Lively public meeting in Linlithgow on problems of Edinburgh Airport’s changed flight paths

There was an excellent turnout at a meeting in Linlithgow organised by Edinburgh Airport Watch, on the airport’s consultation on changing fight paths.  The large and lively audience travelled from across the region. The CEO of Edinburgh airport, Gordon Dewar, attended. Members of Edinburgh Airport Watch spoke up for residents who are suffering unwanted aircraft noise on a daily basis. The airport refused to concede it has made any changes to the airspace over the last year, despite a clear majority of the people present indicating that, while they had no problem with noise before the 2015 TUTUR trial started, they most certainly have a problem with new and unwanted aircraft noise now.  People are adamant that a departure SID – standard instrument departure route – called DEAN CROSS has been renamed GOSAM and how has around 20 times as much traffic on it as before.  People under it now get about 70 planes per day, between 6am and midnight, all week.  Residents now have little trust in the airport, as it has not been straight with them on noise.  Concerns were expressed that the current “Letsgofurther” consultation includes the failed TUTUR route, which brought misery to thousands last year. There are also serious concerns as it is not clear what criteria the airport will use to determine where the new flight paths will be.
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Public Meeting about airspace change in Linlithgow on  6th September

7.9..2016

(Edinburgh Airport Watch press release)

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Edinburgh Airport Chief Executive Gordon Dewar says “Growth is Good” but refuses to admit to the changes already made.

An excellent turnout at the Burgh Halls last night for the meeting organised by Edinburgh Airport Watch in Linlithgow. The large and lively audience travelled from across the region including Fife, Bathgate, Broxburn, Falkirk.

Gordon Dewar attended to speak on behalf of Edinburgh Airport. Members of Edinburgh Airport Watch spoke up for residents who are suffering unwanted aircraft noise on a daily basis.

The airport refused to concede it has made any changes to the airspace over the last year, despite a clear majority of the people present indicating by a show of hands that, while they had no problem with noise before the 2015 TUTUR trial started, they most certainly have a problem with new and unwanted aircraft noise now.

We note that the flight path (or SID – standard instrument departure) GOSAM was rebadged from its previous name “DEAN CROSS”. While the trial of TUTUR ended, the noise has not stopped and we believe this is due to a 20 fold increase in traffic (ie planes) using the GOSAM route than was previously the case when it was called DEAN CROSS.

The airport now sends over 70 planes a day on previously little used routes such as GOSAM / DEAN CROSS, causing misery to the folks beneath from 6am to midnight 7 days a week.

How can residents have any trust in the airport when their experience is so different from what the airport says is happening?

Airport CEO Gordon Dewar maintained that ‘growth is good’. The people in Linlithgow last night clearly did not agree that unfettered airport expansion is welcome or appropriate for Scotland.

Concerns were expressed that the current “Letsgofurther” consultation includes the failed TUTUR route, one that brought misery to thousands last year.

Despite being nearly at the end of the consultation period, many people had not received a leaflet telling them about it.  And most had not realised they could request a copy of the consultation documents.

Serious worry was expressed about the airport announcement yesterday that it has lost 5% of the consultation responses received so far due to a computer upgrade.

It remains unclear what criteria the airport will use to determine where the new flight paths will be, causing great uncertainty and risking blighting tens of thousands of homes.

The airport says it needs new flight paths to grow yet is not operating any more planes now than it did 10 years ago – their passenger numbers are up, yet the numbers of take-offs and landings is down on the 2007 peak figures.

Key questions asked were about the impact of aviation on health and environment – particularly CO2, NOx emissions and the link between noise and health. A recent Airport Commission report found that for a 10dB increase in aircraft noise, there is a 7 to 17% increase in risk of stroke, hypertension and heart attack. (Basner et al 2014)

Night flights were also mentioned with people asking why there is no night time curfew at Edinburgh Airport such as exists at other UK airports.

The business structure of the aviation industry with global asset management firms owning key parts of our transport infrastructure means that aviation is not operating in the best interests of Scotland.

The airport claims it needs more capacity, particularly at peak times, but when 60% of the take offs and landings are to domestic destinations, wouldn’t a sensible transport policy encourage these domestic journeys to be made by less polluting surface transport such as rail?

The airport claimed that it is a key driver for the Scottish Economy – but is this borne out by the numbers? Our £1.6 billion tourist deficit grows as overseas flights from Scottish airports increase but the number of overseas visitors remains steady.  

This means that an increasing number of Scottish residents are flying out of Scotland rather than tourists flying in and each person flying out takes an average of £600 each with them, a direct drain to Scotland’s economy. This tourist deficit of £1.6billion is far larger than the combined salaries of the 23,000 jobs that the airport claims it “supports”.

On the day that the First Minister announced that her government would bring forward legislation to reduce air passenger duty to encourage more flying, the people who are suffering the daily consequences of airport expansion gave an emphatic thumbs down to the policy.

Cutting APD will make things worse and lose the in-deficit Scottish government £130 million. This is a tax cut which will only benefit the better-off in our society and on any equality measure is absolutely wrong.  If Edinburgh Airport has already successfully managed to grow its passenger numbers, why does it need a reduction in APD?

Rail users, on the most non-polluting transport, may choose to switch to air at no extra benefit to Scotland and reduce the financial viability of our railways which at a time of climate change adds to our disastrous climate outlook. How can a policy to cut APD be compatible with our Climate Change obligations?

APD was introduced because the airline industry is unfairly under taxed and pays no fuel duty and no VAT. The reduction will feed directly into the pockets of the Extractive Multinational Investment Companies who currently leach money out of the Scottish economy.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport Watch said:

We call on the airport to reverse the changes already made to the airspace that are causing so much daily suffering to people across East Central Scotland from Kinghorn to Culross, Blackness to Dechmont and beyond. These people did not buy their homes in the expectation they would wake up one day to find themselves living under a busy flight path.

The airport should scrap their unnecessary and discredited “Letsgofurther” Flight Path consultation process, that cannot now have any validity following their admission of having “lost” 5% of the responses given so far.

We firmly believe that cutting APD in a time of austerity is a flawed and ill advised policy and our government should think again on its priorities for the environment and the health of the people of Scotland.

 

Edinburgh Airport Watch website: edinburghairportwatch.com

On Facebook at Edinburgh Airport Watch and on twitter @EAW_group

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Edinburgh airport consultation details: 

http://www.edinburghairport.com/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/lets-go-further-edinburgh-airport-launches-major-new-consultation


“The airport’s role in our economy as portrayed in the consultation document is misleading. EAL write that …”activity generated by the airport is worth almost £1b every year and provides 23,000 jobs”. This claim is unreferenced.  However the tourist deficit in Scotland is about £1.7 billion according to the National Accounts and every Scottish resident who gets on an aircraft and leaves Scotland spends over £400 out of Scotland as a direct drain on the economy. The number of overseas tourists to Scotland dropped by 4% in 2015 compared to 2014 and 80% of tourists in Scotland came from the UK and 60% came by car. The airport is not the answer to Scotland’s tourist needs or problems. ” 

http://blacknesscommunity.org/blog/information-about-edinburgh-airport-consultation

and see http://scottishtrends.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Scottish-Economy-update-February-2016.pdf   on tourist deficit

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See earlier:

 

Edinburgh consultation on flight paths turns into omni-shambles as airport loses vital consultation data

Edinburgh Airport Watch, and many others, were shocked to learn that the integrity and accuracy of the airport’s consultation process has been jeopardised by a computer upgrade. The airport has admitted that they lost 199 responses made over the last week. The data submitted between 10.31am on Monday, 29 August and 12.05pm on Friday, 2 September was accidentally not saved between these dates and times during a planned upgrade of the site. The airport has apologised for the inconvenience to those who now have to re-submit their response, and the consultation has been extended by a week (from the earlier end date of 12th September to 19th September) to give people the chance to submit again. The airport has 21 of the email addresses (out of the 199) lost submissions, so can inform those people. Local group, Edinburgh Airport Watch commented that trust in the airport had already hit rock bottom, and this latest blunder (even if not directly the airport’s fault) only serves to further damage Edinburgh Airport’s seriously tattered reputation among communities, especially in its consultation process. The group also have concerns about the area being consulted, with a huge number of people not being affected by the airport’s flight paths. A large public meeting was held on 6th September.

Click here to view full story…

Edinburgh Airport Consultation on Flight Paths – public meeting on 6th September

Edinburgh Airport is currently consulting (ends 12th September) on changes to their flight paths. These changes affect a wide swathe around the airport, and are likely to impact on about 300,000 people across West Lothian, Falkirk and Fife areas, many in communities that have not been affected by aircraft noise previously. The local community group, Edinburgh Airport Watch, has organised a public meeting on 6th September, for people to understand the issues and what is at stake. It is to be chaired by Neil Findlay MSP. Edinburgh airport’s website has some more information, but there are few details on what is actually being proposed. There is insufficient detail of routes and how intensively they will be used, or over what times of day (or night). Many local communities are very concerned about changes that have already happened, and those that may happen in future, in terms of changes routes and concentration of routes. Some previously quiet areas that had no overhead flights, or few, now have very noticeably more. The airport wants to put in more flights at peak times, and that is a key driver of the changes. In 2015 the airport was forced to abandon a trial of a new westerly take-off (TURUR) route due to huge and widespread opposition. This route now cannot be used again without a full public consultation.

Click here to view full story…

Edinburgh airport starts 1st stage of consultation to get more RNAV routes in place by summer 2018

Edinburgh airport met strenuous opposition when it ran a trial that started in June 2015 of the TUTUR route. Now Edinburgh has put out a consultation (ends 12th September) of the first phase of a process of getting more airspace changes. The consultation is not on actual routes. The airport says: “The positions of the new routes have not yet been determined. We seek to inform the decisions regarding where best to position these routes by consulting with those impacted or who have an interest.” The question in the consultation is “what local factors should be taken into account when determining the position of the route within the design envelope given the potential impacts, and why?” They say feedback “will inform the detailed design process and will influence the design options.” Once draft routes have been designed, a further consultation (probably summer 2017) will take place on the detailed design of the routes. After the second consultation, Edinburgh Airport will submit an airspace change proposal to the CAA. They have been careful to get their consultation in quickly, before the CAA system of improving the airspace change process comes into being. ” The target date for the RNAV routes to come into operation is Summer 2018.” Consultees cannot comment on air traffic growth, airport expansion, or government policy on airspace noise (or the lack of it), or of PBN or the desirability of RNAV.

Click here to view full story…

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Edinburgh consultation on flight paths turns into omni-shambles as airport loses vital consultation data

Edinburgh Airport Watch, and many others, were shocked to learn that the integrity and accuracy of the airport’s consultation process has been jeopardised by a computer upgrade. The airport has admitted that they lost 199 responses made over the last week. The data submitted between 10.31am on Monday, 29 August and 12.05pm on Friday, 2 September was accidentally not saved between these dates and times during a planned upgrade of the site. The airport has apologised for the inconvenience to those who now have to re-submit their response, and the consultation has been extended by a week (from the earlier end date of 12th September to 19th September) to give people the chance to submit again. The airport has 21 of the email addresses (out of the 199) lost submissions, so can inform those people. Local group, Edinburgh Airport Watch commented that trust in the airport had already hit rock bottom, and this latest blunder (even if not directly the airport’s fault) only serves to further damage Edinburgh Airport’s seriously tattered reputation among communities, especially in its consultation process. The group also have concerns about the area being consulted, with a huge number of people not being affected by the airport’s flight paths.  A large public meeting was held on 6th September.
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It does raise the question of whether other consultation responses are ever lost, and whether the public is ever informed ….

Edinburgh Airport Consultation on Flight Paths turns into Omni-shambles as airport loses vital consultation data

6.9.2016 (Edinburgh Airport Watch press release)

Edinburgh Airport Watch is shocked to learn that the integrity and accuracy of the airport’s consultation process has been jeopardised by a computer upgrade. The airport has just admitted that they lost 199 responses made over the last week.

