It is accepted that there is a difference in the way aircraft noise is perceived, depending on the level of background (ambient) noise. At its most obvious, someone standing near a noisy urban road will not notice the noise of a plane flying overhead as much as someone in a quiet location. GACC has commissioned work by Dutch noise experts, looking at the effect of ambient noise. The authors conclude that the % of annoyed residents is likely to be higher in areas with low ambient noise than in high ambient noise areas. The authors suggest that the number of people annoyed is likely to be higher than shown by Leq or Lden metrics, where local factors that influence annoyance are not taken into account. Gatwick is surrounded on 3 sides by designated tranquil areas such as the AONBs. GACC says that, with a 2nd runway, not only would three times as many people be affected by serious aircraft noise as now, but also – due to the effect of noise on quiet rural areas being under-estimated by the Airports Commission and by Gatwick – the usual comparisons between a large number of people annoyed by a new Heathrow runway and a smaller number at Gatwick are not valid. GACC say that, as well as a 3rd Heathrow runway, a 2nd Gatwick runway would also annoy a very large number of people. “Neither runway should be built.”
New study undermines Gatwick’s second runway case
By GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
The Airports Commission stated that a new Gatwick runway would mean three times as many people as at present affected by serious aircraft noise. But it is worse than that
New GACC research study finds that the Commission, and Gatwick in their adverts, have underestimated the noise impact on rural communities that surround Gatwick: ‘The percentage of annoyed residents is likely to be higher in areas with low ambient noise than in high ambient noise areas’.
That means that the usual comparisons between a large number of people annoyed by a new Heathrow runway and a smaller number at Gatwick are not valid.
‘The failure by Gatwick to understand ambient noise explains why they were taken by surprise by the intense angry reaction to the new flight paths introduced in 2013-14’.
According to the Airports Commission a second Gatwick runway would mean three times as many people as at present affected by serious aircraft noise. Many of them would, of course, be in Crawley: the proposed boundary of the new airport is only 100 metres from the residential areas. But the impact of aircraft noise would in addition stretch much further than previously recognised.
A new research paper, published by GACC today, shows that ambient noise – that is background noise – should be taken into account when assessing the impact of aircraft noise.
The first in a new series of research studies to be published by GACC is written by technical experts Ruud Ummels and Karin Elbers of the Dutch research agency To70.
Some key findings from the study:
The percentage of annoyed residents is likely to be higher in areas with low ambient noise than in high ambient noise areas.
It can be misleading to compare noise annoyance between different airports, when these local differences are not taken into account. Hence, the local difference between ambient noise levels should always be taken into account when calculating the annoyance.
As the level of ambient noise influences the perception of noise exposure, and therefore the subjective appraisal of noise annoyance, it is necessary to include ambient noise; especially when considering airport development or airspace changes. As the percentage of annoyed residents is likely to be higher in areas with low ambient noise than in high ambient noise areas, it can be suggested that the number of people annoyed is likely to be higher than shown by Leq or Lden metrics, where local factors that influence annoyance are not taken into account.
Brendon Sewill, GACC chairman, commented: ‘In quiet rural areas, and especially in designated tranquil areas such as the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which surround Gatwick on three sides, aircraft noise is likely to cause more annoyance, and annoy more people, than in busy urban areas.
‘This shows that the usual comparison between the large number of people affected by noise at Heathrow and the smaller number at Gatwick – much quoted by the Airports Commission and much used in Gatwick advertisements – is misleading.
‘The failure by Gatwick to understand ambient noise explains why they were taken by surprise by the intense angry reaction to the new flight paths introduced in 2013-14. People hate having their peace and quiet ruined and that is why so many new local protest groups sprang up, many of them ten or fifteen miles from the airport.’
The ambient noise study shows that more people are annoyed than shown by the official statistics. The phrase ‘local residents’ so well-used by journalists, now includes not only many of the 100,000 inhabitants of Crawley but also many living up to twenty miles from the airport.
‘GACC are not saying that these results prove that a new runway should be built at Heathrow. What they prove is that a second Gatwick runway would also annoy a very large number of people. Neither runway should be built.’
Sewill backs up his claim that a new runway is not necessary by drawing attention to the use of larger aircraft and the fact that Stansted will not be full until after 2040.
See the “Ambient Noise research paper”
Contact Brendon Sewill, Chairman of GACC for further details– 01293 863369
More GACC Research papers to come
GACC is preparing a number on research studies on the runway issue. They will be posted here when published.
The Ambient noise research study is the first to be published.
Read more »
The European Commission held a consultation on the “relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and EU added value of the Environmental Noise Directive (END).” The AEF has responded to this, commenting that while the END had improved noise monitoring, it should be strengthened to achieve its aim of reducing the health burden of noise from transport sources including aviation. The END requires member states to produce action plans to reduce ‘excessive’ noise levels. The END helped establish noise as a major public health issue, with the mapping requirement helping to improve awareness of the noise problem around the UK’s airports. However, AEF believes the END “should explicitly outline noise levels (limit values) that should be met in order to reduce the health burden from noise. These noise levels should be in line with WHO recommendations (1999) and set out in the END.” AEF believes “noise action plans should be assessed in terms of how effectively they contribute to reducing noise towards health-based levels” … Also “the END’s objective ‘to preserve environmental noise quality where it is good’ is not currently being effectively delivered and the protection of rural quiet areas should become a stronger priority for noise action plans.” Full response by AEF.
AEF comments: evaluation of the Environmental Noise Directive
March 29th 2016 (AEF – Aviation Environment Federation)
AEF responded to a European Commission consultation on the Environmental Noise Directive (END), highlighting that the European legislation had improved noise monitoring but that the Directive should be strengthened to enable it to achieve its aim to reduce the health burden of noise.
The END came into force in 2002 with the aim of protecting EU citizens from the harmful effects of noise. The legislation followed the WHO’s 1999 community noise guidelines which highlighted the health effects of environmental noise (noise from industry and from transport sources, such as road, rail and aviation). The END requires member states of the EU to identify and map noise sources, including airports which are large or close to built up areas. It also requires member states to produce action plans to reduce ‘excessive’ noise levels.
The consultation was part of the European Commission’s evaluation of the END which considered its effectiveness and whether EU noise policy should be adapted.
AEF believes that the END has helped to establish noise as a major public health issue that needs to be tackled, with the mapping requirement helping to improve awareness of the noise problem around the UK’s airports.
However, we believe the Directive should explicitly outline noise levels (limit values) that should be met in order to reduce the health burden from noise. These noise levels should be in line with WHO recommendations and set out in the END. We believe that noise action plans should be assessed in terms of how effectively they contribute to reducing noise towards health-based levels.
Finally, we believe that the END’s objective “to preserve environmental noise quality where it is good” is not currently being effectively delivered and the protection of rural quiet areas should become a stronger priority for noise action plans.
