Company has plan for high speed rail, linking HS1 with HS2, via Gatwick and Heathrow

An engineering consultancy, called Expedition, has proposed a new high-speed railway passing both Gatwick and Heathrow, starting at the HS2 line near Denham north of Heathrow, and ending at Ashford in Kent.  Expedition says it is called HS4Air and the plan has been developed to enhance other major infrastructure projects for the south east. It would cost £10 billion and would connect the existing HS1 rail line with the planned HS2 along a route that passes via London’s biggest airports. Alistair Lenczner, director at Expedition leading the development of the HS4Air proposal, said discussions are currently ongoing with a number of interested parties, spanning both national and regional bodies. The line would be 140km long, and about 20% of it would run in tunnels – to avoid too big an environmental impact. Around 40% of the route re-uses the existing Network Rail railway between Tonbridge and Ashford.  Expedition hopes that HS4Air would allow rail and aviation infrastructure projects in south east England that are currently unconnected to become joined-up, and mean rail passengers would be able to travel to both airports on “fast regular services” from cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Cardiff without needing to switch trains.

.

 

This firm has come up with an ‘M25 for high-speed trains’ spanning both Heathrow and Gatwick

By Rebecca Smith (City AM)

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Where the proposed route would run

Where the proposed route would run (Source: Expedition)

A new proposal for a new high-speed railway passing both Gatwick and Heathrow has been developed to enhance other major infrastructure projects for the south east.

Engineering consultancy Expedition today revealed its £10bn plan for HS4Air, which would connect the existing HS1 rail line with the planned HS2 along a route that passes via London’s biggest airports.

Read more: A Laing O’Rourke joint venture has just pulled out of a £1.7bn HS2 contract

 

Alistair Lenczner, director at Expedition leading the development of the HS4Air proposal, said discussions are currently ongoing with a number of interested parties, spanning both national and regional bodies.

How would the M25 for high-speed trains work?

140km long between its connections with HS1 at Ashford and HS2 near Denham
A fifth of the railway will run in tunnels to avoid too big an environmental impact
Around 40 per cent of the route re-uses the existing Network Rail railway between Tonbridge and Ashford

He said: “HS4Air has been developed to allow rail and aviation infrastructure projects in south east England that are currently unconnected to become joined-up. This will offer greatly enhanced benefits for users and provide better value for the investments currently being made in the UK’s strategic infrastructure.”

Lenczner added:

In a way HS4Air can be regarded as a high-speed railway version of the M25 around London, except that it allows much faster journey times with no congestion and with far less impact on the environment.

The planned railway would provide fast direct access to both Gatwick and Heathrow airports from major UK cities to the north and west of London. Rail passengers would be able to travel to both on “fast regular services” from cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Cardiff without needing to switch trains.

Expedition says it will also slash journey times for passengers travelling between places south of London and towns in the Midlands. It wants a 15-minute surface transfer shuttle between Gatwick and Heathrow using high-speed shuttles between airport stations on the HS4Air railway.

Lenczner said the proposal was an example of integrated strategic planning that spans across multiple infrastructure sectors that “are too often planned within their separate ‘silos'”.

Expedition envisages the proposal alleviating pressure on the M25 and the number of domestic flights involving Heathrow and Gatwick.

http://www.cityam.com/281757/firm-has-come-up-m25-high-speed-trains-spanning-both

.

.


Firm pitches “an M25 for high-speed trains” to pass through Heathrow and Gatwick

By Ryan Tute  (Infrastructure Intelligence)

A London-based engineering consultancy has proposed a transformative high-speed railway which would connect the major airports of the UK and enhance current transport infrastructure projects planned in the south-east.

Expedition has unveiled its plan for HS4Air, which connects the existing HS1 rail line to the planned HS2 rail line along a route that passes via both Gatwick and Heathrow airports. The project would also provide fast and direct rail access from major cities north and west of London including Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff, while “dramatically reducing journey times”.

Those behind the proposal estimate the cost to be approximately £10bn and would provide relief for London’s rail network, on the M25 and the number of domestic flights involving Heathrow and Gatwick.

Expedition director Alistair Lenczner, who has led the development of the HS4Air proposal, believes the proposed network would provide better value for investments currently being made in the UK. The director presented his vision for HS4Air this week at an event held at the Institution of Civil Engineers.

“HS4Air has been developed to allow rail and aviation infrastructure projects in south east England that are currently unconnected to become joined-up,” Lenczner said. “In a way HS4Air can be regarded as a high-speed railway version of the M25 around London, except that it allows much faster journey times with no congestion and with far less impact on the environment”. The proposed HS4Air project is an example of integrated strategic planning that spans across multiple infrastructure sectors that are too often planned within separate “silos”.

The 140km long proposed network would run between its connections with HS1 at Ashford and its proposed connection with HS2 near Denham. Approximately 20% of HS4Air would run in tunnels to avoid adversely impacting on environmentally sensitive areas such as the Surrey Hills.

A 15-minute surface transfer shuttle time between the airports using dedicated high-speed shuttles has also been identified as a benefit on the HS4Air railway. The fast and frequent shuttle services would make it possible for passengers to make convenient and reliable transfers between Gatwick and Heathrow and for airlines to share operations between the two airports.

Expedition has been responsible for major projects like the London Olympic Velodrome and the Infinity Bridge in Stockton-on-Tees. It now hopes to continue preliminary talks with interested parties both nationally and internationally.

http://www.infrastructure-intelligence.com/article/mar-2018/firm-pitches-%E2%80%9C-m25-high-speed-trains%E2%80%9D-pass-through-heathrow-and-gatwick

.

.


See earlier, on the idea of “Heathwick” (which neither Heathrow nor Gatwick wanted at all):

News from Victoria Borwick: “We’ve missed the boat on an Estuary airport” says Victoria Borwick

18 JANUARY 2012

London Assembly member, Victoria Borwick, has said this morning that the time for building a new airport in the Thames estuary has passed and that the Government should look at quicker alternatives to boost aviation capacity in south east England. Instead she is suggesting that Heathrow and Gatwick are linked by an air-side 15minute high-speed rail line; that a second runway be built at Gatwick and that greater, more efficient use is made of the smaller airports that surround London. Speaking as the Government announced a formal consultation into the idea of building a new multi-runway airport in the Thames Estuary, Mrs Borwick said: “The idea of a Thames Estuary airport is a great one – that’s why they started building one in the early 1970s, but Harold Wilson’s government scrapped it. Decades have now passed with no real long-term thought given to how we accommodate growth in demand for aviation. We need to expand our routes to the emerging economies of the Far East and Latin America. “Plans for an estuary airport at last recognise the need to expand capacity, but it would take decades to build – and we need that capacity now. “That is why I am proposing that Heathrow and Gatwick are turned into a virtual hub airport, linked by high-speed rail, that a second runway is built at Gatwick and that more efficient use is made of London’s “second tier” airports such as Southend and Manston. “I believe that this solution will provide the capacity we need, at a much lower cost and much more quickly than the Estuary idea and that it should be seriously examined as a solution to London air capacity crunch.” ENDS

http://www.london.gov.uk/media/press_releases_assembly_member/news-victoria-borwick-%E2%80%9Cwe%E2%80%99ve-missed-boat-estuary-airport%E2%80%9D-says-victoria-borwick

.