4000 responses from 640000 households with 200 lost responses is clearly not representative and is also downright incompetent.

Trust in the airport had already hit rock bottom, this latest blunder is a fatal blow to their already flawed Consultation process and only serves to further damage Edinburgh Airport’s seriously tattered reputation among Communities.

We have serious concerns that this consultation is unrepresentative and the results cannot have any validity.  How many more responses might they have “lost” since the consultation began?

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport Watch said

“This is simply shocking incompetence, even for Edinburgh Airport. Their consultation is fatally flawed, and for the sake of their reputation they must scrap this unnecessary and bungled ACP process now.

We further call on the airport to reverse the changes they have already made to airspace without any consultation that are already causing misery to thousands across West Lothian, Falkirk and Fife, and to seriously rethink their deplorable approach to Community Engagement. We will be putting this to the airport CEO Gordon Dewar who will be attending our Public Meeting in Linlithgow this evening in the Burgh Halls at 7pm.”

 

Our website: edinburghairportwatch.com

Facebook at Edinburgh Airport Watch

and on twitter @EAW_group

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Edinburgh flight path consultation extended after online data is lost

By Hannah Hamilton

September 6, 2016

 

Data glitch means extra time to have your say on the impact of altering flight paths above Edinburgh

East coast residents have a further week to have their say on Edinburgh Airport’s flight path consultation now that the deadline has been extended to Monday, 19 September.

Some of those who have already given their input are also being urged by the airport to do so again after revealing that some of the data submitted online wasn’t saved.

The airport, which today (Tuesday, 6 September) announced a seven-day extension to the Airspace Change Programme public consultation, is making a public plea to people who submitted online input via the website between 10.31am on Monday, 29 August and 12.05pm on Friday, 2 September, to resubmit their entries after 199 pieces of data were lost.

It says the data submitted between these dates and times weren’t saved during a planned upgrade of the site.

It also says there have been thousands of responses so far and that while the number not saved is small in comparison, it’s committed to making sure everyone is given the opportunity to have their say.

Of the 199 lost submissions, 21 email addresses were captured and the airport has vowed to contact those individuals directly to explain the situation and request that they resubmit.

Gordon Robertson, Edinburgh Airport’s director of communications, said: “Edinburgh Airport has been conducting its Lets Go Further ACP consultation since June this year and has already had an excellent response with thousands of submissions.

“We have identified that responses submitted via the consultation website between 10:31amon Monday 29 August and 12:05 pm Friday 2 September did not save during a planned upgrade of the site.

“Although this is a relatively small number of responses in the context of the overall number of submissions, we are committed to ensuring that all who want to comment on our plans can.

“Despite this 21 email addresses were captured and the airport has this morning responded to them directly to explain the situation and request they resubmit.

“To that end we are asking anyone whose response may therefore not be visible to us to resubmit their views via the website.

“We will extend the consultation by one week with the finish date now being Monday 19th September and we will be contacting all stakeholders to inform them of this extension.

“We apologise wholeheartedly for this and believe that this extension offers sufficient time for people to resubmit their input.”

To have your say or resubmit, go to #letsgofurther

The closing date for submissions is now 23.59 on Monday, 19 September 2016.

http://scotlandb2b.co.uk/2016/09/06/edinburgh-flight-path-consultation-extended-after-online-data-is-lost/

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Gatwick airport applies to have LOWER costs for night flights in summer in 2017/2018

The local campaign group, Gatwick Obviously NOT (GON), has learned that Gatwick airport has applied to the CAA to be allowed to reduce the price charged to aircraft to land at night. The night period is considered, for charging, to be be 22.30 to 04.59.  The current charge for the lowest noise category (Chapter 4) planes at to land at night in summer (1st April to 31st October) is £622.  There is no charge for the winter period (November to March). Gatwick currently charges Chapter 4 aircraft the same £622 for the period 04.00 to 18.59 in summer, but £204 from 19.00 to 22.29.  GON has asked Gatwick to reconsider. They have refused. GON has therefore asked Secretary of State, Chris Grayling, to direct them to think again, as is his right under section 38 (4) and (5) of the Civil Aviation Act 1982. Eight local MPs have written to Chris Grayling, saying: “It is therefore regrettable and in our view not acceptable that Gatwick  Airport propose to charge significantly less for night flights than for day flights from 2017/18. This appears to be designed to increase demand for night flights in the run up to your review of the regulatory regime for such flights due in 2017. Any such increase would have devastating impacts on all communities in the vicinity the airport.” GON is encouraging its members to write to MPs etc to make their views felt.
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Night flight fight

Any such increase would have devastating impacts on all communities in the vicinity of the airport”   – say 8 MPs

6.9.2016

From Gatwick Obviously NOT (GON)

Through the diligence of others we have recently discovered that Gatwick have just applied to reduce night flight landing charges next year, to make them significantly cheaper than the daytime charge (they are presently the same).*

We could not believe it. We still can’t.

We checked, and double-checked. But, yes, this is exactly what they have done. They’ve admitted it, in writing.

We have, of course, suggested they reconsider. They have refused.

So we have asked the Secretary of State to Direct them to think again, as is his right under section 38 (4) and (5) of the Civil Aviation Act 1982.

We’ll let you work out why Gatwick might choose to do this. We think they’ll regret it soon enough.

Surprised? Infuriated? I’m still almost speechless about it.

Local MPs weren’t impressed either, and they all agreed to sign this letter to the Secretary of State in double-quick time. (Drafted by Tom Tugendhat’s office)
gon_050916_01.gif
This is the moment we have discovered exactly how much trust we can put in Gatwick’s oft-repeated commitment to be a “good neighbour”. (Or put it another way: Please give us the second runway)

And this is the moment you write to the Prime Minister and Chris Grayling (Secretary of State for Transport) and let them know exactly what you think of Gatwick’s plea that they are a “good neighbour” – and your views on their right to be trusted with the platinum-plated, tax-free, ticket to expand.

I really wouldn’t bother writing to Gatwick, there’s no point. (But you can always copy them in).

Many of you have rightly called for a ban on night flights.

Just like Heathrow promised recently.
The west London airport insisted today it had ‘exceeded’ restrictions recommended by the Commission with a proposal to ban scheduled flights between 11pm and 5.30am, which it would implement as soon as possible after a new runway was given planning consent.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/11/heathrow-offers-to-ban-night-flights-for-third-runway/

[In fact, the “promises” by Heathrow on night flights are less good than they are made to look, if studied in detail.  It is just “scheduled” flights. Others would probably continue – such as any delayed flight etc. And Heathrow’s existing conditions look far better in terms of noise than the reality.  AW note]

At the very least there has to be a very significant premium over day-time charges to reduce the debilitating effect of being woken frequently through the night.

To actually consider reducing the cost to land a plane at night to increase night-time profits is simply indescribably heinous.

We can win this one.

Friends, go to it:

privateoffice@no10.x.gsi.gov.uk,
chris.grayling.mp@parliament.uk,
tom.tugendhat.mp@parliament.uk

If the PM one bounces back, there is a No.10 form here:
https://email.number10.gov.uk

Perhaps for even greater effect, who knows, why not send them a postcard?

No.10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA
DfT, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR

Yours

Utterly Disgusted
Of Somewhere quite near Tunbridge Wells.

(Martin Barraud
Chair
Gatwick Obviously Not)


www.gatwickobviouslynot.org
ask@gatwickobviouslynot.org
You may wish to cc any or all of the following:
(The ‘Global’ address is for GIP, Gatwick’s main shareholder)

crispin.blunt.2nd@parliament.uk,
nusrat.ghani.mp@parliament.uk,
nick.herbert.mp@parliament.uk
nicholas.soames.mp@parliament.uk,
greg.clark.mp@parliament.uk,
chris.grayling.mp@parliament.uk,
deirdre.hutton@caa.co.uk,
andrew.haines@caa.co.uk,
Carolyn.McCall@easyJet.com,
Adebayo.ogunlesi@global-infra.com,
donna.silva@gatwickairport.com,
stewart.wingate@gatwickairport.com

* One class of particularly noisy aircraft, which accounts for only about 1% of movements, will have increased night-time landing charges.


Follow GON

On Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/LGWobviouslynot

On Twitter:
https://twitter.com/LGWobviouslyNOT


Follow Martin

On Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/1000-miles-in-10-days

On Twitter (@manvplane):
https://twitter.com/manvplane

On Instagram:
https://instagram.com/1000milesin10days

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The text of the letter from Charles LLoyd, from Gatwick Obviously NOT (GON) to Gatwick:

The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP

Secretary of State for Transport

Department for Transport

33 Horseferry Road London, SW1P 4DR

16 August 2016

Dear Secretary of State

GATWICK AIRPORT 2017/18 NIGHT FLIGHT CHARGING PROPOSALS: REQUEST FOR A DIRECTION

We are writing further to our letter and accompanying memorandum to you of 10 August and the letter from Sir Roy McNulty and Stewart Wingate to Charles Lloyd dated 12 August.

We wish to make clear that nothing in Sir Roy and Stewart Wingate’s letter alters our assessment of the position or the request set out in our letter to you. Gatwick has made clear that it intends to press ahead with its 2017/18 night flight charging proposals which are designed, we believe, to maximize demand for night flights in clear contravention of the Government’s policy and which will impose unnecessary and excessive suffering on communities.

We acknowledge Gatwick’s indication that, subject to certain matters, it “… would not rule out introducing resultant changes in advance of the next [i.e. 2018/19] annual charges consultation”. This is a minor step in the right direction. But it is too little, it would come too late and it is too uncertain for communities impacted by Gatwick’s drive to maximize night flights.

We do not accept that it is not practicable for Gatwick to hold substantive discussion with communities, either direct or via the Noise Management Board, on its 2017/18 night flight charges. Although its process is currently intended to conclude with a GAL Decision Paper in September, we believe that the timetable could be extended and/or that GAL could make use of the exceptional circumstances provision in section 9(3) of the Airport Charges Regulations.

In any event, given that GAL has declined to engage with communities on its 2017/18 proposals we wish to reiterate our request that you direct it to develop alternative proposals, as set out more fully in our letter of 10 August.

We believe that the issues are straightforward and the need for a direction is clear. We do not believe that the timetable can or should be a reason to decline to issue a direction: there are over seven months until the new pricing period commences and communities should not be exposed for a further year to the consequences of charging proposals that are clearly in breach of government policy.

Yours sincerely

Martin Barraud (GON, Gatwick Obviously Not)

Peter Drummond (APCAG, Association of Parish Councils Aviation Group)

Dr Irene Fairbairn (TWAANG, Tunbridge Wells Anti-Aircraft Noise Group)

Ian Hare (PAGNE, Pulborough against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

Dominic Nevill (ESCAAN, East Sussex Communities for the Control of Air Noise)

Sally Pavey (CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

Richard Streatfeild (HWCAAG, High Weald Councils Aviation Action Group)

Mike Ward (Plane Wrong)

The above groups are the eight community organisations represented on Gatwick’s Noise Management Board. 

 


The letter from Gatwick on 12th August:

Gatwick letter 12.8.2016 Gatwick letter page 2


From the same signatories as the 16th August letter – the eight community organisations represented on Gatwick’s Noise Management Board. 

10 Aug GON letter

 


For example, taking just a section of the charges tables for 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.

Gatwick charges part of 2015 - 2016

P 25 of http://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/publicationfiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/2015/2015-16-conditions-of-use—clean-30jan15.pdf 

And

Gatwick part of charges 2016-2017

P 25 of  http://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/publicationfiles/business_and_community/all_public_publications/2016/2016-17-conditions-of-use—final—clean—28jan16.pdf

So Chapter 4 planes (the lowest noise category)were charged £561.07 during the night period, in 2015/2016.  And in 2016 / 2017 the charge went up to £622.08.  But Gatwick now wants to cut this.

