Edinburgh airport publishes draft Master Plan for high growth out to 2050 for consultation, but no 2nd runway plan

Edinburgh Airport has produced a draft master plan for consultation (deadline for comment is 23rd December) about its future development up to 2050. The airport says “The Masterplan highlights how we aim to grow and develop the airport responsibly over a 25 year period whilst improving the experience” ….benefits to the economy etc etc.” It plans to increase its passenger number from about 11.1 million in 2015, to 19.2 million in 2030, and 35 million in 2050. It will continue to safeguard land for a possible 2nd runway, if there is enough demand after 2040 if there are 30 million passengers by then. The numbers of passengers and ATMs in the current master plan are much higher than in the 2011 plan (eg. 2011 plan anticipated about 200,000 ATMs by 2040, but the 2016 plan expects 208,000. For passengers, the 2011 plan anticipated 20.5 million passengers in 2040, but the 2016 plan expects 25.8 million.) There is little on noise to encourage those already negatively affected by the airport’s flight paths.  It says it has a noise action plan that “sets out the actions we propose to take to manage and, where possible, minimise aircraft-related noise at Edinburgh Airport.”  But “as long as people want to fly, there will be noise from aircraft landing and taking off.” Local groups Transform Scotland, the campaign for sustainable transport, and Edinburgh Airport Watch  criticised the plans for yet further expansion, and the negative environment impacts.


The Master Plan consultation documents can be viewed via the following link:

Masterplan response questionnaire (PDF format)

Masterplan (PDF format)


Edinburgh Airport expansion plans unveiled

12 November 2016


Plans for the expansion of Scotland’s busiest airport over the next quarter of a century have been unveiled.   Master Plan details and consultation – consultation ends 23rd December.

Edinburgh Airport has launched a consultation, allowing the public to give their feedback on its “masterplan” for development from now until 2040.

The proposals centre around the growth of operations on the ground, rather than routes or planned changes to flight paths above the capital.

Environment campaigners have questioned the need for further expansion.

An enlarged terminal building and aircraft parking area are in the plans.

The scrapping of an existing contingency runway and the continued “safeguarding” of land for a new second runway are also proposed.

Over the last decade, the number of passengers travelling through Edinburgh Airport has increased by 20%.

Passenger numbers are predicted to rise by a further 18%, from 11.1 million last year to 13.1 million in 2020.

‘Realistic and responsible’

The existing terminal building and main runway were developed in 1977, a time when the airport had fewer than one million passengers per year.

The current masterplan sets out a development strategy for the “realistic and responsible” growth of the airport over the next 25 years.

A more speculative plan of development going up to 2050 has also been released.

The key proposals include expanding the terminal building, aircraft parking area and cargo storage facilities.

Plans to improve access to the airport are also suggested with the creation of a new road linking to the Gogar Roundabout.

The closure of the existing second runway, as its size means it is not suitable for frequent use, is also suggested, as is “the continued safeguarding of land for a new second runway”.

The document, however, adds: “This safeguarding is a long-term precaution only, as we believe that the future growth of the airport can be sustained by the current main runway only.”

The airport’s consultation on its proposals is open for six weeks.

A consultation on its airspace change programme (ACP) will take place next year.

‘Good for Scotland’

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport chief executive, said: “At Edinburgh Airport our passenger numbers have grown more in the past three years than they did in the 10 years previous.

“We’ve grown by one million passengers each year since 2012. We’ve grown our route network, serving more destinations and working with more airlines than ever.

“We believe that this growth is good for Scotland.”

He added: “This masterplan document sets out how we think we’ll grow in the decades to come and we’re asking some questions around that.

“Your views are important in making sure that our thinking is correct and that it fits with wider plans.”

The proposal for further expansion of the airport has been criticised by Transform Scotland, the campaign for sustainable transport.

Director Colin Howden said: “Aviation is the most polluting form of transport and one that threatens Scotland’s ability to meet its climate change commitments.

“The aviation industry thinks it should be allowed to expand without restraint and without regard for Scotland’s international commitments, instead expecting that other parts of the economy should bear the responsibility for cutting emissions while its growth is allowed to continue unfettered.”

Local campaigners Edinburgh Airport Watch added: “At peak times, its struggles to cope with passenger and traffic numbers now are already well documented – there is simply neither the demand nor the surface capacity to allow EAL to expand further.

“The cost of unfettered aviation expansion is poorer air quality, more noise misery for neighbours – some 20 miles or more from the runway – and a worsening of Scotland’s already enormous tourism deficit.”

The 2016 draft Master Plan

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Seven more purely, unashamedly, low cost leisure destinations for 2017 from Heathrow

So much for the claims that Heathrow is ensuring Britain is “open for business” and creating “trading links to the growing markets of the world”, or “connecting Britain to global growth.”  The reality is that many of the landing slots at Heathrow are used for leisure flights, and many are for cheap European leisure flights. British Airways has announced 7 new routes from Heathrow for 2017. These are to Murcia, in “stunning” southern Spain “known for its world renowned golf courses”. There is also Brindisi, in Italy “ideal for holidaymakers looking for some sun to soak up in.” And  Nantes, in western France, which is a “gateway to Brittany and Loire Valley as well as being home to the world famous Muscadet wines.” Also Montpellier, in southern France, with “a blend of the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of the Pyrenees.. Also Pula, in Croatia “an increasingly popular destination for families who want a cheap summer holiday, replacing the likes of Spain and France.” Then there is Tallinn, in Estonia, which is cheap and “one of the most preserved medieval cities in Europe”. And Zakynthos “This Greek island in the Ionian Sea is nicknamed the flower of the East. It is home to the Navagio beach, the most famous landmark on the island which is a stunning setting for a day lounging in the sun.  Price: from £65”.  And Menorca.  This demonstrates, yet again, that Heathrow is not full of flights to vital, far flung, business-related destinations. It has flights that make money. ie. cheap holidays.


7 new places you can fly to from Heathrow Airport next year

British Airways is adding to its schedule in 2017 with seats starting from as little as £65 to a handful of top locations

BA website with details of these and others

11 NOV 2016

British Airways has released seat fares for seven new destinations customers will be able to fly to in 2017.

A number of the new services will be taking to the skies from Heathrow Airport starting on March 28, including holiday hotspots in Greece and Spain, while the rest follow in May.

The airline is also launching extra services to Palermo, Mykonos and Reykjavik on its schedule as well as more convenient flight times throughout the year.

Neil Cottrell, British Airways’ head of planning, says: “We are thrilled to be launching seven new European routes this summer and we are confident these cities will be a big hit with holidaymakers.”

Return fares for the new destinations will start from £65, reassuring customers that prices will not sky rocket following Brexit this summer.

So where can I fly to?


This stunning southern Spanish location is known for its world renowned golf courses as well as stunning buildings including the Gothic Murcia Cathedral. You can book a trip now for holidays from March 28 of next year.   Price: from £65


This one is ideal for holidaymakers looking for some sun to soak up in. It’s in a prime position on the Adriatic Sea where you can make the most of its incredible beaches.  Price: from £85


Starting from May 3 of next year you can visit this French city which is a gateway to Brittany and Loire Valley as well as being home to the world famous Muscadet wines.  Price: from £71


British Airways will begin a two-per-week flight service to Montpellier from May 2017. Here holidaymakers can enjoy a blend of the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of the Pyrenees. Price: from £78


Croatia is an increasingly popular destination for families who want a cheap summer holiday, replacing the likes of Spain and France. And anyone who is a water sports fan will want to head to Pula and the crystal-clear Adriatic.  Price: from £76


One of the cheapest destinations on the list is Tallinn, the Estonian capital and an alternative trip away. It is one of the most preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Flights will be available from March 28. Price: from £65


This Greek island in the Ionian Sea is nicknamed the flower of the East. It is home to the Navagio beach, the most famous landmark on the island which is a stunning setting for a day lounging in the sun.  Price: from £65



Another purely low cost leisure flights that Heathrow offers to completely non-business (so not “emerging economies, linking to global growth” etc etc) destinations:


from Heathrow

British Airways now flies four times a week to Menorca, Spain from London Heathrow Terminal 5.

and there are other more long haul destinations purely for holidays;



And there is also Lapland.


“With sociable flight times, a full meal service and pre-bookable seats, our 3½ hour direct flight is not just the quickest way but also the most comfortable and enjoyable way to get to the Icehotel.”

“The UK’s only direct flight to the Icehotel – fly Heathrow to Kiruna in 3½ hours! Convenient flying times with regular departures throughout December to March”

“When on holiday, especially on a short break, we believe that it is essential to make the most of your time away. With this in mind we introduced a direct flight from London Heathrow to Kiruna, just 20 minutes from the Icehotel – allowing our clients the most convenient way to reach Swedish Lapland, avoiding the need to fly via Stockholm.”


17, 22*, 26, 29* December 2016   –   21, 28 January 2017
04, 11, 14*, 18, 25 February 2017     –  04 March 2017

See earlier:


British Airways adds more Heathrow leisure routes – Olbia, Kos, Corfu – to the existing list

Heathrow airport makes a lot of how important its flights to emerging economies are, and how limited its slots are for this. So it would be logical to imagine that spare slots would be used for just this sort of flight. Heathrow is keen on making statements like: “The UK will fall behind in the global race if it cannot connect to growing economies.” And “Global air transport provides access for our key industries to established and emerging new markets, which will help deliver economic growth across the UK.” So one might expect that, if spare slots come up, they would immediately be used for these long haul destination, to emerging economies.  However, Heathrow will now be getting new British Airways flights to … guess where?  Olbia in Sardinia; Kos and Corfu in Greece and Split in Croatia from summer 2015. And these will use Airbus A319s and A320s. To be fair, it is moving its Las Palmas flights to Gatwick. Other purely holiday destinations Heathrow offers in the Med are Mykonos and Santorini, which started earlier this year. There are also Pisa and Porto. And the Heathrow destination map includes many, many more … Ibiza, Nice, Tunis, Malta, Malaga….



BA uses its new BMI slots at Heathrow, not for emerging economies, but largely leisure destinations. As usual.

