NATS proposes more low flying Stansted planes over north Essex & SSE will keep fighting changes to departure routes

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) will keep fighting planned changes to the airport’s departure flight paths.  NATS first proposed changes to Stansted flight paths in June, but SSE say there must be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any shift is implemented.  NATS plans to route about 50 more outbound planes per day along a flightpath towards Clacton to avoid congestion in the skies over London. NATS received over 400 responses to its recent airspace consultation; about  82% objected to the proposed changes. NATS has now published its Feedback Report claiming that “the package of net operational and environmental benefits presents a compelling case for change”. The changes help NATS meet its targets for flight efficiency, which give more priority to cutting fuel burn and CO2 emissions than cutting noise for those overflown. The planes are unlikely to reach 7,000ft until around Kelvedon, and between 4,000 and 7,000 feet, there has to be a trade-off between cutting noise and cutting fuel burn. Hence consultation.  NATS has submitted its Airspace Change Proposal to the CAA and if approved the change would come into effect in December 2015.
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Stop Stansted Expansion campaigners vow to keep fighting changes to airport departure routes

20.11.2014 (Herts & Essex Observer)

STOP Stansted Expansion campaigners have vowed they will keep fighting planned changes to the airport’s departure routes.

Air traffic controller NATS first proposed changes to Stansted flight paths in June. In response, the protesters said that there must be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any shift was implemented.

NATS received more than 400 responses to its consultation and more than 82% of those who expressed a view objected to the proposed changes.

NATS has now published its Feedback Report claiming that “the package of net operational and environmental benefits presents a compelling case for change”.

 

http://www.hertsandessexobserver.co.uk/Stop-Stansted-Expansion-campaigners-vow-fighting/story-24561571-detail/story.html

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More low flying planes set to cross north Essex

by Will Lodge (EADT)
November 14, 2014

More low flying planes look set to come across north Essex as they leave Stansted Airport following the end of a public consultation.
National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the main UK air traffic management provider, is proposing to route more outbound planes along a flightpath towards Clacton to avoid congestion in the skies over London.

It says the move will also be more environmentally friendly as it will allow planes to continuously and more quickly climb to higher altitudes. Around 50 more planes per day would fly along the East route along north Essex, double the current number.

The planes are unlikely to reach 7,000ft until around Kelvedon.

Several hundred objections were made to the plans during a 12-week public consultation.

However while noting the feedback NATS has said none of the responses presented a new case to not go ahead with the proposed changes.

Witham MP Priti Patel said: “Increases in low flying flights will be a cause of concern for residents affected.

“I would expect NATS and the airline companies to engage with communities to mitigate these effects and take a sensible and pragmatic approach should serious complaints be received.”
NATS will submit an Airspace Change Proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday, including all of the feedback.

If approved the change will come into effect in December next year.

Paul Haskins, general manager of London Terminal Control at NATS, said: “We are not surprised by the ratio of objections to expressions of support – in any consultation people are more likely to voice their feelings if they oppose the proposal or feel that it will have a negative impact on them.

“The response confirmed our understanding of general stakeholder concerns and demonstrates that the views of the Stansted community group are in line with general environmental issues highlighted in Department for Transport guidance.

“This is the first part of a long and complex set of airspace changes to deliver the UK’s Future Airspace Strategy. This first proposal will provide environmental benefits through more efficient routings and climb profiles, whilst enabling future stages of the airspace programme, all of which will be widely communicated and consulted on.”

Craig Martin, chairman of Kelvedon Parish Council, said: “Realistically there is not much we can do about it. We have a grudging acceptance that that’s what is going to happen.

“Although it will cause some annoyance and disturbance it is likely to happen, and NATS has a hard job as wherever they send planes it will annoy someone.”

http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/more_low_flying_planes_set_to_cross_north_essex_1_3848821

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Earlier:

 

Stop Stansted Expansion supports call to take part in flight path consultation, and says changes should be postponed

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) welcomes NATS’ call to local residents to have their say and respond to the proposed transfer of traffic on departure routes from Stansted Airport. The proposed change involves switching daytime traffic from the existing south-east (Dover) departure route to the existing east (Clacton) route (see map). The consultation closes on 8th September. Traffic on the Clacton route would double if this proposal were implemented. NATS’ own figures show 1,470 fewer people would be overflown, but 2,400 people would be overflown more intensively. NATS says that the driver for change is network performance and to avoid Heathrow traffic congestion. SSE says significant changes to Stansted’s airspace are likely to come in the next airspace review phase scheduled for 2018/19. If there is a new south east runway, that will mean significant redesign of Stansted routes in future. Therefore SSE says there must be clear and compelling benefits for local residents before any changes are implemented. They recommend that NATS’ proposed changes should be postponed until the airspace redesign planned for 2018/19.

Click here to view full story…


Plan to redirect Stansted Airport departures to reduce Heathrow congestion

Air traffic control service NATS proposes to redirect the majority of Stansted departures from an established southerly route, to an existing route to the east of the airport. “At the moment, departures from Stansted heading towards the South East are kept lower for longer when compared to the route heading east because of Heathrow arrivals.” The changes would only affect daytime departures. This is to reduce congestion above Heathrow. Arrivals are not affected. NATS has started a 12-week consultation on the proposals. Martin Peachey, noise advisor for Stop Stansted Expansion campaign group said: “We basically support the proposal because NATS say it should reduce the amount of people flown in the day and reduce CO2 emissions. It would remove day time departures for a large area to the south but it would double the amount of flights to the east so that would need to be carefully studied. …. There will be winners and losers.” The changes are part of the NATS’ London Airspace Management Programme (LAMP).

Click here to view full story…

 

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NATS has a new tool ‘FLOSYS’ to help on environmental efficiency of flights – but noise ignored

The CAA requires NATS to meeting “3Di” efficiency targets (3 dimensional inefficiency) to route planes by the shortest and most efficient route, and save fuel. However, one consequence of this is more noise on the ground. The increased 3Di efficiency has a trade-off between emissions and noise, between 4,000 and 7,000 feet. (Below 4,000 feet, routes should be designed with noise as the prime consideration – above 7,000 fuel burn is the main issue).  This conflict with NATS targets and noise suffered under flight paths has caused a large degree of upset at many UK airports this summer, as NATS prepares to implement the FAS (Future Airspace Strategy). Now NATS has a new tool that they call the Flight Optimisation System, or ‘FLOSYS’. This enables NATS to assess more accurately each flight trajectory.  NATS says they can better identify the opportunities for operational improvements to “save airlines fuel and cut carbon emissions.” The focus is definitely on cutting CO2 (ie. saving airlines money) which is laudable. But at the cost of very upset and angry residents under flight paths, who are suffering more noise. NATS is not widely endearing itself.

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NATS unveils real-time flight efficiency tool

Air traffic controllers are now able to analyse the environmental efficiency of flights in near real-time, thanks to a new tool developed by NATS.

The Flight Optimisation System, or ‘FLOSYS’, takes real radar data, updated every three minutes, and combines it with NATS’ 3Di airspace efficiency metric to produce a graphical representation of every flight in UK airspace.

Controllers can then analyse the efficiency of an individual aircraft through every phase of flight and airspace sector, as well as compare it against other flights along the same route up to 12 months ago, including the average and best performing.

By having access to this granularity of data for the first time, controllers and airspace managers will be able to better identify the opportunities for operational improvements that will save airlines fuel and cut carbon emissions.

Since 2012 NATS has measured the efficiency of an aircraft’s route and trajectory using its three dimensional inefficiency (3Di) metric where each flight is compared to a scale where zero represents total environmental efficiency. Most flights typically score somewhere between 15 and 35.

However it is only with the advent of ‘FLOSYS’ that controllers can now immediately see 3Di scores for individual flights and identify specific areas for improvement, or best practice techniques to share.

Ash Bennett, NATS Swanwick airspace efficiency manager, said: “What we want to do is equip our controllers with enough data to be able to understand the story behind every flight and to then make informed decisions on areas of possible improvement. That might be in the form of more direct or efficient routes, or better climb and descent profiles, all of which help save airlines fuel.”

The system has been developed by the NATS innovation centre, SPACE, together with Altran UK and Lockheed Martin, and with input from the operational ATC community at both NATS’ Swanwick and Prestwick centres. The initial roll out is at Swanwick, before moving to Prestwick Centre next year.

The project forms part of NATS’ wider environmental programme, with its interim target to cut air traffic related CO2 by an average of 4% per flight by the end of this year, along the way to achieving a 10% saving by 2020.

Ian Jopson, NATS Head of Environment and Community Affairs, said: “All the indicators point to us achieving our 4% target for the end of this year. That’s a fantastic achievement itself, but it is just a milestone on our way towards meeting our 10% goal.