 

Other tables of charges at Gatwick are at 

http://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/airlines-business/airlines/airport-conditions-of-use/

Download the Conditions of Use document below:

Conditions of Use for Gatwick Airport 2016/17

Conditions of Use for Gatwick Airport 2015/16

Conditions of Use for Gatwick Airport 2014/15

Conditions of Use for Gatwick Airport 2013/14

Conditions of Use for Gatwick Airport 2012/13

Conditions of Use for Gatwick Airport 2011/12

Conditions of Use for Gatwick Airport 2010/11

Conditions of Use for Gatwick Airport 2009/10 

 

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London City Airport runway blocked by protesters in support of “Black Lives Matter”, who got there by dinghy

Flights at London City Airport were disrupted this morning after a group of protesters occupied the runway.  Earlier reports said they were from Plane Stupid, but later reports say they are in support of “Black Lives Matter”.  Police were called to the airport at 5.40am to reports of demonstrators getting onto the runway.  They got to the runway by using a small rubber dinghy to get across the Royal Docks.  A statement released by the group said: “This morning activists in support of Black Lives Matter UK shutdown London City Airport… This action was taken in order to highlight the UK’s environmental impact on the lives of black people locally and globally. As the largest per capita contributor to global temperature change and yet among the least vulnerable to its deadly effects, the UK leads in ensuring that our climate crisis is a racist crisis.” The protesters are chained together, as the Plane Stupid group were in their protest occupation of the runway at Heathrow (13th July 2015, after the Airports Commission’s final report). All flights due to land at London City airport have been diverted to Southend and Gatwick airports.  Currently the Met Police say they are on the scene and “the incident is ongoing.”  The runway was closed for around 6 hours. All 9 protesters were arrested and are in police custody.

 

London city runway occupationEvening Standard photo

 

London City Airport flights disrupted after ‘Black Lives Matter’  protesters occupy runway

By HATTY COLLIER (Evening Standard)

6.9.2016

Runway Black Lives Matter


Protesters on the runway at London City Airport

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Flights at London City Airport were disrupted this morning after a group of protesters occupied the runway.

Police were called to the airport at 5.40am to reports of demonstrators getting onto the runway.

The protesters from campaign group “Black Lives Matter”, got onto the tarmac at the airport after using a boat to sail across the Royal Docks.

A statement released by the protest group said: “This morning activists in support of Black Lives Matter UK shutdown London City Airport in the London Borough of Newham.

“This action was taken in order to highlight the UK’s environmental impact on the lives of black people locally and globally.

“As the largest per capita contributor to global temperature change(1) and yet among the least vulnerable to its deadly effects(2), the UK leads in ensuring that our climate crisis is a racist crisis.”

It came as thousands of British Airways customers suffered hours of delays at airport check-in desks due to a technical glitch.

A witness at the airport, who asked not to be named, said: “They got onto the runway using a rubber dinghy from the dock.

“They are on the runway surrounded by police. I’m not sure if they are chained together but they are huddled together.”

All flights due to land at the airport have been diverted to Southend and Gatwick airports.

A spokesman for the airport said: “The runway is currently closed due to protesters on site.

“Police are present and we will resume normal operations as soon as possible. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience to their journey.”

A Met Police spokesman said: “We believe that the protesters are airside.

“We are on scene at the moment and the incident is ongoing.”

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At 6.55am London City Airport tweeted that:

We’re currently experiencing disruption to all flights due to protestors at the airport. Police are currently on the scene.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-city-airport-flights-disrupted-after-plane-stupid-protesters-occupy-runway-a3337456.html

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There have been other protests recently by Black Lives Matter.  One was on the motorway near Heathrow in August 2016. 

Details here  http://www.itv.com/news/2016-08-05/black-lives-matter-block-motorway-route-into-heathrow-airport/


The BBC report at

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-37283869   said: 

The Black Lives Matter UK movement has confirmed it is responsible for the protest.

The airport said inbound flights were being diverted and it hoped to “resume operations as soon as possible”.

Black Lives Matter UK said: “Whilst at London City Airport a small elite is able to fly, in 2016 alone 3,176 migrants are known to have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean.

“Black people are the first to die, not the first to fly, in this racist climate crisis.

“We note, however, that the UK is willing to charter special flights to remove black people from the country based on their immigration status.”

Scotland Yard said its officers were “negotiating” with the group and awaiting the arrival of specialist resources to “unlock the protestors”.


Just as a reminder – London City airport is NOT exclusively for business. Around half of its flights are leisure trips, as this recent tweet confirms:

Rise & Shine! Let us know if you’re flying today for business or a last minute holiday!

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Other comments from other reports:

In a statement, a Scotland Yard spokesperson said: “Nine people erected a tripod and have locked themselves together on the runway.Officers negotiated with the protesters and specialist officers arrived to “unlock” the protesters.

“At approximately 09:30hrs officers started to arrest the protesters. Nine people have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass, being unlawfully airside and breaching London City Airport bylaws.

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A Black Lives Matter statement said: “The average salary of a London City Airport user is Euro 136,000 and 63 per cent of them work in business, finance or other business services. It is an airport designed for the wealthy.

“At the same time 40 per cent of Newham’s population struggle to survive on £20k or less.”

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Police said nine protestors chained themselves to a tripod in the middle of a runway to ‘highlight the UK’s environmental impact on the lives of black people’.

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The apparent ease with which the demonstrators could get “airside” is likely to trigger more sophisticated measures to protect against attacks, and a greater focus on the threat posed by attackers armed with something more lethal than a tripod.

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Later the names of the protesters were given:

Among those charged are Plane Stupid activists, William Pettifer (who works on an organic farm in Radford, Somerset) and Esme Waldron (a student from Brighton) who blocked one of the Heathrow access tunnels in 2015.

Also Richard Collett-White, from Bedfordshire, ex-student president of Exeter College JCR, Oxford.  And Natalie Fiennes,  a film producer from Wandsworth, who is a cousin of renowned actors Ralph and Joseph.

Also Ben Tippet, an LSE graduate. And Sama Baka, Sam Lund-Harket,  and Alex Etchart,  who all live in a houseboat on the River Stort.  And Deborah Francis-Grayson, from Slough.

The five men and four women have been released on bail to appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 14th September.

 


The Heathrow protest:

Plane Stupid activists set up protest, locking themselves together, on Heathrow northern runway

At around 3.30am a group of 13 climate change activists from the group Plane Stupid cut a hole in the perimeter fence at Heathrow, and set up a protest  on the northern runway. They set up a tripod of metal poles, and metal fencing panels, and locked themselves onto these. Some were attached by D locks around their necks, onto the fence.  Others used arm locks (two people link arms, linked together with carabinas, inside a hard tube) to make it difficult for police to remove them. Police arrived on the scene shortly after the protest was set up. The first flights arrive at Heathrow from around 4.30am. Flights were delayed while the airport needed to shift runways.  Six protesters were removed quite quickly.  The protest was due to the recommendation of the Airports Commission that a 3rd runway should be built at Heathrow.  Besides the serious negative impacts of the runway on noise, air pollution, destruction of Harmondsworth, huge costs to the taxpayer and considerable social disruption for miles around, the issue which has been glossed over is the CO2 emissions that the runway would create from greatly increased flights, many long-haul. The Commission itself was aware that a new runway would mean the UK could not achieve its aviation carbon cap, and make it less likely the UK could meet its legally binding carbon target for 2050. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/07/plane-stupid-activists-set-up-protest-locking-themselves-together-on-heathrow-northern-runway/

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Research indicates minute particles of magnetite from car pollution in human brain tissue

Recent research by Lancaster University indicates that as well as heart and lung effects of air pollution, tiny particles of pollution appear to get inside brain tissue. Called “nanospheres”, the particles are less than 200 nanometres in diameter – by comparison, a human hair is at least 50,000 nanometres thick. They are made  of magnetite, which is a compound of iron and appear to come from car engines or braking systems.  These magnetite particles may be small enough to pass from the nose into the olfactory bulb and then via the nervous system into the frontal cortex of the brain.  Iron is a very reactive metal, so it is likely they will cause oxidative damage in brain tissue.  It is already known that oxidative damage contributes to brain damage in Alzheimer’s patients. It is not known whether these particles could contribute to dementia, but there might be plausible mechanisms for a link. The research, published in the PNAS, analysed samples of brain tissue from 37 people – 29 who had lived and died in Mexico City, a notorious pollution hotspot, and who were aged from 3 to 85. The other 8 came from Manchester, were aged 62-92 and some had died with varying severities of neurodegenerative disease.  The particles issue is yet another reason not to permit vehicle pollution levels to rise, for public health.
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Pollution particles ‘get into brain’

By David Shukman (BBC Science editor)

5.9.2016

Tiny particles of pollution have been discovered inside samples of brain tissue, according to new research.

Suspected of toxicity, the particles of iron oxide could conceivably contribute to diseases like Alzheimer’s – though evidence for this is lacking.

The finding – described as “dreadfully shocking” by the researchers – raises a host of new questions about the health risks of air pollution.

Many studies have focused on the impact of dirty air on the lungs and heart.

Now this new research provides the first evidence that minute particles of what is called magnetite, which can be derived from pollution, can find their way into the brain.

Earlier this year the World Health Organisation warned that air pollution was leading to as many as three million premature deaths every year.

Tracing origins

The estimate for the UK is that 50,000 people die every year with conditions linked to polluted air.

The research was led by scientists at Lancaster University and is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The team analysed samples of brain tissue from 37 people – 29 who had lived and died in Mexico City, a notorious pollution hotspot, and who were aged from 3 to 85.

The other 8 came from Manchester, were aged 62-92 and some had died with varying severities of neurodegenerative disease.

The lead author of the research paper, Prof Barbara Maher, has previously identified magnetite particles in samples of air gathered beside a busy road in Lancaster and outside a power station.

She suspected that similar particles may be found in the brain samples, and that is what happened.

“It’s dreadfully shocking. When you study the tissue you see the particles distributed between the cells and when you do a magnetic extraction there are millions of particles, millions in a single gram of brain tissue – that’s a million opportunities to do damage.”

Further study revealed that the particles have a distinctive shape which provides a crucial clue to their origin.

Magnetite can occur naturally in the brain in tiny quantities but the particles formed that way are distinctively jagged.

By contrast, the particles found in the study were not only far more numerous but also smooth and rounded – characteristics that can only be created in the high temperatures of a vehicle engine or braking systems.

Prof Maher said: “They are spherical shapes and they have little crystallites around their surfaces, and they occur with other metals like platinum which comes from catalytic converters.

“So for the first time we saw these pollution particles inside the human brain.

“It’s a discovery finding. It’s a whole new area to investigate to understand if these magnetite particles are causing or accelerating neurodegenerative disease.”

For every one natural magnetite particle identified, the researchers found about 100 of the pollution-derived ones.

The results did not show a straightforward pattern. While the Manchester donors, especially those with neurodegenerative conditions, had elevated levels of magnetite, the same or higher levels were found in the Mexico City victims.

The highest level was found in a 32-year-old Mexican man who had been killed in a traffic accident.

Disease risk?

Dubbed “nanospheres”, the particles are less than 200 nanometres in diameter – by comparison, a human hair is at least 50,000 nanometres thick.

While large particles of pollution such as soot can be trapped inside the nose, smaller types can enter the lungs and even smaller ones can cross into the bloodstream.

But nanoscale particles of magnetite are believed to be small enough to pass from the nose into the olfactory bulb and then via the nervous system into the frontal cortex of the brain.

Prof David Allsop, a specialist in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, is a co-author of the study and also at Lancaster University.

He said that pollution particles “could be an important risk factor” for these conditions.

“There is no absolutely proven link at the moment but there are lots of suggestive observations – other people have found these pollution particles in the middle of the plaques that accumulate in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease so they could well be a contributor to plaque formation.

“These particles are made out of iron and iron is very reactive so it’s almost certainly going to do some damage to the brain. It’s involved in producing very reactive molecules called reaction oxygen species which produce oxidative damage and that’s very well defined.

“We already know oxidative damage contributes to brain damage in Alzheimer’s patients so if you’ve got iron in the brain it’s very likely to do some damage. It can’t be benign.”