.

.

 

 

 

Read more »

Stop Stansted Expansion critical of airport expansion application, bypassing local authority scrutiny

Stansted Airport has applied to increase the current cap on annual passenger numbers from 35 million to 43 million passengers, in what campaigners say is a ‘sweetheart’ deal with local planning authorities to avoid government scrutiny. The application to Uttlesford District Council (UDC) seeks permission to increase the use of its single runway over the next 10 years. However, the Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) group said the application was misleading in claiming that further expansion of the airport would have no significant environmental impacts. SSE said it was “profoundly concerned at the lengths Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is prepared to go to to avoid scrutiny by secretary of State by amending passenger numbers” as they are trying to keep the expansion to 8 million, rather than 10 million, passengers – avoiding the application being dealt with as a major infrastructure project. SSE said it understands that in return for local planning approval from the district council, MAG might make financial contributions to help fund local road schemes and other local projects in the delivery of the local plan. SSE said: “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that a 44% increase in the number of flights and a 66%  increase in the number of passengers means a lot more noise, a lot more pollution and a lot more traffic on our already congested local roads.”
.

Stansted Airport campaigners hit out at passenger growth proposal

7 March 2018
By Imogen Braddick (Dunmow Broadcast)

Stansted Airport has applied to increase the current cap on annual passenger numbers from 35 million to 43 million passengers a year in what campaigners say is a ‘sweetheart’ deal with local planning authorities to avoid government scrutiny.

The application to Uttlesford District Council (UDC) seeks permission to increase the use of its single runway over the next 10 years, which could lead to 5,000 new on-site jobs and boost the offering of long haul destinations.

Ken O’Toole, chief executive of London Stansted Airport, said: “Over the past six months we have consulted widely on our future growth plans and based on the feedback from these discussions, we’ve made sure our growth can be achieved within current limits on flight numbers and with no increase in the size of the airport’s noise footprint. This is good news for local residents.”

However, the Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) group said the application was misleading in claiming that further expansion of the airport would have no significant environmental impacts and said it was “profoundly concerned at the lengths Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is prepared to go to to avoid scrutiny by secretary of State by amending passenger numbers”.

Chairman of SSE, Peter Sanders, said: “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that a 44 percent increase in the number of flights and a 66 percent increase in the number of passengers means a lot more noise, a lot more pollution and a lot more traffic on our already congested local roads.”

SSE said that by increasing the number of passengers by eight million, and not 10, MAG could have the plan considered by the district council, and not by the secretary of state which, it argued, would be more rigorous.

SSE said it understands that in return for local planning approval from the district council, MAG would be prepared to make financial contributions to help fund local road schemes and other local projects in the delivery of the local plan.

Mr Sanders added: “We need to have confidence that this planning application will be considered purely on its own merits and subject to fair and thorough scrutiny. That is why it should be determined nationally by the secretary of state, not locally by UDC.”

The application will also seek permission for additional airfield infrastructure within the current airfield boundary, comprising two new links to the runway, six additional stands on the mid airfield and three additional stands at the north eastern end of the airport.

http://www.dunmowbroadcast.co.uk/news/stansted-airport-campaigners-hit-out-at-passenger-growth-proposal-1-5423540

.

.


See earlier:

Stansted applies to UDC to raise the current passenger number cap from 35 mppa to 43 mppa

Stansted airport has submitted a planning application to Uttlesford District Council to raise the current cap on the number of passengers it is permitted to handle from 35 million passengers per annum (mppa) to 43mppa, while committing to remain within current approved limits on aircraft noise and flight numbers. This is to make best use of the airport’s existing single runway over the next decade (with the usual claims of economic benefits, jobs etc etc).  Stansted say their expansion, from 35 mppa, would ease pressure on the London airport system when Heathrow and Gatwick are capacity constrained. However, local group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE), says the airport handled about 25 mppa in 2017, and has permission to grow to 35 mppa, granted after a 5-month public inquiry in 2007. Despite this, in summer 2017 the airport’s owners, MAG, said they “urgently” needed permission to expand to a massive 44.5 million passenger airport over the next 12 years. They claim there will be no more noise, but in practice the gap between planes on average would reduce from about 135 seconds now, to about 85 seconds. SSE says the changes in the current application are “almost entirely presentational.”

Click here to view full story…

Stop Stansted Expansion say Government’s Aviation Forecast figures undermine Stansted’s claims on need for expansion

Claims by Stansted’s management that the airport’s growth potential over the next decade is being severely limited by the present cap on numbers at 35 mppa are being called into question by local campaign, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) following the publication of new Government figures. These numbers are in the DfT’s forecasts, published as part of the 2nd consultation on the Airports NPS (ie. Heathrow runway). Stansted’s owners, MAG, predict that it will be completely full by 2023 – and it therefore needs an increase in permitted numbers to be able to accommodate 43 million passengers in 2028. But SSE show that in the new DfT UK Aviation Forecasts, reveal this is wrong. The DfT central forecast for Stansted is that it should expect to handle just 31 million passengers annually by 2030, and 35 million by 2033.  Not by 2023. Stansted airport has been talking up the need for further growth – in anticipation of its application for planning permission from Uttlesford District Council in early 2018. And if there was a 3rd Heathrow runway, the DfT projects a decline in the number of Stansted passengers – from 24mppa in 2016 to 22mppa in 2030, and just 32 mppa by 2040. SSE say: “MAG’s overstatement of potential demand to secure support for expansion is nothing more than an opportunistic ploy.”

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

No 3rd Runway Coalition evidence to Transport Committee on hugely underestimated noise impacts in NPS

The No 3rd Runway Coalition gave oral and written evidence to the Commons Transport Committee. The written submission, with all the details, is published on the Committee’s website. The Coalition has explained to the MPs that, contrary to the Government’s claim in the National Policy Statement (NPS), but taking the Government’s own figures, if the NPS was approved and there was a 3rd Heathrow runway, some 2.2 million people – and possibly up to 3 million people – would experience more plane noise.  Over half a million people would receive double the number of overflights. The NPS says no more than an extra 92,700  people will be significantly affected by noise (i.e. falling within the 54 dBLAeq contour) in 2030 if the Heathrow NWR scheme is developed. However, the NPS does not represent the CAA’s economic analysis, which uses the DfT’s webTAG appraisal model (which was made available on 31.1.2018 following a FoI request). This shows that more than 420,000 people, who are already impacted over the 54 dB LAeq ‘significance threshold’, will receive 3 dB of extra noise – equivalent to doubling of the number of flights experienced daily. In addition, there is no detail on flight paths or the strategies under which they will be decided, so there is no clarity or certainty on how much people will be affected.  Parliament should not vote for a development where such key details are unknown.  The Coalition says: “Against this background the NPS should be withdrawn pending comprehensive independent review  or alternatively rejected entirely.”
.

NO 3RD RUNWAY COALITION GIVE FURTHER EVIDENCE

7.3.2018  (Teddington Action Group – TAG)

The No 3rd Runway Coalition, of which TAG is an active member, gave further written evidence to the Transport Committee of the House of Commons following their oral evidence. This is now published on the Transport Committee’s website.The staggering fact is that contrary to the Government’s claim in the National Policy Statement, but taking the Government’s own figures, some 2.2 million people and possibly up to 3 million people will experience more noise and over half a million people will receive double the number of overflights should the National Policy Statement be approved and a third runway at Heathrow built. Detailed reasons are given in the written evidence.