Further details of our comments are provided in the link below.
AEF comments on the European Commission evaluation of the Environmental Noise Directive
European Commission Evaluation of the Environmental Noise Directive (the consultation started on 21.12.2015 and closed on the 28th March 2016).
The objective of the consultation was:
“The Commission has decided – in the context of “Better Regulation” – to evaluate the Environmental Noise Directive with a view to regulatory fitness. The Commission already collected – via an external evaluation – the views of enterprises and public bodies by means of dedicated interviews. This was followed up by an expert workshop (comments on the documents discussed at that workshop can still be submitted). With this questionnaire, the Commission is now collecting the views of citizens and associations of citizens, but also of all other interested stakeholders, addressing specifically the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and EU added value of the Environmental Noise Directive.”
The WHO guidelines (1999) Executive Summary states:
[Some extracts …]
“The effects of noise in dwellings, typically, are sleep disturbance, annoyance and speech interference. For bedrooms the critical effect is sleep disturbance. Indoor guideline values for bedrooms are 30 dB LAeq for continuous noise and 45 dB LAmax for single sound events. Lower noise levels may be disturbing depending on the nature of the noise source. At night-time, outside sound levels about 1 metre from facades of living spaces should not exceed 45 dB LAeq, so that people may sleep with bedroom windows open. This value was obtained by assuming that the noise reduction from outside to inside with the window open is 15 dB. To enable casual conversation indoors during daytime, the sound level of interfering noise should not exceed 35 dB LAeq. The maximum sound pressure level should be measured with the sound pressure meter set at “Fast”.
“To protect the majority of people from being seriously annoyed during the daytime, the outdoor sound level from steady, continuous noise should not exceed 55 dB LAeq on balconies, terraces and in outdoor living areas. To protect the majority of people from being moderately annoyed during the daytime, the outdoor sound level should not exceed 50 dB LAeq. Where it is practical and feasible, the lower outdoor sound level should be considered the maximum desirable sound level for new development.”
For Schools and Preschools:
“For outdoor playgrounds the sound level of the noise from external sources should not exceed 55 dB LAeq, the same value given for outdoor residential areas in daytime.”
“For most spaces in hospitals, the critical effects are sleep disturbance, annoyance, and communication interference, including warning signals. The LAmax of sound events during the night should not exceed 40 dB(A) indoors. For ward rooms in hospitals, the guideline values indoors are 30dB LAeq, together with 40 dB LAmax during night.”
“For a good night’s sleep, the equivalent sound level should not exceed 30 dB(A) for continuous background noise, and individual noise events exceeding 45 dB(A) should be avoided. In setting limits for single night-time noise exposures, the intermittent character of the noise has to be taken into account. This can be achieved, for example, by measuring the number of noise events, as well as the difference between the maximum sound level and the background sound level. Special attention should also be given to: noise sources in an environment with low background sound levels; combinations of noise and vibrations; and to noise sources with low-frequency components.”
………….. and there is a great deal more detail at http://www.who.int/docstore/peh/noise/ComnoiseExec.htm
AEF says, in its response:
Has the END been effective?
AEF believes that the END has helped to establish environmental noise in Member States as
a major public health issue that needs to be tackled. The communities and local authorities
that we represent regard aircraft noise as a critical issue that needs effective policy action,
especially given the Commission’s own analysis that the population exposed to aircraft noise
levels above 55 dBA Lden is forecast to increase 15% by 2035 compared to 2012 levels when the number already stood at around 5 million EU citizens. (Link)
The EU has taken a leading role in calling for action on environmental noise. As the EU’s flagship policy to tackle the noiseproblem, however, we consider the END in its current form to have significant limitations.
The mapping requirement in the END originally, we believe, played a useful role in improving
the data availability in relation to noise exposure around the UK’s airports. The UK
Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published online
noise maps from 2006 for all airports covered by the Directive (including large airports and
those close to conurbations). These maps used noise metrics that communities perceived as providing a better representation of the noise problem than the UK’s official daytime noise metric, 57 dBA Leq. For some of these airports, noise contours were made publicly available for the first time.
However, the 2011 data was by contrast not presented in a central publicly available location, with Defra instead providing links to the airports’ NAPs in a document published in 2015, titled ‘Strategic noise mapping: Explaining which noise sources were included in 2012 noise maps’ (Link). It was then up to the airport how it presented the information required under the END. The lack of consistency and central location to view data has made it challenging to look at trends at airports across the UK.
Being able to assess trends in the noise environment is a useful tool for examining the
effectiveness of NAPs. In the UK, the airports are the competent authority for producing NAPs to tackle any noise they themselves deem to be excessive. NAPs require some level of consultation and Defra has responsibility for assessing them but it is currently unclear how the judgement is made of what constitutes excessive noise levels and how appropriate action is judged.
It is AEF’s view that this lack of clarity is the central challenge to the effectiveness of the END and the reason why AEF believes the END is failing in its overarching aim to protect EU citizens from the harmful effects of noise.
Without meaningful targets or limits to reduce the health impacts of noise the Directive succeeds only in harmonising a process without requiring common and equivalent action for all airports. Since the END came into force, the AEF has argued consistently that few airports in competitive situations would, voluntarily, impose effective measures that could limit capacity. We believe that NAPs could be better assessed if they delivered improvements towards a clearer definition of acceptable noise levels, as highlighted below.
Are any changes needed to the END?
AEF strongly believes that the Directive should explicitly outline noise levels to be attained in order to reduce the health burden from environmental noise.
We note that different noise sources have different dose-response relationships in terms of contributing to sleep disturbance, annoyance, and cardiovascular illnesses and understand that further information on these relationships will be available as an Annex to the END following the WHO’s updated Community Noise Guidance this year.
Limit values should, we believe, be in line with WHO recommendations and set out in the END. NAPs should then be assessed in terms of how effectively they contribute to reducing noise towards health-based levels. The mapping requirement of END should, we argue, extend to assessing the burden of disease in conurbations and around airports in the UK from environmental noise. A monetised estimate of the burden of disease could then be produced based on the methodology developed by WHO Europe and outlined by Defra IGCB(N) (Link)
We believe the END should be revised to stipulate that the competent authority should be independent of the airport operator.
Finally, we believe that the END’s objective “to preserve environmental noise quality where it
is good” is not currently being effectively delivered. The protection of quiet areas in rural
and urban locations is an important, health beneficial, component of the END. At the
moment, the requirement for NAPs to identify quiet areas only extends to urban locations.
The Commission was mandated to submit a report to the Parliament by 2009 about
implementation of the Directive including proposing strategies for the protection of quiet
areas in open country but no comment was provided in the 2009 report. The protection of
rural quiet areas should become a stronger priority in the END and in NAPs.