BA got 42 daily Heathrow slots from taking over BMI. And it said very publicly, in March, that it would be using these to fly to the emerging economies – in  Asia, Africa and Latin America – which is part of the myth that the aviation industry is peddling at present. So what are the slots actually being used for?  One flight per day to  Seoul. The rest are domestic UK (Aberdeen Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester, Leeds Bradford), or Zagreb, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Marseilles, Phoenix, Zurich and Bologna – with more flights to some.  So that is where the money is.  So much for the allegedly desperate need for slots to fly to second tier Chinese cities. This really proves what a lot of misleading PR is being put out by BAA and the airlines at Heathrow.· British Airways returns to the Isle of Man
· New routes from London Heathrow to Seoul and Zagreb
· New routes from London Gatwick to Las Vegas and Barcelona
· Bologna and Marseille flights move from Gatwick to Heathrow
· Increased frequency on numerous routes


More BA routes from Heathrow …. to key business destinations …. Palma and Ibiza

17.1.2013Anyone reading the statements from Heathrow about the capacity crisis and how there is a need for more flights to the emerging markets might be puzzled by recent news from British Airways. Back in February 2012 Willie Walsh said he planned to expand IAG  into lucrative emerging markets, such as Latin America and he hoped to use the extra Heathrow take-off and landing-slots from BMI to accelerate growth into emerging markets. But BA has now announced that it is putting on new flights from Heathrow to Palma (Majorca) from March, and to Ibiza. These are in addition to Mexico and Alicante, as well as  Bologna and Marseilles announced earlier.  There are also new flights to Leeds Bradford (and a mention of links for business connections) and a new flight to Chengdu in China, announced earlier, as well as Almaty (Kazakhstan), Dublin, and Seoul among others, where there is likely to be a business component.  It is hard to believe there is much business benefit from weekend flights to Alicante or Palma or Ibiza.

Contrast this with Willie Walsh’s statement last year:

IAG’s Willie Walsh targets emerging markets

Willie Walsh’s plans to expand International Airlines Group (IAG) into lucrative emerging markets, such as Latin America, will dominate the carrier’s annual results this week as it announces a doubling of operating profits.

The group, owner of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, hopes to use the extra Heathrow take-off and landing-slots that will be gained through its proposed BMI takeover to accelerate growth into emerging markets.

……. and so on …. (Telegraph 25.2.2012) at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/9105918/IAGs-Willie-Walsh-targets-emerging-markets.html





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Speculation about a congestion charge around Heathrow, to cut air pollution and deter traffic

The Airports Commission recommended measures such as a congestion charge on roads around Heathrow, in order to keep levels of air pollution at legal levels, and prevent traffic congestion gridlock with a 3rd runway.  The Times reports that the congestion charge may be imposed, with the effect of forcing people to use public transport instead of cars.  The central London congestion charge is £11.50 per day. What the money would be spent on is not known. The charge might be levied on some 80 miles of road, to keep NO2 and particulates down.  The impact on road users who are not related to Heathrow is not known, or the costs to the local economy of this burden. The charge may have to be agreed through the development consent order process.  Chris Grayling said, on 25th October, that the runway could be delivered “within air quality limits.” But little in the DfT’s documents gives any firm reassurances that measures will be put in place that could actually keep the levels of NO2 low enough.  Further questions emerged last week when the High Court ruled that the government was failing to tackle air pollution quickly enough, and its air quality plan was based on over-optimistic forecasts. Heathrow insists that the number of public transport routes (which is is not prepared to pay towards) will increase, with new direct rail links helping Heathrow out. The worst air pollution in the area is near junctions 3 and 4 of the M4, where up to 16% of the traffic is related to Heathrow. 



Heathrow congestion charge to cut car pollution

By Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent (The Times)
November 12 2016,

A congestion charge could be imposed around Heathrow under plans to make millions of passengers leave their cars at home when the airport’s third runway is built.

Motorists face being “fined” for driving on 81 miles of roads surrounding the airport as part of proposals to combat gridlock on roads and promote greener public transport. The charge will be implemented within a decade if levels of deadly nitrogen dioxide from car exhausts fail to drop within legal limits just north of the airport.


Full Times article here



Airports Commission Final Report

Below are the mentions in the Airports Commission’s Final report at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440316/airports-commission-final-report.pdf  that mention their recommendation of a local congestion charge around Heathrow:


The motorway links serving Heathrow are amongst the most congested in the country, meaning that significant additional investment in widening, or effective policy measures such as a congestion charge, may be needed to accommodate growth in traffic resulting from the airport’s expansion.

Firm action will therefore be needed on the part of the airport operator to ensure
that emissions related to the airport are minimised, together with an effective
national strategy to address broader background air quality issues, as recently
stipulated by the Supreme Court. Any new capacity should only be released when
it is clear that air quality at sites around the airport will not delay compliance with
EU limits. That will require both the implementation of a range of on-site measures,
for example reduced engine usage during taxiing, and potentially wider steps such
as the implementation of a congestion charge to prevent traffic levels rising as a
result of expansion.

…. potentially including the introductionof an access charge for those travelling to the airport by road or a broader congestion charge.


The introduction of a congestion or access charge scheme should be considered to help ensure that road traffic to and from the airport does not cause unacceptable impacts on local air quality or road congestion.

The percentage of people accessing the airport via public transport would increase from 41% to 53%. This could rise further if a congestion or access charge for motor vehicles was introduced as discussed below

On the strategic road network, a number of links near to the airport, particularly
those sections of the M4 in the closest proximity, are expected to require widening
to cope with increased demand resulting from expansion, although demand
management measures, such as congestion charging, could be used as an
alternative to this







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Action to combat UK illegally high air pollution delayed again – judge will decide on timetable for action

On 2nd November, ClientEarth won its High Court case against the Government’s slowness in tackling illegal levels of UK air pollution. Mr Justice Garnham ruled that the government’s 2015 Air Quality Plan was not adequate, and said it was “remarkable” that ministers knew they were using over-optimistic pollution modelling, based on flawed lab tests of diesel vehicles rather than actual emissions on the road, but proceeded anyway.  It was agreed that both parties would return to court in a week to agree on the next steps. Now Ministers have rejected the court proposal to deliver an effective plan within 8 months, as ClientEarth suggested.  The case will now return to court at an unknown future date, when the judge will determine what happens next.  An earlier government plan to tackle air pollution was declared illegal in April 2015 and ministers were ordered then to produce a new strategy, which it did in December. But that new plan is the one that was found to be illegal on 2nd November.  ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews said: “We are disappointed that we have been unable so far to agree on the timetable for the new plan, or on the future role for the court in overseeing compliance with the order.  We have made our written submissions and await the court’s decision.” Defra said it would be setting out further measures next year. 


Action to combat UK air pollution crisis delayed again

Ministers reject court proposal to deliver an effective plan within eight months following their legal defeat against NGO ClientEarth last week


Environmental lawyers ClientEarth inflicted a humiliating legal defeat on ministers last week – its second in 18 months – when the high court ruled that ministers’ plans to tackle illegal levels of air pollution in many UK cities and towns were unlawfully poor.

The court gave the parties seven days to agree on the next steps, but the government rejected the proposal from ClientEarth. The case will now return to court at a future date when the judge will determine what happens next.

“We are disappointed that we have been unable so far to agree on the timetable for the new plan, or on the future role for the court in overseeing compliance with the order,” said ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews. “We have made our written submissions and await the court’s decision.”

Aaron Kiely, at Friends of the Earth, said: “How many times must the government fail? And how many deadlines do they need? There is a simple and deadly fact underscoring this case – 40,000 people are dying early from the harmful effects of our illegally dirty air. If this isn’t enough to get the government to do whatever it takes, including really drastic measures to reduce traffic, what is?”

After the most recent court defeat, prime minister Theresa May said: “There is more to do and we will do it.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said on Wednesday: “Our plans have always followed the best available evidence. We have always been clear that we are ready to update them if necessary and we will set out further measures next year. We cannot comment on ongoing legal proceedings.”

In last week’s judgment against the government, Mr Justice Garnham said it was “remarkable” that ministers knew they were using over-optimistic pollution modelling, based on flawed lab tests of diesel vehicles rather than actual emissions on the road, but proceeded anyway.

The existing government plan is for clean air zones – in which polluting diesel vehicles are charged to enter city centres – in just six UK cities. A new plan that meets the legal requirement to cut illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution in the “shortest possible time” is very likely to involve clean air zones in many cities and towns across the country. NO2 has been at illegal levels in 90% of the country’s air quality zones since 2010 and stems largely from diesel vehicles.

ClientEarth also argued in court that an effective plan would require other measures including a scrappage scheme for older diesel vehicles, retrofits of HGVs and more funding for public transport and cycling and walking schemes.

Documents revealed during last week’s high court case showed the Treasury had blocked initial government plans to charge polluting diesel vehicles for entering 16 towns and cities blighted by air pollution, due to concern about the political impact of angering motorists.

Both the environment and transport departments also recommended changes to vehicle excise duty rates to encourage the purchase of low-pollution vehicles. But the Treasury also rejected that idea, along with a scrappage scheme for older diesels.


ClientEarth is running a billboard campaign across London from Thursday, carrying the message: “Welcome to London – the UK’s most polluted city”. A similar campaign is taking place in Glasgow.

ClientEarth chief executive James Thornton said: “We need urgent action from governments and politicians across the UK who have failed morally and legally in their duty to protect people’s health.”




See earlier:

ClientEarth wins air pollution case in High Court, that government action has been too slow

ClientEarth has won its High Court case against the Government over its failure to tackle illegal air pollution across the UK. In a damning indictment of ministers’ inaction on killer air pollution, Mr Justice Garnham agreed with ClientEarth that the Environment Secretary had failed to take measures that would bring the UK into compliance with the law “as soon as possible” and said that ministers knew that over optimistic pollution modelling was being used. In his ruling, the judge questioned Defra’s 5 year modelling, saying it was “inconsistent” with taking measures to improve pollution “as soon as possible.” Defra’s planned 2020 compliance for some cities, and 2025 for London, had been chosen because that was the date when ministers thought they’d face European Commission fines, not which they considered “as soon as possible.” The case is the second the government has lost on its failure to clean up air pollution in two years. In the judgment he handed down Mr Justice Garnham ruled that the government’s 2015 Air Quality Plan failed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling or relevant EU Directives and said that the government had erred in law by fixing compliance dates based on over optimistic modelling of pollution levels. Future projections of compliance need to be based on real emissions, not discredited lab tests.