“That’s why innovations like ‘FLOSYS’ are so important because it puts real data and real influence in the hands of our controllers who are often the best people at identifying fuel saving opportunities.”

http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/11/nats-unveils-realtime-flight-efficiency-tool/

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See also:

NATS hopes to continue improving fuel efficiency improvements, but its 3Di scheme does not take noise into account

According to UK air traffic services provider NATS, the environmental and operational efficiency of UK airspace improved during the first half of this year. However, it faces a challenge to meet a new tighter year-end target set by the CAA. In 2012, NATS was set an incentivised efficiency performance target (called 3Di -meaning 3 dimensional inefficiency) by the CAA. Its aim is to get the most direct and most fuel efficient routes, saving aircraft having to stack, and cutting fuel use and CO2 emissions. Each flight is given a score of its efficiency, with zero being best. Most flights typically score between 15 and 35. This year the CAA set NATS an overall target of 23. Their score was 23.7 in 2013 and a score of 23.9 in 2012. NATS says it it achieves its target scores over 3 years, planes will have saved around 600,000 tonnes of CO2 will have been saved. As well as CDA (continuous descent approach) landings, smoother take-offs, and flying at the optimum level. NATS is straightening flight paths. Their 3Di scores to not take account of the noise nuisance, and there are fears that some new flight path changes, helping NATS meet their target, are creating more noise from over-flying new areas.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/nats-hopes-to-continue-improving-fuel-efficiency-improvements-but-its-3di-scheme-does-not-take-noise-into-account/


Between 4,000 and 7,000ft, the new routes trade off noise against reducing fuel burn/emissions. Above 7,000ft, the priority has been to reduce fuel burn/emissions
rather than reduce overflying of population centres.

The runway environment – from c.4000ft  down to the ground – includes the low-level airspace reserved for take-off and landing, where the impact of aviation to those on the ground takes precedence and airports are responsible for managing the effects of

any changes on their local communities.
The LAMP programme considers a fundamental re-design of the terminal airspace at a
network level, above c.4000ft (or the ceiling of noise preferential routes).

(A1.3.1) Replicating or Re-designing procedures for PBN. At low altitudes – from c.4000ft
down to the ground – the impact of aviation to those on the ground takes precedence and airports will be responsible for managing the effects of FAS deployment on their local communities. As a minimum airports in the LAMP and NTCA environments are required to replicate their existing arrival and departure routes at low altitudes to a PBN standard,
increasing precision and integrating into the terminal network design that has been developed to the same advanced navigational standards. Some airports will
choose to go beyond simply replications and re-design their SIDs and arrival procedures to realise the potential capacity and environmental benefits of PBN.

Any changes to routes under 4,000ft are the responsibility of the relevant airport.

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Oslo airport, Statoil and SkyNRG attempting to promote “sustainable” jet fuels from wood residues & wastes

Oslo airport is hoping to get regular deliveries of biofuel, so it becomes available much of the time. Avinor, which owns the airport, has signed an agreement with Statoil Aviation.  The plan is for Statoil to start delivering biofuel in March 2015, with 2,5 million liters in the first year. Biofuel is only ever used as 50% of the fuel mix in any flight.  Currently the only biofuel available comes from used cooking oil. However there are plans to explore  the possibility of forest-based large-scale production of aviation  bio-fuel. But that is still a long way off, especially for biofuel comparable in price to conventional jet kerosene, the price of which has fallen recently.  Aviation biofuel proponents are keen to get both production and use up, to get the price down. Whether biomass comes from forestry work, or wood waste, it is very far from sustainable. The nutrients in wood products need to be returned to the soils in which they grew, to maintain fertility. Biofuels are not carbon neutral, as the presumption that all the carbon emitted on burning is rapidly reabsorbed by vegetation is wrong.  Regrowing an equivalent sized tree, and sequestering the carbon,  in reality could take decades.
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Oslo becomes first bio-jet fuel hub

November 19, 2014  (Air Traffic Management)

by Aimee Turner
Avinor’s Oslo Airport will become the world’s first hub to receive regular deliveries of bio-fuel.

It’s also the first time that sustainable bio jet fuel will be used in the hydrant system of the airport.

“We are proud to take on the task of bringing greener aviation one important step forward,” says Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen about the agreement signed with Statoil Aviation.

The plan is to start delivering biofuel already in March 2015, and that Statoil Aviation will deliver 2,5 million liters of sustainable bio-fuel to the tank facility at Oslo Airport in the first 12 months. This corresponds to approximately 3,000 flights between Oslo and Bergen with a 50 per cent bio-fuel mix.

While the initial bio-fuel deliveries will probably come from used cooking oil, major players in the Norwegian power and forestry industries are now exploring the possibility of forest-based large-scale production of bio-fuel for aviation in the course of a few short years.

“It’s not out of the question that we in Norway could achieve large-scale production of sustainable aviation bio-fuel at a competitive price in 2020,” says Falk-Petersen.

“I’m proud that Oslo Airport will be the first hub in the world to offer our customers regular deliveries of bio-fuel. Along with our many other measures, this will represent an additional boost to our climate and environmental work,” said Oslo airport managing director Øyvind Hasaas regarding the news, which will be launched globally at a major conference in Dubai on 19 November.

“This is a good start towards developing a market for aviation bio-fuel. The fact that Avinor is contributing to making Oslo Airport the first hub in the world where all airlines have the opportunity to use bio-fuel illustrates that a green change is possible. At the same time, it’s important that the authorities step up with policy instruments that promote greater use of bio-fuel in aviation,” said head of the environmental foundation ZERO, Marius Holm.

”Statoil Aviation has now taken biofuel from tests and promotions to real business. We are proud to offer the airlines biofuels as part of their normal operation at Oslo Airport for the first time. Signing supply contracts with airlines which include biofuels drop-in is a real breakthrough in the aviation industry, and another important step for a better environment. I want to say ‘thank you’ to Avinor, SkyNRG and the participating airlines which have made this possible,” says Vice President at Statoil Aviation, Thorbjörn Larsson.

To date, Statoil Aviation has entered into agreements with Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, Eurowings, Brussels Airlines), SAS and KLM for deliveries of bio-fuel at Oslo Airport.

There are currently two concrete industrial Norwegian initiatives for production of bio-fuel: Statkraft and Södra at Tofte in Hurum, and Viken Skog / Treklyngen at Follum in Hønefoss.

Both projects are now looking into the possibility of producing both bio-diesel, which is needed in the heavy transport sector, and the bio-jet fuel needed in aviation. A single bio-fuel plant can produce enough bio-jet fuel and bio-diesel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Norwegian aviation by 10-15 per cent, and can yield major emission cuts in road transport.

Bio-fuel production could become a win-win situation for Norway by providing reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased value creation from forests – an important step towards a sustainable industry in Norway and a shift towards the renewable zero discharge society.

http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2014/11/oslo-becomes-first-biojet-fuel-hub/

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SkyNRG Nordic Supplies Biofuel to SAS and Norwegian

 November 11, 2014 

(SkyNRG Nordic) SAS and Norwegian operate their first commercial flights on SkyNRG Nordic’s bio jet fuel. Today, SAS flies on bio jet fuel from Trondheim to Oslo and Norwegian from Bergen to Oslo. The bio-flights in Norway are done in close cooperation with ZERO and Avinor and are on the occasion of the annual ZERO Emissions Conference.

SkyNRG Nordic, the partnership between SkyNRG and Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation, has the mission to make the Nordic region the first in the world where all flights are operated on biofuel. Both flights highlight the increased cooperation in the area of bio jet fuel in the Nordic and the willingness to move towards substantial volumes in the coming years.

To catalyze the development of bio jet fuel in the Nordics, SkyNRG established the Fly Green Fund. This fund is set up for corporates in the Nordic that wish to fly more sustainable by operating a part of their staff travel on bio jet fuel. Similar to the KLM Corporate Biofuel Programme, that was co-developed by SkyNRG in 2012, the aim of the Fly Green Fund is to create scale, bridge the current premium for bio jet fuel and to enable investments in the development of sustainable bio jet fuel production from forestry residues and waste in the Nordics.

‘These flights can be considered as a warm up for our big plans next year in the Nordic market. With help from our partners and corporate clients, we believe that we can get to substantial volumes in the next two years,’ says Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO SkyNRG.

Thorbjörn Larsson, Vice President at Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation states: ‘Another important step on the journey towards greener aviation. Biofuels for aviation are available here and now and I am proud that Statoil Aviation, together with SkyNRG Nordic, are the leading fuel suppliers of biofuels in the Nordic.’

‘The Nordic countries are well suited to drive this development, but it requires the involvement of everyone in the entire value chain from raw material supplier, manufacturers, to the passenger. With our innovative co-funding model, The Fly Green Fund, we will involve the end customer in a meaningful and critical way,’ says Maria Fiskerud Nordic director SkyNRG.

‘That the major airlines in the Nordics are starting to fly on bio jet fuel sends an important signal to the international aviation community. Bio jet fuel exists and the more the product is used, the easier it becomes to increase the volume of production and to realize a competitive price,’ says Peter Landmark CEO Karlstad Airport. ‘After organizing the first bio jet fuel flights in Sweden with SkyNRG Nordic, we will step up our effort by providing bio jet fuel on a continued basis in 2015.’

About SkyNRG

SkyNRG’s mission is to create sustainable fuels for those transport segments for which sustainable fuel is the best green alternative in the foreseeable future: aviation, marine and heavy trucking. Short term, the company is executing this mission via co-funded green routes and long term via developing BioPorts, these are regional supply chains that offer a real sustainable and affordable alternative for fossil fuels. SkyNRG uses multiple technologies that are best suited for that particular region in the world and is supported by its leading global sustainability and technology board.