Read more »
Virgin Atlantic has signed an accord with Flybe, aimed at feeding passengers from smaller European cities onto its flights to the US and Caribbean. From April 2nd passengers can book tickets to travel from one of 18 UK or European airports, and connect onto a Virgin Atlantic flight at Manchester, Glasgow or Gatwick. The deal will encourage people travelling to and from 14 Flybe destinations to use Virgin’s Manchester-based flights. It will also provide through ticketing between 4 cities and its Glasgow flights. Newquay will link with operations at Gatwick. Virgin Atlantic will also introduce routes from Manchester to San Francisco and Boston in summer 2017, with San Francisco getting its first-direct flights from Manchester. Flight frequencies to Barbados will increase. The Flybe agreement comes after Ryanair said Virgin is among airlines with which it is discussing possible feeder services. spokesman said: “We look forward to offering easy connections to some of our most popular destinations including the US cities of Orlando and Las Vegas.” A Manchester spokesman said these new long haul destinations would “prove popular with leisure travellers. Virgin and Flybe deal will mean more passengers from regional airports can connect onto a Virgin flights at Manchester, Glasgow or Gatwick.
Virgin Atlantic Unveils Flybe Code-Share Deal, and adds US routes
By Benjamin D Katz (Bloomberg)
March 30, 2016
The Accord will help feed Manchester, Glasgow, and Gatwick bases. Virgin boosts links to San Francisco, Boston
Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. signed an accord with regional carrier Flybe Group Plc aimed at feeding passengers from smaller European cities onto its flights to the U.S. and Caribbean.
The code-share deal will encourage people traveling to and from 14 Flybe destinations to use Virgin’s Manchester-based services and provide through ticketing between four cities and its Glasgow flights. Newquay in Cornwall will link with operations at Gatwick.
Virgin Atlantic will also introduce routes from Manchester to San Francisco and Boston next summer, with San Francisco getting its first-direct flights from Manchester, the Crawley-based company said in a statement. Frequencies on an existing service to Barbados will increase.
The Flybe agreement comes after Ryanair Holdings Plc listed Virgin among carriers with which it was discussing possible feeder services.
Passengers on Flybe code-share flights will be able to check themselves and their bags through to their final destination at the point of departure. Flybe has been looking for a new partner since 2014, when it quit an unprofitable venture that had fed Finnair Oyj’s network.
Virgin Atlantic, which is 49% owned by Delta Air Lines Inc., almost doubled pre-tax profit to £22.5 million in 2015. Its biggest base remains Heathrow, where the Little Red unit founded to help boost passenger numbers from Scotland and Manchester was closed down last year.
Virgin Atlantic has announced a codeshare agreement with regional carrier Flybe.
30.3.2016 (Buying Business Travel)
From April 2 passengers can book tickets to travel from one of 18 UK or European airports, and connect onto a Virgin Atlantic flight at Manchester, Glasgow or Gatwick airports.
Virgin Atlantic’s EVP of commercial Erik Varwijk said the partnership offers opportunities to reach customers looking to travel long-haul from key cities throughout UK and Europe.
“We look forward to offering easy connections to some of our most popular destinations including the US cities of Orlando and Las Vegas,” said Varwijk.
Virgin is also introducing Manchester airport’s first ever direct flights to San Francisco and brand new service to Boston.
The services will start in summer 2017.
Manchester airport managing director Ken O’Toole said: “Securing the first ever direct flight between Manchester and San Francisco is a significant moment for a number of reasons.
“Firstly, it gives the 22m passengers living within two hours of Manchester Airport yet another great long haul destination to choose from and it is sure to prove popular with leisure travellers.
“Secondly, it will deliver a deliver a real boost to the North’s economy by providing a direct link to the world’s leading location for tech and biomedical start-ups, which is now home to some of the biggest brands on the planet, like Google, Twitter and Uber.”
Read more »
Leading environmental NGOs have launched FlightPath 1.5, a global campaign to cut aviation CO2 emissions and ensure that aviation contributes its fair share to the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Aviation was not directly addressed in the COP21 Paris climate agreement in December 2015. The FlightPath 1.5 campaign is focused on ensuring that ICAO and its 191 Member States adopt a meaningful new agreement at the upcoming Assembly in September this year. If ICAO fails to take bold steps, aviation emissions are projected to triple by 2050, threatening to undermine efforts to limit planetary warming to no more than 1.5°C. The next Assembly won’t happen again for another three years, meaning that time is pressing to get an agreement. FlightPath 1.5 calls for capping and cutting CO2 emissions of the entire international aviation sector. It advocates an aggressive and transparent ICAO deal that: (1). Initially caps net CO2 emissions of international aviation at 2020 levels; (2) Encourages airlines to meet the cap by cutting their own emissions and lets them use market-based measures as well, if these deliver genuine cuts; and (3). Reviews the cap regularly, so that over time, aviation’s climate pollution can be ratcheted-down in line with the Paris target. The groups involved include AEF, Carbon Market Watch, Environmental Defense Fund, ICCT, T&E and WWF.
“FlightPath 1.5 is a global campaign of leading environmental voices, dedicated to cutting aviation climate pollution and ensuring that aviation contributes its fair share to the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels.”
The FlightPath 1.5 campaign website http://www.flightpath1point5.org/
Flightpath 1.5 campaign launches 100 days after the Paris Agreement to urge the UN to tackle aviation’s CO2 emissions
–United Nations Aviation Draft Resolution a Positive First Step,
But Improvement Required to Meet Paris Climate Agreement Objectives–
WASHINGTON D.C. | BRUSSELS | LONDON
Prominent environmental organizations today launched FlightPath 1.5, an international campaign aimed at solving the defining global climate change issue of 2016: reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the airline industry.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations (UN) decision-making body charged with regulating aviation emissions, takes up the issue in September. If it fails to take bold steps, aviation emissions are projected to triple by 2050. Aviation, a top-ten global polluter, was not directly addressed in the landmark COP21 Paris climate agreement agreed to 100 days ago today.
In response to the growing urgency to address aviation emissions, FlightPath 1.5 is focused on ensuring that ICAO and its 191 Member States adopt a meaningful new agreement in 2016.
The time window for action is tight: October 7, 2016 is the last day of the two-week ICAO
Assembly, and the next Assembly won’t happen again for another three years. Inaction by
ICAO threatens to directly undermine efforts to limit planetary warming to no more than
1.5°C. The Paris Agreement set the 1.5°C target to avoid a climatic tipping point of irreversible climate impacts.
The launch of FlightPath 1.5 builds on ICAO’s recent release of a Draft Resolution on a
Market-Based Measure (http://bit.ly/1S6zorq) and the upcoming Global Aviation Dialogues
(http://bit.ly/1UjlW6M), at which government, industry, and civil society stakeholders will
discuss the Draft Resolution beginning this week.