Click here to view full story…

High Court win by ClientEarth on air pollution casts more doubt on the possibility of adding a Heathrow runway

The environmental law group, ClientEarth, has won its High Court case against the Government over its failure to tackle illegal air pollution across the UK. The judge agreed that the UK government had failed to take measures that would bring the UK into compliance with the law “as soon as possible” and ministers knew over optimistic pollution modelling was being used. AEF (the Aviation Environment Federation) says this failure by the government to get NO2 levels down discredits the air quality plan that formed the basis for the Government’s argument that a new runway at Heathrow would neither cause not exacerbate legal breaches in NO2 levels. Required to publish an updated plan for UK air quality, Defra produced one in December 2015. This brought forward the anticipated date of compliance to 2025 for London – just in time for the opening of a new runway according to the Airports Commission’s anticipated timeline. But the plans appeared to rely on new, more optimistic forecasts of emissions from diesel vehicles without presenting substantive policy proposals to actually deliver improvements. A new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick would lead to higher levels of air pollution, and the new court ruling confirms that compliance should not be based on over optimistic modelling – and government needs instead to take action to cut pollution levels.

Click here to view full story…

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T&E highlights air pollution problem of particulates from petrol vehicles without correct filters

One of the most significant environmental problems of Heathrow, in relation to wanting to add a 3rd runway, is its ability to keep air pollution on local roads down to legal limits. We hear most about Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) but there is also significant particulate pollution. The tiny particles, especially the smallest (PM2.5) can penetrate deep in to the lung and cause damage. Heathrow has local air pollution monitors, and regularly limits for PM10 and PM2.5 are breached. A recent report, by Ricardo, for the Heathrow area in 2015, said at the LHR2, Green Gates and Harlington sites 3 exceedances were recorded. At another site, Oaks Road, registered 5 exceedances. The AQS  (Air Quality Strategy) objective is a daily mean limit value of 50 µg m-3 for PM10 should not to be exceeded.  Now clean transport campaigners, Transport & Environment, say we could be on the verge of a “petrolgate” scandal, not unlike the “dieselgate” one, due to inadequate filters to prevent the emission of particulates from petrol cars. T&E say they have obtained documents showing that governments and car makers are delaying ensuring petrol cars have these €25 filters (most diesel cars have them).  Governments are using theoretical particle emission, rather than the higher real world ones. T&E says the car industry is lobbying to be allowed to overshoot particle limits, and not to have to install filters.

Heathrow is one of the UK’s air pollution hotspots. In 2012, it breached safety thresholds for nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter air content at several different locations – and times – according to the airport’s own measurements.


The Borough of Hillingdon keeps air pollution data for a number of sites close to Heathrow, showing dates and levels. These can be seen here.

There are many incidents where levels of PM2.5 and PM10 are relatively high.

A ‘Petrolgate’ scandal in the making

November 10th 2016

(Transport & Environment. T&E)

Governments and carmakers are paving the way for a ‘Petrolgate’ scandal. That warning came from T&E after it obtained documents showing some governments and the car industry are trying to weaken the proposed new EU legislation on measuring particulate emissions from cars in real-world tests.

Carmakers are trying to avoid having to pay €25 for a gasoline particulate filter, despite the new petrol fleet endangering human health.

Emissions of particulate matter, in particular micro-particles of soot, are harmful to human health. Up to now, discussion about particulate emissions has focused on diesel engines, where the filter has been mandatory for all new vehicles since 2011.

But now the focus has moved to petrol because of a new generation of gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines that pump out micro-particles that can get into the bloodstream via the lungs and whose share is rapidly increasing. A particulate filter costing €25 per car is already available and can reduce emissions by 100 times, but records of negotiations and briefings obtained by T&E show the car industry is lobbying to allow them to overshoot the particulate limits for petrol cars by 300%, so they would not have to fit the filter.

The documents also record that some governments, including those of Spain and Sweden, want to delay the new tests’ introduction by one year, while no government is opposing the flexibility to exceed the limit that the Commission has proposed by 50%.

T&E’s clean vehicles engineer Florent Grelier said: ‘This is a Petrolgate scandal in the making. The Commission was warned about the risks of new petrol engines three years ago. Now, because of the rigging of type approval tests, it is preparing legislation on emissions from real-world driving, but its already inadequate proposal is being further threatened by carmakers, and by governments friendly towards them. The Commission and governments need to stand firm to prevent hundreds of thousands of avoidable premature deaths.’

Harmful levels of air pollution cause around 500,000 premature deaths a year and are estimated to cost the EU economies around €1 trillion annually.

Discrepancies between emissions measured in tests and emissions on the road contributed to a legal judgement in London last week that found the British government’s air pollution strategy inadequate and illegal. ClientEarth, a legal NGO, won its case against the UK government, with the judge saying ministers used the well-known over-optimistic pollution modelling based on flawed laboratory testing of diesel vehicles rather than on emissions from real-world driving.




Report on 2015 on the Heathrow Airwatch website


Air Quality at Heathrow Airport 2015

Report for Heathrow Airport Ltd ED59405

By Ricardo Energy & Environment. Date 21/07/2016



Particulate Matter (PM) The AQS  (Air Quality Strategy) objective establishes a daily mean limit value of 50 µg m-3 for PM10, not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year, this limit was achieved at all sites for 2015. At LHR2, Green Gates and Harlington 3 exceedances were recorded. These sites have measured high concentrations of PM10 on 17th and 18th March and on 27th December. (2015)

Oaks Road has registered 5 exceedances: 17th and 18th March, 09th and 10th April, and 27th December.

These exceedances match with the exact days where some of the previously mentioned high pollution episodes were registered.

The origin of the high concentration peaks registered in March/April in all sites are the result of UK-wide pollution/trans-boundary episodes that have struck the UK during that particular period in time. Some high values of PM10 were also registered during October.

These episodes were not high enough to cause an exceedance, since they were all the values were below 50 µg m-3.

However, they have influenced the seasonal variation of this pollutant and their contribution should be acknowledged. At the moment, no AQS objective exists for PM2.5. An annual mean objective of 25 µg m-3 , as a nonmandatory target exists for 2020. The highest annual mean for this pollutant was registered at Oaks Road at 10 µg m-3 . All the other sites have registered average values of 9 µg m-3 , less than half of the average concentration target limit for 2020.


The diurnal patterns of concentrations of all pollutants were similar to those observed at other urban monitoring sites. Peak concentrations of NO, NO2, particulate matter and BC coincided with the morning and evening rush hour periods, and levels of ozone peaked in the afternoons.



Quarterly reports on Heathrow air quality.

These are produced by Heathrow Airwatch and go back several years.




Humans can be adversely affected by exposure to air pollutants in ambient air. In response, the European Union has developed an extensive body of legislation which establishes health based standards and objectives for a number of pollutants in air. These standards and objectives are summarised in the table below. These apply over differing periods of time because the observed health impacts associated with the various pollutants occur over different exposure times.

[ Part of the EU table is copied below (there is more at the link above)  ]

Pollutant Concentration Averaging period Legal nature Permitted exceedences each year
Fine particles (PM2.5) 25 µg/m3*** 1 year Target value entered into force 1.1.2010
Limit value enters into force 1.1.2015


Sulphur dioxide (SO2) 350 µg/m3 1 hour Limit value entered into force 1.1.2005


125 µg/m3 24 hours Limit value entered into force 1.1.2005


Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) 200 µg/m3 1 hour Limit value entered into force 1.1.2010


40 µg/m3 1 year Limit value entered into force 1.1.2010*


PM10 50 µg/m3 24 hours Limit value entered into force 1.1.2005**


40 µg/m3 1 year Limit value entered into force 1.1.2005**


Lead (Pb) 0.5 µg/m3 1 year Limit value entered into force 1.1.2005 (or 1.1.2010 in the immediate vicinity of specific, notified industrial sources; and a 1.0 µg/m3 limit value applied from 1.1.2005 to 31.12.2009)


Carbon monoxide (CO) 10 mg/m3 Maximum daily 8 hour mean Limit value entered into force 1.1.2005


Benzene 5 µg/m3 1 year Limit value entered into force 1.1.2010**




The new Directive is introducing additional PM2.5 objectives targetting the exposure of the population to fine particles. These objectives are set at the national level and are based on the average exposure indicator (AEI).

AEI is determined as a 3-year running annual mean PM2.5 concentration averaged over the selected monitoring stations in agglomerations and larger urban areas, set in urban background locations to best assess the PM2.5 exposure to the general population.

Title Metric Averaging period Legal nature Permitted exceedences each year
Exposure concentration obligation
20 µg/m3
Based on 3 year average Legally binding in 2015 (years 2013,2014,2015) n/a
Exposure reduction target

Percentage reduction*
+ all measures to reach 18 µg/m3

Based on 3 year average

Reduction to be attained where possible in 2020, determined on the basis of the value of exposure indicator in 2010


* Depending on the value of AEI in 2010, a percentage reduction requirement ( 0,10,15, or 20%) is set in the Directive. If AEI in 2010 is assessed to be over 22 µg/m3, all appropriate measures need to be taken to achieve 18 µg/m3 by 2020.


Heathrow AirWatch


This site is funded by a joint working partnership. If you need further information about air quality in the Heathrow area, or have a specific enquiry about the Heathrow Airwatch website, then please contact us via one or more of the e-mail addresses below.