Other experts in the field are more cautious about a possible link.

Dr Clare Walton, research manager at the Alzheimer’s Society, said there was no strong evidence that magnetite causes Alzheimer’s disease or makes it worse.

“This study offers convincing evidence that magnetite from air pollution can get into the brain, but it doesn’t tell us what effect this has on brain health or conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.

“The causes of dementia are complex and so far there hasn’t been enough research to say whether living in cities and polluted areas raises the risk of dementia. Further work in this area is important, but until we have more information people should not be unduly worried.”

She said that in the meantime more practical ways of lowering the chances of developing dementia include regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and avoiding smoking.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37276219

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See earlier:

 

How air pollution alters brain development: the role of neuroinflammation

Sam Brockmeyer1, 2 / 1, 2

1Department of Neuroscience, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

February 2016

Abstract

The present review synthesizes lines of emerging evidence showing how several samples of children populations living in large cities around the world suffer to some degree neural, behavioral and cognitive changes associated with air pollution exposure. The breakdown of natural barriers warding against the entry of toxic particles, including the nasal, gut and lung epithelial barriers, as well as widespread breakdown of the blood-brain barrier facilitatethe passage of airborne pollutants into the body of young urban residents. Extensive neuroinflammation contributes to cell loss within the central nervous system, and likely is a crucial mechanism by which cognitive deficits may arise. Although subtle, neurocognitive effects of air pollution are substantial, apparent across all populations, and potentially clinically relevant as early evidence of evolving neurodegenerative changes. The diffuse nature of the neuroinflammation risk suggests an integrated neuroscientific approach incorporating current clinical, cognitive, neurophysiological, radiological and epidemiologic research. Neuropediatric air pollution research requires extensive multidisciplinary collaborations to accomplish the goal of protecting exposed children through multidimensional interventions having both broad impact and reach. While intervening by improving environmental quality at a global scale is imperative, we also need to devise efficient strategies on how the neurocognitive effects on local pediatric populations should be monitored.

More at  https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/tnsci.2016.7.issue-1/tnsci-2016-0005/tnsci-2016-0005.xml

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Air pollution and detrimental effects on children’s brain. The need for a multidisciplinary approach to the issue complexity and challenges

August 2014

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Abstract

Millions of children in polluted cities are showing brain detrimental effects. Urban children exhibit brain structural and volumetric abnormalities, systemic inflammation, olfactory, auditory, vestibular and cognitive deficits v low-pollution controls. Neuroinflammation and blood-brain-barrier (BBB) breakdown target the olfactory bulb, prefrontal cortex and brainstem, but are diffusely present throughout the brain. Urban adolescent Apolipoprotein E4 carriers significantly accelerate Alzheimer pathology. Neurocognitive effects of air pollution are substantial, apparent across all populations, and potentially clinically relevant as early evidence of evolving neurodegenerative changes. The diffuse nature of the neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration forces to employ a weight of evidence approach incorporating current clinical, cognitive, neurophysiological, radiological and epidemiological research. Pediatric air pollution research requires extensive multidisciplinary collaborations to accomplish a critical goal: to protect exposed children through multidimensional interventions having both broad impact and reach. Protecting children and teens from neural effects of air pollution should be of pressing importance for public health.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4129915/

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Air pollution may affect the way the brain ages and functions

Investigating the impact of air pollution on the human brain is a new area of environmental neurosciences, Keck School researcher says

https://news.usc.edu/83093/air-pollution-may-affect-the-way-the-brain-ages-and-functions/

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Why Is Air Pollution So Bad for Your Brain?

Air pollution can impact brain structure and reduce cognitive function.
Posted Apr 24, 2015

Psychology Today

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201504/why-is-air-pollution-so-bad-your-brain


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China, US and EU reported to have pledged to join the weak, voluntary, initial stages of ICAO scheme for CO2

It is reported that China, Europe and the US have pledged to join the initial voluntary phases of ICAO’s carbon-offsetting scheme designed to give international aviation a chance of achieving it goal of “carbon-neutral growth” after 2020.  On 3rd September, the 44 member states of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) committed to being part of ICAO’s global market-based measure (MBM) scheme “from the start”. On the same day the US and China said they “expect to be early participants” in the global MBM, also called the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA.  On 2nd September ICAO released a revised text that will be presented for adoption by the ICAO Assembly in early October. This makes participation voluntary in the pilot and first phases of the scheme, covering 2021-26. The MBM will become mandatory only in the 2nd phase, covering 2027-35, with exemptions for countries with only a small share of international aviation activity in 2018.   India and Russia are opposed to joining the global MBM. Under the CORSIA scheme, airlines would “offset” additional CO2 growth beyond 2019-20 levels by buying credits from designated environmental projects.There are concerns about REDD forestry credits being used. ICAO estimates the cost to airlines would only be at most 1.4% of total revenues, by 2035.  Far less till then.
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China, Europe & US in historic accord on aviation emissions

China, Europe and the US have pledged to join the initial voluntary phases of the carbon-offsetting scheme designed to help international aviation achieve its goal of carbon-neutral growth after 2020.

On Sept. 3, the 44 member states of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) committed to being part of ICAO’s global market-based measure (MBM) scheme “from the start”.

On the same day, in a joint declaration ahead of the G20 economic summit in Hangzhou, the US and China said they “expect to be early participants” in the global MBM, also called the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA.

ICAO on Sept. 2 released a revised text http://fortune.com/2016/09/03/china-us-europe-aviation-emissions/of the resolution on the global MBM that will be presented for adoption by the ICAO Assembly in early October.

This makes participation voluntary in the pilot and first phases of the scheme, covering 2021-26. The MBM will become mandatory only in the second phase, covering 2027-35, with exemptions for countries with only a small share of international aviation activity.

ECAC members called on other major aviation states, “and those having the capacity to do so”, to commit to the global MBM, “and make their decision public before the end of the ICAO Assembly.”

India and Russia have previously voiced opposition to the global MBM.

Under the CORSIA scheme, carriers would offset additional carbon emissions from international growth beyond 2019-20 levels by buying credits from designation environmental projects.

Depending on the price of carbon, ICAO estimates the MBM will cost airlines 0.2-0.6% of total revenues from international flights in 2025. This will increase to 0.5-1.4% by 2035.

http://atwonline.com/eco-aviation/china-europe-us-historic-accord-aviation-emissions

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CAO has been working for more than a decade on aviation’s climate impact and it has set itself a final deadline of the end of 2016 for a deal. International aviation and shipping were not explicitly mentioned by the Paris agreement, leaving it unclear how their rapidly growing emissions were to be addressed. Aircraft are currently responsible for an estimated 5% of global warming. Without a change in the current projections, its emissions will increase by more than four times, to account for 22% of global emissions in 2050.

Plans to offset aviation’s ever-growing CO2 emissions using REDD credits is supported by nine mainly US-based NGOs. And it’s opposed by more than 80 NGOs internationally.

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Revised text agreed for aviation carbon offset scheme

Participation in a carbon-offsetting scheme being developed to help aviation achieve carbon-neutral growth initially will be voluntary for states under the proposed text of a resolution to be presented for approval by the ICAO Assembly in October.

The latest text, released Sept. 2, is the result of extensive consultation with states on ICAO’s proposed global market-based measure (MBM), called the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), culminating in an Aug. 16 meeting to develop a compromise text.

The new text calls for phased implementation of the MBM, beginning with a pilot phase in 2021-23 and first phases in 2024-26 in which participation will be voluntary.

The second phase in 2027-35 will be mandatory, with exemptions for nations with only a small share of international aviation activity as measured in revenue tonne kilometres flown in 2018.

“The new text includes some changes to the recommended MBM that impact the coverage of the system. Most significantly, it pushes back mandatory offsetting from 2021 to 2027,” the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT), an environmental non-government organization, said in an initial analysis of the new draft text.

“The text also allows for countries that volunteer to join these initial phases to subsequently opt out, provided they give at least six months’ notice,” ICCT noted.“How much post-2020 growth will need to be offset now depends upon which countries opt into the initial voluntary phases.”

ICCT has previously calculated the MBM will not offset enough emissions for aviation to achieve carbon-neutral growth.

In the proposed pilot phase, each participating state will be able to choose one of two ways to calculate carbon offsets for international flights by carriers registered in that country: operator emissions in a given year or in 2020 as a baseline. The MBM will be reviewed every three years beginning 2022.

The text proposes that offsetting for the pilot and first phases, from 2021-29, be 100% based on RTKs flown by the overall international civil aviation sector. For the first compliance cycle under the second phase of the MBM, in 2030-32, 20% of offsetting will be based on individual operator’s RTKs, increasing to 70% for the second cycle, in 2033-35.

“The MBM is a significant piece of ICAO’s strategy for mitigating carbon emissions from growth in the international civil aviation sector,” the organization said, noting that emissions from international civil aviation were not covered under the 2015 COP21 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

“Since all scenarios will exempt some traffic growth, no version of the system under debate today is expected to be consistent with the aviation industry’s goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020,” ICCT said.

“There have been predictions that the final agreement will cover 80% of emissions,” the environmental organization noted. “If Russia joins India in opting out, then Chinese participation is likely required to cover 80% of activity growth, and also that level of emissions.”

http://atwonline.com/eco-aviation/revised-text-agreed-aviation-carbon-offset-scheme

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China, US and Europe Pledge Support for Global Aviation Emissions Pact

by Reuters
SEPTEMBER 3, 2016,
Fortune Magazine

China, the United States and Europe all pledged support on Saturday for a new deal to curb carbon dioxide emissions by airlines which is due to be finalized at a meeting of the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in September and is expected to go into effect from 2021.

Aviation was excluded from last December’s climate accord in Paris when countries agreed to limit the global average rise in in temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

The proposed new deal on aviation, which aims to cap the carbon pollution of all international flights at 2020 levels will be voluntary between 2021 and 2026 and then mandatory from 2027 for the world’s largest emitters.

Airlines in participating countries would need to limit their emissions or offset them by buying carbon credits from designated environmental projects around the world.

ICAO has estimated that carbon offsetting will cost operators 0.2-0.6% of total revenue from international aviation beginning in 2025, and 0.5-1.4% from 2035.

“Today, the United States and China are expressing their support for the ICAO Assembly reaching consensus on such a measure,” the two countries said in a joint statement earlier on Saturday.

The statement, released ahead of a G20 summit in the Chinese coastal city of Hangzhou, said both countries “expect to be early participants in the measure and volunteer to join.”

In a separate statement, the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), a grouping of the EU and 16 other countries, said it would join the market-based plan from the outset and urged all other major airline operating states to do so.

Participation by China, which as a developing country has traditionally been opposed to any binding emissions regime for its industries, is considered crucial to any deal, and experts say they expect it to favor Chinese airlines at least in the initial phase.

“It is not an issue for China to sign up for the ICAO deal, as the mitigation actions are voluntary until 2026,” said Chai Qimin, a researcher with China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC).

Chai said the deal could also favor China by giving it a lower share of all emissions that must be capped starting from 2020, but its participation would still depend on whether other countries could agree on terms.

China has been concerned that attempts to force its planes to buy carbon credits would represent a violation of the “common but differentiated responsibility” principle that says developed countries should take the lead in cutting emissions.

Negotiations are expected until the ICAO meets on Sept. 27.

“There are a lot of details that will determine the level of ambition,” said Li Shuo, climate adviser with Greenpeace.

While China had been more “progressive” when it came to the Montreal protocol and the phasing out of CFCs, it was showing fewer signs of movement on aviation, he said.

Annie Petsonk, international counsel at the Washington D.C.-based Environmental Defense Fund, said 80-90% of emissions above 2020 levels would need to be covered by the agreement for the civil aviation sector to hit a long-term target of carbon-neutral growth.

As an aviation powerhouse, China’s participation in the deal’s initial voluntary phases from 2021 to 2026 would likely be required to hit that 80 percent target, according to calculations by the non-profit International Council on Clean Transportation.