The Government’s claims in the NPS are quite simply wrong and the sooner they admit it the better. Heathrow already affects more people with noise than any other airport in the World.

The full text of the evidence is reproduced at 

http://www.teddingtonactiongroup.com/2018/03/07/no-3rd-runway-coalition-give-further-evidence/

 

Some sections of the long document are copied below:

No Third Runway Coalition-supplementary written evidence (NPS0093)

Summary

  1. The NPS states that no more than an extra 92,700 people will be significantly affected by noise (i.e. falling within the 54 dBLAeq contour) in 2030 if the Heathrow NWR scheme is developed. This is based on a “minimise total” scenario, assuming concentrated flight paths to reduce the measurable number of people impacted.
  1. Yet the NPS fails to represent the CAA’s economic analysis, which uses the DfT’s webTAG appraisal model (which was made available on 31 January 2018 following a Freedom of Information request). This shows that more than 420,000 people, who are already impacted over the 54 dB LAeq ‘significance threshold’, will receive 3 dB of extra noise – equivalent to doubling of the number of flights experienced daily.
  1. Moreover, in this study’s Noise Workbook a summary of the monetised health costs and quantitative results states that 972,957 households will incur an increase in daytime noise at the forecast year (2060 – by which time it is assumed in the NPS quieter planes will have been introduced). This would mean that, based on the CAA’s average dwelling occupancy, by that time 2,238,000 people will experience increased noise with a third runway. During the early years after opening the effects will be even worse. 
  1. These figures together with the implications of embedding forever a six-and-a-half-hour night (ending at 5.30 am), a lack of research into the impact of respite (which will be halved) and the introduction of super concentrated routes (using PBN) are not highlighted or addressed by the NPS. Flight path strategies have not been considered; no one knows who will be affected or by how much. 
  1. This is a totally unacceptable basis for engaging with the public or asking Parliament to make a decision of such significance. It is symptomatic of a lack of check and balance in aviation governance, which should be reviewed in the light of the NPS. 

Introduction

  1. This submission reflects information arising from the TSC’s oral hearings where it received evidence from Heathrow Airport, the Secretary of State for Transport (and his officials), the CAA and airline representatives on 5, 7 and 20 February.
  1. It also assesses evidence that has come to light from:
  • The webTAG workbook used by the CAA to calculate noise impacts reflected in the NPS together with its assumptions regarding fleet transition.
  • Matters discussed at the Heathrow Community Noise Forum Working Group Meetings on 13 and 15 February 2018 relating to Heathrow’s draft Noise Action Plan, the CAA’s SoNA and the airport’s noise contour reports.

Conclusions and Recommendations

  1. The NPS conceals the real level of noise impacts that will impact a very large area of London and the South-East with a third runway at Heathrow by a huge margin. By the time the airport is fully operational, it is quite likely more than 3 million people will experience more noise and approximately half a million who are already ‘significantly affected’ at 54 dB LAeqwill experience double the number of overflights. The NPS omits entirely to provide information entirely on the numbers of people who will fall within the LOEL 51 dB LAeqcontour, adopted in 2017 by the DfT in Airspace Management Policy.
  1. The level of impact of a third runway is not made clear at all in the NPS – the above data has been extracted from the CAA’s webTAG analysis only made available to us on 31 January 2018 following a freedom of information request, a long time after the closing date for submissions to the TSC.
  1. The NPS only appraises the Minimise Total flight path scenario. Based on the AC’s analysis this is likely to lead to a substantial under prediction of noise impacts, once practical flight path options become identified. At this stage, no one knows how many people will be affected, where the impacts will be and how much additional noise there will be over specific locations. This is an unacceptable basis for public consultation or political decision making.
  1. In addition, the DfT and Heathrow have failed to carry out essential research on health and quality of life impacts particularly arising from concentrated flight paths, respite (the routes which have been considered may not even be technically possible) or embedding a six-and-a-half-hour night period ending at 5.30 am on a vast population. Given that more than three million people will experience increased noise and while considering even those benefitting from some reduction will still be impacted, it is not unreasonable to anticipate expansion of Heathrow could impact adversely the lives of many millions of UK citizens.
  1. We have identified crucial flaws in the CAA’s noise modelling that require existing contours to be reworked. On the same basis for reasons explained in this submission SoNA should be independently peer reviewed and if necessary the work should be repeated.
  1. The current situation, epitomised by the NPS, has arisen due to unacceptable governance arrangements for aviation in the UK. The DfT has sought to construct an evidence base to justify expansion of Heathrow rather than independently and impartially assessing all the facts. The regulator, the CAA denies it has responsibility for protecting UK citizens from aviation’s adverse environmental side effects. No one else accepts accountability for this. There is no trust between communities the DfT, the CAA, NATS or Heathrow airport. In future aviation should be overseen by a parliamentary oversight committee with members representing the departments of health, environment, education, treasury, BIS as well as transport.
  1. Against this background the NPS should be withdrawn pending comprehensive independent review or alternatively rejected entirely.

 

February 2018 

http://www.teddingtonactiongroup.com/2018/03/07/no-3rd-runway-coalition-give-further-evidence/

.

.

 

 

Read more »

Grayling emissions omission admission: Heathrow air quality costs 2-4 times higher than previously thought

The Commons Transport Committee is currently assessing the Heathrow proposals for a 3rd runway. One of the issues in which they have taken a particular interest is whether the right numbers have been used for the cost to human health of air pollution, and if the costs of pollution beyond a 2km band around the airport have been properly considered. Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, has now written to the Committee to clarify the government position, and has confirmed that the DfT omitted (in error) to consider the emissions beyond 2km. By contrast the DfT’s own impact appraisal had noted impacts well beyond this 2km boundary, in terms of additional vehicle traffic.  The total figure for the extra cost to health, from Grayling’s admission, is now thought to be 2 to 4 times higher than the one published in the official appraisal document.  That means the “net present value” of the scheme, previously assessed as minus £-2.2 to plus £3.3 billion over 60 years (so already potentially negative) could drop to as low as minus £-2.6 to plus £2.9 billion under the new estimate.  The cost of the damage to human health from additional air pollution, associated with a new runway, is one of the two ways the DfT assesses the cost-benefit analysis of the proposal. 
.

 

Heathrow air quality costs two to four times higher than previously thought, says minister

In the final few weeks of the Transport Committee’s scrutiny of the Government’s proposals for Heathrow expansion, Transport Minister Chris Grayling has written to the committee admitting that the air quality cost of expansion that was presented alongside the draft National Policy Statement (NPS), failed to include any costs beyond a 2km radius of the airport. Their own analysis had elsewhere assessed the impact of additional vehicle emissions well beyond this boundary.

The ongoing air quality barrier to Heathrow expansion

The issue of air quality has long been a sticking point when it comes to Heathrow expansion. Modelling conducted when a third runway was last on the table over a decade ago claimed that by now London would be compliant with legal limits for nitrogen dioxide. But even without an additional runway, the hoped-for improvements turned out to be over-optimistic and London remains in breach of the limits.

