged that building new infrastructure was always controversial, but argued that the engineers and industrialists that invented the steam engine would not have waited 40 years to make a decision on a new runway in the south east or “leave these extraordinary shale gas reserves under our feet untouched”.

Referring to the statue of Matthew Boulton, William Murdoch and James Watt in Birmingham’s Broad Street, Osborne said these “golden boys” would have prioritised the development of new infrastructure.

“We should ask ourselves what the Golden Boys in that statue outside would have done,” he said. “Would they have said, our trains may be packed, our roads congested, our transport system can’t cope, but we won’t build any more roads or new railways? No they would not. Would they have said, yes we mined for coal deep underground, and explored for oil beneath our seas, but we should leave the extraordinary shale gas reserves untouched beneath our feet? No they would not.”

He also claimed they would not have delayed decisions to build new nuclear power plants, nor ignored the opportunities presented by GM foods.

“We must choose the future,” Osborne said. “We will tap the shale gas, commission nuclear power and renewables, and guarantee our energy for the future. We will build the high-speed rail, decide where to put a runway and support the next generation with starter homes in a permanent Help to Buy. We must learn from the past, not be the past.”

However, while making the case for investment in new high and low carbon infrastructure the speech made no mention of climate change, despite Prime Minister David Cameron last week telling the UN that he regards it as “one of the most serious threats facing our world”.

The speech also made no specific reference to clean technologies or the green economy and only one mention of renewables, despite it repeatedly hailing the promise of disruptive technologies.

Separately, Osborne committed to ensuring the UK has the lowest business taxes of any large industrialised economy and he stressed that spending cuts across Whitehall would continue, predicting that £25bn of further cuts were needed to eradicate the deficit and arguing that tax increases were not an option if the UK is to remain competitive.

Osborne offered no new energy or environmental policy commitments, but his outspoken support for fracking and airport expansion is bound to infuriate green groups who responded angrily to the speech on Twitter.

“Barely days after David Cameron touched down from the UN Climate talks, his Chancellor is promising more roads, more airports and more fracking – with no mention of the solutions needed to slash emissions,” said Friends of the Earth campaigner Donna Hume. “By pledging support for polluters, the Chancellor is not just making a mockery of the government’s environmental commitments, he’s throwing away the chance to create thousands of jobs in new green industries.”

The address came after Conservative Environment Secretary Liz Truss argued the government was delivering bold action to improve the environment and leading international efforts to tackle climate change.

“Families can enjoy clean rivers and beaches and have peace of mind in their own homes while children get to know the sound of birdsong in our woods and meadows,” she said. “This is not about targets or turbines. It’s about real improvements practical conservative environmentalism where a strong, healthy environment is a core part of a strong, healthy economy.”

She also praised the use of cutting-edge technology in a booming UK food industry and stressed that action was being taken to tackle rising flood risks.

“Our defences against flooding are being upgraded to make them more robust,” she said. “We are spending £3.2bn – half a billion more than the last government – better protecting 165,000 houses and 580,000 acres of farmland… I am determined that our flood defences will always be strong enough to protect us against the ravages of a changing climate.”

However, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole argued that the coalition’s flood defence spending was still well below the level recommended by the government’s own climate change advisers.

“It’s encouraging that Liz Truss is ‘determined our flood defences will always be strong enough to protect us from a changing climate’ – but this requires investment, not just wishful thinking,” he said. “Climate change and cuts to flood defences under the Coalition mean there’s actually a half-billion pound hole in our flood defence budget. The Chancellor needs to state clearly that he will invest to protect millions of British homes from the ravages of climate change.”

Meanwhile, Shadow Environment secretary Maria Eagle accused Truss of ignoring a host of rural and environmental issues that demand urgent action. “Liz Truss made no mention of food banks, water bills, air pollution, the badger culls, horsemeat, forests or green jobs,” she said. “She told the country that British food ‘never had it so good’ while over a million people rely on food banks each year. This was a speech by an out of touch Environment Secretary with nothing to say about the real issues facing the British people.”