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Australian Passenger Movement Charge to rise from $55 to $60 for any flight from Australia

In Australia the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) was established in 1995, replacing Departure Tax (which began in 1978). It has been at he level of $55 (Australian dollars) for anyone aged over 12 travelling outside Australia (unless they are in transit through Australia). The relevant Senate committee has been investigating the proposal to raise it $5 to $60, and will produce its report shortly.  $60 per person (about £36.50) is the cost for any length of trip, economy or premium class, for air travel or sea travel.  It is administered by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The Australian PMC is considered to be the highest departure tax in the world, after the UK. The airlines, and IATA, naturally do not like the tax – let alone the tiny increase, and have complained how it cuts travel and could allegedly – they claim – damage the economy. As the charge is a flat rate, it is a higher proportion of short haul flights to Tasmania, than on long haul. IATA says the tiny rise might cut the number of international return flights to Australia by some 30,000 per year.  “It will act as a brake on the Australian aviation sector,” IATA said, and they give estimates of up to $375 million for the national economy, and 3,800 more jobs if there was no PMC. IATA told the Senate committee that the PMC was “tax on tourism.”


The Australian Passenger Movement Charge  (Wikipedia)

The passenger movement charge (PMC) is a tax payable by all passengers departing Australia on international flights or sea transport, whether or not the passenger intends to return to Australia. The PMC was introduced in July 1995 (replacing the previous departure tax which commenced in October 1978) and was initially described as a charge to partially offset the cost to government of the provision of passenger facilitation at airports, principally customs, immigration and quarantine functions.

Since 1 July 2012, the PMC has been A$55. The PMC is a flat rate, and not a percentage of the airfare. The rate is the same for low-price (or free or points tickets) fares as for first-class fares, and for short distance flights as for long-haul flights. The PMC is paid the airlines and recovered from passengers as part of the fare or as a special charge (e.g., in the case of free or point tickets). According to a 2013 survey by the International Air Transport Association, the average cost of the PMC on the airfare is 3.5%. The PMC is in addition to airport fees and airline surcharges. As at 2001, when the PMC was $30, the revenue from the PMC was approximately A$226 million per annum.

The PMC is levied under the Passenger Movement Charge Act 1978 and collected under the Passenger Movement Charge Collection Act 1978. It is administered by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. The PMC is levied on all passengers leaving Australia by air or sea travel,[4] unless if the passenger is exempt. The main exemptions apply to passengers 12 years of age or younger, transit or emergency passengers, crew members, defence personnel and their spouses, among others. The PMC is typically included in the price of air fares and remitted by airlines on behalf of individual travellers.


Introduced in 1978, the A$10 departure tax’s initial stated aim was to recover costs associated with passenger processing at Australia’s air and sea ports. In subsequent budgets the departure tax was linked to the promotion of tourism either through marketing or through the removal of a cost barrier to travel as in 1988.

The departure tax was increased to A$20 in 1981, but then reduced to A$10 in 1988 to stimulate the tourism industry. In 1991 the rate was increased to A$20 to fund a A$20 million tourism promotion package in an attempt to counter the negative impact of the pilots’ dispute of 1989. The departure tax was raised again in 1994 to A$25 to offset the additional cost of tourism promotion expenditure, specifically an additional A$80 million allocated to the development of new tourism products.


Since its name change to passenger movement charge in 1995, the rate of the PMC has changed on several occasions. In most cases the Australian federal government has given a rationale for rate increases.


Year Rate Rationale
1995 A$27 To offset the cost of customs, immigration and quarantine processing at Australia’s borders and the cost of issuing short-term visitor. visas.
1998 A$30 To meet the additional costs associated with the transit of people and goods for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
2001 A$38 To fund increased passenger processing costs as part of Australia’s response to the threat of the introduction of foot-and-mouth disease.
2008 A$47 To partially fund national aviation security initiatives.
2012 A$55 No reason provided.


from Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_Movement_Charge


Departure tax hike a ‘brake on aviation sector’: trade body

Australia already has the world’s second-highest departure tax.

9.11.2016 (The Australian)


The global aviation industry’s trade body has slammed the ­government’s decision to increase passenger departure taxes to $60, saying the proposal will reduce the number of international ­return trips to Australia by 30,000 a year.

The criticisms from the International Air Transport Association (IATA)— which represents 260 airlines accounting for 83% of global air traffic — come as the Senate committee investigating the proposal to increase the so-called passenger movement charge by $5 to $60 hands down its report into the changes today.

In a submission to the committee, IATA has presented economic modelling that suggests increases to the passenger movement charge would lead to increased fares and significant harm for Australian exporters through higher travel costs and reduced competitiveness.

IATA said the reduction in demand as a result of the increase in the charge would equate to 30,000 fewer international passenger return journeys each year and 350,000 fewer trips, compared with a scenario in which the tax was abolished.

“It will act as a brake on the Australian aviation sector,” IATA said. “We estimate that the reduction in aviation-related gross value-added (GVA), compared with a scenario where the passenger movement charge was abolished, could total $375 million with 3800 fewer jobs supported.”

Australia has the world’s second-highest departure tax, beaten only by Britain’s air passenger duty, which slugs Australians flying home from Britain with a £73 ($118) charge for economy class and £146 for all other classes.

IATA says the impact of Australia’s tax would be far greater on short- and mid-haul routes, including those across the Tasman. “If it were to increase to $60, the passenger movement charge would represent more than 9% of the average return fare on trans-Tasman routes and 5% on routes between Australia and the rest of Asia,” it said.

“We estimate that a 4.4% increase in average travel cost would drive a reduction in passenger traffic of around 4.2% annually compared to the abolition of the (charge).”

The increase in the passenger movement charge was announced by Scott Morrison in September as a counterbalance to reduce the tax rates paid by overseas backpackers.

The proposal has been slammed by tourism and travel industry groups, which claim the tax increase will dampen demand for inbound passengers.

In its submission to the Senate committee, Qantas branded the change as a “tax on tourism” and called for it to be rejected, saying it was inconsistent with the government’s objective of strengthening the economy through growth in tourism.

Labor, with support from the Greens, has opposed the changes and attempted to water down the backpacker tax proposal, which has sent the Senate towards a showdown over the policy.



What is Passenger Movement Charge (PMC)?

The Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) is a $55 cost for the departure of a person from Australia for another country, whether or not the person returns to Australia. The PMC was introduced in July 1995 replacing Departure Tax, and is administered by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) under thePassenger Movement Charge Act 1978 and collected under the Passenger Movement Charge Collection Act 1978.

How is PMC Collected?

PMC is collected at the time a ticket is sold to a passenger and then forwarded by the carrier (airline carriers, shipping companies and air charter operators) to the Department.

Does everyone have to pay the PMC?

The following passengers are exempt from payment of the PMC and should be identified at the time of ticket sale:

  • a person less than 12 years of age on the day of departure
  • a transit passenger passing through Australia to another destination overseas
  • an emergency passenger
  • a previous departure by a person from Australia by ship who is in the course of a journey (eg round trip cruise)
  • a crew member of an aircraft or a ship.

Full details of exemption can be found in Section 5 Passenger Movement Charge Collection Act 1978.



Extra charge for airline passengers a ‘cash grab’

SEPTEMBER 28, 2016 (New.com.au)

The Passenger Movement Charge, a levy built-in to the price of fares every time a passenger leaves Australia, is set to increase from $55 to $60.

By Lauren McMah

THE nation’s peak tourism and aviation lobby group has accused the Federal Government of a blatant “cash grab” after it announced it would slog passengers an extra $5 every time they fly overseas.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said Australia’s Passenger Movement Charge — which is built-in to all airline tickets — would be raised from $55 to $60 from July 1.

The higher fee would make up for lost revenue after the government backed down on plans to impose a 32.5 per cent tax on backpacker workers, opting instead to tax visitors on working holiday visas at 19 per cent from their first dollar earned.

Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Margy Osmond said the reduction of the backpacker tax was a “step in the right direction” but the decision to raise Australia’s already-high departure tax was unacceptable.

“It is outrageous situation that the Federal Government continues to view the tourism industry as a cash cow,” Ms Osmond said.

“Industry has been completely blindsided by this decision to increase the Passenger Movement Charge by $5 — a nine per cent hike in the rate. At no point was it flagged in any discussions in which we took part and is a bitter disappointment that we’ve been slapped with this tax hike on every traveller — Australian or international visitor — heading overseas.
“I want to make it quite clear that TTF, representing the industry, has been steadfast in our opposition to any increase in the Passenger Movement Charge. Before the Federal Election, the first plank of our election manifesto was the demand that all sides of politics continue to freeze the Passenger Movement Charge at the current rate of $55.”

Australia has already been called out for the high price of its Passenger Movement Charge, which is the world’s second highest departure tax. In 2013, the levy was slammed at a global tourism forum as the world’s most expensive international travel tax for short-haul flights.

The levy was originally introduced in 1995 to partially cover the cost of processing passengers at airports. It has been set at $55 since 2012.

The Federal Government originally planned to remove the $18,000 tax-free income concession for backpackers and impose a 32.5 per cent tax from the first dollar.
But in an announcement today, Mr Morrison said from January 1 the tax would be 19 per cent up to $37,000, after which normal tax rates will apply.

Ms Osmond said while she was disappointed the government was pressing ahead with the backpacker tax, “19 per cent is a hell of a lot better than 32.5 per cent”.

“We do acknowledge that the Government has picked up some of TTF’s suggestions,” she said. “The revised backpacker tax package does contain some positives for the industry. The extension of the age limit for working holiday makers from 30 to 35 and the reduction of the cost of working holiday visa by $50 to $390 is welcome. The relaxation of some of the employment restrictions that will now allow backpackers to continue to work for the same employer for 12 months but in different states or territories in Australia is also positive.

“The allocation of $10 million for the industry to work with Tourism Australia to increase the working holiday makers to Australia following the more than 43,000 decline we’ve experienced over the past three years is something that TTF has been calling for as part of this review.”