A series of successful legal actions against the Government for failing to get to grips with the issue and a focus by the London Mayor on the need for new measures in the capital have recently pushed the issue up the political agenda just as the Heathrow vote begins to loom. Several local authorities close to the airport, together with Greenpeace, have committed to legally challenge the NPS, if adopted in its current form by a Parliamentary vote scheduled for the second quarter of this year. The challenge is likely to centre around air quality, as well as the ‘legitimate expectation’ of communities who believed previous government commitments that expansion was off the agenda.

Legal limits and air quality costs

The Government has assessed the air quality impact of a third runway in two ways.

The first considers what impact the scheme would have on compliance with legal limit values. The latest official position on this, repeated in Grayling’s letter, is that “expansion would be capable of being delivered without impacting the UK’s compliance with air quality limit values”.

As we’ve previously argued, however, it’s hard to feel confident in this scenario, given how many questionable assumptions the conclusion rests on, so it’s no surprise that the NPS does not require air quality limit values to be met as a precondition for Heathrow expansion, and that no air quality enforcement plan has been proposed.

The second approach to assessment monetises the damage to human health of the additional air pollution associated with expansion for inclusion in the cost benefit analysis of the scheme.

The Transport Committee has taken a particular interest in whether the right numbers have been entered into this analysis and has identified that the air quality cost calculation only covered emissions within a 2km radius of the airport in contrast to the Government’s impact appraisal that had noted impacts well beyond this boundary in terms of additional vehicle traffic.

Emissions omission

Acknowledging this “unintended omission”, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s letter to the Transport Committee, provides new information on the likely cost of emissions beyond a 2km radius of Heathrow airport, with the total figure now thought to be 2 to 4 times higher than the one published in the official appraisal document. The cost associated with Gatwick expansion was also underestimated, the letter notes.

The Government is keen to argue that even the revised figure pales in comparison with the supposed benefit of the scheme, but closer inspection of this claim using other official metrics tells a very different story. The ‘net present value’ of the scheme, previously assessed as £-2.2 to £3.3 billion over sixty years (so already potentially negative) could drop to as low as £-2.6 to £2.9 billion under the new estimate.

Are we underestimating airports’ air quality impact?

Meanwhile, some academics have questioned whether traditional approaches to estimating airport emissions underestimate the emissions from aircraft themselves. While most studies on airport air pollution have focussed on sites close to the airport, a 2014 paper considering the air pollution impact of Los Angeles Airport found a twofold increase in particulate pollution as a result of the airport’s operation within a 60 km2 radius. It concluded that “the air quality impact areas of major airports may have been seriously underestimated” – a finding as relevant to any other major UK airport as to Heathrow, and casting doubt on the relevance of the 2km radius used in the Government’s NPS assessment.

Are MPs’ in a good position for a summer vote on Heathrow?

Commenting on the publication of Chris Grayling’s letter, AEF’s Deputy Director Cait Hewitt said:

Yet again, the Government’s evidence on the impact of Heathrow expansion on the environment and public health has been found to be lacking. With no climate change policy for aviation, poor information on noise impacts, and unreliable information on air quality, we’re urging MPs to vote against a bigger Heathrow.


Related articles

Seven air quality reasons not to expand Heathrow

AEF briefing highlights inadequate measures to address air quality in Heathrow NPS


.

.

Grayling’s letter: 

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/transport/Letter-from-Chris-Grayling-MP-to-Committee-Chair-re-Airports-NPS-revised-draft-23-2-2018.pdf


Transcript of the oral evidence session when Grayling spoke to the Transport Committee on 7th Feb 2018

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/transport-committee/airports-national-policy-statement/oral/78105.pdf

.

Transport Committee inquiry into the Airports NPS

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/airports-nps-17-19/

where there is a lot where MPs express their concerns about Heathrow and air pollution.

 

.


see also

Study from Los Angeles shows extent of spread of particle air pollution downwind of airport (implications for Heathrow?)

A study in California looking at air pollution from Los Angeles International Airport has shown far more widespread impacts that had previously been expected. The scientists measured the spatial pattern of particle number (PN) concentrations downwind from the airport with an instrumented vehicle that enabled a larger area to be covered than allowed by traditional stationary measurements. The study found at least a 2-fold increase in PN concentrations over un-impacted baseline PN concentrations during most hours of the day in an area of about 60 km2 that extended to 16 km (10 miles) downwind and a 4- to 5-fold increase to 8–10 km (5–6 miles) downwind. Locations of maximum PN concentrations were aligned to eastern, downwind jet trajectories during prevailing westerly winds. They found the levels of PM miles from the airport were higher than those from motorways. They say “The freeway length that would cause an impact equivalent to that measured in this study (i.e., PN concentration increases weighted by the area impacted) was estimated to be 280–790 km) “The total freeway length in Los Angeles is 1500 km. These results suggest that airport emissions are a major source of PN in Los Angeles that are of the same general magnitude as the entire urban freeway network. They also indicate that the air quality impact areas of major airports may have been seriously underestimated.”

Click here to view full story…

.

.

.

.

 

 

 

 

Read more »

Study from Los Angeles shows huge extent of spread of particle air pollution downwind of airport

A study in California looking at air pollution from Los Angeles International Airport has shown far more widespread impacts that had previously been expected. The scientists measured the spatial pattern of particle number (PN) concentrations downwind from the airport with an instrumented vehicle that enabled a larger area to be covered than allowed by traditional stationary measurements. The study found at least a 2-fold increase in PN concentrations over un-impacted baseline PN concentrations during most hours of the day in an area of about 60 km2 that extended to 16 km (10 miles) downwind and a 4- to 5-fold increase to 8–10 km (5–6 miles) downwind. Locations of maximum PN concentrations were aligned to eastern, downwind jet trajectories during prevailing westerly winds. They found the levels of PM miles from the airport were higher than those from motorways. They say “The freeway length that would cause an impact equivalent to that measured in this study (i.e., PN concentration increases weighted by the area impacted) was estimated to be 280–790 km) “The total freeway length in Los Angeles is 1500 km. These results suggest that airport emissions are a major source of PN in Los Angeles that are of the same general magnitude as the entire urban freeway network. They also indicate that the air quality impact areas of major airports may have been seriously underestimated.”

.

 

Emissions from an International Airport Increase Particle Number Concentrations 4-fold at 10 km Downwind

. 2014 Jun 17; 48(12): 6628–6635.
Published online 2014 May 29. 
For a better version of this image, see here 

Abstract

We measured the spatial pattern of particle number (PN) concentrations downwind from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with an instrumented vehicle that enabled us to cover larger areas than allowed by traditional stationary measurements.
LAX emissions adversely impacted air quality much farther than reported in previous airport studies.
We measured at least a 2-fold increase in PN concentrations over un-impacted baseline PN concentrations during most hours of the day in an area of about 60 km2 that extended to 16 km (10 miles) downwind and a 4- to 5-fold increase to 8–10 km (5–6 miles) downwind. Locations of maximum PN concentrations were aligned to eastern, downwind jet trajectories during prevailing westerly winds and to 8 km downwind concentrations exceeded 75 000 particles/cm3, more than the average freeway PN concentration in Los Angeles.
During infrequent northerly winds, the impact area remained large but shifted to south of the airport. The freeway length that would cause an impact equivalent to that measured in this study (i.e., PN concentration increases weighted by the area impacted) was estimated to be 280–790 km.
The total freeway length in Los Angeles is 1500 km. These results suggest that airport emissions are a major source of PN in Los Angeles that are of the same general magnitude as the entire urban freeway network. They also indicate that the air quality impact areas of major airports may have been seriously underestimated.
…. and there is a lot more ……

Recommendations for Other Studies

LAX is in a region of Los Angeles with highly consistent wind direction. This provided the several hours necessary for a single mobile platform to monitor a sufficient number of transects to cover the large area impacted by LAX emissions. At airport locations where the prevailing wind direction frequently shifts during the day, multiple platforms would be necessary to quickly capture the full spatial extent of emissions impacts to surrounding air quality.