FlightPath 1.5 calls for capping and cutting emissions of the entire international aviation
sector and is advocating for an aggressive and transparent ICAO deal that:
1. Initially caps net carbon emissions of international aviation at 2020 levels;
2. Encourages airlines to meet the cap by cutting their own emissions and lets them use market-based measures as well – but only if those measures deliver high-quality
emission reductions and low-carbon biofuels that promote sustainable development;
3. Reviews the cap regularly, so that over time, aviation’s climate pollution can be
ratcheted-down in line with the Paris target.
In the lead-up to the ICAO General Assembly, FlightPath 1.5 will spend the next 200 days
urging world leaders to confront the aviation emissions climate gap and educating the public
about the importance of this unaddressed issue.
The campaign is spearheaded by the Aviation Environment Federation, Carbon Market Watch, Environmental Defense Fund, The International Council on Clean Transportation, Transport & Environment, and World Wildlife Fund.
Statements from FlightPath 1.5 Members:
“World leaders committed to a 1.5°C target in Paris to safeguard families and communities
from the impacts of climate change. Now, countries need to fulfill their Paris promises by
ensuring that the aviation industry does its fair share. ICAO’s draft global market-based
measure is an important step in reaching agreement in October, but the text does not
currently align with the environmental goals of the Paris Agreement. Governments should
come together over the coming months to improve it.”
– Brad Schallert, Senior Program Officer for International Climate Change Policy at World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
“Curbing aviation emissions will require more than currently available technological
improvements, making a market-based measure an essential tool to efficiently incentivise the
industry to achieve deeper cuts. We can’t assume that the biofuels and other radical
technological breakthroughs will automatically materialize and put aviation on a flightpath in
line with 1.5°C. A well-designed market-based measure is the safety net the aviation industry
– Tim Johnson, Director for Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)
“The agreement in ICAO must be a starting point, not the end, of greater ambition in Europe.
With the EU having committed to a 40% emissions reduction by 2030, all sectors including
aviation must contribute. The ICAO Agreement must recognize the need for developed
countries to do more, and Europe must take up the baton with more effective measures to
reduce the rapid growth in the emissions of its aviation sector.”
– Bill Hemmings of Brussels based Transport & Environment
“The recently proposed CO2 aircraft standard won’t drive emissions down in this fastgrowing
sector. U.S. President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau just announced
their commitment to get a deal at the ICAO Assembly this year. We call on them and other
world leaders to agree a market-based measure that truly delivers.”
– Annie Petsonk, International Counsel at Environmental Defense Fund.
FlightPath 1.5 is a global campaign of leading environmental voices, dedicated to cutting aviation climate pollution and ensuring that aviation contributes its fair share to the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Find out more at www.FlightPath1point5.org
The FlightPath 1.5 campaign website
The checklist for an effective plan to cut aviation CO2 emissions
An FAQ document outlining the key issues
Why aviation needs to be part of any agreement at the Paris Climate Conference
Read more »
In June 2014, Calgary airport in Canada opened a new 4th runway. It was the longest in Canada, at 14,000 feet, and 200 feet wide “able to land the world’s largest aircraft.” Being parallel to an existing runway, planes taking off need to diverge by 10 degrees from the other take off route. Planes heading east often make their turns over homes in the Marlborough area. There has been a lot of anger and upset there, about the noise burden. Hundreds from the Marlborough area attended a recent meeting, to try to get the Calgary Airport Authority to improve the noise situation. People are finding the noise from planes overhead every few minutes intolerable, and a local Airplane Noise Committee was formed in October 2015. One affected resident said: “I’m suffering severely now from headaches, migraines. I can’t sleep at night…. My beds vibrate. Everything,” An earlier meeting in January, attended by about 500 residents, was very heated and residents did not find it productive. The Calgary Airport Authority (CAA) said they’re “listening to concerns and trying to come up with solutions but there’s no easy fix.” The CAA said it asks pilots to reach 1,000 feet before turning, but suggests it’s up to individual airlines to enforce. They want planes to fly a bit higher, and avoid turns at low altitude. CAA wants dialogue (residents want less noise).
Calgary Airport Wikipedia
Calgary residents sound off over airplane noise
It was a full house of angry people at Marlborough Community Centre Thursday night. Hundreds gathered to sound-off about airplane noise. The Calgary Airport Authority is looking at solutions, trying to calm growing concerns about the new airport runway.
Hundreds of angry people filled the Marlborough Community Centre once again Thursday night.
They were expressing concerns over airplane noise, primarily from the new runway installed at Calgary International Airport almost two years ago.
Because there are now parallel runways, planes must deviate 10 degrees when taking off. Those heading east often make their turns over homes in communities like Marlborough.
“The noise is just unbearable with airplanes coming in every couple of minutes,” Don Fisherman, who sits on the Airplane Noise Committee that formed in October of last year, said.
“I’m suffering severely now from headaches, migranes. I can’t sleep at night…. My beds vibrate. Everything,” longtime Marlborough resident Marlene Sailer said.
The police were on hand at Thursday’s meeting after tempers flared and what Fisherman called a “fiasco” at the last meeting in January.
The Calgary Airport Authority (CAA) said they’re listening to concerns and trying to come up with solutions but there’s no easy fix.
“Airplanes are regulated to turn away from each other when they are flying. It’s just a regulated requirement,” Jody Moseley with the CAA said. “But what we need to do is look at any opportunity to get them as straight in and as straight out as possible.”
Moseley said they’re looking into the possibility of flying higher and getting planes out of the way quicker when they do have to fly over homes.
“I will say, I will believe it when I see it,” Sailer said.
“We’re not satisfied with the answers because we believe – based on what other cities have done – there are solutions to this problem,” Fisherman added.
Dozens of residents voiced their concerns and questions in a question and answer period following a presentation by the CAA.
Noise from new Calgary airport runway sparks heated debate at open house
By Melissa Ramsay (Global News)
WATCH: Things became quite heated at a public discussion on Wednesday about noise from the Calgary International Airport’s new runway. Jayme Doll reports.
CALGARY – A public discussion about noise pollution from planes taking off and landing at the Calgary airport became so heated on Wednesday that police had to be called.
The meeting, held at the Marlbough Community Association, was a chance for northeast residents to voice their concerns over the non-stop noise.
About 500 people packed into the facility.
“It rattles the window, and in the summer you can’t leave your windows open because you can’t hear your spouse in the house,” complained Renee Reeder. “During Stampede it was unbearable. I got migraine headaches for the first time in my life.”
Residents say the noise started with the opening of the Calgary International Airport’s new runway in June 2014. As there are now two parallel runways, planes must deviate 10 degrees when taking off. The change means eastbound planes often turn and head toward their destination while flying over northeast homes.
Representatives from the Calgary Airport Authority and Nav Canada attended the meeting. However, instead of addressing the group as a whole, they opted to answer questions one-on-one in an open house format. The decision caused already frustrated residents to become even more heated.