Rates of tax in some other countries:

Country Tax    Rate (long haul)
Australia Passenger Movement Charge   A$55 (US$43)
Germany Luftverkehrsteuergesetz   All other countries €42.18 (US$46.35)
Austria Flugabgabegesetz   All other countries €35 (US$38.50)
Mexico Derecho de No Inmigrante   Mex$294 (US$19.30)




New rates of APD after 1st April 2015 compared with during 2014:  (No changes to APD in the March 2016 Budget)

Lower (standard) rate Higher rate
2014  From 1.4.2015   From  1.4.2016 2014 From 1.4.2015  From 1.4.2016
Band A.  0 – 2000 miles £13 £13 £13 £26 £26 £26
Band B.  2000 – 4000 miles £69 £71 £73 £138 £142 £146
Band C.  4000 – 6000 miles £85 £71 £73 £170 £142 £146
Band D.  Over 6000 miles £97 £71 £73 £194 £142 £146






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CAA consultation on whether airlines will pay £10 million (or more) per year of Heathrow’s planning costs

The issue of how much Heathrow can pass the costs of its expansion onto airlines is much disputed. Airlines such as IAG have been vociferous in refusing to pay for anything up-front. The amount Heathrow can charge airlines is laid down by the CAA, which has now put out a consultation on this subject. There are three categories of cost.  Category A is lobbying, advertising etc, to get the runway approved. The CAA says Heathrow must pay this itself. Then Category B costs are those incurred to obtain planning permission through the development consent order, for the runway etc.  It is Category B costs the CAA is consulting about. (Category C costs are those of actually building the added capacity – and may include costs like buying up thousands of properties in the villages. The treatment of these costs is not yet agreed by the CAA). The CAA consultation is proposing that of the Category B costs (ie. planning costs) Heathrow can get back £10 million per year from airlines through higher costs. For planning costs of over £10 million per year, the CAA propose these would be capitalised and rolled into HAL’s existing Regulatory Asset Base (RAB). These costs would then be be paid by a “risk-sharing mechanism” between airlines and Heathrow. If HAL succeeds in getting planning consent, they can get 105% of the costs over £10 million per year back through higher charges to airlines. If they do not get planning consent, they can only get 85% back. The consultation on this ends on 12th December. Details below. 



Recovery of Category B costs by Heathrow Airport

The new document CAP 1469 sets out our final proposals on the recovery of costs associated with obtaining planning permission for new runway capacity at Heathrow Airport.

We have also published CAP 1470, formal notice to allow Heathrow Airport Limited to recover £10 million of Category B costs per year for new runway expansion.

More details and information on how to submit your views to us are available at consultations.caa.co.uk. We are accepting responses to both until the 6th December 2016.  

8.11.2016 (CAA website)


CAP 1469

The recovery of costs associated with obtaining planning permission for a new northwest runway at Heathrow Airport: final proposals

November 2016 (CAA)

Below are some extracts from the document:
Category A costs are defined as “Airports Commission-related and associated lobbying costs incurred by an airport operator or Heathrow Hub Limited. These are costs that we consider will, in general, be incurred before a Government policy decision on the location of capacity expansion is made.”  and

“most Category A costs will not be recoverable, but some costs could be re-categorised as Category B if a strong and clear case is made by HAL that the information submitted for the planning process is not materially different to that submitted to the Airports Commission.”


Category B costs  are costs “associated with Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) seeking to obtain planning permission for the development of a new northwest runway at Heathrow Airport.”  These are costs “incurred by an airport operator after a Government policy decision on the location of new capacity and are directly connected with and solely for the purposes of seeking planning consent through the DCO (development consent order) process. We stressed that Category B costs must be strictly additional to any costs already included in the Q6 allowance as well as being efficiently incurred.”
[ Q6 originally expires on 31 December 2018. We consulted on extending Q6 for one year, so
that it will expire on 31 December 2019. The notice of proposed modification to HAL’s licence to that effect is available at www.caa.co.uk/CAP1459. ]

Category C costs are defined as costs “incurred by an airport operator, typically after planning permission is granted, in connection with implementation and construction of new capacity, up to entry-into-operation.”


2.1   In our July 2016 consultation, we set out our initial proposals on the treatment of costs associated with obtaining planning permission for new runway capacity.   The broad principles were:

 planning costs are defined as those incurred by the successful
airport promoter following a government policy decision on location
and attributed to activities necessary for it to conduct the planning
 costs up to £10 million per year will be recoverable by the airport
operator through an increase in airport charges;
 costs that are incurred over £10 million per year can be recovered by
the airport operator subject to them being efficiently incurred and
there being risk-sharing arrangements in place; and
 risk-sharing agreements to cover the risk that planning permission is
not granted, rescinded or withdrawn.


1.1   This consultation document sets out our final proposals on the regulatory treatment of the costs associated with Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) seeking to obtain planning permission for the development of a new northwest runway at Heathrow Airport. These are termed Category B costs (or planning costs).

1.2   The charges that HAL can levy on airlines to recover these Category B costs are subject to economic regulation under the terms of a licence granted by the CAA under the Civil Aviation Act 2012 (the Act).


Summary of CAA’s final proposals

1.3  Our final proposal is that Category B costs should be defined as costs which are directly connected with, and solely for the purposes of, seeking planning consent through the Development Consent Order (DCO) process.

1.4   We propose that up to £10 million per year of efficient Category B costs can be recovered from higher airport charges either in the year they are expected to be incurred (or two years later for 2016 and 2017 through the K factor in the Price Control Condition). This proposal is subject to a separate consultation. [ Available at: www.caa.co.uk/CAP1470. ]
1.5   Category B costs incurred over £10 million per year should be capitalised and rolled into HAL’s existing Regulatory Asset Base (RAB). These costs should be clearly identified within the RAB in order to allow the CAA and stakeholders to track and scrutinise the level of costs incurred.
1.6 Category B costs over £10 million per year should be subject to the following cost recovery arrangements:

 A 105 / 85 risk-sharing mechanism, which allows a 5% addition to
costs incurred if a DCO is granted, but limits recovery to 85% of the
costs incurred if a DCO is not granted.
 Planning costs in the RAB recovered gradually over 15 years,
including a return to cover the weighted average cost of capital
(WACC)  [ie. something akin to interest . AW note]  at the level determined in the Q6 settlement and irrespective of the outcome of the planning process.
 Cost recovery to HAL via charges to airlines to commence only after
the outcome of the DCO process is known.

1.7   All Category B costs incurred, including costs up to and above the £10 million per year threshold, will be subject to an efficiency test. The Independent Fund Surveyor (IFS) will provide an ongoing assessment of the efficiency of all Category B costs incurred.

1.8   We reserve the right to decide that HAL will be able to recover less than 85% of the Category B costs incurred, if there is clear and compelling evidence that HAL has unilaterally withdrawn from the planning process.

1.9   HAL should make materials and reports produced for the planning process available to the CAA, the airline community and other stakeholders as soon as practicable. HAL should consult with the airline community at the outset on the rules and principles for classifying any information as confidential and how this should be shared with stakeholders.
1.13   Our initial proposal said that costs in the pRAB should be recovered over a 10 year depreciation period where the DCO is granted, with a shorter period suggested where the DCO is not granted. We maintain the view that our estimate of 10 years is reasonable, but given the uncertainty over the life of a quasi-intangible asset such as planning permission, we are content to extend the depreciation period from 10 to 15 years, to reflect
the responses from many of the airlines that this period is too short.

1.16   Our view remains that the risk-sharing principle and the specific 105/85 parameters are appropriate. We note airlines’ view that they should not bear any Category B cost risks because of their limited control over the planning process. However, we consider that our proposal that 85% of costs can be recovered is a balanced proposition, as well as being more favourable to airlines than previous regulatory treatments. For Heathrow Terminal 5 and the (aborted) second runway at Stansted, we (ex-ante) allowed 100% of efficiently incurred planning costs to be recovered from higher airport charges to airlines

1.19   Our initial proposal was that cost recovery should only start when the result of the planning process is known. HAL argued that cost recovery should start as soon as or shortly after they are incurred, whereas the airlines wanted cost recovery to start only when new capacity comes into operation. Our package of proposals mean that the majority of Category B costs will be recovered after the runway is open.

1.20   We welcome views on the final proposals set out in this document. Having already reflected carefully on responses to our initial proposals, we would especially welcome any new evidence and arguments.

1.21   Comments should be sent to economicregulation@caa.co.uk by no later than 17:00 on Monday 12 December 2016.

We cannot commit to take into account representations after this date.

1.22   We expect to issue our decision on the regulatory treatment of costs associated with obtaining planning permission for a new northwest runway at Heathrow Airport in January 2017.

1.23   If you would like to discuss the issues raised in this document before the
December deadline please contact Stephen Gifford   (stephen.gifford@caa.co.uk).


The principles of a risk-sharing arrangement

Initial proposals

5.1   We said that the principle behind the introduction of a risk-sharing mechanism was to ensure that both GAL/HAL and the airlines bear some risk in the event that planning permission was not granted, was rescinded or was withdrawn.

5.2   We considered that risk-sharing means that stakeholders will be incentivised to be part of the process and to help ensure that Category B  costs are minimised as much as possible. HAL will also be encouraged to engage positively with local communities and other stakeholders to maintain support for expansion and efficiency. We also said that airlines should bear some of the planning risks, as they would stand to benefit from expansion.

5.4   LACC/AOC  [ London (Heathrow) Airline Consultative Committee/Airport Operators
Committee ]  argued that airport operator should not be rewarded for performing its core function and that airlines should not be held accountable for risks associated with failure, as they have no control over planning and political risks.

5.8  VAA [Virgin Atlantic ] welcomed the risk allocation mechanism, but is concerned that the
level of risk apportioned to the airport is not enough, and argued that the airport operator is in the most appropriate position to bear the risk of planning failure. VAA made the point that our statement that ‘airlines stand to benefit’ from expansion does not apply to all airlines.

3.18   We continue to define Category C costs as construction costs incurred by HAL. We will consider the merits of developing a specific policy on preplanning construction costs, which would be on an accelerated timetable and before the overall approach to the economic regulation of Category C costs is devised.  Pre-planning construction costs cover preliminary works, enabling construction, property relocations, land acquisition, blight and
hardship. Stakeholder views and our response is outlined in Appendix B.



B.15   We note the significant magnitude of Category C costs could be incurred before a planning decision and the need to offer early regulatory certainty on their treatment.

B.16 Pre-planning construction costs could cover preliminary works, enabling construction, property relocations, land acquisition, blight and hardship. These costs could be treated in a similar fashion to the way the costs of capital projects are handled in Q6.