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2372747/osborne-promises-new-wave-of-high-and-low-carbon-infrastructure

 


 

Some quotes from the speech, at   http://press.conservatives.com/

“And it’s not just roads. We’ve doubled spending on cycling. We’ve got the Airports Commission to deal with capacity in the south east. We’ve ordered thousands of new train carriages so commuters can get a seat. Rebuilt stations like Manchester Victoria, Reading, Nottingham and Wakefield. We’ve started electrifying rail lines so they are faster, cheaper to run and environmentally-friendly.”

!Backing the billions that business is investing in things like the new London Gateway port and our key airports like Heathrow, Gatwick and here in Birmingham.”

The future for Britain is to be a low tax country where people play by the rules.

The future for Britain is to be a pro-business country.

And we also have to build for that future.

Big decisions on infrastructure have always been controversial and always will be.

The railways were bitterly opposed in the nineteenth century.

The motorways were opposed in the twentieth century.

Let’s face it, even today this country has spent forty years failing to take a decision about building a new runway in the South East of England.

There are always one hundred reasons to stick with the past, but we need to choose the future.

We will build the high speed rail, decide where to put a runway and support the next generation with starter homes in a permanent Help to Buy.

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Liz Truss’ (Environment Secretary) speech is recorded as saying:

POLITICSLiz Truss: Speech to Conservative Party Conference 2014

The Conservative Party: Conference.I have to confess that I was both delighted and surprised…….. when the Prime Minister offered me this role.I was delighted…because I love the countryside.I represent one of the most productive agricultural areas of the country in the finecounty of Norfolk….…..and I am infatuated with British food.But I was also surprised to be appointed because I have so much in common with….. Ed Miliband.We both grew up in left-wing households.We both have parents who are academics.His father talked about Marx and Trotsky over the dinner table.My mother took me on protests.I went on marches.I made banners.I went to peace camps.For me, it wasn’t ballet or My Little Pony.Instead, it was saving the planet…..and the CND.The most useful thing I learned…..was how to make myself heard in a crowd.Which I still make plenty of use of today.But while Ed stayed with the predictable Left Wing Establishment.I, Conference, became a rebel.I became a CONSERVATIVE.And I rebelled for 3 reasons.Because I believe that you can shape your own destiny. Because I believe people should succeed on merit.And as a practical Yorkshire girl….I believe in not just talking……. But in getting things done….And, when it comes to the Environment, the Labour Party have always been good attalking.While we’ve been really good at doing.It was a Conservative who pointed out that CFCs were damaging the ozone layer.It was a Conservative who championed international efforts to ban them.It was a Conservative who signed the Treaty phasing out their use.And the name of that Conservative was Margaret Thatcher. The ozone layer is getting better and we’re now leading international efforts totackle climate change. We have cleaned up almost 10,000 miles of river and improved our beaches.Numbers of important birds like the linnet and the goldfinch are on the rise.We are planting a million trees and over 20,000 acres of woodland.Our defences against flooding are being upgraded to make them more robust.We are spending £3.2 billion – half a billion more than the last government – better protecting 165,000 houses and 580,000 acres of farmland.We are constantly vigilant.All this means that families can enjoy clean rivers and beaches……..and have peace of mind in their own homes….….. while children get to know the sound of birdsong in our woods and meadows.This is not about targets or turbines.It’s about real improvements….. …….practical conservative environmentalism…….. where a strong, healthy environment….…..is a core part of a strong, healthy economy. And our Long Term Economic Plan.  And that is exactly what our farmers and food producers need.Just like our country…….there once was a time that our food was in decline.We had an inferiority complex about our traditional dishes.We’d lost pride in our country……..and we’d lost pride in our food.The amount of British Food we consumed and produced went down.The last Labour government…….tied our farmers up in red tape….…… wasted £600 million on EU fines ….……..and left us with the worst bovine TB problem in Europe.The fact is: Labour don’t care about the countryside.They think that we can’t grow enough of our own food.They think that we can just outsource it.Well they are wrong.Decline is not inevitable.Under this government, food and farming is one of our biggest success stories.It’s our largest manufacturing sector….…….bigger than aerospace and car production put together.Modern farming is not about shire horses and steam.It’s about systems and satellites.At every stage of the supply chain there is cutting edge technology….….whether it’s GPS in tractors…..automated celery rigs…… or Sainsbury’s employing an army of coders.That’s probably why it’s one of the fastest growing areas for entrepreneurs.We’re helping producers compete by slashing red tape and opening up publicprocurement….as well as nearly 600 new overseas markets – thanks to the hard work of mypredecessors Owen Paterson and Caroline Spelman.Our exports have increased by more than £1 billion in the past four years.And the results are superb.We are growing wheat more competitively than the Canadian prairies.We’re producing more varieties of cheese than the French.And we are even selling tea to China.Yorkshire Tea.When it comes to British food and drink….……we have never had it so good,As well as exporting our fantastic food abroad, I want to see more British food soldin Britain.Two-thirds of the apples and nine-tenths of the pears that we eat are imported.Not to mention two thirds of the cheese.And that is a disgrace.From the apple that dropped on Isaac Newton’s head to the orchards of nurseryrhymes……..this fruit has always been a part of Britain.I want our children to grow up enjoying the taste of British apples as well as… Cornish sardines, Norfolk turkey, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Wensleydalecheese, Herefordshire pears……. and….of course… black pudding.Under a Conservative majority government, I want Britain to lead the world in food,farming and the environment.In a fortnight I will be in Paris at the world’s largest food fair…….bigging up British products.In December, I’ll be in Beijing negotiating new markets for pork.I am determined that our farmers and producers will have access to more marketsboth at home and abroad……..generating jobs and security for millions.I am determined to press ahead restoring habitats,….cleaning rivers….and improving the quality of our atmosphere…..….so that future generations can breathe clean air and enjoy the countryside.I am determined that our flood defences will be always be strong enough to protectus against the ravages of a changing climate. And I will not rest until the British apple is at the very top of the tree.