“We have technical groups looking at things, we have community groups that are part of the conversation, and we want to keep that conversation going,” said Calgary Airport Authority spokesperson Jody Moseley.
The airport authority said it asks pilots to reach 1,000 feet before turning toward their destination, but suggests it’s up to individual airlines to enforce.
Officials get earful from Calgarians over airplane noise
CALGARY- After getting an earful from Calgarians across the city, council is trying to find a way to limit the noise caused by the new airport runway.
Since opening last month, there have been about 100 complaints about the din caused by roaring planes. Lawyers are investigating whether the city can restrict the time of day that commercial planes take off or land.
The mayor said he sympathizes with residents.
“I happen to live in an area that has airplane noise, always had had it, I did get used to it,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “But let’s keep in mind these are people who’ve lived in neighbourhoods like Whitehorn and Rundle and Marlborough for decades, and this is something new.”
Complaints are being investigated with a noise monitoring system, and airport officials tell Global News they are open to discussions.
Calgary airport celebrates opening of new runway
The Calgary Airport Authority welcomes more than 10,000 people to the opening of Canada’s longest runway this weekend.
The new runway is part of the Calgary International Airport’s $2 billion redevelopment program.
The new runway will be the longest in Canada at 14-thousand feet in length and 200 feet wide and will be able to land the world’s largest aircraft.
To celebrate, the Airport Authority will hold a two day event.
Saturday 1400 Calgarians will take part in a fun run as part of the weekend long festival called Run and Roam the Runway. It’s the only opportunity for people to walk the runway before it opens to traffic June 28th.
Participants can run the entire length of the runway and back at 8.4 kilometres or take part in a five kilometer fun run.
The festival continues Sunday, with 10,000 people expected for Father’s Day.
The runway is a 600 million project and coincides with the opening of Calgary’s airport tunnel that connects Barlow trail to 36th street NE.
Read more »
The Welsh Public Accounts Committee has said Cardiff Airport is missing its passenger targets and lacks a long-term plan to expand. The airport was bought by the Welsh Government for £52 million in 2013. The decision to buy and the price paid caused controversy, but the Public Accounts Committee said ministers had had “a clear rationale” for going ahead with the deal. The transport minister said swift action saved the airport from closure. After the airport was taken into public ownership, passenger numbers rose from 995,000 to 1.079m in 2013-14, but in 2014-15 the numbers declined to 1.005m. The airport now expects numbers to rise to 1.4m by 2017-18, although the business plan produced at the time it was bought projected passenger figures of around 2 million by that date. Some consider the airport was only worth £20 – £30 million and the Welsh government paid too much. Flybe announced it would operate flights between Cardiff and London City Airport during the six week closure of the Severn rail tunnel from 12 September to 21 October. “Aviation Wales” hopes Air Passenger Duty will be devolved, so they can cut it. Bristol airport is very anxious about this, and launched a “A Fair Flight for the South West” campaign, fearing a loss of passengers to Cardiff.
Cardiff Airport lacks long-term expansion plan, say AMs
23 March 2016 (BBC)
Cardiff Airport is missing its passenger targets and lacks a long-term plan to expand, a committee of AMs has said.
The airport was bought by the Welsh Government for £52m in 2013.
The decision to buy and the price paid caused controversy, but the Public Accounts Committee said ministers had had “a clear rationale” for going ahead with the deal.
The transport minister said swift action saved the airport from closure.
Edwina Hart added that customer satisfaction was at an “all-time high”.
After Cardiff Airport was taken into public ownership, passenger numbers rose from 995,000 to 1.079m in 2013-14, but in 2014-15 the numbers declined to 1.005m.
The airport now expects numbers to rise to 1.4m by 2017-18, although the business plan produced at the time it was purchased projected passenger figures of around 2m by that date.
On the cost of the purchase, the committee refers to the range of independent valuations offered to ministers, including one by KPMG that suggested the site was worth £20m-£30m.
The report said: “We remained unconvinced that the Welsh Government had a clear negotiation strategy, and we question the decision to make an initial offer of £55m, with a view to negotiating the purchase price down afterwards.”
Committee chair and Conservative AM Darren Millar said it was clear the airport had been “in decline” before 2013, and “prospects for turning it around under its previous ownership were bleak”.
“We also recognise the importance to Wales of having its own international airport and the wider benefits for Wales arising from this,” he said.
“However, although the airport has the potential to grow significantly, we note its progress against the acquisition business plan in terms of passenger growth are behind target.”
The report said Glasgow Prestwick Airport produced business plans looking up to eight years ahead, while Cardiff Airport had only two-year plans.
Responding, Mrs Hart said: “If we had not acted swiftly the airport would have undoubtedly closed.
“Instead, customer satisfaction is now at an all-time high with 1.2m passengers using the airport over the past 12 months – the highest level since 2011.”
Airport managing director Debra Barber said: “We would like to make it very clear that while we report to our holding company with a rolling two-year business plan, we operate with much longer term projections.
“The PAC [Public Accounts Committee] is looking backwards. We are continuously forward-looking with a real vision for the future of the airport.”
Meanwhile, airline Flybe announced it would operate flights between Cardiff and London City Airport during the six week closure of the Severn rail tunnel from 12 September to 21 October.
Bristol airport, that has taken many of Cardiff airport’s passengers over the past years, fears the devolution of Air Passenger Duty to Wales. That would mean Cardiff flights being cheaper than those at Bristol and other English airports.
South West economy risks losing £843m and 1,569 Jobs as tax on flying set for devolution to Wales
12th Feb 2016 (Bristol Airport press release)
The South West economy is set to lose £843 million and 1,569 jobs if the power to set Air Passenger Duty (APD) is devolved to the Welsh Government, according to figures released today.
Launching its campaign for “A Fair Flight For The South West”, Bristol Airport has published a report highlighting the risks to the South West economy of APD devolution to Wales – something that the Chancellor is likely to announce at this year’s Budget on 16th March.
The risks of APD devolution to Wales include:
- The loss of £843 million in gross value added (GVA) from the West of England economy over the next decade.
- The loss of 1,569 jobs in the West of England over the next decade.
- The likely loss of almost a third of Bristol Airport’s existing air routes, and long-haul routes expected to be launched soon, reducing choice for passengers from the region, air access for overseas visitors, and trade links for the local economy.
- A 25% drop in passengers travelling from Bristol Airport by 2020 – seriously damaging a regional business which generates almost £400m in GVA and supports 11,000 jobs for the regional economy.
…… and it continues at length ….. for full article see
Meanwhile an organisation called “Aviation Wales” naturally is very keen on Wales doing away with Air Passenger Duty. They say:
One of the most hotly debated topics concerning Wales and in particular, Cardiff Airport is the devolution of Air Passenger Duty (APD) ………
The Silk Commission report on devolved powers to Wales recommended that Air Passenger Duty be devolved and the current UK government is bound by election promise to review it.