B.17 We are considering developing a policy on pre-planning construction costs as a separate Category C cost and on an accelerated timetable (i.e. before we propose the regulatory treatment of the majority of Category C costs which are incurred after planning permission is granted).

There is also

CAP 1470

Notice of proposed modification to Heathrow Airport Limited’s Economic Licence to allow for an annual recovery of £10 million of Category B costs for a new northwest runway



A couple of extracts: 

2.9     In our view, the retention of the £10 million pass-through is in the interests of users as it incentivises the airport operator to start work on securing planning permission immediately after a government announcement of its preferred location of new capacity and before a risk-sharing mechanism is put in place. We believe that additional runway capacity in south-east England will benefit current and future air passengers and cargo owners, and we consider that incentivising HAL to start the process of obtaining planning permission is an important first step in delivering new capacity.

2.10   The £10 million threshold will not reduce the incentive for the airport operator to act in an economical and efficient manner. Planning costs are expected to be significantly more than £10 million a year, and any costs above this threshold will be subject to a risk-sharing mechanism.








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Hounslow Council wants Heathrow runway negative impacts reduced – Chamber of Commerce wants “a slice of the action”

Hounslow Chamber of Commerce said that is was “extremely happy” about the Government support for a Heathrow 3rd runway. The Chamber has claimed it will ensure businesses in the borough get a “slice of the action” from Heathrow expansion.  CEO of Hounslow Chamber, Stephen Fry, has signed a declaration to work with Heathrow to develop plans, and says his priority will be to secure jobs and investment in the Hounslow community. He wants to ensure that a larger airport “will benefit our economy by growing existing businesses and kick starting new start-ups thereby creating new jobs around the country.”  He hopes that “while Heathrow airport already procures some £1.7 billion of products and services every year from local, regional and national businesses; we can expect this to increase substantially. Hounslow suffers intense noise from Heathrow over flights. Leader of Hounslow Council, Steve Curran, reiterated the council’s position on 26th October, saying: “Our position as a Council has not changed, we want a better, not bigger Heathrow Airport. We will however, work with Heathrow on behalf of our residents and businesses, many of whom are employed directly at Heathrow or are part of the supply chain, to ensure the best possible outcome and to reduce any adverse effects of the decision.”



Hounslow businesses pledge to work with Heathrow to deliver jobs and growth in the community

Business leader Stephen Fry says jobs and investment in the Hounslow community will be a priority

By SALINA PATEL  (Get West London)
7 NOV 2016

Hounslow Chamber of Commerce has claimed it will ensure businesses in the borough get a “slice of the action” following the government’s decision to back Heathrow Airport .

CEO of Hounslow Chamber Stephen Fry has signed a declaration to work with the hub airport to develop on plans to deliver on jobs and growth for all of Britain.

He says his priority will be to secure jobs and investment in the Hounslow community.

Mr Fry said: “Our job is now to ensure that the catalytic value of expansion will benefit our economy by growing existing businesses and kick starting new start-ups thereby creating new jobs around the country.

“This will mean that while Heathrow airport already procures some £1.7bn of products and services every year from local, regional and national businesses; we can expect this to increase substantially.

“My job is to ensure that Hounslow firms get a slice of the action and inject that cash directly into the veins of the community through jobs and investment.”

Hounslow Chamber of Commerce ‘extremely happy’ over decision to expand Heathrow Airport.

Other organisations to pledge their support include the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), British Chambers of Commerce, British International Freight Association (BIFA), Unite the Union, London First, British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), and many more.

….. and it continues with Heathrow PR ……



and earlier


Hounslow Chamber of Commerce ‘extremely happy’ over decision to expand Heathrow Airport

BY DAVID RIVERS (Get West London)
26 OCT 2016

The Hounslow Chamber of Commerce has thrown its support behind the Government’s decision to approve a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

But the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce has listed its reasons as to why it is ‘extremely happy’ with the decision.

Chief executive, Stephen Fry, said: “The approval of the third runway and Heathrow expansion is the right choice for business.

“Moreover it is the right choice for the UK and will play a pivotal role in ensuring our post Brexit economy is a success.

“We look forward working with Heathrow, Hounslow Council, & Regional and Central Government to ensure that local businesses play a key role in the economic growth that expansion will bring.

“We also look forward to working with other regional Chambers of Commerce to ensure that an expanded Heathrow secures the expected benefits for the whole of the UK.

“The Government has demonstrated that it is not afraid of big infrastructure projects and is signalling to the world that a post Brexit UK is open for business.”

The Chamber said the two main reasons it believes the decision to expand is a success is because it mean businesses in Britain can plan for a post-Brexit economy, and that the decision sends out a message that says “come and trade with us.”


Leader of Hounslow Council, Councillor Steve Curran, added: “The announcement by the government to support expansion at Heathrow Airport with a new runway, will obviously have a huge impact on the residents and businesses of Hounslow.

“It will have significant long term implications for our borough and I can guarantee residents and businesses that we will make sure their voice is heard in the National Policy Statement [NPS] consultation on the new runway.

“Our position as a Council has not changed, we want a better, not bigger Heathrow Airport.

“We will however, work with Heathrow on behalf of our residents and businesses, many of whom are employed directly at Heathrow or are part of the supply chain, to ensure the best possible outcome and to reduce any adverse effects of the decision.

“We have already achieved some local improvements, particularly for our schools, this work must continue.”




Hounslow Borough is seriously over-flown by Heathrow, with its residents suffering from intense noise from low flights. Many of its schools are badly affected.  However, many of its residents work at the airport and so back its expansion, despite the seriously negative environmental impacts.


Some earlier news.


Hounslow spending £150 million trying to limit Heathrow plane noise for 40 local schools

Hounslow has a plane landing or taking off over it at least once per minute for most of the day. With noise loud enough to make it difficult to hold a conversation outside while a plane goes over, and loud enough to make speech and teaching difficult indoors, this is a serious problem for schools under Heathrow’s flight path. The airport is well aware of the issue, and that children have little option but to be in schools there. A teacher at a primary school some 2km from the airport’s south runway, said: “We’re in classrooms where we have to shut the blinds, we have to stop speaking, the air quality’s not very good and in the summer the temperature soars. But you can’t open the windows because of the noise, so it’s like we’re in a greenhouse melting.” Hounslow now has a £150m school rebuilding programme which aims to provide quieter classrooms in 40 schools under Heathrow’s flight path, over 5 years, partly by a heavyweight construction approach that incorporates a highly insulated concrete structural envelope. This cuts noise and gives more thermal stability.  Unless there is proper ventilation, and air cooling in summer, just triple glazing and closed windows are not enough.




Heathrow finally completes £4.8 million of insulation work on schools etc – after 10 years

Heathrow has finally finished installing noise insulation at the 42 schools and other community buildings (31 in Hounslow) where it promised in 2005 to carry out the work. It has taken 10 years, and it cost Heathrow £4.8 million.  Heathrow said in 2005 it would install double glazing and make other improvements to minimise the din from aircraft, at selected schools etc under its flight paths. Now, pressing for a runway, John Holland-Kaye ensured the work under the Community Building Noise Insulation scheme was completed this April.  Part of the cost is the adobe buildings for school playgrounds, in which children can be taught “outdoors” under the dome. How being inside an adobe dome counts as being “outdoors” is a mystery. The adobe buildings have cost £1.8 million, from Heathrow, and have been installed in 5 schools in Hounslow and Slough – with 5 more due to be completed in Hounslow this year. If Heathrow gets a 3rd runway, it has “promised” to spend £700 million insulating homes, schools and other buildings affected by aircraft noise – more than 20 times the £30 million currently on offer. But is it not saying if it will make any improvements, if it does not get a runway. John Stewart, chairman of HACAN, said: “What’s important is that further insulation should not be dependent on a third runway.”

As one wit asked: “If it has taken them 10 years to do £4.8 million of insulation work, how long could it take them to get round to £700 million?”   A fair question indeed …..



Hounslow Council “positive and productive” and “better working relationship” with Heathrow

Labour led Hounslow council responded to the Airports Commission’s final report recommending a 3rd Heathrow runway, by saying that while the council is opposed to a bigger Heathrow, they want “a better and successful Heathrow.” They continue say they are against a 3rd runway, or any relaxation on runway alternation, or more than 480,000 flights per year. However, the extent of the council’s opposition is much reduced. It says it wants the “very best noise protection and pollution control measures for our residents – and in particular, our schools.” But it adds: …”we welcome the report’s recommendation that the new runway should come with severe restrictions to reduce the environmental and noise effects, including a noise levy, and that night flights would be banned. … we …. have recently developed a positive and productive relationship with Heathrow, which has resulted in many improvements for local people…” In June the council denied rumours it has withdrawn from the 2M group, which opposes a Heathrow third runway. Hounslow is noticeably on better terms with Heathrow, hoping to get benefits if a runway is permitted. Hounslow teamed up with Hillingdon Council to oppose a planning application which would enable more departures over Cranford.










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

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



How to reduce complaints about aircraft noise – make complaining too difficult

6.11.2016 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

After the success of its campaign against a second runway, GACC is returning to its basic task of alleviating the impact of the airport on local residents.  As a first step they are weighing in against the new complaints system introduced by Gatwick Airport Ltd, describing it as ‘a clever way to discourage complaints’.

According to GACC vice-chairman, Peter Barclay, ‘when Gatwick introduced new flight paths in 2013 the result was a six-fold increase in the number of complaints.  To deal with this the airport dreamt up a wonderful idea:  no one was permitted to complain more than once a day!  Or if they did, their complaints were put in the bin. Now Gatwick has invented a new way of reducing complaints.’

Under the new system there is no longer a limit on the number per day but anyone who is annoyed by an aircraft is required to complain online, filling up a detailed form (with ten lines of required information) for each separate complaint.  Telephone calls are no longer accepted (the chance of being able to speak to a real person was withdrawn long ago).  Emails are no longer accepted.  But as a helpful gesture people are allowed to write in, so each complaint will cost 55p in postage.

Peter asks:  ‘Why is Gatwick so unhelpful?  Both Heathrow and Stansted airports have complaint systems which allow telephone calls and email.’