.http://www.news-cloud.co.uk/TheConservativeParty/2014/09/29/LizTrussSpeechToConservativePartyConference2014.html

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Cameron Speech in New York

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/un-climate-summit-2014-david-camerons-remarks

 

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Public meeting to be held in Ascot on Monday 13th October on Heathrow flight path trials

28.9.2014   (Local Berkshire)

THE time and location of a public meeting where residents can grill officials about trial flightpaths over Ascot and the surrounding villages has been decided.

The meeting will take place on Monday, October 13, at 7pm at the Pavilion in Ascot Racecourse.

Royal Borough councillor David Hilton has taken on responsibility for organising the meeting and said: “It’s hard to say how many people will turn up, however there have been more complaints on this issue than any other issue raised, even more than the complaints I received about Heatherwood Hospital.

“I don’t have the answers. Everyone has important questions to ask, but for them to be effective they need to be answered by Heathrow.”

Representatives from National Air Traffic Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority will be at the meeting to answer residents’ questions, and Nigel Milton from Heathrow will make a presentation before also answering any queries.

Doors will open at 7pm on October 13, ready for the meeting to start at 7.30pm. It is expected to finish at about 9pm.

Meanwhile, about 70 crammed into a meeting of Sunninghill and Ascot Parish Council in The Courtyard, off Ascot High Street, last Tuesday, the first chance people from the area have had to address officials about Heathrow’s trial flightpaths.

Afterwards, Ascot resident Lori McNeil said: “It could have got quite heated but people held back because the councilors are on our side. It’s not their fault. People are really concerned about this, there are so many of us that are so frustrated with the situation.”

Cllr Hilton, who represents Ascot and Cheapside, will be putting forward a motion calling for an immediate end to the trials.

“It’s such a big issue, my advice is don’t leave it and complain once do it every time you are disturbed by noise,” he said.