Air Passenger Duty currently stands at £26 (£13 lower rate for cheapest class) for trips under 2000 miles and £142 (£73 lower rate for cheapest class) for long haul flights.
A devolved power over APD would allow the Welsh Government to lower that rate offering Wales as an attractive point of entry and exit from the UK in particular to long haul passengers and long haul operators providing a massive boost to the Welsh Economy. [In reality, it is likely that it would just make it cheaper for Welsh people, and nearby English people, to fly off on leisure journeys abroad, taking their money out of the area and out of the UK, boosting the tourism deficit. There is more movement of tourist OUT than tourists IN. AW comment].
The thought of Cardiff Airport being a more affordable destination for UK visitors has caused Bristol Airport to instigate Project Fear (or “A Fair Flight for the South West” as they call it) which will show the people of the South West that their region will become a desolate wasteland and they will all be speaking Welsh if APD is devolved.
….. and it continues at length …. at “Air Passenger Duty: Its Our Right” (sic)
Some other recent news stories about Cardiff airport:
Conservatives demand more routes for Cardiff Airport after £3.5m government loan
Tory party members have called for the value of Cardiff Airport to be made public – two years after it was sold to the Welsh Government for £52 million. Conservative politicians have criticised the airport’s failure to attract new flights, but the Labour Welsh Government said securing routes was a long term process and that a route development loan had yet to come into play. In November 2014 ministers announced that Cardiff Airport was to get a £3.5m loan to help develop new routes, as part of the Welsh Government budget for 2015/16. That happened after Lufthansa-owned Germanwings said it would close its service to Dusseldorf in 2015. The Tories want the airport improved and then sold back to the private sector, and so far there is evidence that the money from hard-pressed taxpayers has achieved much. A LibDem councilor commented: “The big question remains… where is the plan?” Labour said: “The Conservatives need to show some patience, especially when demanding to see the results of a £3m loan that will not be available until the next financial year.”
Click here to view full story…
Cardiff Airport drop in passenger numbers prompts Tories’ private ownership call
The Welsh Conservatives have called for Cardiff Airport to be returned to private ownership after September saw a year-on-year drop in passenger numbers of 7%. The fall was described as “expected” by the Welsh Government. An air industry insider said: “This is more bad news for Cardiff Airport – and the figures don’t include the imminent closure of the CityJet route to Glasgow. The downward trend is noticeable – in August the passenger numbers were down 8.2% at 135,900.” Shadow Transport Minister Byron Davies said: “These reports of a near double digit decline in passenger numbers at Cardiff Airport in the past two months compared to 2013 are deeply concerning. Welsh Conservatives disagreed with Labour’s decision to spend £52m buying Cardiff Airport, but now it is state-owned, Labour ministers must work hard to help it achieve its potential.” There will soon be one Ryanair flight per week from Cardiff to Tenerife. All just holiday traffic. Bucket ‘n spade.
Click here to view full story…
Former boss of Cardiff airport says its expansion plans are massively unrealistic, without public subsidy
Keith Brooks, the former chief executive of airports group TBI, said Cardiff Airport’s passenger forecast is “massively unrealistic” and that it needs to be more realistic in its expectations. Last week, in an unexpected move, it was announced that the airport’s chief executive Jon Horne will stand down next week after only 18 months in the role. The airport’s director of operations will be interim managing director. While Cardiff airport has not published any specific short to long-term passenger growth targets, since being taken over by the Welsh Government for £52m last year it has arrested year-on-year decline. Annual passenger numbers now stand marginally up at just over one million. Keith Brooks said: “They have had massively unrealistic expectations of what they can do in this period [since acquisition]…..Aviation is a very slow moving industry and negotiations with airlines take a long time.” Getting a significant low-cost carrier, like Ryanair, to expand routes from very low levels would require “significant subsidy” inducements. That means government subsidy, and tax payers’ money. The Welsh government “will not just be able to turn things around in a short period of time.”
Click here to view full story..
Welsh Economy Minister says Cardiff Airport likely to return to profit only in ‘long-term’
March 21, 2014 The Welsh Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, has said that Cardiff Airport – now in public ownership – is likely to return to profit eventually, but not in the short term. She said its downward spiral is no longer continuing. The airport finally becoming profitable is a “long-term” strategy. She was giving evidence to the National Assembly’s Enterprise and Business Committee on the airport, which was bought by the Welsh Government for £52m at the end of 2012. Ms Hart suggested there wouldn’t be a quick sale of the airport back into the private sector, which the Scottish Government is seeking for the newly-nationalised Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire. Pressed by the Plaid Cymru economy spokesman on when the government expected the taxpayer to recoup its investment. She said the Budget announcement for support for regional airports to set up new routes would apply to Wales and that they would “wait for the detail of it”, but confirmed the Welsh Government is likely to bid in for funding. Chancellor George Osborne announced a £20m annual fund will be used to encourage new routes from regional hubs like Cardiff.
Click here to view full story…
Read more »
In a blog for the Huffington Post, AEF’s James Lees explains how the way airspace change happens now is unsatisfactory, and many complicated issues need to be resolved before aircraft noise is inflicted on communities. At present, no consultation is needed for new flight path trials which are aimed at increasing capacity at airports. The negative impacts of being exposed to high levels of annoying noise, especially at night, are now well known. It is anachronistic that aviation is exempt from noise nuisance laws going back 90 years. The CAA says airspace is “in need of modernisation” with an “unprecedented” number of airspace change proposals in the coming years. These changes could involve new flight paths and new people being overflown. James says these communities should be involved throughout the process and their interests should not be overridden by those of the industry, which benefits from the changes. There is also a clear need for better government policy on aircraft noise, and there are key questions to be dealt with by the DfT. These include: Does Government think it’s acceptable for new flight paths to expose new communities to aircraft noise? And should aircraft be ‘concentrated’ down increasingly narrow routes? What is the public health impact? Read the full blog.
New Flight Paths: Bulldozing Over Your House Tomorrow?
23.3.2016 (Huffington Post)
By James Lees, Research and Communications Officer, Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)
Imagine this. You live on a relatively quiet road on the way out of town. There’s a bit of traffic as some people use your road on their way home but you expected that when you moved in.
One day, you wake up and overnight bulldozers have turned your road into a motorway with car after car rushing past your house. You later find out that because the council is only ‘trialling’ the change, nobody had to tell you about it.
How would you feel about that? You’d probably be a bit surprised, and most likely very annoyed. You’d probably feel a bit like Arthur Dent in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, waking up to find Earth is in the way of a galaxy bypass and about to be destroyed (in terms of being bewildered and still in your pyjamas).
It’s similar to the recent experiences of people living in communities around Gatwick,Heathrow, Birmingham, and most recently Edinburgh airports, all of whom have been subjected to new flight paths as part of trials aimed at increasing capacity at airports.