Recent research shows that 5.9 million people in the UK have never used the internet.  27% of disabled adults have never used the internet.


The only way to complain about Gatwick noise now

See new system.

You have to fill in the form with your name and address etc. That is fair enough.

You can only complain under certain categories.

There are only two options –  complain about a specific aircraft event, or make a general complaint about aircraft noise.

If you complain about a specific aircraft event, you have to give the date and the time, and whether it was a 2 or 4 engine plane (of if you could not see it and so don’t know).

Then you are obliged to agree with one or other statement – from a drop down box – as shown in the image below. You cannot proceed till you have ticked one or other.

There are several other options, which you have to choose.

Only finally, after having to tick various boxes (that may, or may not, be what you want to say) are you allowed to write in your own words what your complaint is.



The Terms are at  http://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/business–community/b_7_aircraft-noise/yla-complaints-handling-policy-2016.pdf

GACC says:  How to complain about noise

It is important that you complain if you are annoyed by aircraft to or from Gatwick.  Otherwise the airport will get away with suggesting that Gatwick is surrounded by empty fields and only a few people who are undisturbed by aircraft.  The complaints system was changed in October 2016.  See new system.


1. Freephone 0800 393 070.  Now withdrawn.

2. email.  Now withdrawn.

3. Web site flight tracker at http://flighttracking.casper.aero/lgw/  This flight tracking chart shows flights over the past six months up to the present (with a twenty minute delay).  So if you enter the date and time of the event in the top left hand corner and your own location a little further down the left hand panel you will be able to identify the aircraft concerned.  Click on the icon of that aircraft and a facility to make a complaint “Make a noise enquiry about this aircraft.”  will open just above the flight details in the panel.


Don’t be fobbed off !
Whatever method you choose be sure to make it clear that yours is not an enquiry; it is a complaint and you expect a response.
If you find that you are disturbed often, write to your local council and your MP so that they are aware but take care not to pester them – it is not their fault but you want them to make representations on your behalf.  (Find your MP)
Please copy such correspondence to GACC.
The airport will reply to your first few complaints saying, falsely, that they are doing everything possible to minimise noise nuisance.  Do not be put off by the fact that nothing is done – at least your complaints will be counted and will serve to demonstrate to the Government that there is a problem.
Finally, a word of advice.
Many people are suffering frequent noise disturbance and feel inclined to phone or email many times a day to vent their feelings.  That is fine if you find it helpful but please do not feel obliged to do so.  The noise is damaging your quality of life enough already without wasting too much time on the telephone or computer noise line.



This is what is on the Gatwick airport website:


If you want to know more about noise from planes or the airport, or have a specific complaint, then please contact our Flight Performance Team (FPT).

The FPT provides information to the public and responds to any comments you might have. They monitor the noise levels and track-keeping of all departing aircraft and answer complaints. They also give information about flight paths, for example to prospective home-buyers, and provide statistics to the airport’s independent Consultative Committee, which is made up of local councillors, airlines, passenger and pressure groups.

Please contact us by using our noise enquiry form. That way we can get all the information we need from you and get back to you in the quickest time.

Alternatively you can write to the address below.   (After protest, Gatwick has now made this Freepost – before it would have been 55p per complaint for the stamp, 2nd classl).

Destinations Place
Gatwick Airport
West Sussex

We have a published policy on our procedure for how we deal with noise complaints. You can read our policy here.



See earlier

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

Date added: February 16, 2011

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



Heathrow’s noise complaint system

By contrast, at Heathrow there are more ways to complain (and they do at least call them complaints rather than “enquiries”:

Their noise complaint page is at  http://www.heathrow.com/noise/what-you-can-do/make-a-complaint-about-noise

Make a complaint about noise

We appreciate that aircraft noise disturbs people and you have the right to make a complaint to us if you want to.

There are four ways you can make a complaint about noise. You can:

1. Complete the complaint form

Use the online form (on the page)  below to submit your complaint.


2. Email us

We are happy for you to send us an email.



3. Phone us

You are very welcome to call and speak to the Community Relations team if that suits you best.

Freephone 0800 344844


4. Track a flight on Webtrak

Visit the Heathrow Webtrack site

Click the ‘Investigate’ tab, top left, under the Heathrow logo and follow the instructions to find the correct flight.

You might also be interested in:



and they say under

What happens to complaints?

Receiving complaints

We will respond to all complaints within five working days (as long as we have all the contact details we need). If we need to do more investigation, we will let you know within the five days and tell you when you will get a complete answer.

Providing information

We aim to provide a full and comprehensive information service but we do have to consider the resources we have available, to ensure all complainants are treated equitably.

Type of information provided

We supply information which explains the relevant procedures and includes maps for a complainant’s postcode area. We will also do our best to provide details of particular flights.

Use of complaint data

We only use your personal details for registering complaint details. We do not make them public or use them for any other purpose.

All complaints are reported daily on our Heathrow Operational Data website, in the airport’s quarterly Flight Performance Reports and to the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HACC).

We monitor complaints for trends to inform our noise management priorities but flight paths are not changed purely on the basis of the number of complaints received from a particular area.

For more information read our complaints policy


Included in the Complaints Policy it states:

Complaint reference numbers

All complaints made by email or through our online webform, will be recorded and a complaint reference number will be sent automatically via email. All complaints by phone, voicemail, or letter will be recorded and a complaint reference number will be provided on request. Where complaints are made about multiple aircraft events within one email or webform, only one complaint will be recorded. Complaints about separate aircraft events should be made using separate emails or webforms if residents wish these to be recorded as multiple complaints.


Regular callers

Where we have explained the policies and noise measures which affect the complainant’s postcode area and have previously supplied sufficient amounts of data to the extent that we are unable to further enhance understanding, we will notify the complainant of our intention to continue to record their complaints and provide complaint reference numbers but will not provide any further explanation or information to them, unless relevant. Where this is the case, we will inform the caller of our intention to do this and outline previous correspondence supplied to them.


and there is more at   http://www.heathrow.com/file_source/HeathrowNoise/Static/noise_complaints_policy.pdf



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Even with 55% of Heathrow passengers using public transport there could be 15 million more passenger trips per year by car by 2040 than now

The government claims Heathrow can meet air quality standards in future, even with a new runway and 50% more passengers, because it will (among other changes) ensure that there are no more road vehicles than now – and by around 2031 about 55% of passengers would use public transport.  So is that likely? Looking at passengers only, not freight, and the work done by Jacobs for the Airports Commission, it seems that (2012 data) there were about 70 million passengers, about 20 million of whom were transfers (ie. they did not leave the airport). That meant slightly below 50 million passengers travelled to and from the airport, using surface transport. In 2012 about 59% of these travelled by car (ie. about 29.5 million), 41% came by public transport (28% by rail and 13% by bus or coach).  But by 2030 with a new runway, there might be around 110 million passengers, and around 33% would be international transfers. That leaves around 74 million passengers, and if 55% of them use public transport, that means about 34 million using cars. By 2040, the number using cars might be about 45 million (ie. about 15 million more per year than now).  And about 9 million using bus/coach – which is of course also on the roads. There would have to be dramatic increases in electric vehicles and improved engine technology to ensure no higher emissions in the Heathrow area.  And that is not counting freight vehicles. Or staff.  Or other increased vehicle traffic associated with the 3rd runway.



These figures include taxi trips, as well as other car trips.

The Jacobs report for the Airports Commission also states: 

7.1.4  .(Page 74) ……. Currently,  [? 2014] 59% of passengers at Heathrow travel to the airport by car or taxi, and of the 41% who travel by public transport, 28% use rail and 13% bus/coach.  Similarly, around 43% of employees at Heathrow currently commute to the airport by car/taxi, with the 47% public transport mode share split between 35% using bus and 12% using rail.

7.1.5  The HAL submission indicated that an air passenger public transport mode share target of 52% (36% rail, 17% bus/coach) was used to test the impact of the new North West Runway on the rail network and road network. Employee mode share was assumed to be 43% public transport and 47% private vehicle.



7.2.1 Our analysis predicted that public transport mode share of passenger surface access trips to/from Heathrow would increase from 41% in 2012 to 55% in 2031. [The government document put out on 25th October says 55% by 2040.  Link ]  The main change is predicted to be in the rail mode share, which is predicted to increase from 28% in 2012 to 43% in 2031. This represents a net impact of up to 2,400 additional rail trips to the airport in the AM peak hour in 2030 as a result of the new North West Runway, with up to 1,400 additional rail trips leaving the airport.



Table 2 on Page 23 of at link below



[Jacobs (Page 86) expected around 32 – 35% of interlining (ie. international transfer) passengers by 2030. That would be about 35 million interling passengers out of about 109 million. These interling passengers do not leave the airport, give no benefit to the UK economy, but do not need to travel to or from Heathrow.

The Airports Commission Final Report  (Page 251)said:   “Without expansion, the number of international transfer passengers at Heathrow is forecast to fall from 20 million a year in 2014 to 8 million or fewer by 2050; with expansion this pattern of decline could be reversed, seeing up to 30 million international transfer passengers by 2050. ”

This Airports Commission document Strategic Fit updated forecasts (pages 137 and 138) says there would be 34.4 million international to international passengers at Heathrow in 2030 (carbon traded scenario, and 23 million in 2050.


The government statement on 25th October merely said: 

“Heathrow has pledged that there will be no increase in airport-related road traffic with expansion and committed to a target of more than half of passengers using public transport to access the airport.”   Link


Some rough calculations:

Heathrow in 2012   – 70 million passengers.

Around 20 million (about 29%) were international to international transfers.

So 50 million passengers travelled to and from the airport per year, most by road or rail (excluding domestic transfers)

41% came by public transport   ie 20.5 million (of the 50 million)
28% used rail     ie  about 14 million of the 50 million
13% used bus or coach (= road)   ie. 9.1 million  ie  6.5 million of the 50 million

59% used car    ie.  29.5 million passengers out of the 50 million


Heathrow by 2030  – about 110 million passengers

Airports Commission expects around 32 – 35% would be international to international transfers. (ie about 36 million transfer passengers).  If there was a lower proportion of these transfers, more would need to travel  to and from the airport by local road and rail.