“It’s more like a trial of the local people’s patience and resistance to noise.”

http://www.localberkshire.co.uk/news/bracknell/articles/2014/09/28/104070-cllr-hilton-speaks-up-about-heathrow-public-meeting/

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Anger as Heathrow’s latest flight path trials subject thousands to unacceptable noise levels

Heathrow is conducting trials of new flight paths, both to the west and to the east of the airport. Since the easterly trial started (28th July) and the westerly trial started (25th August) the airport has been swamped with complaints. The complaints line can no longer cope. For many people, there has been a sudden and unacceptable increase in noise. The changed, concentrated, routes have been blamed for the “unacceptable and intolerable” noise above a number of Surrey villages. Some of the worse affected areas to the west are Englefield Green, Egham, Thorpe, Virginia Water, Windlesham, Bagshot, Lightwater, Sunninghill and Ascot. Petitions to the airport have been set up in Ascot, Lightwater and now in Englefield Green, asking that the trials be stopped. People feel that even after the end of the trials that ended in June, the increased noise from them has continued. People living under the new, concentrated, routes are now subjected to more, louder, aircraft noise as late as 11.50pm and as early as 6am. The purpose of all this is to get more flights off Heathrow’s runways, so the airport can be more profitable for its foreign owners.

Click here to view full story…


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Formula 1 boss’s fury over new Heathrow aircraft noise – at least with Formula 1 people know where the noise is

A significant Formula One car racing engineer, who lives in Sunninghill under a Heathrow flight path test route, has joined an increasing band of residents complaining about the new flight paths over Bracknell and Ascot. He describes them as “intolerable”. The chief technical officer at Formula One team Red Bull Racing has hit out at Heathrow after its new trial flight paths started last Thursday, for 5 months. The aims of the trials are to try to reduce ‘stacking’, speeding up departure times to cut departure intervals, so increasing airport profits. He said though having lived in Sunninghill since 1997 and the noise has never been an issue before. “It is pretty intolerable because currently we have planes flying over our heads at 11pm at night …. it’s very antisocial really. ….I can’t even sit in my garden and socialise with my friends because it is just too noisy. There has been no proper consultation…” Realising he himself works in a very noisy industry, he said “… with Formula One is that there are no new race tracks being built anywhere, so people who buy houses next to race tracks know what they are getting.” There is an active petition in the Ascot area against the flight path trials, with around 2,400 signatures today.

Click here to view full story…


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Aircraft Noise petition from  Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot

Stop the Flight Path trials

In the 3 Villages area (Lightwater, Windlesham and Bagshot) residents have been impacted both by the latest trials – that started on 28th August 2014 – as well as those which ended on 15th June.

With local feelings running high, people in this began a campaign and now also have an online petition with links from their website at  www.aircraftnoiselightwater.co.uk

Following contact with John Holland-Kaye in early August, the campaign has secured a meeting with Cheryl Monk, (Head of Community Relations and Policy)  to which residents of all affected areas are invited (both 3 Villages and Ascot will attend) –  this meeting will take place on Monday, October 13, at 7pm at the Pavilion in Ascot Racecourse.

There is a  Change.org petition to the Heathrow complaints team, here   They say: 

“Flights are passing overhead, lower, louder and later than ever before disturbing all aspects of everyday life.   Flights continue as late as 11.30pm and as early as 6am – a period when a reasonable person expects the right to peace and quiet.

“Local residents are now opposed to any more expansion at Heathrow and call for an IMMEDIATE end to the flight path trial!”

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Ascot area residents’ petition to end new Heathrow flight path trial

1.9.2014

Residents in the area in and around Ascot (not far from Heathrow) have a Change.org petition asking that the new Heathrow flight path trial, which started in the last few days, should immediately be ended. It is causing considerable noise nuisance, and making life there unpleasant.
Residents can see the planes very clearly from their gardens, and the noise is so loud now it disturbs any conversation they have outside.