Many of the communities affected experienced a ‘step-change’ in the number of flights overhead, suddenly being overflown up to every two minutes. For others, it was the very first time they had experienced life under a flight path and the profound effects that high levels of aircraft noise can have on your health and well-being.
Long-term exposure to aircraft noise leads to increased risks of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. Aircraft noise can cause sleep disturbance which can in turn have a debilitating effect on your day-to-day life.
It can also impede memory and learning in school children, with primary school pupils exposed to high levels of noise around Heathrow Airport two months behind their counterparts in schools exposed to aircraft noise levels five decibels lower.
Not everybody responds to aircraft noise in the same way and part of the response to noise of all forms is emotional, and influenced by factors such as an individual’s attitude to the noise source, whether they have any control over it, and whether they expect to hear it.
In the recent cases of new flight paths though, whole communities have been in uproar. This could be because a sudden change in noise exposure is linked to much greater disturbance than ‘steady state conditions’. It could also be because the changes were trials, so required no consultation (hence the Arthur Dent bewilderment).
Or maybe it could be because unlike changes to physical infrastructure, airspace changes don’t legally require any compensation payments. Maybe even it was because aviation is exempt from noise nuisance laws going back 90 years. [ link ]
The experiences of communities around Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham and Edinburgh could become increasingly common. According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), airspace is “in need of modernisation” and that means there’s going to be an “unprecedented” number of airspace change proposals in the coming years. These changes could involve new flight paths and new people being overflown.
If changes are to be made to airspace, then communities should be involved throughout the process and their interests should not be overridden by those of the industry, which stands to benefit from the changes.
By way of response to the vociferous complaints of affected communities, the CAA launched a consultation last week on a new process that aims to allow for much better community engagement.
However, having a transparent and open process is only one part of the problem. We also need clearer policy from Government and that’s why AEF brought together 24 community groups to call on David Cameron to deliver that.
Key questions need answering. Does Government think it’s acceptable for new flight paths to expose new communities to aircraft noise? And should aircraft be ‘concentrated’ down increasingly narrow routes, reducing noise for some people but potentially creating ‘noise ghettos’ for those who are overflown?
Finally, how will changes in airspace affect the health burden from aircraft noise? The industry argues that aircraft are getting quieter but annoyance from aircraft noise is increasing, and a recent report by the EU stated that more people will be affected by aircraft noise in the future, not fewer.
There are no easy answers to some of these questions but it’s vital that the Government and CAA start to give communities more of a say, give clarity about what’s acceptable when it comes to flight path change, and make it clear how the impacts of noise on health and well-being will be reduced in the future.
If we’re successful in moving these issues up the agenda, hopefully the aviation industry won’t be able to bulldoze new flight paths over your house tomorrow.
Aviation Environment Federation http://www.aef.org.uk/
CAA consultation launched (ends 15th June) on the process of airspace change
The CAA has launched it long awaited consultation on the process of airspace change. One of the reasons has been the unprecedented level of opposition, anger, frustration (and in some cases despair) caused by the unsatisfactory manner in which flight path changes have been introduced in recent years. The CAA, NATS and the airports have lost what confidence the public had in them before, due to their inabilities to communicate properly with those suffering from aircraft noise problems. The CAA says: “While not everyone will agree with every potential decision on how we develop the infrastructure of our airspace, the methods used to reach those decisions need to be well understood and accepted. One of our aims is to restore confidence in the process where it is currently lacking.” The CAA says one of the ways to make their processes more transparent and publicly accessible is: “an online portal to provide a single access point for anyone to view, comment on and access documents for every UK airspace change proposal.” However, many important and relevant areas are outside the consultation, such as Government policy, which the CAA’s process must follow, and “changes to flight paths which result from decisions made by air traffic control providers and outside the CAA’s control”. The full document is 140 pages in length, and will take time for those who plan to respond to fully understand.
The consultation ends on 15th June.
Read more »
Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France, confirmed this week that the referendum on whether the new Nantes airport should go ahead, will only for the voters in the département of Loire-Atlantique. It would also be before the summer, in June. Two key issues about the referendum have been key: the date and the area covered. Keeping it only to Loire-Atlantique suits the government, backing the new airport plan, as it is believed there is more support for the airport there. One poll showed 51% support for the plan, 39% against and 10% undecided. Another poll showed 58% opposition across France as a whole. Opponents of the plan, and others involved, believe areas other than just Loire-Atlantique should be consulted, as they would be affected by environmental, economic and social impacts of the possible airport. The leaders of neighbouring departments such as Mayenne, Morbihan and the Maine-et-Loire have recently criticised the prospect of the consultation’s scope being limited to only the Loire-Atlantique. The Minister of Ecology, Ségolène Royal, defended the idea of the area being extended to the whole of the region Pays de la Loire. The government wants the poll early, so building work and evictions from the ZAD can be started by October. Work needs to start by then as there is a “declaration of public utility” lasting till October. It is likely that the referendum will be either on Sunday 19th or Sunday 26th June.
NDDL: The text of the order for the consultation is ready
Arnaud Gosse, environmental law specialist, is very critical of the text which should help to organize the consultation abpit Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
Manuel Valls wants to consult, in June, the inhabitants of Loire-Atlantique, in order to “legitimize” the disputed airport project at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. No text for such a consultation, an order, is yet being prepared. On Thursday, March 24 it will be submitted, for opinion, to the National Council of the ecological transition.
The text received by board members (1) was analyzed by Arnaud Gosse, lawyer specializing in environmental law. This doctor of law, lecturer at the University of Paris I published its findings on the Mediapart website.
“No guarantee on information”
According to counsel, the text “disregards” an article in the Macron law of August 2015 that authorized the state to organize a local consultation for future projects, not for projects that are already past. It reduces the territorial area (here the Loire-Atlantique) “without taking account of the area to consider for the project’s effects on the environment” . The Macron law predicted the defined this scope according to the environmental impact.
Here we treat as the public inquiry area. The project, the lawyer notes again, says nothing about the consequences of the consultation, particularly in the case of negative response from the voters. “In this case, what will become of the permits issued and signed contracts?”
And then, the point that is sure to be controversial, the project “carries no guarantee regarding the information to be sent to voters”. Contrary to what provided the text of the Macron law, it will not make an appeal to the National Commission for public debate to act as a guarantor. The information panel will report to a commission set up by the state. “The draft order provides no guidance on the appointment of its members, on their working conditions, on declarations of conflicts of interest, on their means, on the type of information to be circulated, on the processing of claims, etc. ”
“A weapon against future projects”
Expanding the debate, the lawyer sounds the alarm. The new procedure will be organized for other projects, following the issue of an administrative authorization. Companies, project developers and authorities would do well to worry, noted the lawyer, pointing out a paradox. “Designed to get a project passed, this new procedure could become a weapon against future projects.” It compromises, says the lawyer, the legal security of industrial and infrastructure projects.