The emissions from LAX are likely not unique on a per-activity basis. The large area of impact from LAX suggests that air pollution studies involving PN, localized roadway impacts, or other sources whose impacts are in the influence zone of a large airport should carefully consider wind conditions and whether measurements are influenced by airport emissions.

Source apportionment of specific airport sources or activities was beyond the scope of our study but would be necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of possible mitigation options. Differing NO2 to NOx ratios at different levels of engine thrust might be used to distinguish the contributions of jet landing, idling or takeoff activities. Takeoff and idling emission also differ in surface properties (i.e., the ratio of active surface area to surface bound photoionizable species) and particle size distributions differ between aircraft and ground support equipment emissions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215878/

.

.

.

 

Read more »

FT reports talks between UK and US on Open Skies after Brexit face difficulties

British and American negotiators secretly met in January for the first formal talks on a new air services deal, for after Brexit. When the UK leaves the EU it will no longer be part of the EU-US open skies treaty. The FT reports that the talks were cut short after US negotiators offered a far worse “Open Skies” deal, which is only a standard bilateral agreement. These typically require airlines to be majority owned and controlled by parties from their country of origin, and would hit the transatlantic operating rights of BA and Virgin badly. The limits would be difficult for these airlines, as they have large foreign shareholdings – not merely British. The FT reports that a British official said it showed “the squeeze” London will face as it tries to reconstruct its international agreements after Brexit, even with close allies such as Washington. The busy UK-US routes are profitable, and numerous, and negotiators hope a solution will be found, but it could take time and may not be done fast enough for airlines planning flights a year ahead. The Americans are increasingly against trade liberalisation, so it is not a great time to be negotiating. The FT estimates the UK must renegotiate and replace about 65 international transport agreements after Brexit. Each taking time.
.

UK-US Open Skies talks hit Brexit turbulence

5.3.2018 (FT)
Negotiations cut short after Washington offers worse package than EU

There are legal and political obstacles that could impede the UK and US from reaching a deal in time to give legal certainty to airlines booking flights a year in advance

By Katrina Manson in Washington, Alex Barker in Brussels and Tanya Powley in London 

The US is offering Britain a worse “Open Skies” deal after Brexit than it had as an EU member, in a negotiating stance that would badly hit the transatlantic operating rights of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

British and American negotiators secretly met in January for the first formal talks on a new air services deal, aiming to fill the gap created when Britain falls out of the EU-US open skies treaty after Brexit, according to people familiar with talks.

See full FT article at https://www.ft.com/content/9461157c-1f97-11e8-9efc-0cd3483b8b80

.

.

 

Read more »

Heathrow Villages residents shocked by details of number of local sites to be destroyed for 3rd runway plans

Two public meetings (one in Harmondsworth, the other in Yiewsley) held in the Heathrow villages raised concerns about the number and location of sites that could be destroyed for the 3rd runway development. Until now, many residents in surrounding areas have not realised just how damaging another runway would be to their lives. Despite awful weather, snow and intense cold, the meetings were packed and constituency MP, John McDonnell, and Hillingdon leader, Ray Puddifoot, managed to attend. Last month Ray announced that Hillingdon Council has budgeted £200,000 for the fund to launch a legal challenge against the runway. Justine Bayley of SHE (Stop Heathrow Expansion) gave a presentation with local maps from Heathrow’s consultation documents. These show the huge number of development sites that Heathrow have their eye on. She explained the individual parcels of land under threat, and their possible intended purpose. Many at the meetings had not know about these threats. There is real concern that most residents who will not be forced to leave their homes (as they are not due for demolition) have no idea that they will have to suffer severe negative impacts from a third runway, due to their proximity to it – and associated building. John McDonnell MP said it was vital to ensure that the information is spread as widely as possible.
.

Proposed sites for runway development shock residents

2.3.2018 (Stop Heathrow Expansion website)

See http://stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/news/2018/3/3/proposed-sites-for-runway-development-shock-residents for lots of great photos

Two public meetings held in the Heathrow villages this week raised concerns about the number and location of sites that, according to Heathrow, could be destroyed to create a third runway development. Until now, many residents in surrounding areas have not realised just how damaging another runway would be to their lives.

The brave souls who attended the meetings, despite heavy snow and bitter winds, had the opportunity to put questions to campaigners and politicians.

St Mary’s Church Hall in Harmondsworth was the venue for the first meeting, on Wednesday 28th February. With the snow swirling through the village, attendance could have been affected but, in fact, the hall was full and constituency MP, John McDonnell, also managed to attended.

Seriously determined to fight the 3rd runway proposals

The billed guest speaker was Hillingdon Council Leader Ray Puddifoot, who is a passionate opponent of Heathrow expansion. He has ensured that campaigners battling to protect the health and homes of people in the south of the borough have received the support to continue. Last month he announced that Hillingdon Council, which under Mr Puddifoot has already defeated the government in court over the issue, has budgeted £200,000 for the fund to launch a legal challenge against the runway.

The Council Leader started the meeting by listing all the things that were wrong with the current Heathrow consultation. Like most long-standing residents of the borough, Mr Puddifoot is well aware that the airport cannot be trusted to tell the truth so public meetings organised by anti-expansion campaigners are important.

At the second meeting in Yiewsley and West Drayton Community Centre, on an even colder night on Friday 2nd March, Justine Bayley of SHE gave a presentation showing local maps from the consultation documents. These showed the huge number of development sites that Heathrow have their eye on.

Justine Bayley (SHE) gives many West Drayton residents their first view of development sites

Ms Bayley, an expert on building conservation and heritage, shocked the audience with shots of the individual parcels of land and their possible intended purpose, as listed in the consultation material. Despite the horror of the revelations, there is no doubt that most residents who will NOT be forced to leave their homes have no idea that they will have to suffer SEVERE negative impacts from a third runway.

One audience member asked how anyone knowing the facts could support it. John McDonnell MP responded that it was all our jobs to ensure that the information is spread as widely as possible.

Rob Barnstone, from SHE and the NoR3 Coalition, told those in the hall that Justine Greening MP had held a meeting on 1st March in Putney, with fellow anti-runway campaigner Zac Goldsmith MP. Justine informed the meeting that she had written to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to demand that MPs have full flight path information BEFORE they vote on a third runway, not afterwards as is currently the way the planning timetable has been scheduled, so they know what communities will be affected.

Allowing MPs to vote on a massively destructive and costly project without essential information is just one of the ways that the new planning process, aimed at speeding things up after the lengthy T5 enquiry, is deeply flawed.