SkyNRG is the world’s market leader for bio jet fuel, supplying more than 20 airlines worldwide. Since 2011 the company is expanding into the marine and heavy trucking sustainable diesel segment as well. Learn more about SkyNRG at www.skynrg.com

http://advancedbiofuelsusa.info/skynrg-nordic-supplies-biofuel-to-sas-and-norwegian

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Extract about some problems of  using wood waste for biofuels:

(2011 – from Science, Law and the Environment)

While there is a huge amount of potential biofuel feedstock in Washington’s forests, and removing that feedstock would potentially be very good for the forest, making it cost effective to use forest biomass for energy generation is an economic challenge.  The problem is that the forest biomass is spread diffusely across the forest, and concentrating it and then hauling it to a central processing location (refinery) can take a very large share of the energy the biomass contains. 

Indeed the reason fossil fuels are so attractive economically is that they are the product of a few billion years of the earth concentrating dead plants, turning them into very concentrated energy sources.  Electricity co-generation has become economically viable at mills turning logs into structural lumber or other solid wood products, but co-generation works there because the scrap that is burned to create electricity had to be hauled from the woods in order to make the 2 X 4s and plywood that are the central purpose of the mill, and would have to be disposed of if it weren’t burned to create electricity.

The forest biomass that is a potential feedstock for aviation biofuel, by contrast, doesn’t have a high-value solid wood product associated with it.  The potential biofuel feedstock is slash left after a commercial harvest, trees removed in pre-commercial thinning of overstocked young stands, and massive areas of dead or dying trees that have been subject to mountain pine beetle attacks across the inland West.  That material needs to be removed from the forest so that the forest can be managed for better commercial forest production and wildlife attributes.  If left in the woods, it will either rot, releasing methane gas, or burn, releasing all its carbon as carbon dioxide.  But that biomass currently stays in the forest precisely because there is no solid wood product that can be made of it which would justify hauling it to a mill.

The issue of sustainability is also serious.

As with any form of “agriculture,” removing all the biomass from one crop of trees, and then another, and then another, could quickly deplete forest soils of essential nutrients.  We don’t know, and probably cannot know for a while, exactly what the consequences for sustainability are on the mass removal of forest biomass from the forest.  We do know that leaving all the biomass in place in overstocked and dead forest areas has negative consequences – so there is no “free” choice here.  Today ash from co-generation facilities is typically spread back on the forest floor, to return minerals to the soil.  Whether that is an adequate response or will have adverse consequences is something that time and research will need to tell us.

One of the solutions to these problems that researchers are reportedly working on is to create a small, mobile processing unit that could do the initial processing of biomass into a liquor in the woods.  The liquor would then be hauled to a refinery for further refining.  The processed liquor would be more concentrated energy than raw biomass, and hauling a tank car of liquor to a refinery would potentially be more economical than hauling unprocessed biomass.  At the same time, the waste from that initial processing could be spread back on the forest floor, without having to be hauled from a central refinery or processing area.  If the mobile processing unit was truly mobile, when one area was cleared of unwanted forest biomass, the processing unit could be moved to a new location, so that raw biomass never needed to be hauled any significant distance.  If such a mobile processing unit can be developed, it may provide the breakthrough to bring the cost of aviation biofuel from forest biomass down to commercially viable levels.

From

http://www.sciencelawenvironment.com/2011/05/one-more-baby-step-towards-aviation-fuel-from-forest-biomass/

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Need to assure sustainable harvest practices are used to avoid significant negative impacts on soils, water resources, natural habitats and vulnerable human communities. North Americans need to move beyond thinking of “trees” and consider the forest as a complete ecosystem.

As a recent article in the ECOreport asked, “What does it take to keep such a system healthy, thriving and able to maintain its long-term ability to provide those benefits we desire?”

“The last thing we want to do is to go from a reliance on non-sustainable fossil fuels to developing biofuels that aren’t sustainable,’’ saysIvan Eastin, professor at University of Washington and director for the Center for International Trade in Forest Products.

A number of approaches are being evaluated: using forest residues that come from thinning, forest restoration, or fire hazard reductions; municipal solid waste; mill residues; and timber harvested specifically for bio-based energy products.

Greg Johnson, director of forest research at Weyerhaeuser Company, stressed the availability of branches, ends of logs and pieces left after logging.

A NARA spokesperson mentioned the necessity of leaving some waste on the ground, where it can furnish nutrients to the forest.

‘From

http://www.theecoreport.com/green-blogs/technology/energy/biofuels/towards-a-wood-based-aviation-biofuel/

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140 organisations in “Taming Aviation” coalition petitions European Parliament to ban night flights

A coalition of 140 organisations that are signed up to “Taming Aviation” met European Parliament representatives on 18th November to ask for a ban on flights operating at night, over an 8 hour period.  And it also called on legislators to stop the tax exemptions the aviation sector currently enjoys. Taming Aviation, and its member organisations, is asking the Parliament to take action.  Some of the campaign’s members are from communities outside immediate airport areas. Taming Aviation co-founder Susanne Heger said aircraft noise poses serious health threats for people living near airports. According to a study from the University of Bern, the noise increases the risk of dying of a heart attack by 50% and is one of the biggest concerns of those who live under flight paths. At Frankfurt there is already a ban on night flights and this should be extended widely. Citizens’ groups have for many years taken these issues up with airports and authorities, with little success. Hence the appeal to the European Parliament to get effective action. There needs to be more action by Europe to ensure that a future aviation emissions system has teeth, and some real effect on aviation CO2.
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Coalition petitions European Parliament to ban night flights

20.11.2014 (Euractiv)

A coalition of  140 organisations  met with European Parliament representatives on Tuesday (18 November) to ask for a ban on flights operating at night. It also called on legislators to strip the aviation sector of the tax exemptions it currently enjoys.

The coalition presented MEPs with a petition under the name of Taming Aviation,, in which it formally asks the European Parliament to take action.

Aircraft noise, air pollution, and tax subsidies to airline companies are the main concerns of the coalition, which includes communities living outside airport areas.

During the meeting, Taming Aviation co-founder Susanne Heger said that aircraft noise poses serious health threats for people living near airports. According to a study from the University of Bern, the noise increases the risk of dying of a heart attack by 50% and is one of the biggest concerns of those who live under flight paths.

The petition demands that all airports have an uninterrupted eight-hour ban on nighttime flights, in order to comply with minimum health standards.

A German Court ruled in favour of a night flight ban at Frankfurt airport in 2012, in response to complaints from local residents. Taming Aviation hopes for the same result across Europe, and said that unless the EU forces all airports to close down at night, the situation will not change.

“Individual airports are reluctant to ban night flights, because the night flights will go to a competitor airport,” said John Stewart, chair of Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN).

Coalition representatives have raised these problems with local and airport authorities but have been unsuccessful in finding a common ground. They decided to call on the European Parliament to take these concerns in consideration through amendments when adopting future laws.

Keith Taylor MEP, a Greens/EFA lawmaker from the UK, said that Parliament will revise the Energy Tax and the Emission Trading System legislative proposals in 2016, to allow MEPs to address the coalition’s demands. He also said that legislators will give serious consideration whether to include aviation in the EU’s emissions scheme.

“[The airlines] should pay VAT and excise duty just like all other transport methods, so that all the costs of flying are properly accounted for,” said Taylor MEP.

Under current EU rules, airlines are exempted from paying a tax on fuel and on their revenues. Because of these incentives, Taming Aviation believes the airlines are neither motivated nor interested in reducing their gas emissions.

“With air passenger numbers set to grow 4% a year for the next 20 years, the aviation sector can well afford to pay its way,” said Heger.

“EU governments continuing to allow commercial airlines to (a) free ride to the tune of €40 billion a year with tax exemptions while their night flights pose serious health risks is nothing short of a scandal.”

The Association of European Airlines, however, said the sector receives from €27 to €35 billion per year in annual subsidies,  and compared to other transport sectors, such as rail, aviation receives half the amount of subsidies.

While Taming Aviation recognises that air transport makes a significant contribution to the economy, it still needs to be regulated. But if governments cut the airlines’ tax breaks, consumers will no longer enjoy cheap tickets on short-haul flights.

“We are hoping to work with the railway sector to balance the demand in travelling,” said Stewart.

“You will automatically get a modal shift from air to rail, especially for short distance trips, as 45% of all trips within Europe are 500km or less.”

As the petition was handed over to Cecilia Wikström, chair of the Petitions Committee, Stewart said that Taming Aviation wants to use this formal demand “to raise a wider issue with MEPs, the Commission with a view to working with different stakeholders”.

Parliament will now assess the request, and forward it to the European Commission.