The council’s Dan Rutherford has said China’s absence from first phases “would definitely be a big hole in the coverage.”

On Thursday, the European Commission’s director-general for transport urged countries to join the deal.

“Our aim must be also to try to maximize the coverage and to try to have all the key aviation nations opting in,” said Henrik Hololei during an environment committee hearing.

China declined to cooperate with EU efforts to compel international airlines to buy carbon credits from its emissions trading scheme to cover flights into European airports, forcing the EU to suspend the plan.

European legislators also remain skeptical of the draft ICAO resolution, arguing it falls short of EU ambitions.

Some members of the EU parliament say the draft does not go far enough to justify extending the exemption for international flights from the EU’s own aviation emissions trading scheme beyond 2016.

The EU has to decide whether to continue exempting international flights by the end of the year.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China would not comment on China’s position, but Chai Haibo, vice-general secretary of the China Air Transport Industry Association, said the industry would support whatever decision the government made.

“Multinational negotiations under a government framework are more favorable, and we hope it will result in an acceptable deal to all parties,” he said.

The growth of low-cost carriers and emerging markets has driven increased demand, Boeing said.

China, US and Europe Pledge Support for Global Aviation Emissions Pact


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See earlier:

MEPs shocked by ‘secretive’ and unacceptably unambitious ICAO plan to cut aviation CO2 emissions

A meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment has been told of the way a possible agreement by ICAO next month – on global aviation carbon emissions – has been watered down. MEPs were informed of the likely 6-year delay, with the scheme for a global market based mechanism (GMBM) not taking effect properly until 2027, rather than in 2021 that had been foreseen. Opt-in to the GMBM scheme before 2027 would be voluntary, but mandatory from 2027 through to 2035. There will be exemptions for poor nations, and even after 2027 the participation of the least developed countries and small island states would remain voluntary only. EU deputies said they were “shocked” to learn how many concessions the EU was prepared to make at the Montreal meeting, which took place in May behind closed doors. Then, to make matters yet worse, “a special review in 2032 will determine whether the mechanism will be continued,” taking into account progress made as part of a related “basket of measures” which includes “CO2 standards for aircraft”, technological improvements, air traffic management and alternative fuels. In a rare show of unity, Parliament representatives from across the political spectrum urged the EU to be more aggressive in the negotiation. Bas Eckhout, a Dutch MEP, said what is on offer now is not acceptable.

Click here to view full story…

India to summarily reject ICAO’s proposed market based measure for aviation CO2 emissions

ICAO is meant to be getting global agreement in October on some way to control the growth of the aviation sector’s emissions. However, India – which has a relatively new and very fast growing aviation industry – is not willing to accept anything that might cost the industry money or slow its growth. The purpose of some form of market based mechanism, agreed through ICAO, is for airlines to have to buy carbon permits to offset CO2 emissions above their level in 2020. That works by the airlines having to spend money on the permits, with the likely effect of slowing growth. Airlines are naturally not keen, which is why ICAO has made virtually zero progress on this over several decades. Officials from India’s civil aviation ministry say Indian airlines are not willing to abide by the proposed “tax”. India as a country has pledged to reduce CO2 emissions, as committed at the UN Climate Change Agreement in Paris last December. Carbon emissions from Indian aviation could double from their 2011 level by 2020, but India considers itself to be a “developing country” although in many respects it no longer is. ICAO proposes allowing developing countries special leeway with their carbon emissions, but this is intended for small countries that are far less rich – and with far less thriving aviation industries – than India.

Click here to view full story…

ICAO agreement to get global aviation industry to limit CO2 may just be “voluntary” for years

ICAO is meeting in Montreal from 27th September to 7th October, with the intention of agreeing some mechanism globally to limit, or trade, aviation carbon emissions in future. However, aviation was not included in the Paris agreement, and ICAO has made little progress in getting airlines internationally to agree measures that would be effective. Aviation should contribute to the global ambition of limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees C (or 1.5 degrees C ideally) above pre-industrial levels. Now it appears that there may not even be a mandatory system, but just a voluntary one for the first 5 years for certain countries. This apparently is not yet meant to be public knowledge. Environmental groups said a voluntary first phase waters down a deal that already exempts too many countries, including most developing states, during its first five years. It will not achieve the ambition of making aviation making a fair contribution on the needed emissions reductions, especially if the largest carbon emitters do not join it. Airlines from countries that voluntarily participate would have to limit their emissions or offset them by buying carbon credits from designated environmental projects around the world.

Click here to view full story…

Govt assumed in 2013, with Aviation Policy framework, we could add a runway, as there would be a strong global deal

  1. Reminder. DfT’s Aviation Policy Framework (nearest thing we have to aviation policy) expected ICAO or EU ETS success.  It said:

    Reminder. Airports Commission final report said the UK might need to act if there was no effective measure by ICAO. It said:

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New consultation on TAG Farnborough proposals for airspace change called a blight on the countryside

In 2014 Farnborough did a consultation on changing its airspace. There were more than 13,000 comments, the vast majority overwhelmingly negative. Now “some aspects of the proposal” to the CAA have changed over many areas including parts of the South Downs National Park.  More proposals from TAG Farnborough (which is a business only airport) to introduce a new area of “controlled” airspace are again open for consultation. The plans were described by East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) as “a blight on East Hampshire’s countryside, residents and businesses”.  During the ongoing consultations, some of the fiercest resistance has come from Lasham Gliding Society – the UK’s largest gliding club – whose existence hangs in the balance if their airspace was reduced. TAG Farnborough currently uses class G airspace (uncontrolled airspace), which is shared with other airports and general aviation users. The proposed change would essentially mean it would have its own airspace in which to operate, and other users would be excluded.  The consultation document is almost impossible for non-experts, or district or parish councils, to understand without help.  The consultation is the minimum length – just 8 weeks – ending on 5th October. TAG’s proposals have been described by opponents as the equivalent of a big limousine company “buying two lanes of the M25 exclusively for the use of the rich and famous”.

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TAG bid a ‘blight on countryside’

By Alton Herald

PROPOSALS from TAG Farnborough Airport to introduce a new area of “controlled” airspace are again open for consultation.

But with this latest round of stakeholder input comes further criticism, including from East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) which this week described the plans as “a blight on East Hampshire’s countryside, residents and businesses”.

During the ongoing consultations, some of the fiercest resistance has come from Lasham Gliding Society – the UK’s largest gliding club – whose existence hangs in the balance.

TAG Farnborough Airport currently uses class G airspace (uncontrolled airspace), which is shared with other airports and general aviation users. The proposed change would essentially mean it would have its own airspace in which to operate.

Locally, this has proved contentious, with objections coming from East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds, EHDC, the South Downs National Park Authority and general airspace users, such as Lasham Gliding Society, whose operations would be rendered impossible by the changes.

After initial consultations in 2014, which received more than 13,000 comments, the airport submitted a formal airspace change proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority.

But now “some aspects of the proposal” have changed, including proposed flight paths in the north of Hampshire, West Sussex, and parts of the South Downs National Park.

This modification alters the “spread” of one of the proposed arrival paths, and would, TAG said, reduce the total amount of new controlled airspace they need.

It would also “simplify the crossing point with another route, improving the overall efficiency of the proposed design, and enhancing safety even further”.

But pilot and gliding society spokesman Peter Reading said the society remain “deeply concerned” about these “threatening” plans and described the new proposal as “worse” than that already detailed.

“The time for the consultation is very short, only eight weeks, which is the minimum period, despite Cabinet office guidelines which state that the consultation period should be extended over holiday period and when consulting voluntary organisations such as parish councils,” Mr Reading said.

“Of course, this consultation is outside of the skill set of parish councils and they require extra time to get advice on, in particular, the noise on the ground.”

He also explained that some of the amendments aren’t clear.

“How can any resident have any hope of assessing the noise if they don’t know the altitude of the aircraft?”

Furthermore, he highlighted that some areas with newly-lowered airspace have been left out of this latest consultation.

A spokesman from the South Downs National Park Authority added: “More flights directed on a more concentrated path and at lower altitudes over the South Downs will have an impact on the tranquillity of the national park. We are also concerned that the proposals will enable increased air traffic above the South Downs for flights approaching Gatwick.”

The area covered by the new consultation includes the majority of Liphook village centre as well as Milland, Midhurst, West Dean and other parishes just over the border in West Sussex.

EHDC leader Ferris Cowper said that flights could pass over some parts of the district at between 5,000ft and 4,000ft on their way to final approach into the airport. At this altitude, the noise could be up to 61 decibels or “the equivalent of conversational speech from one metre away”.

“Imagine sitting for a quiet lunch with friends in the garden of one of East Hampshire’s beautiful rural pubs and having to stop mid-conversation while a flight goes overhead,” Mr Cowper said. “That’s not what I would want, and it’s not what I think local residents want.

“If these proposals are approved, they could affect tourism in the South Downs National Park and damage the economy of East Hampshire and neighbouring authorities. They could also have a devastating effect on general aviation and gliding locally.

“EHDC will respond to this consultation in the strongest terms, as we did for the original consultation, and I will continue to fight for the interests of local residents and businesses.”

Currently, TAG Farnborough radar controllers have to observe and take account of non-airport traffic, which can “result in longer, less direct routings, less predictable climb or descent profiles for aircraft flying out of or into the airport”.

They said that “creating a known air traffic control environment would assist the airport in catering for an increasing number of air transport movements and do so in a way which benefits efficiency and safety for many airspace users, and the environment”.

Contrary to objectors’ fears, TAG insists this precision will lead to “fewer flights at low altitudes as arriving aircraft will remain higher for longer and departing aircraft will climb higher more quickly” – in turn resulting in a “net reduction in people overflown”.

TAG Farnborough is only for business aviation. The proposals have been described by opponents as the equivalent of a big limousine company “buying two lanes of the M25 exclusively for the use of the rich and famous”.

To comment on the consultation, which runs until October 5, visit consultation.tagfarnborough.com.

and

https://www.consultation.tagfarnborough.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/TAG-Farnborough-Airport-Additional-Consultation.pdf    (it is pretty unintelligible to any non-expert !)

 

http://www.altonherald.com/article.cfm?id=113375&headline=TAG%20bid%20a%20%27blight%20on%20countryside%27&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2016

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Earlier:

 

Feedback from Farnborough Airport consultation released – 98% said change unjustified

TAG Farnborough Airport has released a feedback report following its 3 month consultation (ended 12th May) on controversial plans to chance its airspace. Farnborough wants the changes to be approved by the CAA, so it can have a “more predictable flow of traffic around the airport” which it claims could mean fewer flights at low altitude and aircraft flying fewer miles. TAG has now published a feedback document on the responses. This shows there were 13,000 comments, including around 2,500 from stakeholders. They are overwhelmingly negative, with 99% of responses from general aviation negative; 98% of responses to the justification of the changes negative; and 99% negative on the alleged environmental benefits. There was a high level of concern about the proposals, and the results they would have on non-Farnborough air traffic, having to re-route. There were also concerns about the environmental impact and safety. Many also fear the plans will facilitate an increase in number of flights. A 2nd feedback report is due to be published in early 2015, before an application is submitted to the CAA, after TAG has considered whether the objections and suggested alternatives can be incorporated into a refined airspace design.

Click here to view full story…


Thousands of responses against Farnborough’s airspace change proposals – especially from gliding clubs

12 MPs, South Downs National Park Authority, Goodwood Airfield and more than 3,000 people have responded to Farnborough airport’s proposal to control a vast amount of airspace across the South Downs. The airspace consultation period is coming to an end, and there has been a high level of opposition. The proposal plans to lower and narrow the airspace spanning West Sussex, South Downs National Park and Hampshire, would allow private aircraft to make uninterrupted journeys across the designated area. Gliding clubs are very unhappy about the plans as the areas of sky available for them would change. They say the changes could ‘kill’ the activities of the club. They also claimed that this move will force other aircraft to fly lower increasing aircraft noise for residents living in the South Downs. Also that the proposals could significantly increase the risks of mid-air collisions by forcing general aviation aircraft to fly in much smaller ‘corridors’ of free airspace. “These proposals are just like a limousine company buying up two lanes of the M25 exclusively for the benefit of the wealthy and famous.”