Some of the audience members decide to have a laugh by donning their winter woollies for a quick photo before the trek home through the snow. They’re a hardy bunch. 
Some of the audience members decide to have a laugh by donning their winter woollies for a quick photo before the trek home through the snow. They’re a hardy bunch.

Topics raised at the meetings included:

Longford – Stan Wood, who is a leading member of the newly-reformed Longford Residents’ Association, wanted the village to have a higher profile as it is the village that would be totally wiped off the map by the runway proposals. Christine Taylor of SHE showed a Heathrow consultation leaflet showing local impacts – sadly this is one time when Longford takes top billing in the title. These are available from the consultation events, with the Harmondsworth event scheduled for 9th March.

Land grabbing by Heathrow – Various maps at the consultation events and in the documents show specific areas that the airport are likely to use for development. One such area, which is a tiny orange dot on a map in the leaflet showing the local impacts, is the location of The Lodge in Harmondsworth. This building, which local people were looking at as a possible venue to accommodate community services, has been bought by the government for a school even though it accepts that the site is unsuitable. It seems likely that this property and its land would be sold to Heathrow and this may have been the intention from the start.

Housing – Huge destruction, particularly of family homes. These usually include gardens, thus increasing the land take in the south of the borough where new properties have a much smaller footprint. West Drayton and Hayes now have numerous blocks of tiny residential units. Jane Taylor, the Chair of Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents’ Association (HASRA), pointed out that the compensation package is poor and will not provide residents like herself to buy a similar property within reach of family, friends and support networks. Workers could lose their jobs when forced to move away.

Sipson – This village is not in the area for compulsory purchase so there were questions about how it would be affected. Clearly the impact would be significant as some houses would be directly under the departing and landing aircraft. Changes to the roads would also have a severe impact and together these would make most homes unliveable should a third runway go ahead.

Heathrow has been buying homes in the village and is the dominant landlord in the villages. This has enabled it to set the rents for the area at the highest level possible – in the airport’s view this is the “market rent”. Jane has pointed out to the airport that they initially reassured residents that the family homes they purchased would have families occupying them as tenants, as a priority.

However, rents are now too high for families – with other landlords raising rents to Heathrow levels too. Heathrow is therefore changing the demographics of Sipson, with houses being occupied by groups of single men. Jane suggested that Heathrow lead the way in the way it deals with housing and set an example like large companies did in previous eras.

Heathrow funding third runway propaganda in schools – A parent raised concerns that her daughter received lessons funded by the airport. The child, who was at the meeting, briefly described what appeared to be a lesson on the importance of airport freight. Cllr Puddifoot commented that headteachers at schools now have more powers to set what happens in their schools. Christine Taylor from SHE, who has been a school governor, agreed that headteachers and governors would be the people to whom parents could address complaints.

Ms Taylor was particularly concerned that Back Heathrow, a lobby group with the sole function of promoting the expansion of a polluting industry that damages health, was being given the opportunity to address children in schools and colleges. She had wondered if a school would allow a tobacco industry lobby group to promote its product and as a result rang a school that had hosted a Back Heathrow lesson. On asking if there was any vetting of groups allowed to promote themselves in schools, she was advised that any group could make an application.

Kicking the runway decision into the long grass – John McDonnell MP said that it was possible the MPs’ vote could be delayed because a third runway is such a contentious issue. Harmondsworth resident Armelle Thomas spoke for many people when she said that people living under threat wanted the runway cancelled as soon as possible and not dragged on for more years.

http://stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/news/2018/3/3/proposed-sites-for-runway-development-shock-residents

.

.

 

 

Read more »

John McDonnell: Heathrow expansion will never happen – it cannot meet 4 vital tests

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell believes a 3rd runway at Heathrow will never get built because of the serious environmental issues the expansion would cause. McDonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington, and a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been a longstanding campaigner against the runway, due to the devastating impact it would have on his constituency. He does not believe Heathrow can get round the problem of air pollution from the runway and associated road traffic.  At a local meeting about Heathrow’s expansion plans, John said: “As soon as any decision is made, Hillingdon and the other boroughs will be straight back in court again”. …“I just don’t think Heathrow is the runner that it might have been with the governments in the past.” There is due to be a vote in Parliament in the summer on the runway; as things stand, the government would win backing for the runway. However, though many Labour MPs are keen supporters, there is a real possibility that Labour may be able to block it – especially if it won a general election. Labour set out 4 tests the runway would have to meet, and currently it cannot pass them. The tests require (1). noise issues to be addressed, (2). air quality to be protected, (3). the UK’s climate change obligations met and (4). growth across the country supported.  
.

 

Heathrow expansion will never happen, says McDonnell

Shadow chancellor says third runway will not pass Labour’s tests on suitability

By Jim Pickard (Financial Times)

3.3.2018

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has predicted that a third runway at London’s Heathrow airport will never get built because of the environmental issues around the contentious expansion scheme.

Mr McDonnell, a close ally of Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and longstanding campaigner against Heathrow’s third runway, said he could not see a way for the airport to get around the issue of air quality that concerns local councils.

“As soon as any decision is made, Hillingdon and the other boroughs will be straight back in court again,” said Mr McDonnell, whose Hayes & Harlington constituency is located close to Heathrow.

MPs are expected to vote this summer on whether Heathrow Airport Holdings’ third runway plans should go ahead.

Mr McDonnell is unlikely to be able to block the project at this stage, given that Theresa May’s government backed the third runway in 2016 and many Labour MPs are keen supporters. But there are fears in the aviation industry that Mr McDonnell is powerful enough within his party to be able to block the scheme in the circumstances of a snap general election resulting in a Labour victory.

Labour fought the 2017 election on a manifesto indicating that Heathrow’s third runway would have to satisfy four tests relating to noise, air quality, climate change and economic growth.

But Mr McDonnell has pre-empted that process by saying he cannot see any way that Heathrow would meet the tests.

He argued that proposals by London’s Gatwick airport for a second runway were now “coming through very strongly, quietly I think, as a viable alternative” if Labour got into power in the coming months.

“You’ve got a viable alternative which actually makes more business sense and is more cost-effective,” he said. “I just don’t think Heathrow is the runner that it might have been with the governments in the past.”

https://www.ft.com/content/bcc04bec-1e0b-11e8-956a-43db76e69936

.


 

Labour manifesto – May 2017:

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/05/what-is-in-the-labour-and-libdem-manifestos-in-relation-to-aviation/

On aviation: 

Labour recognises the need for additional airport capacity in the South East. We welcome the work done by the Airports Commission, and we will guarantee that any airport expansion adheres to our tests that require noise issues to be addressed, air quality to be protected, the UK’s climate change obligations met and growth across the country supported.

We will continue working with our neighbours through the European Union’s Highways of the Sea programme and by negotiating to retain membership of the Common Aviation Area and Open Skies arrangements.

On air pollution: 

A Labour government will consult on establishing an environmental tribunal with simplified procedures to hear challenges to unlawful government decisions, like those made on the air quality strategy, without engaging in prohibitively expensive processes.

Labour will introduce a new Clean Air Act to deal with the Conservative legacy of illegal air quality. We will safeguard habitats and species in the ‘blue belts’ of the seas and oceans surrounding our island. We will set guiding targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes, working with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce waste.