Taming Aviation represents a quarter of a million citizens from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK.

http://www.euractiv.com/sections/transport/coaltion-petitions-parliament-ban-night-flights-310177

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TIMELINE:
  • 2016: European Parliament to review the Energy Tax and the Emission Trading System legislative proposals
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Taming Aviation petition presented to European Parliament:  250,000 demand end to scandal of Europe’s airline subsidies, tax exemptions and night flights

A ground-breaking coalition of 140 groups representing 250,000 citizens from 10 European countries has, for the first time, called on the EU to end commercial airlines’ tax exemptions and subsidies – and phase out night flights. The Taming Aviation coalition formally presented its demands in a petition to the European Parliament in Brussels on 18th November. The petition calls for an end to the absurd situation where European governments miss out on €40 billion every year because commercial airlines pay no tax on fuel and are exempt from VAT. Cash-strapped EU governments are missing out on this important revenue source, so European taxpayers must step in to fill the deficit. The subsidies are fuelling air traffic growth, with aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions expected to increase 300% by 2050. The petition also demands action to reduce aircraft noise, which poses serious health risks to people living under flight paths including increasing the risk of dying of a heart attack by up to 50%. 25 national delegates from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK were present at the event.

Click here to view full story…

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Overall fuel efficiency of US airlines fails to improve on domestic routes during 2013, finds ICCT study

An annual performance study by the ICCT shows the fuel efficiency of US carriers on domestic routes failed to improve in 2013.  ICCT found little correlation between airline efficiency and profitability, and is concerned that as fuel prices steady or even fall there will even less incentive to make fuel efficiency gains.  Even less efficient carriers were also able to make  high profits through using older, less fuel efficient aircraft.   ICCT’s analysis shows the average annual fuel efficiency between 1990 and 2000 improved by 2.1%, improving to 2.8% between 2000 and 2010 and then fell back to 1.3% between 2010 and 2012.  Load factors rose from 60% in 1990 to 82% in 2010, but have flattened out in recent years.  The US aircraft fleet is ageing, with fewer new planes. The price of oil has fallen markedly in the past year, and may remain low for some time, due to US oil production. There is concern there will be less incentive, with cheaper fuel, to make energy savings. Or meet the IATA goal of 1.5% energy improvements annually to 2020.
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Overall fuel efficiency of US airlines fails to improve on domestic routes during 2013, finds ICCT study

Wed 19 Nov 2014 (GreenAir online)

An annual performance study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) shows the fuel efficiency of United States carriers on domestic routes failed to improve in 2013 despite the high cost of aviation fuel and industry targets.

In a league table of performance rankings, (see below) Alaska, Spirit and Frontier tied as the most fuel-efficient domestic carriers in 2013, whereas American Airlines, whose fuel efficiency fell by 1.5%, burned an estimated 27% more fuel than the three most efficient airlines to provide an equivalent level of transport service.

As in its previous study, ICCT found little correlation between airline efficiency and profitability, and is concerned that as fuel prices steady or even fall there will even less incentive to make fuel efficiency gains.

Alaska and Spirit have consistently led the performance ranking since ICCT’s original baseline analysis of 2010 data, with Frontier overtaking Southwest Airlines due to a 10% one-year improvement. However, these gains were offset mainly by the larger legacy carriers, with American propping up the table.

With 2013 proving to be a profitable year for most US airlines, Alaska and Spirit also had the highest operating profit margins but the study found that even less efficient carriers like Allegiant were also able to reap high profits through using older, less efficient aircraft.

ICCT’s analysis shows the average annual fuel efficiency between 1990 and 2000 improved by 2.1%, improving to 2.8% during the tough decade of 2000 to 2010 and then fell back to 1.3% between 2010 and 2012.

Multiple factors, says the independent non-profit research organisation, help explain the slowdown. Load factors, which increased from 60% in 1990 to 82% in 2010, have flattened out in recent years and are not therefore contributing to efficiency gains.

Despite the raft of new order announcements from the aircraft manufacturers, ICCT says deliveries of new aircraft to US carriers have fallen sharply – more than 60% off their peak in the last decade – so that today only one in seven new aircraft are delivered domestically.

With fewer deliveries, the US fleet has aged to almost 12 years on average last year. Although new re-engined and more fuel-efficient narrow-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft are on the horizon, relatively few new types have been brought to market over the past 15 years.

ICCT points to work at ICAO on a CO2 efficiency standard for new aircraft and a framework for a market-based incentive to cut airline carbon emissions as possible levers that will result in an improvement in fuel efficiency. With US domestic aviation carbon emissions making up one-quarter of the global total, the US Environmental Protection Agency has also announced its intent to move forward with an endangerment finding on aviation emissions under the Clean Air Act.

“Conventional wisdom says that fuel prices alone will be enough to drive airline efficiency, but that’s not what the data tells us,” commented ICCT’s Program Director for Aviation, Dan Rutherford. “This study highlights the need for international policies to address aviation emissions now that countries like China and the United States have announced their own commitments.”

Link:

ICCT – US Domestic Airline Fuel Efficiency Ranking 2013

ICCT Fuel Efficiency Scores 2013:

 

http://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=2006

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Related GreenAir Online articles:

Read more »

ClientEarth wins case – EU Court rules UK government must act to clean up deadly air pollution

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has delivered its judgement in ClientEarth’s case,  that the UK must act to clean up illegal levels of air pollution “as soon as possible”.  Under current plans the UK will not meet legal limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) until after 2030 – twenty years after the original deadline.  NO2 has known harmful health impacts including increasing the risk of heart attacks and asthma. In their case at the ECJ, ClientEarth win on all points.  The judgement says the UK’s plans should have aimed at compliance by 1 January 2015 at the latest.  The UK remains in ongoing breach of EU law, and UK courts must order the government to produce a plan which rapidly achieves NO2 limits. To be successful, a plan to deal with air pollution needs to drastically cut nitrogen oxides from diesel vehicles. Much of the air pollution around airports, like Heathrow, is caused by these diesel vehicles.  Around 29,000 people die early in the UK each year as a result of air pollution, making it the biggest public health problem after smoking. ClientEarth’s case will return to the UK Supreme Court for a final ruling next year. 
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EU Court rules UK government must act to clean up deadly air pollution

19 November 2014 (Client Earth)

- ClientEarth win on all points
- UK plans should have aimed at compliance by 1 January 2015 at the latest
- UK in ongoing breach of EU lawUK courts must order the government to produce a plan which achieves nitrogen dioxide limits “as soon as possible”

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has delivered its judgment in ClientEarth’s case and firmly upheld our right to breathe clean air. The ECJ has ruled that the UK must act to clean up illegal levels of air pollution “as soon as possible”. Under current plans the UK will not meet legal limits for nitrogen dioxide until after 2030 – 20 years after the original deadline.

Around 29,000 people die early in the UK each year as a result of air pollution, making it the biggest public health problem after smoking.

ClientEarth’s case will return to the UK Supreme Court for a final ruling next year. This should see the UK Supreme Court ordering the government to take action to meet limits in a much shorter timeframe. This plan would need to drastically cut pollution from diesel vehicles and could lead to policies like the London Mayor’s plans for an ultra low emission zone  being rolled out nationally.

Alan Andrews, ClientEarth lawyer, said: “This ruling is a big victory for the millions of people who want to live healthy lives in the UK’s towns and cities. This will force the government to finally take this issue seriously and come up with an urgent plan to rid our towns and cities of cancer-causing diesel fumes.

“This sets a groundbreaking legal precedent in EU law and paves the way for a series of legal challenges across Europe. ClientEarth will spearhead these efforts to help people defend their right to clean air in court.”

Diesel fumes are the main source of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – a harmful gas linked with heart attacks and asthma. The ECJ’s landmark ruling is the first ever on the 2008 Air Quality Directive.

ENDS

Media contact:

George Leigh, ClientEarth communications officer: t. +44 (0)203 030 5951
e. gleigh@clientearth.org

Notes to editors:

https://www.supremecourt.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2012_0179_Judgment.pdf

 

http://www.clientearth.org/news/press-releases/eu-court-rules-uk-government-must-act-to-clean-up-deadly-air-pollution-2699

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Other press releases on air pollution from ClientEarth:


 

Earlier:

 

Heathrow suggests congestion charge for vehicles – to try and keep within air quality limits

Heathrow will announce its north- west runway plan on Tuesday 13th May. They have no interest in the Jock Lowe Heathrow Hub option. Heathrow is aware that as well as noise, air pollution is a show – stopper issue for their hopes of a new runway. Hence they are now suggesting to the Airports Commission that there should be a congestion charge  for people travelling to Heathrow by car – after the public transport has been set up (largely at public expense). Some of the money raised may go towards public transport. Heathrow is trying to make out there will not only be no more noise caused by a 3rd runway, but no more road vehicles than now.  They depend on emissions standards for NOx for new cars becoming tighter in future.  Expansion of Heathrow would mean massive road  congestion in the area. The Standard reports that Heathrow is moving its planned north-west runway slightly south, in order to avoid the M25 and M4  junction.  To make way for the new runway to the north west of the airport, Heathrow will build a 600-metre tunnel taking traffic under the M25. A tunnel would run alongside the motorway – and be part-funded by Government.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/heathrow-suggest-congestion-charge-for-vehicles-to-try-and-keep-with-air-quality-limits/

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Air pollution may affect babies even before birth and reduce lung size for life