Click here to view full story…


Farnborough airport consultation on hugely expanding its airspace, for questionable reasons

April 13, 2014

Farnborough airport is consulting on its plans to hugely increase the amount of airspace it controls. This will have considerable impacts on general aviation fliers and helicopters in the area, as they would not be able to fly in the new Farnborough airspace, as at present, but would have to make large detours and fly lower, causing more noise to those living nearby. The aim of the airspace grab by Farnborough is thought to be to speed up the arrival of departure of the private jets and business jets which are the users of Farnborough, so the very few passengers per plane (about 2.7 on average, on planes designed to take hugely more) are spared any small delay. The airport has had declining numbers of flights in recent years, and is nowhere near to its target number. It is therefore surprising that the airport feels the need for such a large increase in its controlled airspace.There are real fears that this is in preparation for Farnborough attempting to expand into commercial aviation. ‘Sky grabbing’ for future use for a much bigger operation? TAG could make a nice profit if it sells an airport with attached airspace!

Click here to view full story…

 

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Desperate to persuade MPs to back its runway, increasingly improbable claims by Heathrow of its benefit to the UK

Heathrow is making all possible efforts to persuade as many MPs as possible to back its 3rd runway bid, before the government (Chris Grayling) makes a statement on the matter – probably in October.  Heathrow has now commissioned and paid for a “study” by CEBR, perhaps by Vicky Pryce with a foreword by her, that aims to give the impression that the 3rd runway will make an immense financial contribution to the UK. The study would not pass peer review.  Its methodology is not given, and there is no justification for any of its claims. Heathrow says (it tries to avoid making it clear this is over 60 years) its runway would boost GDP by “£24,500” per family.  It omits to say how many families it is considering, or the total GDP benefit. A bit of simple mathematics shows Heathrow is claiming a GDP boost of £458 billion over 60 years, as the ONS says there are 18.7 million families in the UK (2015). The Airports Commission’s most optimistic scenarios gave a maximum benefit, over 60 years, of £211 billion.  Its main forecast was for a UK benefit of £147 billion. This was seriously questioned as being exaggerated, even by the Commission’s own financial advisors. This £458 billion figure, apparently plucked from thin air, is well over double that. And Heathrow says there will be so much benefit that by 2060 (with no rationale given) we could cut VAT by 2.5% due to the runway.
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This is the most peculiar report by the CEBR and press release from Heathrow, making outlandish claims.

This, copied below, is Heathrow’s press release:  http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Expansion-News-23/7224

Heathrow critical to Brexit success – new report

2.9.2016  (Heathrow airport press release)
 
The first post-Brexit report into the independent Airport Commission study has found that expanding Heathrow could boost UK GDP by up to £24,500 per family – almost double the value of expanding Gatwick.
Respected economic consultancy, the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr  https://www.cebr.com/about-cebr/ ), says Heathrow’s connectivity and cargo capacity mean the expanded airport will be an “engine of Brexit growth, driving opportunity up and down the UK”.
The report  Cebr_-projected-benefits-of-new-runway-capacity_STC21  concludes that following the Brexit vote, if the Prime Minister opts for Gatwick, it “could be a political and economic gamble that could be costly for decades.”
Using the Government’s own independent Airports Commission figures, the Cebr report also found:
– Heathrow expansion could boost the UK economy by as much as £24,500 of GDP per family – £11,195 more than the equivalent figure for Gatwick.  In all future scenarios modelled by the Airports Commission, GDP benefits per family ranges from £12,935 to £24,480 from Heathrow expansion.
– Only Heathrow expansion has the potential to create over 100,000 new jobs outside of London and the South East.  In every region and every future scenario, it estimated that Heathrow could deliver more GDP benefits and more jobs than Gatwick.   Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the North West, Yorkshire and the South West all see significant job creation.
– Up to £56bn more GDP than Gatwick outside of London. Helping to make Brexit a success, Heathrow’s connectivity to the world and to the UK’s great cities mean that for every region Heathrow expansion is estimated to deliver more economic growth and more jobs than Gatwick.  An estimated total of £56bn more GDP benefits outside of London and the South East.
Heathrow could add 50,000 more jobs than Gatwick in the short term and almost 100,000 more jobs than Gatwick in the long term. The Airport Commission and CEBR found that Heathrow has the potential to create over 50,000 more jobs than Gatwick in the first 5 years of operation.  By 2060, Heathrow could create over 98,000 more jobs than Gatwick.  Heathrow expansion has the potential to create an estimated 75,700 more jobs outside of London and the South East than Gatwick expansion.
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[This para is a cracker !   AW comment]
– Only the tax revenues following Heathrow expansion could fund a VAT cut to 15%.   As an example of Heathrow’s role in the UK economy, the incremental additional tax revenue to 2030 created by a third runway, could allow the Government to hire 68,000 police officers or over 76,000 secondary school teachers.  Alternatively, the extra revenue by 2060 could be used to cut VAT by 2.5%
[And what is the justification for this, and the workings?  The “report” just says: 
“4.2 How VAT could be reduced.    Here we consider the implications of choosing Heathrow over Gatwick if the Government decided to use the incremental additional tax revenues to reduce VAT. We find that, over the period to 2060, VAT could be reduced by up to 2.5% if such a policy were pursued. So, for example, a consumer purchasing a washing machine for £500 could save £12.50 on that purchase.”   That’s it.  That is the argument. And the data.  AW comment]
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Vicky Pryce, Cebr’s Chief Economic Adviser commented: “Airport expansion has been a thorny issue for governments of every political hue. What this analysis shows is the centrality of Heathrow to the British economy. There can be few more important decisions the Government must make, especially after the EU referendum. The price of making the wrong decision by the Prime Minister will be a political and economic gamble that could be costly for decades.”
“If we are to succeed outside of the European Union, every choice the Government makes must aim to deliver a stronger, more competitive economy and seek to encourage growth in the regions, as well as in London.  On both those measures, this report shows Heathrow’s future will be crucial in reducing the uncertainties of a post-Brexit world.”
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport added: “Heathrow connects cargo and people from all of Britain to new markets around the world.  Gatwick mainly connects London and Southern England to European destinations.  This report shows that expanding Heathrow will help strengthen an airport that works for the whole of the UK, not just London and the South.
“Heathrow is a political and economic commitment to make Brexit stronger and fairer. That is why businesses support Heathrow expansion, the Unions support Heathrow expansion and an overwhelming majority of MPs support Heathrow expansion.  It is now time to make the right choice for Brexit success and expand Heathrow.”
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——————-
Notes to editors, from Heathrow airport:
Cebr report includes regional breakdown and comparison of expansion economic impact
Cebr_-projected-benefits-of-new-runway-capacity_STC21 
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Methodology: The aggregate economic benefits projected for each airport, in each of the airport growth scenarios were divided up amongst every family and household in the UK. Cebr  assumed the ONS definitions of families:  a married, civil partnered or cohabiting couple with or without children, or a lone parent with at least one child who lives at the same address. Children may be dependent or non-dependent. Types of families include married couple families, cohabiting couple families and lone parent families
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[By contrast, the ONS describes a “household” as :
“A household is defined as one person living alone, or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address who share cooking facilities and share a living room, sitting room or dining area. A household can consist of more than one family, or no families in the case of a group of unrelated people.”

The documents that Vicky Pryce, who presumably wrote it or at least oversaw it, refers to are the Airports Commission Final report which is at  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440316/airports-commission-final-report.pdf
There is also the PwC report for the Commission  – Airports Commission    2. Economy: Wider Impacts Assessment    November 2014
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/371810/2-economy–wider-impacts-assessment.pdf
and by PwC
Airports Commission    1. Strategic Fit: GDP/GVA Impacts      June 2015
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/439176/strategic-fit-updated-gdpgva-impacts.pdf
Not one of these three documents mentions, even once, the benefit per family. The only mentions of families are “visiting friends and family”. There is no mention of households either, except in terms of their consumption.
The only figures that might be compared with the CEBR claims are in the Nov 2014 publication (link above) on Page 22.   Copied below.

The CEBR report does not at any time offer the number of “families” it is considering. They do give a link to the ONS. The figure circled (by AW) in green is the figure the Airports Commission used as its headline figure, in its final report.
PwC report 2014 £ benefit figures
It would appear the CEBR has taken the £211 billion figure and more than doubled it, for reasons it does not explain. Hence arriving at £458 billion.

This ONS  page says:
In 2015 there were 18.7 million families in the UK.
The most common family type in 2015 was the married or civil partner couple family with or without dependent children at 12.5 million.
The cohabiting couple family continues to be the fastest growing family type in the UK in 2015, reaching 3.2 million cohabiting couple families.
In 2015 around 40% of young adults aged 15 to 34 in the UK were living with their parents.
There were 27.0 million households in the UK in 2015, 35% of all households were two person households.
In 2015 there were 7.7 million people in UK households who were living alone.
http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/families/bulletins/familiesandhouseholds/2015-11-05
so, that says there are 18.7 million “families” in the UK.
Separately, the  DCLG   estimates there were around 27 million households in about 2014 and there will be around 31 million households by 2037. The number continues to rise.  https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-household-projections

In order for each one of the 18.7 million “families’ the ONS says we have in the UK (by their definition) to receive £24,500 in benefit from a Heathrow runway over 60 years, there has to be a total of benefit across the UK from the runway of £458 billion.
The Airports Commission said there could be “up to £147 billion” over 60 years on its carbon capped and assessment of need scenario.  This figure has been challenged.
Heathrow and Vicky Pryce are now claiming this benefit (they do not state this figure, but one can work it out by simple multiplication)  of about £458 billion, which is about three times the highly optimistic figure of the Airports Commission.
The Vicky Pryce report gives no details whatsoever about how their massive figures are arrived at.  Indeed, not one of the reports by the Airports Commission or the PwC working for the Commission ever mentions benefits “per family” at all, in any of their publications.

CEBR report and its family claims on 211 billion


This report seems to be a complete fabrication.   It surely is not of sufficient quality for anyone to take seriously.   Sadly, one fears it will be taken seriously.  The Telegraph has uncritically publicised it.