Petition to end the flight path trial

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Countries with most visitor to UK are still France, Germany, USA, Ireland, Netherlands

Data from the ONS (the government’s Office of National Statistics) shows each year how many foreign tourists visit the UK and how many Britons travel abroad, for holidays or business or to visit friends and family. The figures for 2013 show that the “tourism deficit” (the difference between the money spent by inbound visitors to the UK, and the money spent by Brits on their trips abroad) remains around £13.7 billion. So we export much more money by our air trips than we get into the UK economy from foreign visitors coming here. The countries with the largest number of visitors to the UK remain, in descending order, France, Germany, USA, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Poland. The countries which pay the most into the UK economy from their visits are, in descending order, USA, Germany, France, Australia, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Netherlands. The countries whose citizens spend the most per day are the UAE and other Middle East countries, Egypt, Nigeria, Norway, Denmark, Hong Kong and Russia. 51% of all overseas visitors come to London. The countries whose citizens spend most in London are Americans and Middle Eastern countries.
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http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ott/travel-trends/2013/info-visit-numbers.html

Number of visits to the UK: by country residence and spending


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Top 10 Markets

The top ten inbound markets for the UK in terms of number of visits during 2012 accounted for two in three visits (66%).  It is noteworthy that only two long-haul markets, the USA and Australia, appear in the top ten.  Looking at spending by inbound visitors, the top ten markets account for 54% of all spending, with the USA worth almost £1 billion more than the next most valuable market, France.  All of the top ten markets measured in terms of value are ‘developed’ rather than ‘emerging’ source markets for international tourism.

   UK tourism 2013 top markets by volume and value

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=18638

 


 

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ott/travel-trends/2013/info-london.html

Tourism in London 2013

 


 

ONS data for tourism deficit for 2011 2012 2013

 

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ott/travel-trends/2013/rpt-travel-trends–2013.html#tab-Data-tables-associated-with-this-report


 

Travel Trends 2013: Key Findings

Trends in visits to the UK by overseas residents

  • 2013 saw the highest number of visits to the UK by overseas residents since the IPS began in 1961, it also saw the highest recorded spending.
  • Overseas residents made 5.6% more visits to the UK in 2013 compared with 2012 leading to an historical high of 32,813,000 visits.
  • Earnings from visits to the UK rose by £2.4 billion (12.7%) compared to 2012 to reach a record level of spending in the UK of £21 billion.
  • The number of nights spent in the UK also grew 6.6% in 2013 to a total of 245.3 million overnight stays.
  • Visits from North America continued to show a decline, 0.3% down on 2012, however spending from the region increased by 2.9%. Visits from Europe and ‘Other Countries’ showed increases of 5.7% and 9.3% respectively and spending from these regions also grew by 10.5% and 21.6%.
  • Holidays remain the main reason for visits to the UK accounting for 12.7 million visits, a rise of 6.4% on 2012. Business visits and visits to friends and family continued to show growth, up 7.0% and 4.2% respectively.
  • Overseas residents made 16.8 million overnight visits to London in 2013, an increase of 1.3 million (8.6%) from 2012, and spent an estimated £11.3 billion on visits to the Capital.
  • Overnight visits to the rest of England grew by 6.1% to 13.6 million while visits to Scotland and Wales both showed increases after falls in 2012, Scottish visits up 9.8% and Welsh 3.5%.

Trends in visits abroad by UK Residents

  • UK residents made 3.5% more visits abroad than in 2012 and spent £2.5 billion (7.6%) more during these visits. The length of visit also increased in 2013 up 4.7% to 611.5 million nights.
  • Holiday visits abroad grew by 4.0% as did visits abroad to friends or family, up 5.7%, however business visits fell by 1.9%. The picture for expenditure was the same with spending on holidays and visits to friends and family rising 8.4% and 11.8% respectively, while expenditure on business visits abroad fell 3.0%.
  • Visits to North America and ‘Other Countries’ grew in 2013 after falls in 2012, both up 0.7% and 2.7% respectively. Visits to Europe continued to rise, increasing by 3.9% in 2013.
  • Spain continues to be the top destination for UK residents visiting abroad, accounting for 11.7 million visits, an increase of 5.8% on 2012. Visits to France grew 0.8% in 2013 following a fall in visits since 2009. Visits to Morocco and Tunisia continue to grow in 2013, both increasing by 28.7% and 17.0% respectively. At the same time visits to Egypt continue to decrease, showing a fall of 1.0% in 2013, following the trend of recent years.
  • The average length of stay on visits abroad remained broadly constant in 2013 at 10.5 nights, however average spending on these visits increased by 4.0% from £573 in 2012 to £596 in 2013.