The Sunday Times (Jonathan Leake) reports that a study has indicated that air pollution in Britain’s cities is stunting the growth of children’s lungs, and could reduce their lung capacity by 5% or more. It appears that toxic particles and gases emitted mainly by diesel vehicles disrupt lung growth, with damage starting to be inflicted in the womb. There is also separate research that indicates that babies gestated in areas with high air pollution levels are born with smaller heads, with the reduction in circumference directly related to air pollution levels. Dr Ian Mudway, of King’s College London, who has been involved in a 6-year study into how air pollution affects children in east London in Tower Hamlets and Hackney, said the evidence indicates the effect of air pollution start in the earliest years of life. Children’s lungs by the age nine are already smaller than they ought to be and their lung impairment continues throughout life. Air pollution gases and particles damage the linings of the lung, which is not good at mending itself, and retains the deficit for life. “Children are vulnerable because their lungs are developing so fast and their defences are not evolved. They also spend more time outside.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/air-pollution-may-affect-babies-even-before-birth-and-reduce-lung-size-for-life/

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Heathrow air pollution in relation to 2013 being the “Year of Air”

 The European Commission has announced that 2013 is the ‘Year of Air’ with key European air pollution legislation up for review.  The review represents a tremendous opportunity to improve public health by tightening air quality standards. Clean Air in London (CAL) believes that key outcomes from the ‘Year of Air’ must include continuity and the further tightening of health and legal protections. Increasing ‘flexibility’ in air pollution laws would weaken existing health and legal protections and is therefore unacceptable.  There is a consultation by the EC,  on options for the revision of the EU Thematic Strategy on air pollution and related policies, with the closing date on 4 March 2013. Heathrow is a major contributor to air pollution in West London, both from the airport itself and associated road traffic. Information from Hillingdon Council showed a clear correlation between the number of air transport movements and the levels of NOx.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=690

 


European Commission launches legal action against UK over failure to reduce air pollution

The European Commission has launched legal proceedings over levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in many British cities. There has been a long-running legal battle between London and Brussels over the 16 urban centres in the UK that will not be able to meet binding air quality standards by 2015, despite being granted a 5-year extension following the original 2010 deadline for compliance with the rules. 15 of the affected zones will not meet the standards until 2020 and parts of London are unlikely to meet NO2 standards until 2025, a full 15 years later than the original deadline. The EC has now started the legal case, which is likely to result in hefty fines of many millions of ££s which should have the effect of accelerating efforts to tackle air pollution. The zones included Greater London and the South East. The legal case has been precipitated by the environmental campaign group ClientEarth. The UK has some of the highest levels of NO2 in Europe.  The UK government now has 2 months to respond to the EC’s legal action. The Heathrow area has bad air quality levels, due partly to the planes but with an even higher proportion from the intense road traffic, especially diesel vehicles, that the airport attracts.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/european-commission-launches-legal-action-against-uk-over-failure-to-reduce-air-pollution/

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Read more »

Taming Aviation: 250,000 demand end to scandal of Europe’s airline subsidies, tax exemptions night flights

A ground-breaking coalition of 140 groups representing 250,000 citizens from 10 European countries has, for the first time, called on the EU to end commercial airlines’ tax exemptions and subsidies – and phase out night flights. The Taming Aviation coalition formally presented its demands in a petition to the European Parliament in Brussels on 18th November. The petition calls for an end to the absurd situation where European governments miss out on €40 billion every year because commercial airlines pay no tax on fuel and are exempt from VAT.  Cash-strapped EU governments are missing out on this important revenue source, so European taxpayers must step in to fill the deficit. The subsidies are fuelling air traffic growth, with aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions expected to increase 300% by 2050.  The petition also demands action to reduce aircraft noise, which poses serious health risks to people living under flight paths including increasing the risk of dying of a heart attack by up to 50%.  25 national delegates from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK were present at the event. 
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250,000 demand end to scandal of Europe’s airline subsidies, tax exemptions and night flights

Brussels, 18 November 2014  (Taming Aviation)

Taming Aviation petition handover 18.11.2014

The petition being handed over by Dr Susanne Heger and Dr Jutta Leth, to the Parliament Petitions Committee chair, Cecilia Wikström

 

T&E distributed this release on behalf of Taming Aviation coalition

A ground-breaking coalition of 140 groups representing 250,000 citizens from 10 European countries has, for the first time, called on the EU to end commercial airlines’ tax exemptions and subsidies and phase out night flights. The Taming Aviation coalition formally presented its demands in a petition to the European Parliament in Brussels today.

The petition, presented to the Parliament Petitions Committee chair Cecilia Wikström and Green MEP Keith Taylor, calls for an end to the absurd situation where European governments miss out on €40 billion every year because commercial airlines pay no tax on fuel and are exempt from VAT. [1] It also demands action to reduce aircraft noise, which poses serious health risks to people living under flight paths including increasing the risk of dying of a heart attack by up to 50%. [2]

25 national delegates from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK were present at the event. The citizens’ coalition has highlighted the disparity where consumers, small businesses and hauliers pay an average of 48 cent in tax per litre [3] while commercial airlines in the EU don’t pay a cent in tax to fuel their planes.

Cash-strapped EU governments are missing out on this important revenue source, so European taxpayers must step in to fill the deficit. This subsidising is fuelling air traffic growth, with aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions expected to increase 300% by 2050. [4]

Dr Susanne Heger, initiator of the Taming Aviation coalition, said: “With air passenger numbers set to grow 4% a year for the next 20 years, the aviation sector can well afford to pay its way. EU governments continuing to allow commercial airlines to free ride to the tune of €40 billion a year with tax exemptions while their night flights pose serious health risks is nothing short of a scandal.” [5]

The petition is also in response to growing recognition of the health risks posed by night flights. Citizens living under certain flight paths are exposed to daily average noise levels of at least 60 decibels and consequently are up to 50% more at risk of dying of a heart attack, according to a study by the University of Bern. [6] Up to 200,000 people living under London’s Heathrow flight paths are exposed to this increased risk as they experience noise averaging over 60 decibels.

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, said: “Why should aviation be excused from paying tax, especially in view of its environmental damage? It should pay VAT and excise duty just like all other transport methods, so that all the costs of flying are properly accounted for.”

ENDS

Taming Aviation 18.11.2014 Susanne Heger Jutta Leth

Notes to editors:

[1] CE Delft, Estimated revenues of VAT and fuel tax on aviation (2013). http://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/CE_Delft_7B52_Estimated_revenues_of_VAT_and_fuel_tax_on_aviation_def.pdf

[2] Huss, Spoerri, Egger, Röösli, Aircraft Noise, Air Pollution, and Mortality from Myocardial Infarction, Epidemiology (2010).

[3] Transport & Environment, Does aviation pay its way? (2013). http://transenv.eu/1xd4CEc

[4] ICAO, Global Aviation CO2 Emissions Projections to 2050 (2012), slide 8. Based on ICAO’s most optimistic projection. http://www.icao.int/environmental-protection/GIACC/Giacc-4/CENV_GIACC4_IP1_IP2%20IP3.pdf

[5] Growth projections from IATA’s 20-Year Passenger Forecast (2014).

http://www.traveldailynews.asia/columns/article/49940/new-iata-passenger-forecast-reveals

[6] Huss, Spoerri, Egger, Röösli (2010).

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Below is some of the media coverage from European countries, in various languages, of the Taming Aviation event:

 

 

Austria

APA – http://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_20141118_OTS0206/taming-aviation-zaehmung-der-luftfahrt-eine-petition-weist-den-flugverkehr-in-die-schranken-bild

Tiroler Tageszeitung – http://www.tt.com/home/9278243-91/petition-gegen-nachtflüge-und-kerosin-mwst-befreiung-an-eu-parlament.csp

 

Italia

ANSA: http://www.regione.vda.it/notizieansa/details_i.asp?id=202532

Giornale La Voce: http://12alle12.it/bruxelles-europa-regioni-aeroporti-comitato-fiumicino-per-petizione-ue-108349

 

Eco di Bergamo: http://www.ecodibergamo.it/stories/Cronaca/stop-aiuti-economici-e-voli-notturnila-guerra-degli-scali-sbarca-allue_1090387_11/

 

Europe

ENDS Europe: Best of the web link to our release: http://www.endseurope.com/home

Europolitics: http://europolitics.info/transport/jet-fuel-taxation-petition-submitted-parliament

EurActiv will publish today – if Boeing, a key sponsor of the site, does not veto it!

 

Germany:

DNR: http://www.eu-koordination.de/umweltnews/news/klima-energie/2923-unterschriftenaktion-zur-besteuerung-von-kerosin-gestartet

DPA (Germany’s press agency) got distracted by other news stories and didn’t publish in the end.

Suddeustche Zeitung: Print clip from print version.

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The Taming Aviation website:

Taming Aviation

A European-wide Movement of Citizens aimed at Taming the Aviation Industry

PETITION
to the European Parliament

WE REQUEST:

  1. to impose an absolute and unconditional ban on night flights (landing and take-off) at all European airports for an uninterrupted eight-hour interval as a minimum standard of protection for human health;
  2. to impose Energy Tax on aviation fuel within the shortest possible time, in the interim to lift the suspension of EU-ETS for aviation;
  3. to abolish any form of VAT zero-rating and VAT exemptions of airline tickets and to include aviation into the VAT tax system of the European Union at standard rates;
  4. to prohibit any form of incentive at European airports, such as subsidies, kick-backs and rebates, and to ensure that infrastructure services of airports have to be provided on the basis of general, comprehensive and transparent tariffs.