We will protect our bees by prohibiting neonicotinoids as soon as our EU relationship allows us to do so. We will work with farmers and foresters to plant a million trees of native species to promote biodiversity and better flood management. Unlike the Conservatives who attempted to privatise our forests, Labour will keep them in public hands. Our stewardship of the environment needs to be founded on sound principles and based on scientific assessments. We will establish a science innovation fund, working with farmers and fisheries, that will include support for our small scale fishing fleet.

Carbon: 

Building a clean economy of the future is the most important thing we must do for our children, our grandchildren and future generations.

The Conservatives’ threatened Ȇbonfire of red tape’ is a threat to our environmental protections and to the quality of our lives. Their record on combating climate change and environmental damage has been one of inaction and broken promises.

The balance needs resetting: our air is killing us, our farms face an uncertain future, our fish stocks are collapsing, our oceans are used as dumping grounds, and our forests, green belt, national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are all under threat.

We will reclaim Britain’s leading role in tackling climate change, working hard to preserve the Paris Agreement and deliver on international commitments to reduce emissions while mitigating the impacts of climate change on developing countries.

http://www.labour.org.uk/page/-/Images/manifesto-2017/Labour%20Manifesto%202017.pdf

.


Back in December 2015 Labour then reiterated its “4 tests” [somewhat different] which were:

Their four tests for aviation expansion:

1.That robust and convincing evidence was produced that the Commission’s recommendations would provide sufficient capacity;
2. That the UK’s legal climate change obligations could still be met;
3. That local noise and environmental impacts can be managed and minimised;
4. That the benefits of any expansion were not confined to London and the South East.

http://www.citymetric.com/politics/heathrow-or-gatwick-its-make-your-mind-time-david-cameron-1673

 

Read more »

UK Chief Medical Officer says people’s health is being damaged by exposure to too much air, noise and light pollution

The Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has said people in the UK are being exposed to a daily cocktail of pollution – from noise pollution, air pollution and light pollution) that may be having a significant impact on their health, and on the NHS. Dame Sally said major industries should take more responsibility for the pollution they cause, and that there was enough evidence to suggest action had to be taken. Her report “Health Impacts of All Pollution – what do we know?” says: “Major infrastructure projects are making construction noise a semi-permanent feature of the urban sound environment” … “Noise acts as a psychosocial stressor, and the psychological reaction to it is influenced strongly by a number of personal, situational and environmental factors.” The section by Professor Stephen Stansfield says:  “In 2012, 83% of a survey sample in the UK reported they heard road traffic noise, 72% aircraft noise and 48% noise from building, construction and road works at home in the last 12 months.  48% reported that their home life was “spoiled to some extent” by environmental noise.” …”Short term effects of noise on sleep include impaired mood, increased daytime sleepiness, and impaired cognitive performance.”
.


 

The Chief Medical Officer’s reports are at 

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/chief-medical-officer-annual-reports

The report for 2017

“Health Impacts of All Pollution – what do we know?”

is at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/684962/CMO_Annual_Report_2017__Health_Impacts_of_All_Pollution_what_do_we_know.pdf


 

NHS must lead on tackling national pollution problem causing ‘chronic sickness’, chief medical officer says

‘Five percent of all road traffic at any one time is estimated to be on NHS business, be it patients going to and from care or the NHS’s fleet of vehicles.’

By Alex Matthews-King (Health Correspondent, Independent)

1.3.2018

Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies has previously singled out antibiotic resistance and Alzheimer’s as major health priorities

The NHS must take a lead on tackling a ”cocktail of pollutants” which are contributing to chronic sickness across the country, the UK’s most senior doctor has said.

In her annual report, Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said major industries should take more responsibility for the pollution they cause.

As one of the world’s largest employers, with over one million staff, the CMO says the NHS has a significant pollution footprint with health service traffic – including patients – accounting for one in every 20 vehicles on UK roads.

“It is the case that the health service in this country is a significant polluter simply due to its size,” the report says.

But this also means its interventions, such as providing more care close to people’s homes, can have a big impact on waste, diesel fumes, noise and industrial chemicals, that have long-term health impacts.

Campaigners estimate that health impacts of air pollution alone cost around £20bn a year, almost one fifth of the NHS budget, so work to reduce it makes financial and ethical sense.

Air pollution is implicated in millions of deaths a year, and cities in Germany and Italy have recently announced bans of diesel vehicles to bring the crisis under control.

This is also important in addressing health inequalities, with people living in more deprived areas typically exposed to much higher levels of air and noise pollution.

Professor Davies praised forward thinking ambulance services, like South Central Ambulance Trust, which have begun to trial fully electric ambulances that can recharge while dropping off patients, and efforts to phase out diesel emergency vehicles.

The report recommends that local NHS clinical commissioning groups, which already publish data on health measures and hospital performance, should also publish breaches of safe air pollution limits in their region.

This should be presented alongside information on admissions to hospital admissions for heart and respiratory conditions, both of which are increased by long term and acute air pollution exposure.

“We all know the environmental impacts of pollution—but what is less recognised is the impact on health,” says Professor Davies.

“With factors like air, light and noise – the public is exposed to a daily cocktail of pollutants. Some of these can be linked to chronic conditions like heart disease and asthma. This increases the risk for some of the most vulnerable members of our society and places a huge burden on our health service.

“Everybody has a role to play in cutting pollution but the NHS has more than a million staff, accounts for one in 20 vehicles on the road and is a big user of single-use disposable plastics. Some trusts are already blazing a trail and I urge others to follow.

More research is needed to understand how less studied chemical pollutants interact and affect our health, the report says, as well as the long term risks of our increasingly noisy and light polluted environments.

The wide ranging review calls on other groups to follow the NHS example, warning the Government’s air pollution strategy is too reliant on stretched local authorities to implement and needs more central oversight.

It also says councils need comprehensive pollution plans covering noise and emissions, and says they should consider the full extent of long and short term pollution in future planning decisions.

Professor Davies also recommends that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs explore whether the public should be encouraged to have devices to measure indoor air pollution.

While a pollutant free nation is not “do-able”, she says, the efforts to understand and reduce the various health harms of pollution need to be stepped up by the Government.

Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK chief scientist, told The Independent: “Air pollution alone is costing the NHS an estimated £20bn a year – a big chunk of its overall budget.

“So it makes perfect financial as well as ethical sense for the NHS to play a leading role in tackling the many sources of pollution that are threatening our environment and can make us sick.

“But it’s vital that government and local authorities step up to the plate too.“

The report’s editor, Andrew Dalton, said: “Pollutants are a part of daily life but, as this report shows, there is still a lot of uncertainty about the threat they pose to health.

“Improving data on this is the best first step we can take to protect the public’s health as it will help us to identify any currently unknown future threats.

“In the meantime, it is encouraging to see many local authorities, hospitals and other organisations finding innovative ways to reduce the health impacts of pollution.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/pollution-air-chemicals-noise-nhs-chief-medical-officer-sally-davies-report-a8235621.html

.

.

The report 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/684962/CMO_Annual_Report_2017__Health_Impacts_of_All_Pollution_what_do_we_know.pdf

says:

“Increasing urbanisation is bringing people’s dwellings closer together and closer to roads, railways, airports and industry. Major infrastructure projects are making construction noise a semi-permanent feature of the urban sound environment: the 24hr economy can be a barrier to people’s desire to “turn down the volume” at night to allow a good night’s sleep. But solving these problems is not just about reducing noise levels. Noise acts as a psychosocial stressor, and the psychological reaction to it is influenced strongly by a number of personal, situational and environmental factors. A holistic sustainable development approach featuring good acoustic design can protect against adverse health outcomes by minimising exposure …”

.