 

Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ott/travel-trends/2013/rpt-travel-trends–2013.html

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16.8m overseas visits to London in 2013, up 43.5% in 10 years

Latest ONS data looks at travel and tourism in 2013

The latest ONS data shows the highest recorded number of overseas visits to the UK since 1961. There were 32,813,000 visits to the UK in 2013, a 5.6% increase since 2012. Over the same year, spending by overseas visitors increased by 12.7% to £21,012m. The number of visits to London in 2013 was the highest since 1961, with half of all visitors to the UK visiting London. There were 16.8m overseas visitors to London in 2013 and they spent £11,256m.

Increase in visits to London over the last 10 years

A total of 16.8m overseas visitors visited London during their visit to the UK in 2013. This was the highest recorded number of overseas visitors since 1961. The proportion of all overseas visitors to the UK who visit London has been increasing steadily over the last ten years, from 47.3% in 2003 to 51.2% in 2013.

Two-thirds of visitors from North America and other countries outside of Europe visited London during their visit to the UK in 2013 (65.8% and 67.1% respectively). Just under half (48.6%) of European visitors to the UK visited London in 2013. Half of all overseas visitors visiting London were on holiday. Over the last ten years, the number of overseas visitors visiting London for a holiday has increased from 4.9m in 2003 to 8.5m in 2013 (71.9%). Over the same period business visits have increased by 18.5% and visits to friends and family increased by 34.8%.

Over the last 10 years the top 10 countries of residence for overseas visitors to London have remained fairly constant. In both 2003 and 2013 visitors from the United States of America, France and Germany were the top three visiting countries.

Table 1: Top 10 visitors to London over last 10 years (numbers in thousands)

2003 2013
1 USA 2,234  1 USA 1,884
2 France 1,191  2 France 1,873
3 Germany 892  3 Germany 1,338
4 Irish Republic 624  4 Italy 1,091
5 Netherlands 619  5 Spain 843
6 Italy 601  6 Netherlands 696
7 Spain 527  7 Australia 696
8 Australia 451  8 Irish Republic 619
9 Canada 317  9 Belgium 533
10 Sweden 308  10 Sweden 523

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Download table

Tourist spending in London almost doubled in last 10 years

Expenditure in the UK by overseas visitors in 2013 had increased by 12.7% since 2012 to £21,012m. Of this overall expenditure, 53.6% was spent in London. The amount spent by overseas visitors in London almost doubled (increased by 91.9%) between 2003 and 2013. Overseas visitors spent £11,256m in London in 2013 compared to £5,867m in 2003. The increase in spending has been largely driven by the increase in holiday visits to London over this period. In 2013, just under a half (47.9%) of spending by overseas visitors in London was by those on holiday.

In both 2003 and 2013, visitors from the United States of America were the highest spenders in London. The top 10 spending countries have changed over the last 10 years, with countries from Asia, Central and South America, and the United Arab Emirates replacing the Netherlands, the Irish Republic and African countries as high spenders.

The average spend per visitor to London is higher for some countries than others which explains why the list of top 10 visiting countries is different to the top 10 spending countries. Visitors from the United Arab Emirates and countries in Central and South America, Asia and the Middle East have a higher average spend per visitor than countries, such as France, Germany and Italy that have higher number of residents visiting London.