So around 74 million passengers travelling to and from the airport each year, most by road or rail.

55% using public transport     ie. about 40 million of the 74 million
43% using rail     ie.  31.8 million of the 74 million (over twice as many as now – 17 or 18 million more than now)
12% using bus or coach (= road)   ie. about 9 million of the 74 million

45% using car    ie about 34 million passengers, of the 74 million (about 4.5 million more than now – about a 15% increase.)


Heathrow by 2040 – about 128 million passengers

AC said (Page 251) there could be 30 million international to international transfers by 2050

so about 100 million passengers travelling to and from the airport each year.
55% using public transport   ie. 55 million of the 100 million 

If  43% use rail   i.e. 43 million  (compared to 14 million now- that’s 29 million more)

If 12% use bus or coach  (= road)  ie.  12 million (compared with 6.5 million now)

45% use car    ie.  45 million passengers  (About 15 million more than now – or about 53% more than now).

But the numbers needing to use public transport, or the roads, would be much higher if Heathrow does not has as much as 32 – 35% of its passengers as international to international transfers, who do not leave the airport.  The numbers could all then be up to a third higher.

AW note


Staff transport to and from Heathrow

It is worth mentioning that after the main consultation and the subsidiary extra consultation on local air quality, the Airports Commission released the Jacobs report on Surface Access:Dynamic Modelling report (dated May 2015). This is at

This analysis, by Jacobs, took the highest case for the numbers of passengers – the Airports Commission’s “carbon traded, global growth” (CT GG) scenario. (The figures are a bit higher than the “carbon traded, assessment of need” (CT AoN) scenario).   For 2030, with a 3rd runway, the CT GG figure of annual passengers is about 125 million, while the CT AoN is about 109 million.
The numbers of passengers using public transport to get to and from Heathrow in 2030 are about 73 million in the  CT AoN scenario, and about 83.9 million in the CT GG scenario.
This document also has the number on on-airport staff as about (see Tables 2.2 and 2.3 on page 8) as about 90,000 by 2030 in the CT AoN scenario, and about 115,000 [114,999]  in the CT GG scenario.  (There are perhaps – at a guess – around 67,000 on-airport staff now, but it is difficult to get a figure. It might have been about 76,000 in 2010 – but numbers fall due to greater productivity per worker year by year.  Heathrow’s own forecasts suggested about 72,100 on-airport employees with 82.5 million annual passengers, compared to about 73 million passengers now).
The 2014 Jacobs report said:  “Headline employee commuting mode share was assumed to be 43% public transport and 47% private vehicles in both options, compared to 43% public transport and 47% private transport observed in 2013.”  (Page 15 )   And (Page 74) “Similarly, around 43% of employees at Heathrow currently commute to the airport by car/taxi, with the 47% public transport mode share split between 35% using bus and 12% using rail.”  (See Page 6 )
If there are currently around  (very approximately)  76,000 on-airport staff ( link ) and 47% of them come by car, that is around 35,700 per year.
If the number of on-airport staff rose to 90,000, and 43% of them came by car, that is about 38,700 per year.   Or if 47% came by car, that would be  42.3 million.
And if the number was as many as 100,000 (let alone 115,000 staff) the number would be 43,000 per year (or  if 47% came by car, that would be 54 million). Compared to about 36 million now.
[Heathrow said in  Feb 2014  that “fewer than 65% of staff commute in single-occupancy vehicles.”  !?  Link  ]
But Heathrow says:  “A key undertaking in this is that there will be no growth in airport-related traffic on the nearby road and motorway network, facilitated by enhanced public transport as part of the Airport Surface Access Strategy (ASAS).”  Link 
Heathrow says that as a condition of the Terminal 5 Inquiry: “A limit on the number of car parking spaces for both passengers and staff to 42,000”.  [ link ]
A Heathrow presentation dated 10.11.2015  says that by 2030 trips by both staff and passengers to the airport will be 53% by public transport.  [ Link ]  ie. still 47% by public transport.
The Heathrow claim of no more cars is based on assuming a big switch in employee transport from private cars to public transport/cycling and car sharing and on that basis Heathrow have told the Commission that they do not see any need for widening the M4 and many other road schemes. The dynamic modelling report above led to another report
which answered comments made about the need for additional road infrastructure and showed the pressures they expected the road network to come under both with general development in the area and that caused by an expanded airport.

On taxi movements

comments from study by Jacobs for the Airports Commission
“Appraisal Framework Module 4. Surface Access: Heathrow Airport North West Runway.  FINAL.  FOR CONSULTATION AIRPORTS COMMISSION. 5th November 2014
Currently, 59% of passengers at Heathrow travel to the airport by car or taxi, and of the 41% who travel by public transport, 28% use rail and 13% bus/coach. Similarly, around 43% of employees at Heathrow currently commute to the airport by car/taxi, with the 47% public transport mode share split between 35% using bus and 12% using rail.
.Strategic roads
In terms of road traffic, the Jacobs model forecasted a net impact of up to 1,200 additional car/taxi trips to the airport in the AM peak hour in 2030 as a result of the new North West Runway, with up to 600 additional car/taxi trips leaving the airport. This demand was added to background traffic forecasts sourced from the DfT on sections of the strategic highway network serving the airport and then compared with estimates of capacity on network links, accounting for the impact of committed and planned Highways Agency schemes included in the core and Extended Baseline with SRA packages.


3.1.3 The sub-car mode share (i.e. the split between taxi, kiss-and-fly, short-term parking and long-term parking demand) from the 2012 CAA Heathrow passenger survey data was used to estimate a composite GC [GC means Generalised Cost] for car between each district and the airport in the base model. The complexities involved with forecasting sub-car mode share in 2030 (which would involve assumptions related to car ownership levels, background traffic congestion, availability of short- and long-term parking at the airport, average parking tariffs and dwell times, kiss-and-fly arrangements etc.) would be significant,
and the decision was taken to apply the 2012 sub-car mode share by district in the 2030 model to calculate future composite car GCs.


As a result, districts with relatively improved transport connections to the airport in 2030 were allocated an increased proportion of total airport demand, reflecting the assumption that improved transport connections would induce demand between these areas and Heathrow. This change in distribution was then fed back into the logit model to forecast the modes of transport that would be used by these trips.


3.5.7 Table 5 presents a breakdown of mode share by main regions in the UK. The analysis shows that the proposed rail improvements will generally increase public transport share across the UK. The greatest benefits are observed for trip originating from areas in the South East, East of England, and North West where the public transport share increases by over 50% from the share in 2012.  From South East (Not London), 31% of passengers are expected to access Heathrow via rail, a figure much higher than the 5% observed in 2012. The North West has a significant decrease in access by private car, with only 10% accessing Heathrow by car compared to 53% in 2012 and the proportion of passengers arriving at Heathrow by rail increasing from 35% in 2012 to 85% in 2030. The rail improvements are
also expected to reduce the number of passengers accessing the airport by car from the Inner London area, where the car mode share is predicted to reduce from 40% to 32%.

See Table 5 with % taxi etc for each region. Page 27


3.6.4 Heathrow’s own analysis shows that many taxis and private vehicles dropping off at the airport have an empty return journey. This results in approximately 40,000 additional vehicle movements a day to and from Heathrow. This represents over 25% of current car trips to and from Heathrow, so plans to reduce these trips could have an impact on the volume of airport-related trips. A setup which matches passenger to drivers that have dropped off at the airport and encourages taxi sharing is likely to reduce traffic movement. Currently, Heathrow suggest that 78% of taxi trips return empty.

Analysis shows that reducing this by 10% along with an increase in car share could reduce car trip further by up to 4%

Additional vehicle movements are allowed for empty trips generated from Kiss and fly passengers and 78% of all taxis are assumed to generate an empty return.


4 In general terms, the analysis suggests that a new North West Runway at Heathrow does not markedly increase traffic on the strategic road network. ……..

However, a noticeable increase in traffic flow as a result of the new North West Runway occurs on some specific links in the immediate vicinity of the airport, particularly on routes where ‘kiss & fly’ and taxi remain popular car sub-mode choices due to short distances between the Airport and trip origins/destinations


5.7.4 Heathrow’s proposes to reduce airport-related car trips by implementing initiatives to encourage more efficient use of private cars and taxis. These initiatives which should facilitate a reduction in the no of empty car trip and improve vehicle occupancy levels include:
 Provide sufficient car parking to meet demand with the aim to reduce discourage ‘kiss and fly’ or taxi use. Heathrow’s proposal involves expanding the terminal 5 short stay car park to 6,000 spaces for west terminal and expanding the new terminal car park to 4,000 spaces for the east terminal; and
 Develop a taxi backfilling scheme to match passengers to drivers that have dropped off at the airport and encourage taxi sharing by matching passenger journeys to similar destinations.



See also

How the government hopes air pollution will not be a block on a Heathrow 3rd runway

The Government has produced claims that adding a 3rd Heathrow runway would be compatible with air quality limits for NO2. The DfT statement on 25th October stated that the government had done more work, since the Airports Commission, and this “confirms that a new runway at Heathrow is deliverable within air quality limits, if necessary mitigation measures are put in place, in line with the ‘National air quality plan’, published in December 2015.” That air quality plan has since been judged inadequate by the High Court ruling in the case brought by ClientEarth. The DfT also said: “Heathrow’s scheme includes plans for improved public transport links and for an ultra-low emissions zone for all airport vehicles by 2025. The government will make meeting air quality legal requirements a condition of planning approval.”Lawyers Bircham Dyson Bell comment: “would you build, or invest in, a new runway if you weren’t sure it could be used?” Heathrow and the government hope that, by 2040, 55% of Heathrow passengers will be using public transport, but there is no guarantee whatsoever that legal air quality limits would in reality be met. Currently [2012 data] about 41% of Heathrow passengers use public transport (about 28% by rail and 13% bus/coach – on the road). Heathrow hopes 43% will use rail by 2030. That is estimated to mean an extra over 56 million passengers annually using public transport compared to around 29 million today, and 6 million more passengers travelling to and from the airport by car.

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