Third Heathrow runway would ‘boost each British family by £24,500’

 By Ben Martin  (Telegraph business)
2 SEPTEMBER 2016
Building a third runway at Heathrow could benefit every family in Britain by as much as £24,500, the west London airport has claimed, as it ramps up its campaign to win Government backing for its controversial expansion plans.
Heathrow is seeking to capitalise on the Brexit vote by arguing that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union makes a new £17.6bn runway even more vital to the country’s economy. The airport is intensifying its lobbying amid speculation Theresa May, the prime minister, will decide in October whether to expand Heathrow or rival Gatwick, ending years of dithering by successive governments over the issue.
“Heathrow is a political and economic commitment to make Brexit stronger and fairer,” John Holland-Kaye, the airport’s chief executive said today. “It is now time to make the right choice for Brexit success and expand Heathrow.”
A third Heathrow runway may lift the UK’s gross domestic product by as much as £24,480 per family over a 60-year period, according to a report by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) that was commissioned by Heathrow. That compares with a lift of just £13,280 that would result from building a second runway at Gatwick, Cebr estimated.
Expanding Heathrow rather than Gatwick would also deliver a bigger economic boost to the UK regions, the consultancy firm said. A third Heathrow runway would provide £56bn more in “GDP benefits” to the regions beyond London and the south east than Gatwick, it was forecast.
“What this analysis shows is the centrality of Heathrow to the British economy,” said Vicky Pryce, chief economic adviser at Cebr. “There can be few more important decisions the Government must make, especially after the EU referendum.”
However, political divisions threaten to derail Heathrow’s plans, which are strongly opposed by some local residents because of worries about increased noise and air pollution. While many MPs support a third runway, prominent cabinet members such as Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and Justine Greening, the education secretary, are vehemently against the airport’s expansion, strengthening Gatwick’s case for a second landing strip in West Sussex.
Furthermore, Mrs May’s constituency, Maidenhead, is overflown by planes using Heathrow and she has in the past expressed concerns about its expansion.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/09/02/third-heathrow-runway-would-boost-each-british-family-by-24500
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The report

Cebr_-projected-benefits-of-new-runway-capacity_STC21 (1)

 

 

 

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Grayling gives consent for M4 to have hard shoulder converted into 4th lane, over 32 miles

Plans to convert the M4 hard shoulder (both directions) into a 4th lane of traffic have been given the go-ahead by Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, for the Government. The proposals would see a 32-mile stretch of the M4 widened from three to four lanes from Hayes, west London, to Theale, Berkshire. That goes all the way past Heathrow, where there is already a serious air pollution problem. This stretch of road, from junction three to 12, would also be subject to variable speed limits under the scheme. Chris Grayling said there is a “critical need to improve the existing national road network” and the plans will “increase capacity, improve traffic flow and reduce journey times, thereby supporting economic development”. Environmental and transport groups are outraged at the decision and claim having no hard shoulder will be a hazard for motorists. There are concerns about breakdowns, with no hard shoulder and more  risk to breakdown operatives when trying to assist motorists by the road.  The loss of the hard shoulder has been criticised as expanding motorways on the cheap, instead of investment in alternative options, including better rail. Jenny Bates, of Friends of the Earth,  said the move will lead to more traffic, more NO2 air pollution where levels already break legal health limits – this just increases traffic without solving congestion. 

 

M4 to have 4 lanes around Heathrow

Image shows the stretch from Junction 3 near Cranford Cross to Eton, which will have 4 lanes, in the area already blighted by air pollution, from the M25, the M4 and Heathrow

M4 hard shoulder scheme gets Government go ahead

3 SEPTEMBER 2016  (Telegraph)

Plans to convert the M4 hard shoulder into a fourth lane of traffic have been given the go-ahead by the Government.

The proposals would see a 32-mile stretch of the highway widened from three to four lanes from Hayes, west London, to Theale, Berkshire.

This stretch of road, from junction three to 12, would also be subject to variable speed limits under the scheme.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who granted planning permission for the scheme, said there is a “critical need to improve the existing national road network”.

In his letter of approval, he said the plans will “increase capacity, improve traffic flow and reduce journey times, thereby supporting economic development”.

Environmental and transport groups are outraged at the decision and claim having no hard shoulder will be a hazard for motorists.

Bridget Fox, sustainable transport campaigner, said: “This is bad news for both motorists and local residents.

“Motorists and breakdown operatives will be exposed to greater risk with the loss of the hard shoulder.

“This is just expanding motorways on the cheap.”

She added: “We need investment in alternative options, including better rail, to give people choice in their journeys.”

Jenny Bates, of Friends of the Earth, said: “Widening the M4 will lead to more traffic, more climate changing emissions and increase air pollution levels that already break legal health limits.

“Motorway widening is not the solution to our congested roads as more traffic just makes it worse, it’s time to send UK transport in a new direction to protect our planet and our health.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/03/m4-hard-shoulder-scheme-gets-government-go-ahead/

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Please follow the link below to view the letter notifying of the decision by the Secretary of State

http://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/document/TR010019-003496

and the letter is at

https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR010019/TR010019-003521-Secretary%20of%20State%20for%20Transport%20decision%20letter%20and%20statement%20of%20reasons

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The Secretary of State says, in the letter:

 

[All paragraph references, unless otherwise stated, are to the Panel’s report (“PR”) and references to requirements are to those in Schedule 2 to the Order, as set out in Appendix D to the PR]

Air quality and emissions

23. The Secretary of State has considered the applicant’s assessment of air quality impacts as reported at PR 5.7.18-46. As regards the construction impacts of the proposed development, he agrees with the Panel that adequate mitigation would be achieved through the CEMP and the CTMP, secured through requirements 8 and 18, so as to minimise impacts on local communities (PR 5.7.100-101).

24. In relation to operational impacts, the applicant concluded that there would be no significant effect on air quality and that the proposed development would be at low risk of non-compliance with the EU Air Quality Directive (PR 5.7.40, 46). The Secretary of State notes the Panel’s acceptance that the applicant had undertaken its assessment in accordance with published guidance and best practice. However, the Panel also accepted the concerns expressed in representations made on behalf of Slough Borough Council about the potential for uncertainty in the applicant’s air quality baseline assessment. The Council was concerned that, in relation to the receptors in Slough most exposed to NO2, even slight uncertainties in the projected levels in the 2022 opening year could cause exceedances of the air quality standards not forecast by the applicant (PR 5.7.49-53).

25. Given the importance of ambient air quality for the local authorities and residents where Air Quality Management Areas (“AQMAs”) are located, the Secretary of State has given very careful consideration to this issue. He accepts firstly that the inevitable element of uncertainty inherent in traffic forecasting has the potential to affect the air quality assessment, which relies on the outcome of traffic modelling (PR 5.7.54-55). He accepts also that the continuing uncertainty about actual emission levels from Euro 6/VI diesel vehicles in real life driving conditions is another element of uncertainty in the applicant’s air quality assessment which could justify a cautionary approach (PR 5.7.56-66).

26. The Secretary of State has noted the Panel’s concerns that the definition of significance used in the applicant’s air quality assessment may be out of date and may not represent a sufficiently precautionary approach in the light of the uncertainties referred to 6 above; and that as a result the proposed development may impact on the ability of local authorities to comply with the air quality objectives within the AQMAs affected by the proposed development (PR 5.7.67-78). He also shares the Panel’s concern about the potential risk to the health of the high residential populations in areas through which the M4 passes and which have been declared AQMAs, should the effects of the proposed development exceed the applicant’s forecast levels of NO2 (PR 5.7.79-82)

27. The Secretary of State agrees with the Panel that, in the light of the uncertainties referred to above and the highly sensitive areas through which the M4 passes, it is appropriate to take a prudent and cautionary approach on this issue (PR 5.7.83-88). He agrees further for the reasons given by the Panel that a requirement should be included in the Order requiring the applicant to monitor the actual concentrations of NO2 within the AQMAs and, if it is found that that the proposed development has materially worsened air quality, then a scheme of mitigation must be prepared in consultation with the relevant local authorities. He is satisfied that requirement 26 as recommended by the Panel is justified in the particular circumstances of this case (PR 5.7.89-99). The Secretary of State has concluded, like the Panel, that with the inclusion of requirement 26 in the Order the proposed development would satisfy the tests in paragraph 5.13 of the NPSNN, contribute to securing compliance with EU limit values in accordance with Defra’s Air Quality Plan and help safeguard against any harmful impacts on human health (PR 5.7.105).

….. and it continues  ……

https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR010019/TR010019-003521-Secretary%20of%20State%20for%20Transport%20decision%20letter%20and%20statement%20of%20reasons

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Middle Eastern airports now adding air passenger charges, to pay for airport infrastructure

As well as the UK charging Air Passenger Duty, Germany, Austria, France, Spain and Norway and others have a comparable charge.  Germany has the second highest charges in Europe after the UK with levels of around €7, €23 and €42 for different bands of countries. Norway now has a charge of about €8.50 on all flights.  But other airports else where in the world are increasingly charging.  Hong Kong has now started a charge, of around £14 – 16 depending on length of flight and class of seat, in order to pay for the 3rd runway. The charges may last till 2031 when the runway is fully paid for.  Now Middle Eastern airports have started to charge all passengers, to contribute towards the cost of the huge airport infrastructure. Dubai introduced a charge of around £7 for all passengers, except children under the age of two and transit passengers remaining on the same plane. Abu Dhabi also introduced the same fee as did Sharjah – all started on 30th June. Now Doha’s Hamad Airport says it will introduce a Passenger Facility Charge of about $10 for all departing passengers, together with transferring passengers who make a connection within 24 hours.  It will come into effect on December 1st.  Australia has had a Passenger Movement Charge since 1995 for any departing passenger on an international flights, at around £31.
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Doha’s Hamad airport introduces passenger charges

Sep 1, 2016

By Alan Dron (ATW)

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Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) is to introduce a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) of QAR35 ($10) for all departing passengers, together with transferring passengers who make a connection within 24 hours.

It will not apply to transit passengers who do not change aircraft, or any passengers who land in Doha because of involuntary re-routing.

The new charge will be included within airlines’ ticket prices. It was announced on Aug. 29 and made applicable to tickets the following day, for journeys commencing from Dec. 1.

HIA is the latest of the Gulf’s major airports to introduce such a charge. Dubai and Abu Dhabi have announced similar charges this year and Sharjah is scheduled to introduce one. Dubai said it had invested heavily in expanding its infrastructure and products to accommodate booming growth, “while keeping aeronautical fees in the lower quartile compared to similar hub airports around the world.”

Four minor airports in Abu Dhabi, which is one of seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates, also introduced a charge.

In a statement, HIA said the charge “is in line with International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] principles and similar charges have been levied by a large number of airports around the world. Even with the addition of the PFC, HIA’s overall airport charges are on the lower side internationally. By introducing the PFC, HIA aims at delivering consistent service levels, enabling its passengers to continue using the airport’s world-class services and facilities, many of which are complimentary.”

http://atwonline.com/airports-routes/doha-s-hamad-airport-introduces-passenger-charges?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AtwDailyNews+%28ATW+Daily+News%29

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Abu Dhabi introduces Dh35 exit fee for airport passengers

ABU DHABI // Passengers departing from or transiting through airports in the emirate of Abu Dhabi are to be charged a Dh35 service fee.

The fee will be introduced from June 30, reported Aletihad, the Arabic-language sister paper of The National, quoting the Official Gazette.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has issued an Executive Council resolution to approve the fee.

Children under the age of two, transit passengers travelling on the same flight number and airline crew will be exempt from paying.

Abu Dhabi Airports Company will collect the fee from the airlines, which will charge it to customers through their flight tickets.

Dubai announced in March that it would start charging a Dh35 departure tax for all flights taking off after June 30.   Sharjah followed suit with a similar announcement in April.

http://www.thenational.ae/uae/20160615/abu-dhabi-introduces-dh35-exit-fee-for-airport-passengers

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Sharjah follows Dubai with exit fee for airport passengers

SHARJAH // A Dh35 exit fee will be levied on passengers leaving Sharjah airport, following in the footsteps of Dubai Airports’ move last week.

Sharjah’s Deputy Ruler, Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, approved the fee during a meeting of the emirate’s Executive Council on Tuesday.

Dubai said on March 30 that, on flights leaving its airports from June 30 onwards, it would start charging the exit fee in a move that would help to fund infrastructure and expansion plans.

Now Sharjah International Airport, which is home to budget airline Air Arabia, will follow suit.

For both emirates, however, flight crews, transit passengers and children under two years of age will be exempt.

The Sharjah fee is being levied for the use of the airport facilities and services, a statement said.

Some Sharjah airport users on Tuesday expressed their dismay at the new fee.

“We use Sharjah airport for its budget airline and if you add Dh35 to a family of six or seven individuals, the bill adds up and becomes cumbersome for us,” said Amani Raed, a 37-year-old Syrian mother of three.

Pakistani Ghafar Mohammed, who works for a construction company in Ajman, said: “My salary is Dh1,200, and every dirham I save goes to my family back home. So for purchasing a ticket to go back to my country every couple of years, the new fee is not welcome, but low-income workers don’t have any other option but to pay it.”

Other residents, however, said the fee was justifiable – if it went to developing the airport and enhancing its services.

“If the fee goes to enhancing the airport services, then that’s good for passengers in the long run. The airport is small and maybe there are plans to expand it,” said Emirati Mohammed Al Mazmi, a 47-year-old businessman.