Table 2: Top 10 spending countries, visiting London over last 10 years (expenditure in millions)

2003 2013
1 USA £1,412  1 USA £1,526
2 France £332  2 Other Middle East £888
3 Italy £293  3 France £677
4 Germany £290  4 Germany £557
5 Australia £235  5 Australia £552
6 Netherlands £222  6 Italy £513
7 Spain £221  7 Spain £483
8 Other Middle East £209  8 Other Asia £411
9 Other Africa £199  9 United Arab Emirates £359
10 Irish Republic £173  10 Other Central & South America £335

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Download table

Where can I find out more about overseas travel and tourism statistics?

These statistics were analysed by the International Passenger Survey team at ONS. The analysis was based on data from the International Passenger Survey. If you would like to find out more about overseas travel and tourism, you can read the release, view the infographic, or visit the travel and transport page. If you have any comments or suggestions, we would like to hear them. Please email us at: socialsurveys@ons.gov.uk

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VisitBritain data shows countries with highest spending by inbound tourists in 2013: top is USA (12% of the total), Germany (7%), France (6%) and Australia (6%)

4.12.2013Visit Britain has commissioned a report, by Deloitte and Oxford Economics. The report indicates that the tourism sector in the UK is worth some £127 billion per year now, and might grow at 3.8% per year. They say it might be worth £257 billion to the UK economy by 2025. Their report says that UK income from foreign tourists in 2012 was £24 billion, (giving a net UK tourism deficit from outbound tourists of £13.8 billion). The £24 billion contributed £6.7 billion to HMRC. Data for 2012 show that the countries whose visitors to the UK spent the most were the USA (by far the most at 13% of the total), France (8%), Germany (7%) and Australia (5%).  Then Ireland, Spain and Italy at 4% each. By far the largest number of visitors came from France (12% of the total), next Germany at 10% and USA at 9%. Predictably those who have come long haul spend more on their visits than Europeans. In 2012 about 73% of inbound visitors reached the UK by air. In 2012 there were 179,000 visits by Chinese people to the UK (0.6% of all overseas visits). They accounted for 1.7% of all nights in the UK by overseas visitors, and they spent £300m spent, accounting for 1.6% of the total spent whilst in the UK by overseas visitors.
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IAG is to pay its first ever dividend and British Airways is due to return to profit

The parent group that owns British Airways, IAG, have said that they are now making profits and will give their first dividend, probably in November.  This is their first dividend since they were created in 2011 through the merger of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia. IAG has also bought bmi and Spanish budget carrier Vueling since its formation. Analysts believe shareholders will receive their first payment at the end of IAG’s 2015 financial year at the latest, as the controversial turnaround at Iberia, which required the loss of some 4,500 jobs and sparked strikes and political outcry in Spain, has stemmed the losses. IAG posted a €96m pre-tax profit for the six months to June 30 this year, up from a €503m loss at the same time in 2013.  IAG says it is on track to improve operating profit this year by “at least” €500m, from €770m in 2013. British Airways’ CEO, Willie Walsh said in August that BA had now returned to profit for the first time since 2007, the start of the financial crisis. BA has barely paid any UK corporation tax for years – it may pay round £61 million for the 2013 financial year. 

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British Airways’ owner clears path for maiden dividend

International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, is expected to lay out a road map towards its first dividend at a capital markets day in November

International Airlines Group is clearing a flight path towards paying its first dividend since its creation in 2011 through the merger of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia.

The airlines giant, which has also swallowed up bmi and Spanish budget carrier Vueling since its formation, is expected to set out a road map towards its first payout to shareholders at a capital markets day on November 7. Invitations to the event were sent out last week.

Analysts believe shareholders will receive their first payment at the end of IAG’s 2015 financial year at the latest, as a controversial turnaround at Iberia, which sparked strikes and political outcry in Spain, drives an improvement in profits.

In August, IAG revealed that Iberia had finally flown back into the black following two years of painful restructuring, which has claimed more than 4,500 jobs at the Spanish flag carrier. IAG posted a €96m (£75m) pre-tax profit for the six months to June 30, up from a €503m loss at the same point the previous year, after Iberia eked out an operating profit of €16m.

The company said it is on track to improve operating profit this year by “at least” €500m, from €770m in 2013.