In the last two decades pollution caused by civil aviation has increased dramatically. As of today aviation threatens the habitat of human beings, it menaces their health, depreciates their houses and seriously affects their quality of life. This development is also a consequence of tax and political privileges, which lack any socio-economic justification whatsoever. We cannot allow aviation to continue to operate in this predominant and uncontrolled role, aviation must be tamed. It is high time for Taming Aviation.

Take-offs and landings cause significant noise pollution; the effects of aircraft noise on human health are diminished through abstract noise calculations which are far from the real perception of human beings. Even the necessity to sleep, a minimum requirement of any human being, is not respected as such.

Aviation is one of the biggest climate polluters, nevertheless it is specifically exempt from Energy Tax and the EU Emission Trading System has been “suspended” for aviation. Additionally, air passenger transport is exempt from Value Added Tax. Thus aviation does not follow the principle of “true costs” and does not adequately contribute to tax revenues. There is no justification whatsoever for these tax privileges, which lead to a huge shortfall in taxes for the Community.

Airports attract airlines with various types of “incentives”. Such incentives lead to a lack of transparency, create artificial demand for aviation transport services and cause economic distortions.


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Energy Tax

Aviation is exempt from Energy Tax

Aviation is the most climate-intensive form of transport. Therefore it is even more distorting that aviation has been spared from taxation of energy which has been introduced on a EU-wide basis:

Since 2003 every form of energy, including car fuel, electricity, oil, even coal and coke, are subject to Energy Tax introduced by Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity. However, according to Art. 14 of this Directive Member States have to exempt fuel for the purpose of air navigation from Energy Tax. Thus Art. 14 of the Directive prolongs the long-standing tradition of the EU and its Member States to grant privileged tax treatment to the aviation industry.

The outlook is bleak as well: The EU-Commission’s proposals for an amendment to the Energy Tax Directive (COM(2011) 168 and COM(2011) 169) splits Energy Tax into two parts:

  • The first part links the amount of tax to be paid to the content of energy of the source in question. Unless Art. 14 of the Energy Tax Directive will be lifted aviation will not be subject to Energy Tax related to the content of energy.
  • The second part of Energy Tax shall be levied on the amount of emitted carbon dioxide (CO2). This part of Energy Tax will only be applied to such sources of energy which are not part of the European Union’s trading system in CO2-Emission Certificates (EU-ETS). Therefore, and as aviation participates in the EU-ETS (although only formally, because currently suspended), aviation will not be not subject to the CO2-related part of Energy Tax as well.

As a result, aviation fuel is and will remain free from any tax on energy. And even though critical voices have been raised (such as by the European Union’s Economic and Social Committee, the European NGO Transport & Environment) the EU Commission does not intend to abolish this subsidy of the aviation industry.

Concerns raised in the European Parliament have so far been ignored as well (March/April 2012): „Air and maritime navigation: Directive 2003/96/EC obliges Member States to exempt from taxation fuel used for non-pleasure air and maritime navigation. Members consider that such exemptions are not in line with the aim of creating a level playing field among the various modes of transport. They should therefore be phased out.“

The inclusion of aviation into the EU-ETS is not a substitute for energy taxation. It may serve as an interim measure to cover the time gap until proper energy taxation is applied to aircraft fuel but it cannot establish a system of fair taxation.

We demand that aviation is fully subjected to energy tax within the shortest possible time, in the interim we demand the immediate lifting of the suspension of EU-ETS for aviation.


Value Added Tax

Aviation is exempt from VAT

The EU’s exemption of airline tickets from VAT, while allowing airlines to deduct input VAT, remains amongst the most distorting features in the EU’s tax and transport policy.

There is not a single argument to justify this tax privilege:

  • Air tickets are a consumer product like any other consumer product. Still, air tickets are tax exempt while consumer products for everyday life (even those which serve basic needs) are subject to VAT;
  • The VAT exemption results in a tax revenue shortfall for the member states of about €10bn (assuming an average VAT rate of 20%). Revenue shortfalls due to non-existent aviation taxes need to be made up by higher taxes in other sectors of the economy, in particular in areas such as employment.

Although passenger travel by air is covered by VAT legislation1, EU Member States use a succession of historical derogations stemming back in some cases to their accession to the EU to exempt (zero-rate with refund of tax paid at preceding stage) airline tickets from VAT for all international flights (including intra-EU flights). Article 371 of the EU-VAT Directive allows Member States which had exempted passenger transport on 1 January 1978 to continue to do so. Countries which joined the EU after 1 January 1978 enjoy the same privilege according to Title XIII, Chapter 1, Section 2 of the EU-VAT Directive.

The exemptions apply to international passenger transport services within and outside the EU. VAT for tickets on domestic flights are charged in all EU member states (at varying rates) with just a few exceptions.

As a result there is no VAT on any aspect of international air travel, not on airline tickets, nor on purchase of aircraft, nor on their servicing, nor on their fuel, nor on air traffic control, nor on baggage handling, nor on aircraft meals. Everything to do with air travel after passport control is zero rated.

Abolishing zero-rating for air tickets broadens the tax base and moves taxation towards indirect taxation in line with the European Commission’s growth strategy, in addition it greens the tax system. In the Summary Report of the Outcome of the Public Consultation on the Green Paper on the Future of VAT, launched by the European Commission, participants have expressed serious concern about the distorting effects of the current VAT system, only air and maritime companies, which enjoy the privileges of the current system, prefer to maintain it.

We demand to abolish any form of VAT zero-rating and VAT exemptions of airline tickets and to include aviation into the VAT tax system of the European Union at standard rates.

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1) Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax (as amended by Council Directive of 7 December 2010).

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Airline Ticket Taxes

Several countries have introduced airline ticket taxes. They are a hardly notable substitute for those taxes which are inherent in the system, namely VAT and Energy Tax.

A survey conducted by Transport & Environment shows that approximately 60% of the market for flights leaving EU countries are covered by airline ticket taxes.

Overview of Airline Ticket Taxes in the EU in 2011 (in EUR):

Short haul (roughly <3000 km) Medium haul (roughly 3000 – 6000 km) Long haul (roughly >6000 km) Market share
Eco Business Eco Business Eco Business
Austria 8* 8* 20** 20** 35 35 2%
France 1 10 4 40 4 40 13%
Germany 8 8 25 25 45 45 19%
Ireland 10 10 10 10 10 10 2%
UK 14 28 70 141 88 – 100 176 – 200 25%
Total 59%
*reduced to 7 Euro
**reduced to 15 Euro

The following example taken from Austria illustrates that Airline Ticket Taxes are a hardly notable substitute for Energy Tax. The calculation of the revenue shortfall in this example does not include the VAT shortfall due to the VAT exemption on all non-Austrian flights:

In 2011 Energy Tax on fuel for road transport was applied at the rate of EUR 0,482 per litre. An equal taxation of aviation fuel would have generated EUR 416,8 million in taxes. In 2012 airline ticket taxes amounted to EUR 59,6 million. Thus, in 2012 Austria granted the aviation industry an Energy Tax benefit of EUR 357,2 million.  In 2013 this tax benefit will even be higher, since ticket taxes have been reduced. (Source of Information: Österreichischer Verkehrsclub – VCÖ 2012).

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and plenty more on the Taming Aviation website

http://www.tamingaviation.eu/

which is in English at  http://www.tamingaviation.eu/index.php?id=27&L=1


Read more »

New flight paths revealed in Airports Commission documents – a noise double whammy for Horsham

The Airports Commission has put out various documents in its consultation (main consultation document, main Gatwick document, other noise documents) on the issue of noise.  GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has unearthed a plan showing some possible new flight paths if a 2nd runway was built.  The Commission emphasise that the map is only illustrative and does not represent where the routes might actually be. That would only be revealed after the new runway had been given the go-ahead. There is therefore no clear detail on flight paths, with no certainty of any sort for those who fear being overflown in future. This uncertainty generates very real concern and anger. The map indicates a massive increase in noise from take-offs to the west and south-west of Gatwick, over Warnham, north Horsham with perhaps a plane per minute between the two, relatively close, flight paths.  Gatwick with two runways is planned to handle 560,000 air traffic movements a year, compared to 250,000 a year now.  The impact of these flights would be profound, over an extensive area.
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New flight paths revealed – a double whammy for Horsham

17.11.2014 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

The Airports Commission has produced a plan showing possible new flight paths if a new runway were to be built at Gatwick. [ https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/371854/14-operational-efficiency–airspace.pdf   page 39 ]

This has been unearthed by GACC from the mass of documents published last week.  The plan is copied below.

2nd_runway Arr_Dep-paths_2

The Commission emphasise that the map is only illustrative and does not represent where the routes might actually be.  That would only be revealed after the new runway had been given the go-ahead.

Brendon Sewill, Chairman of GACC, commented: ‘The present flight paths are causing widespread anger across West and East Sussex, Surrey and Kent.  This new revelation will make people even more concerned.  Everyone will have the opportunity to express their anxiety at the Protest Meeting that GACC has arranged for this Saturday 22 November.’