.

Also some other quotes from the section on Noise Pollution.

Authored by Stephen Stansfield, Professor of Psychiatry, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London. 

Pp 109 – 112

“In 2012, 83% of a survey sample in the UK reported they heard road traffic noise, 72% aircraft noise and 48% noise from building, construction and road works at home in the last 12 months.  48% reported that their home life was “spoiled to some extent” by environmental noise.”

“The level of annoyance to noise is influenced by many other factors including sensitivity to noise, fear of the noise source, and feelings that the noise producers are taking insufficient care.”

“Noise exposure during sleep induces arousals, delays sleep onset, reduces slow-wave and REM sleep and increases the length of time spent awake. Short term effects of noise on sleep include impaired mood, increased daytime sleepiness, and impaired cognitive performance.”

“In ecological studies aircraft noise has been associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk and hospital admissions. Aircraft and road traffic noise exposure have also been associated with increased risk of stroke, diabetes mellitus and even mortality.”

“In children aircraft noise exposure has been linked to delays in children’s reading on standard scales in cross-national studies.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/684962/CMO_Annual_Report_2017__Health_Impacts_of_All_Pollution_what_do_we_know.pdf

.

 

Read more »

Research shows in real operation A380 as much as 24% less fuel efficient per passenger than 2-engine planes

The ICCT (International Council on Clean Transportation) has assessed the fuel efficiency of different sizes and types of aircraft on flights between Asia, or Australia to the USA, across the Pacific. They have confirmed that the large, 4-engine, planes like the Boeing 747 and the A380 are not at all fuel efficient per passenger. That was well known for the 747, but the A380 has been hyped as being “green” and fuel efficient, as it can carry so many passengers. The problem is that most A380s are set out to have a lot of spare space, and plenty of luxury facilities. That means instead of perhaps over 700 passengers (up to 850 in theory) packed in, more have only about 350 passengers.  The ICCT research showed – in 2016 – that the 2 engine planes were as much as 24% more fuel efficient per passenger than the 4 engine planes. A380, which was touted as an engineering marvel when first flown, was hailed as an aircraft perfectly designed for carrying passengers between large, congested hub airports like Heathrow.  But it is increasingly clear that the A380 is a dud from both a business and environmental perspective. It is unlikely to pass the ICAO aircraft CO2 standard,  unless its fuel efficiency is improved. Heathrow wants to make out it is a vital hub airport for planes like this. But now it emerges just how much CO2 they produce in reality.
.

 

Size matters for aircraft fuel efficiency. Just not in the way that you think.

27 February 2018

by Dan Rutherford (ICCT – International Council on Clean Transportation)

https://www.theicct.org/

In our recent transpacific airline ranking, we assessed and compared the fuel efficiency of the top 20 airlines operating flights between the U.S., East Asia, and Oceana.  One interesting finding was that airlines that predominantly use the four-engine Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 aircraft – Asiana, Korean Air, and Qantas – had the lowest overall fuel efficiency on transpacific operations.  The question is, why?

One might assume that the larger the plane, the more fuel-efficient it is per passenger due to economies of scale. But in the case of flights over the Pacific, conventional wisdom turns out to be wrong. Size matters, but not in the way you think.

Airlines that operate very large aircraft burn more fuel and release more carbon than their peers. There are two reasons for this, one related to the aircraft itself and the other to how they are used on transpacific flights. Aircraft with four engines, or “quads”, tend to be less fuel-efficient than twinjets due to inherent design factors such as a higher wing weight and a smaller engine fan diameter. Second, quad aircraft operated with relatively fewer passengers over the Pacific in 2016 compared to twinjets due to lower seating densities and passenger load factors.

Taken together, overall very large four-engine aircraft used on transpacific flights had 24% lower fuel efficiency per passenger than aircraft with two engines in 2016 (see figure).

Fuel Efficiency by aircraft type

Figure: Difference from industry average fuel efficiency of 31 pax-km/L for 14 aircraft types used on transpacific routes, 2016

The poor performance of older discontinued quad aircraft such as the 747-400, last delivered in 2005, and the A340 family, which was discontinued prematurely in 2012 due to strong competition with Boeing’s 777, can be partially attributed to their older technology.  That’s not the case for Airbus superjumbo A380, which was touted as an engineering marvel when first flown and is still being manufactured today.

Airbus made a big bet on the superjumbo A380, which is half again as large as the Boeing 747 and certified to seat up to 853 passengers on two full decks. When it first entered into service in 2007, it was hailed as an aircraft perfectly designed for carrying passengers between large, congested hub airports. Boeing made a different bet, marketing aircraft like the B787 “Dreamliner” that would enable future travelers to fly direct even on long, “thin” international routes with relatively few passengers. In hindsight, that turned out to be the smarter move.

Today, it’s increasingly clear that the A380 is a dud from both a business and environmental perspective. Airbus has admitted that it will never recoup its $25 billion dollar investment in the A380 and, despite courting Chinese airlines, is increasingly reliant upon a single customer, Emirates, to keep the production line alive. Emirates recently agreed to purchase up to 36 new aircraft, which would extend A380 production out to 2027 or 2029, depending on whether an additional 16 options are exercised.  However, the A380 is unlikely to pass the International Civil Aviation Organization’s aircraft CO2 standard, and, therefore, will not be able to be sold internationally after 2028 unless its fuel efficiency is improved. Thus, the purchase may revive Emirates’ previous demand that the A380 be refreshed through re-engining as an A380neo option, which Airbus has been slow to develop.

For years, Airbus tried to market the A380 as the “Gentle Green Giant,” touting the aircraft as one of the most fuel-efficient planes in production in 2007. Our transpacific study shows that this is no longer the case. For an aircraft of its size, the A380 carries relatively few passengers – typically on the order of 350 per transpacific flight, compared to 200 for the 787-9, despite having two and half times the floor space – and limited freight carriage. Instead, smaller twin engine widebodies like Boeing’s 787 and Airbus’s A350 are the way to go for fuel efficiency. The Boeing 787-9 in particular was the most fuel-efficient aircraft on 2016 transpacific flights at 39 passenger kilometers per liter of fuel, or 60% better than the A380.

There’s a reason airlines around the world are no longer buying very large aircraft like the 747 and A380. Previously, quad aircraft were necessary for extended transoceanic flights, as Extended Range Operation with Two-Engine Airplanes (ETOPs) for twinjets were insufficient. But today’s twinjet widebodies provide both the ETOPS range and belly freight capacity required to meet even the most demanding routes. Very large aircraft are no longer needed for transpacific flights (and burn a lot of fuel to boot).

The good news is that many airlines are purchasing fuel-efficient twinjets for use on international routes and mothballing their very large aircraft.  We expect to see improvements as a result on future rankings. Watch this space.

https://www.theicct.org/blog/staff/size-matters-for-aircraft-fuel-efficiency

.

.


Wikipedia article confirms the A380, when not full of passengers (800 +) is not very fuel efficient at all. It is not particularly “quiet” either.

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

.

.

 

 

Read more »