Oliver Sleath, airlines analyst at Barclays, said IAG is targeting a threshold of €1.8m of earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) before it will have the confidence to pay a dividend.

He said: “I am expecting IAG to articulate a dividend policy at the capital markets day for a well-covered, regular dividend. Timing will be conditional on IAG’s confidence of hitting their €1.8bn target, but it will probably come at some point in 2015.”

Gerald Khoo, analyst at Liberum, is forecasting a dividend of 12 euro cents a share for 2015.

Mr Khoo said: “2015 seems to me to be the most likely financial year when dividends will start, because it ties in with the medium-term targets management set itself (originally in November 2011, but since raised). The underlying principle was that these targets equated to delivering adequate margins and return on capital for shareholders, justifying additional investment but also opening the door to dividend payments.”

easyJet recently raised the proportion of profits after tax that it will pay shareholders through an ordinary dividend, from one third to 40pc, at its own capital markets day. But analysts believe IAG’s dividend policy will involve a far lower percentage, as payments for new aircraft accelerate.

A spokesman for IAG said: “It is our stated objective to get the business to a position by which we can reintroduce and sustain a dividend payment”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11124736/British-Airways-owner-clears-path-for-maiden-dividend.html


 

A comment below the article says:

I understood from previous DT articles that BA owed its pension fund a great deal of money.  Does this article mean that these debts have been paid off?

The answer is apparently that this is an IAG dividend, not a BA dividend. BA will have come to some agreement with its pension fund trustees about how much they need to pay into the fund each year. Those payments have to be balanced with dividend payments. If they paid no dividends, they could not raise any money through shareholders; the business might then do badly …. and subsequently be unable to pay the pension fund in future. So it is a balance.


 

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British Airways boss Willie Walsh hails return of aviation industry as profits jump

IAG chief celebrated return to figures seen before the Lehman collapse

1 August 2014

British Airways chief Willie Walsh has heralded the return of the aviation industry after six years of turbulence as his airlines group enjoyed a 55 per cent surge in profit to land its best second quarter since 2007.

“We’re back to the figures we saw before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008,” Walsh, chief executive of BA and Iberia-owner International Airlines Group, said.

“The UK’s GDP figures are good, and Spain’s are improving. The economies are obviously not as strong as they were in 2007, but the airlines have improved. We’re more efficient.”

IAG’s operating profit hit €380 million (£301 million) in the second quarter, up from €245 million a year earlier, as Iberia turned around a loss to fly into profit, and BA continued to soar. Walsh said the World Cup damaged demand for flights to Latin America.

“It had a dilutive effect. Business people avoided the area, just as with the London Olympics.” But despite the violence in the Middle East, Walsh said British Airways’ decision not to halt flights to Tel Aviv, as airlines such as easyJet did, was backed by passengers.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/british-airways-boss-willie-walsh-hails-return-of-aviation-industry-as-profits-jump-9642878.html

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BA owner IAG will pay its first dividend since its creation in 2011, by the end of IAG’s 2015 financial year


Tax is a mysterious thing. All highly complex. BA pays various other taxes. But BA hasn’t recently been a high payer of UK corporatoin tax


British Airways Annual Report & Accounts 2010 show they paid no UK corporation tax in 2009 or 2010


British Airways Annual Report & Accounts for year ended 31st Dec 2011 shows they paid £6 million in Corporation tax


British Airways Annual Report & Accounts for year ended 31st Dec 2013 shows they paid £61 million in Corporation tax


British Airways Annual Report & Accounts for year ended 31st Dec 2012 shows they paid £1 million in Corporation tax


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“No, that is history”

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

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

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

paul.carter@kent.gov.uk

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Edenbridge councillors blast Gatwick second runway proposal

By Edenbridge Courier

May 25, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We believe this approach is unsupportable.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 2012 document

KCC document, Bold Steps For Aviation,  2012

The document recommended to government, among other things:

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

And it states, on Page 15:

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

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2014 document

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

 

Facing the Aviation Challenge states:

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

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

and:

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

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

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

Kent County Council recommends to Government:

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

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