Although the plans are described as ‘illustrative’, certain conclusions can be drawn.  Aircraft departing from the existing runway are shown using the present flight paths, except that none will use routes to the south.  Thus the number of aircraft using the present routes (except to the south) would roughly double.

All aircraft departing from the new runway to the west are shown as using two new flight paths, one over Warnham and North Horsham (on the track of the immensely unpopular ADNID trial);  and one turning sharp left to fly over the eastern side of Horsham.  Since these two flight paths would need to take all aircraft taking off to the west, Horsham – on one side or the other – would experience one plane a minute.

As Sewill said: ‘This would be a double whammy for Horsham – one plane a minute over the town.  Some of the Horsham councillors who have been so keen to support a new runway may now find they need to think again’

All aircraft taking off from the new runway to the east are shown as turning right to take a route close to East Grinstead.  Some aircraft already use this route but with a new runway it would be one plane a minute – almost continuous noise.

Arriving aircraft are shown as taking two concentrated flight paths to the east and two to the west. Sewill said: ‘GACC has been pressing NATS (air traffic control) to replace these concentrated routes by multiple routes but even so doubling the number of aircraft would ruin any remaining tranquillity in Ashdown Forest or the rural parts of West Sussex.

In a consultation earlier this year NATS suggested that all arriving aircraft should be directed to ‘merge-points’, and the Airport Commission map shows a ‘merge-point’ (or perhaps two ‘merge-points’) in the vicinity of Haywards Heath.  Sewill commented: ‘The poor people living under what are called the ‘merge-points’ would have every single aircraft over their heads.’

Experience in the past year has confirmed that new flight paths – and especially concentrated flight paths – over peaceful areas cause massive anger and distress because the previous quiet is shattered, expectations of tranquillity brutally destroyed, house values depreciated and people left trapped unable to move away without serious financial loss.

Gatwick with two runways is planned to handle 560,000 air traffic movements a year, compared to 250,000 a year at present.  [ Airports Commission Consultation Document.  November 2014 paragraph 3.11 ]  At busy times of day at present aircraft take-off or land at a rate of nearly one a minute.  With a new runway it would be nearly two a minute.

www.gacc.org.uk 


 

 

Airports Commission documents:

Main consultation document

Document by Commission on Gatwick’s plan

Documents by  Commission on noise

 


Gatwick protest

The Gatwick protest  meeting will be held at The Apple Tree Centre, Ifield Avenue, Crawley from 2.00 to 3.30pm. 

Doors open 1.00 pm.


The Airports Commission paper on Gatwick airport’s runway plan says, on noise:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374662/evidence-base-gatwick-airport-second-runway.pdf

The Commission’s Approach to Assessing Noise Impacts

One of the key findings of the Commission’s 2013 discussion paper on Aviation Noise
was that people respond to noise in different ways. Response to noise is subjective,
and likely to be affected not only by the magnitude of the sound but also its duration,
regularity, and the time of day at which it occurs.

In order to help people understand the likely noise impacts of the three expansion
options, the Commission has assessed noise impacts in a range of different ways. The
full set of measurements can be found in our supporting annexes. In this document, we
present noise impacts in the following ways:

• day noise (L 16h 0700-2300) and night noise (L 8h 2300-0700), looking particularly Aeq Aeq at the 57 decibel level (which in the Government’s Aviation Policy Framework marks the approximate onset of significant community annoyance), and the lower 54 decibel level;
• the European 24 hour Lden measure, which puts more weight on noise that occurs in
the evening (1900-2300) or the night (2300-0700) than the daytime (0700-1900);
• N contours, which capture how many times in a day or night a population will be
exposed to a very noisy aircraft flyover (with a 70 decibel threshold for the day, and a
60 decibel threshold for the night).

The Commission’s demand forecasts have been used as the basis for measuring future
noise impacts. For each scheme, the assessment of need carbon-capped forecast has
been assessed as a ‘lower end’ case, and a ‘top end’ case has also been assessed
to understand the implications of scenarios showing higher levels of demand. For
the Gatwick Second Runway scheme the low-cost is king carbon-traded scenario
comprises the high end traffic scenario, which results in very sharp traffic increases
at Gatwick in the years immediately following the opening of a new runway and a
corresponding increase in noise impacts. This chapter first considers the lower end case,
then compares these outputs with those from the upper end.

The Commission’s modelling has been undertaken by the noise forecasting unit (ERDC)
at the CAA using their ANCON model. The Commission’s assumptions on the types of
aircraft using the airport, the population changes in overflown areas, the rate at which
aircraft ascend and descend and other important inputs to the model are all set out in
report Noise: Local Assessment. Input assumptions for the noise model can be expected
to impact the results significantly. This can be seen by comparing the results from
scheme promoters and the Commission’s modelling in the supporting annexes. A range
of noise impact results can therefore be created, depending on which particular view of
the future and associated assumptions are input into the model.

The indicative flight path designs used for noise modelling should not be taken as
showing where future flight paths would in practice be located. Creating and agreeing
airspace plans for any new runways would require significant development and public
consultation, which the Commission has not undertaken; and careful consideration of
mitigation options, as well as the impacts of new technology, could lead to significant
changes to the indicative designs.

 

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There are pages of forecasts, scenarios, looking at various ways in which the noise at Gatwick might increase by a fair amount, by a large amount, or by an even larger amount. There is little certainty about any of it.

See pages 100 – 110 of  Gatwick Airport second runway: business case and sustainability assessment

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The Commission’s consultation document states:

3.12

The Commission’s forecasts indicate that the proposed second runway at Gatwick
would see 60-96mppa, across all five of the Commission’s scenarios. These
passenger numbers would make an expanded Gatwick in 2050 broadly equivalent
in terms of passenger numbers to Frankfurt or Paris CDG airports for the lower-end
forecasts and as large as any current airport for the upper-end forecasts.

 

 

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Launch of SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion – fighting to save much-loved village of Harmondsworth

More than 80 people attended the inaugural Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) meeting to bring together the opposition locally in the Harmondsworth area against Heathrow’s plans to destroy their villages.  Politicians, campaigners and members of the public came together for the launch of the new action group against a north-west 3rd runway, in the beautiful and historic St Mary’s Church in Harmondsworth’s High Street. Local MP, John McDonnell called on political parties to ‘come clean’ about their positions regarding the airport’s expansion before the general election in 2015. He also urged those affected by the proposals to ‘mobilise’ and demonstrate ‘people power’. He said: “The one thing we can rely on is our own power – people power – because that’s how we won it last time.”  The meeting heard that a 3rd runway would mean an extra 260,000 Heathrow flights per year as well as around 750 homes being destroyed, and hundreds more made almost uninhabitable – but with minimal compensation. SHE is not opposed to Heathrow as it is, just to its expansion. The meeting ended with heart-felt singing of the No 3rd runway song, with the chorus: “This is our home, and we will stay; No Third Runway.” 
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Passions high at launch of SHE – campaign group against Heathrow Airport expansion

Nov 14, 2014 (Get West London)

 By Will Ackermann

Stop-Heathrow-Expansion-SHE-logo

Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE). The new campaign group’s logo

SHE website        SHE on Twitter @StopHeathrowExp     Facebook

More than 80 people attended the inaugural Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) meeting to voice concerns about the proposals.

Politicians, campaigners and members of the public came together for the launch of a new action group against plans to expand Heathrow Airport.

More than 80 people attended the inaugural Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) meeting at St Mary’s Church, in High Street, Harmondsworth, last night (Thursday, November 13).

Among them was Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell, who called on political parties to ‘come clean’ about their positions regarding the airport’s expansion before the general election in 2015.

He also urged those affected by the proposals to ‘mobilise’ and demonstrate ‘people power’.

He said: “We are not going to let this [expansion] happen. Of course we thought we had finished it off last time. I thought my days of swinging the mace were over, but they have come back.

“The one thing we can rely on is our own power – people power – because that’s how we won it last time.”

The group has been established by residents from Heathrow Villages to unite individuals and organisations opposed to either building a third runway at Heathrow or extending one of the airport’s existing runways – two of the three options being considered by the Airports Commission.

The meeting heard that building a third runway would mean an extra 260,000 flights a year at the airport, creating added noise and air pollution, as well as around 750 homes being destroyed to make way for the project.

Introducing the group, SHE chairman Neil Keveren said: “Our aims are very simple: to stop the expansion of Heathrow.

“We do not want the closure of Heathrow. We never have. Equally, we do not accept it is a case of ‘Heathrow must grow or die.'”

He added: “It is not the role of SHE to find an alternative. We are just here fighting for our own homes and everything we believe in.”

Various speakers detailed the negative impacts they believe any expansion of the airport would have, from increased noise and air pollution to the demolition of homes, green spaces and historic buildings.

SHE treasurer Justine Bayley said: “Once it’s gone, it’s gone – and we need to make sure we hold onto our heritage.”

She added: “There are lots of old buildings, important buildings, around here… deep history in this area, and I would like to see that continue on, not come to a full-stop because of the short-term whim of foreign investors.”

Also speaking were SHE committee member Bryan Tomlinson; Stewart Pomeroy, programme manager for Colne Valley Park, which would be impacted by any expansion; activist Christine Taylor; Robert Barnstone, of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN); and Hillingdon Council leader Councillor Ray Puddifoot.