Ahmad Radwan, a 32-year-old sales manager, said: “It will not make much difference to singles or married couples – the fee can be compared to a meal in a fast-food restaurant or a couple of cups of coffee.”

The details of when the new fee will start being collected and the mechanism of how it will be collected were not announced.

http://www.thenational.ae/uae/sharjah-follows-dubai-with-exit-fee-for-airport-passengers

 


Exit tax for Dubai airport passengers

 (The National)

 

DUBAI // Airline passengers flying from Dubai are paying a Dh35 (Dihram.  About £7.16) departure tax for all flights taking off after June 30.

Airlines began charging the exit fee on March 1, Dubai Media Office said on Wednesday, adding that it would help to fund Dubai airports’ infrastructure and support expansion.

These include Dubai International Airport’s recently opened Concourse D, and renovations and expansions to its Terminal 1 and 2 – all part of a Dh4.4billion (about £900 million) investment to improve service and capacity.

Passengers under two years old, cabin crew and transit passengers departing on the same flight number on which they arrived are exempt.

Dubai’s departure fee is not unique. Other countries charging an exit tax include Australia, Germany, China and the UK.

The decision, approved by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, means airlines operating at Dubai airports are in charge of collecting the fee when they issue the tickets. The fees will be transferred to Dubai Airports, then to the Dubai Government public treasury.

It is estimated that 100 million passengers will pass through Dubai airports by 2023.

The fee is the latest to be introduced or reviewed by Dubai. The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority recently doubled on-street parking fees in some areas of the city to get more people to use public transport.

Dubai International, the world’s busiest airport for international traffic, set a record in January when it was used by 7.3 million passengers, a 6.3 per cent year-on-year increase.

It overtook London’s Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport in 2014 .

Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths said the airport had average monthly traffic of nearly 6.5 million passengers.

http://www.thenational.ae/uae/transport/exit-tax-for-dubai-airport-passengers

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Germany has the second highest air passenger tax in Europe, but it raises less than APD in the UK – partly as the UK is an island. British travellers have fewer alternative to flying for international travel, whereas Germany shares a land border with nine other countries.As well as the UK and Germany having passenger taxes, France, Austria and Italy have much lower rates and raise significantly less revenue.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 German air passenger taxes

 


Norwegian government introduces approx €8.5 tax per air passenger on all flights

The Norwegian government will introduce an Air Passenger Tax, starting on 1st June 2016. It will be at the rate of a 80 Krone charge (around €8.64, £6.59, US$9.67) per person for both domestic and international flights. Exceptions of the tax include those under two years old and those transiting flights on the same airline. The airlines have, predictably, reacted with fury at being “defied” by the government. They say this tiny tax “threatens to reduce demand by 5%, equal to 1.2 million passengers a year,” and they say it could mean airlines might lose €150 million per year as a result. The airline lobby group, “Airlines 4 Europe” (whose members include EasyJet, Ryanair, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air Shuttle and International Airlines Group) is lobbying hard. They all completely ignore the inconvenient fact that air travel demand is artificially high, as it pays no VAT and no fuel duty. Those together amount to a massive annual subsidy (in the UK this is a net annual loss to the Treasury, even including takings from APD, of perhaps £9 blllion per year).  Several European countries do have a ticket tax, with the UK levels being the highest (Brits also fly more than most others). There are small charges in France, Germany and Austria. Ireland and the Netherlands scrapped theirs, due to airline pressure.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/05/norwegian-government-introduces-approx-e8-5-tax-per-passenger-on-all-flights/

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Australia

Australia has a Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) which was introduced in July 1995 (replacing Departure Tax) and is imposed in respect of the departure of a person from Australia for another country, whether or not the person intends to return to Australia.  The current rate of the PMC is $55.  ( That is about £31).

The PMC is levied under the Passenger Movement Charge Act 1978 and collected under the Passenger Movement Charge Collection Act 1978.

 

https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Goin/Departing/Passenger-Movement-Charge-(PMC)

 

Other countries that have air ticket taxes:

The UK, Germany and Austria have air ticket taxes. http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=4444

Spain also has an air ticket tax, and France has a Passenger Solidarity Tax  http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=2585


Tourists to Spain face extra airport tax

Spain has increased the amount of departure tax it charges.  The increase will be, on average, only perhaps 20% above the current level, but from the largest Spanish airports, it will be almost doubled. This will mean a rise of some €5 to €9 or so. The tax is charged to the airline, and they can choose whether to pass it on to the passengers – Ryanair certainly will get its passengers to pay.  The tax  is applied “retrospectively to customers who booked flights before 2 July 2012 and are travelling from 1 July onwards.  Spain is implementing drastic measures to try to slash its budget deficit to 5.3% from 8.5% in 2011.  

 http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2012/07/spain-tax/

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Mixed reaction to Hong Kong airport’s new surcharge to fund third runway

Passengers buying tickets from Monday have to pay a new levy, hoped to help fund the HK$141.5 billion third runway

2 August, 2016 ( South China Morning Post)

Extracts below:

Passengers gave a mixed reaction to the surcharge, which is designed to help fund Hong Kong International Airport’s HK$141.5 billion third runway, expected to be completed in 2024.

Airlines said they will closely monitor the impact of the fee on travel, as construction of the runway officially kicked off on Monday.

Under the new policy, departing passengers travelling in first or business class on long-haul flights will pay HK$180. Those travelling in first or business class on short-haul flights and long-haul flight passengers in economy class will pay HK$160.

Economy class passengers on short-haul flights will pay HK$90. But if they are in transit or transferring, they need to pay only HK$70.

 

…….

Hong Kong authorities outlined ‘enhancement’ measures to compensate for marine habitat destruction, court hears in legal battle over third runway

 

…….

…..the fee could significantly drive up the budget airline’s low-fare tickets …..

“It is too soon to comment on the impact at this stage,” said a spokesman at Cathay Pacific Airways, but it welcomed the start of construction work for the runway, which it said was “essential to maintaining the long-term competitiveness of Hong Kong as a premier aviation hub”.

Berky Kong, regional corporate communications manager at America Airlines estimated its ticket sales would not be affected by the added fee, as “all airlines are facing the same charges”. “The impact on bookings is not clear today,” she said.

“I would not differentiate between low-cost and premium airlines – such as Hong Kong Express versus Hong Kong Airlines and Cathay Pacific. A passenger travelling from Hong Kong to Japan on any of those airlines will pay the same fee,” said Will Horton, senior analyst at the Centre for Aviation Consultancy.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/economy/article/1997888/mixed-reaction-hong-kong-airports-new-surcharge-fund-third

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Departing passengers will pay around £8 – 16 tax till perhaps 2031 to fund 3rd Hong Kong airport runway

Outbound and transit passengers will pay up to between a bout £8 and £16 (HK$ 90 -180) to fund the construction of Hong Kong airport’s third runway system from August 1st. Initial reclamation work for the project is scheduled to start on the same day. The airport construction fee for short-haul economy departing passengers will be HK$90, and in first or business class, HK$160. For long-haul passengers, the fee for economy will be HK$160 and first or business class HK$180. Short haul economy passengers will pay HK$70. The costs would remain at the same level, but continue till the runway is fully paid for, which may be till 2031. Meanwhile, People’s Aviation Watch, an organisation opposing expensive infrastructure projects at the airport, said a judicial review to challenge the environmental impact assessment report for the runway will be heard in court this July. They say the Airport Authority’s decision to charge the fees before any verdict on the start of the runway disregards the law. But in March opponents lost a bid to legally challenge the ability of the airport to charge for the runway. A total of five judicial review cases or appeals against the runway are being planned. The new runway is likely to increase CO2 emissions by about 50%, and create serious noise pollution for some areas.  

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/06/departing-passengers-will-pay-around-8-16-tax-till-perhaps-2031-to-fund-3rd-hong-kong-airport-runway/

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Then there is this article  (2013) that says Italy also has a charge: 

http://www.aviationeconomics.com/NewsItem.aspx?title=Aviation-Taxes-in-Europe:-a-constraint-on-economic-recovery

 

Aviation Taxes in Europe: a constraint on economic recovery

18 DECEMBER 2013

These are taxing times for Europe’s regional airports and airlines. With the industry still struggling to shake off the effects of recession, there seems little sympathy or relief at the individual state or EU level. Indeed, the move appears to be to make life harder still for Europe’s air transport business, with the introduction of emissions taxes on intra-European flights and proposed limitations on state aid at regional airports.

Whilst these policies and proposals continue to generate headlines, passenger departure taxes at the state level quietly continue to chip away at the profitability of airline networks. Whilst a number of EU states have made the decision to abolish departure taxes – the Netherlands in 2009, and now Ireland in 2014 – key member states such as Austria, France, Germany, Italy and the UK show no signs of doing so. Indeed, both Italy and the UK increased their tax rates in 2013.

How big a burden are these passenger departure taxes? The table below shows a breakdown of the key charges levied by the state in four EU countries (all per departing passenger);

Austria

Air Transport Levy EUR 8.00

France

Civil Aviation Tax EUR 4.31

Solidarity Tax EUR 1.00

Airport Tax* EUR 12.00

National Surcharge EUR 1.25

Germany

Air Traffic Control Law EUR 8.00

Aviation Security Fee* EUR 5.24

United Kingdom

Air Passenger Duty GBP 13.00

France leads the way in the number of different taxes it levies on passengers, with four. The Airport Tax varies by airport, though outside of the main airports in France it is usually levied at EUR 12.00 per departing passenger. Taken together, these taxes make passengers departing from France the most heavily taxed in Europe.

The state levies two passenger taxes in Germany, a departure tax and a security fee. The departure tax does vary by distance, though for this analysis only the short-haul tax is required. The Security Fee varies by airport of departure, but is usually within the range of EUR 4.00 to EUR 7.00 per departing passenger.

The UK has been steadily increasing the departure tax since its introduction in 1994, when the fee for intra-European travel was GBP 5.00 per departing passenger. Current rates are GBP 13.00 per departing passenger (up to 2,000 miles), increasing to £26.00 as a standard rate and up to £52.00 per departing passenger for the highest class of travel. These rates will be held in 2014, though for distances over 2,000 miles they will be increasing; a business class passenger travelling over 4,000 miles would have to pay a departure tax of £332.

The analysis assumes that all passengers are travelling in economy class on short-haul European services, so the lowest rate of tax is paid in those countries with variable rates. It also assumes that passengers are travelling point-to-point only; this is an important distinction, as many of the departure taxes highlighted above are based on final destination. Passengers connecting onto long-haul flights within 24 hours of their arrival at the first destination would therefore be charged a much higher departure tax at the origin.

The chart below shows the typical impact of state passenger taxes on the full published charges of regional airports in the EU. The charges shown are the average for a basket of regional airports in each country, including runway, environment, security, parking, passenger and infrastructure charges. The analysis was carried out for an 84-seat regional jet with a load factor of 70%.

Inline images 1
Source: www.airportcharges.com

In all of these countries, state passenger taxes make up a significant proportion of the combined airport and passenger charges. The most lightly taxed is Austria, with taxes making up 14% of the total charges; next comes the UK, at 28%, followed by Germany at 37%. As indicated above, the nation with the most heavily taxed passengers is France, where over 60% of airport and passenger charges are in the form of state taxes to be paid by the passenger.

Maintaining existing services from regional airports and attracting airlines to open new routes is not an easy task, and such high levels of taxation make it harder still. Regional French airports appear to be compensating for high taxes by keeping their airport charges at relatively low, competitive levels; however, this leaves little room for discounting to attract new business. At the other end of the scale, UK regional airports appear to have higher airport charges, so potentially offer greater scope for new business discounting. But with state taxes already making up almost 30% of airport and passenger charges, any meaningful incentives to attract new services could push the tax element up to and beyond 50%.

The effect of reducing charges income to attract new services could put the profitability of small airports at risk, especially if low traffic volumes limit the potential for non-aeronautical revenue. In trying to support regional air links, and therefore regional economies, airlines and airports are taking significant business risks, yet only the state is guaranteed to make a profit.

by Richard Leigh

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