Councillor Puddifoot said: “I wish you didn’t have to have SHE and it’s a pity that we have to start the fight again.”

The meeting also heard that among those who had expressed their support for the group but could not attend were writer Will Self, writer and broadcaster Lucinda Lambton and the organisation Greenpeace.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/passions-high-launch-campaign-group-8109198

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EMAIL: info@stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk

Harmondsworth SHE meeting song Nov 2014

The meeting ended with a heart-felt and spirited rendition of the “No Third Runway” protest song, with the chorus of “This is our home, and we will stay; No Third Runway.” 


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Earlier:

 

MP slams report for ‘massively underestimating’ Heathrow third runway damage

Nov 12, 2014 (Get West London)

By Will Ackermann

Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell said the Airport Commission’s report did not go far enough. The Airport has also given its views on the findings.
An MP has criticised the Airport Commission for ‘massively underestimating’ the damage that would be caused by expanding Heathrow Airport.

Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell said the Airport Commission’s report, published yesterday (Tuesday, November 11), rightly highlighted the environmental implications of the proposals, but did not go far enough.

He said: “The [Airports Commission] report at last acknowledges the ‘environmental stress’ that our area is already under and admits that there would be a ‘substantial negative impact on air quality’.

“However, the commission massively underestimates the impact of Heathrow expansion on the overall quality of life of local people. Nevertheless, it is increasingly apparent that Heathrow expansion is the least attractive option for airport growth.”

The independent commission has been tasked with identifying which would be the best option for increasing flight capacity in south-east England: building a third runway at Heathrow, extending one of Heathrow’s existing runways, or building a second runway at Gatwick.

Yesterday, it published its assessment of the proposals and opened its analysis for public consultation.

The commission found that enlarging Heathrow Airport would result in a ‘substantial negative impact’ on air quality, unless ‘forceful mitigation measures’ were implemented, and that overall noise levels would increase, but fewer people would be affected because of improved aircraft technology.

However, the commission said further work was required to fully assess the environmental impact of the proposals.

Nigel Milton, the airport’s director of external relations, said it was ‘disappointing’ that this work had not been completed in time for the consultation launch.

He added: “What we have said is that we would only allocate onto the third runway the cleanest, quietest aircraft. The bulk of air quality issues are caused by surface transport, so we have committed to switching to hybrid and hydrogen vehicles.”

He also said that with improved rail links fewer staff and passengers would be driving to the airport, and that bosses would consider a congestion charge.

The commission’s report also found that a third runway at Heathrow would cost £18.6 billion, as opposed to the £14.6bn predicted by the airport, while extending the northern runway would cost £13.5bn, rather than £10.1bn.

Mr Milton said this discrepancy was largely accounted for by the fact that the commission had added a 20 per cent ‘optimism bias’ to the projected cost, which he said should only be applied to public sector projects.

Mr Milton said: “We take big issue with the fact that they have added 20 per cent to this cost.

“We are not the Treasury. We know how to procure big projects. We have shown with Terminal 5 and Terminal 2 that we can deliver on budget. We can manage big contracts and procure effectively.”

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/mp-slams-report-massively-underestimating-8097771

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SHE  (Stop Heathrow Expansion)

ABOUT US

S.H.E is a resident-led campaign organisation opposing any expansion of Heathrow Airport including the proposed third runway.

S.H.E has three main aims:

1. Stop expansion at Heathrow – no more runways;  no increase in flights beyond the current cap.

2. Reduce both air and noise pollution from Heathrow Airport

3. Preserve our community life and heritage

Established in 2014,  S.H.E is campaigning for a better quality of life for all residents free from the threat of their homes being demolished or pollution harming their children.

The expansion of Heathrow in terms of both runways and flights are a constant strain on our community. For decades various stages of expansion and the constant threat of more to follow have condemned residents to an ever-diminishing quality of life.

Noise from aircraft wakes residents in the early hours or makes it hard for children to hear in class. Pollution from planes makes the area around Heathrow one of the unhealthiest places to live in the UK. And the threat of a third runway means people live with the very real possibility of having to leave their community to make room for more planes, more pollution and more noise. S.H.E says no more.

S.H.E. is protecting our community; fighting to save it from destruction

S.H.E wants communities that can look forward to a future without the threat of Heathrow expansion

S.H.E wants the right to a decent night’s sleep

S.H.E wants clean air not pollution

S.H.E wants children to hear their lessons not deafening aircraft noise

S.H.E wants our elected politicians to put people before profits for foreign companies

S.H.E wants areas around Heathrow to be lifted from the constant threat of expansion.

http://www.stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/about-us/

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Stop-Heathrow-Expansion-SHE-logo

Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE). The new campaign group’s logo

SHE website

SHE on Twitter @StopHeathrowExp

SHE on Facebook

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Flights over Kent & Sussex countryside set to double if Gatwick builds 2nd runway

The Airports Commission consultation documents show that flights from Gatwick over the countryside and towns in most directions around the airport would more than double the airport was permitted a 2nd runway. The Commission’s assessments, and various scenarios for forecasts, show a runway at Gatwick would be cheaper and perhaps simpler than one at Heathrow, but provide less economic benefit. The Chairman of the High Weald Councils’ Aviation Action Group, Richard Streatfeied said: “I don’t think this report is worrying because it shows the benefits of a 2nd runway at Gatwick would be half that of Heathrow.” He warned people living below the flight paths would face an “environmental calamity” if there was a new runway, with up to 560,000 aircraft movements per year, compared to 250,0000 now.  Dominic Nevill, spokesman for the Crowborough based pressure group, East Sussex Communities for Control of Air Noise (ESCCAN), urged people to make their views on the report known, as the 2nd runway would be a disaster not only for their area, but far more widely.
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Flights over Kent and Sussex countryside set to double if Gatwick builds second runway

14.11.2014 (Kent and Sussex Courier)

By Debbie King ( Email: debbie.king@courier.co.uk )
FLIGHTS over the countryside and towns of East Sussex and west Kent would more than double if Gatwick wins its fight to build a second runway, according to a new report.

The document, produced by the Airport Commission, which has been looking into the pros and cons of expanding Heathrow and Gatwick, also says expanding the Sussex airport would be the easiest and quickest way of increasing airport capacity.

However, it would not produce the same economic benefits as expansion at Heathrow.

The point has been leapt upon by anti-noise groups, which say choosing Gatwick would be the short term “bargain-basement option”.

Chairman of the High Weald Councils’ Aviation Action Group, Richard Streatfeild said: “I don’t think this report is worrying because it shows the benefits of a second runway at Gatwick would be half that of Heathrow.

“Gatwick looks positive – good value – but you would not get the benefits to the whole country and that is the whole point.”

Mr Streatfeild said he believed the report’s estimate of a £9.3 billion price tag for Gatwick’s expansion was a “serious underestimate” of the actual costs of implementing the proposals.

Both options for Heathrow – a second runway and the lengthening of an existing runway – are thought to cost substantially more.

But he warned people living below the flightpath would face an “environmental calamity” if Gatwick approves the preferred option.

“The commission’s report shows a total of 560,000 aircraft movements compared to 250,0000. That’s more than doubling,” he added.

Dominic Nevill, spokesman for the Crowborough based pressure group, East Sussex Communities for Control of Air Noise (ESCCAN), urged people to make their views on the report known.

“It is so important. If Gatwick gets built it would mean the destruction of the south east,” he said.

“People should be made aware – they should get involved because the benefits of Gatwick’s expansion are so hard to see. It would be a disaster for our area locally.

“When you actually get into the detail of this report but also what a second runway would mean, it is pretty disturbing.”

People have until February 3 next year to comment on the Airport Commission’s report .

The several hundred pages of analysis claims:

Gatwick could “make an attractive alternative to a constrained Heathrow” providing “greater choice” for UK residents using it as a hub.

The loss of homes would be “relatively small”, but 70 hectares of woodland would be lost.

There would be a “neutral overall” impact on quality of life with the creation of jobs weighed up against negative impact of noise.

The High Weald Council Aviation Group will be publishing a full response to the report on its website in mid December at www.gatwickobvioslynot.com
http://www.courier.co.uk/Flights-Kent-Sussex-countryside-set-double/story-24533336-detail/story.html

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Airports Commission documents:

Main consultation document

Document by Commission on Gatwick’s plan

Documents by  Commission on noise

 


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See also:

New flight paths revealed in Airports Commission documents – a noise double whammy for Horsham

The Airports Commission has put out various documents in its consultation (main consultation document, main Gatwick document, other noise documents) on the issue of noise. GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign) has unearthed a plan showing some possible new flight paths if a 2nd runway was built. The Commission emphasise that the map is only illustrative and does not represent where the routes might actually be. That would only be revealed after the new runway had been given the go-ahead. There is therefore no clear detail on flight paths, with no certainty of any sort for those who fear being overflown in future. This uncertainty generates very real concern and anger. The map indicates a massive increase in noise from take-offs to the west and south-west of Gatwick, over Warnham, north Horsham with perhaps a plane per minute between the two, relatively close, flight paths. Gatwick with two runways is planned to handle 560,000 air traffic movements a year, compared to 250,000 a year now. The impact of these flights would be profound, over an extensive area.

Click here to view full story…

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