According to Arnaud Gosse, “whether one is for or against the airport project, no one can be satisfied with the creation of a procedure so contrary to the principles and rules of environmental law.”
Beyond the legal analysis, “one can question the political value of such proceedings”, said the lawyer. “Whatever the outcome, it will obviously not be shared from the moment it has been obtained, in such conditions”.
(1) Consisting of fifty members, community representatives are found, employers’ unions and employees, parliament, consumer organizations and representatives of eight NGOs in the environment sector.
Original in French below:
NDDL. Le texte de l’ordonnance de la consultation est prêt
20.3.2016 (Ouest France)
Arnaud Gossement, spécialiste du droit de l’environnement est très critique par rapport au texte qui devrait permettre d’organiser la consultation Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
Manuel Valls veut consulter, en juin, les habitants de Loire-Atlantique, afin de « légitimer » le projet contesté d’aéroport à Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Aucun texte ne permettant aujourd’hui une telle consultation, une ordonnance est en préparation. Jeudi 24 mars elle sera soumise, pour avis, aux membres du Conseil national de la transition écologique.
Le texte reçu par les membres du conseil (1) a été analysé par Arnaud Gossement, avocat spécialisé en droit de l’environnement. Ce docteur en droit, enseignant à l’université de Paris I a publié ses conclusions sur le site Mediapart.
« Pas de garantie relative à l’information »
Selon l’avocat, le texte « méconnaît » un article de la loi Macron d’août 2015 qui autorisait l’État à organiser une consultation locale pour les projets à venir, et non pour les projets déjà passés. Il réduit l’aire territoriale (ici la Loire-Atlantique) « sans tenir compte de l’aire à prendre en compte pour les effets du projet sur l’environnement ». La loi Macron prévoyait de définir ce périmètre en fonction de l’incidence environnementale. Ici on se cale sur l’aire de l’enquête publique. Le projet, note encore le juriste, ne dit rien sur les suites de la consultation, en particulier en cas de réponse négative des électeurs. « Dans ce cas, qu’adviendra-t-il des autorisations délivrées et des contrats signés ? »
Et puis, point qui ne manquera pas de faire polémique, le projet « ne comporte pas de garantie relative à l’information qui sera adressée aux électeurs ». Contrairement à ce que prévoyait le texte de la loi Macron, il ne sera pas fait appel à la commission nationale du débat public pour jouer un rôle de garant. Le volet information relèvera d’une commission mise en place par l’État. « Le projet d’ordonnance ne donne aucune indication sur la désignation de ses membres, sur leurs conditions de travail, sur les déclarations de conflits d’intérêt, sur leurs moyens, sur le type d’information qui devra être diffusé, sur le traitement des réclamations, etc. »
« Une arme contre les projets à venir »
Élargissant le débat, l’avocat tire le signal d’alarme. La nouvelle procédure pourra être organisée pour d’autres projets, postérieurement à la délivrance d’une autorisation administrative. Les entreprises, porteurs de projets et d’autorisations feraient bien de s’inquiéter, fait remarquer le juriste, soulignant un paradoxe. “Conçue pour faire passer un projet, cette nouvelle procédure pourrait devenir une arme contre les autres projets à venir”. Elle compromet, affirme l’avocat, la sécurité juridique des projets industriels ou d’infrastructures.
Selon Arnaud Gossement, « que l’on soit pour ou contre ce projet d’aéroport, nul ne peut se satisfaire de la création d’une procédure à ce point contraire aux principes et règles du droit de l’environnement. »
Au-delà de l’analyse juridique, « on peut s’interroger sur l’intérêt politique d’une telle procédure », estime l’avocat. « Quel que soit son résultat, celui-ci ne sera à l’évidence pas partagé dès l’instant où il aura été obtenu dans de telles conditions ».
(1) Constitué de cinquante membres, on y trouve les représentants des collectivités, des syndicats patronaux et de salariés, du parlement, des organisations de consommateurs et huit représentants des ONG du secteur de l’environnement.
The referendum on Notre-Dame-des-Landes will be held in June
15.3.2016 (Le Figaro)
[Imperfect translation into English below….]
VIDEO – Manuel Valls confirmed it on Tuesday to micro RMC. The consultation will involve only voters in Loire-Atlantique, said the Prime Minister.
Two key issues seem critical: the date and place. Manuel Valls confirmed on Tuesday morning, speaking to RMC, that the referendum on the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, announced by François Hollande in February, will take place “before the summer, in June”.
The Prime Minister also said that this consultation will involve “all the voters of the department of Loire-Atlantique”.
Following the announcement of a referendum, Matignon services had suggested that the scope of the referendum would be “locally defined” and “could match the department of Loire-Atlantique”. A delimitation confirmed by Manuel Valls. “This is the department that is most concerned by the impact, including the environmental impact, in part also economic, of this project,” explains the Prime Minister.
The territory was also chosen because “the public inquiry took place in the department of Loire-Atlantique, because it must be simple,” and because “the department of Loire-Atlantique is most likely to decide on the transfer to Notre-Dame-des-Landes “of the current Nantes airport Nantes Atlantique.
Since the start, this perspective does not have unanimous support. The airport must certainly take root in Loire-Atlantique, but the project is partly funded by other jurisdictions, including the Brittany. The presidents of neighboring departments such as Mayenne, Morbihan and the Maine-et-Loire have recently criticised the prospect of the consultation’s scope being limited to only the Loire-Atlantique.
Nationally, the foreign minister and former mayor of Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, supporting the project, said it is favorable. However the Minister of Ecology, Ségolène Royal, defended the idea of referendum extended to the whole of the region Pays de la Loire.
The confirmation of a consultation “before the summer”
This limitation of voting in the Loire-Atlantique could assist the government, defender of the project. In early March, an Ifop poll established that 58% of the inhabitants of the department were in favor to the implementation of the airport. Opinion on the project is very divided, but nevertheless prepared to accept it going ahead: if a referendum was held next Sunday, 51% of respondents indicated they would vote in favor of the project, 39% that they would oppose and 10% that they were not decided. Nationally, however, 58% of French are opposed to the project according to a survey Odoxa.
Concerning the date, the Prime Minister had indicated in a previous interview with the daily Ouest-France, that he wanted the referendum to take place “before the summer” to consolidate the project and relaunch it in October. “Not beyond then, because the DUP (declaration of public utility) will fall,” argued Manuel Valls, who intended to support the expulsion of the ZAD site on the result of this consultation. “It will be necessary to carry out the expulsion in October, with a very important commitment of law enforcement, so that work can begin,” he explained.
On Sunday, France Inter reported that two dates were proposed for the consultation: on Sunday 19th or Sunday 26th June.
The announcement by Manuel Valls comes a little over a week before the end of the delay period granted to the historical inhabitants of the ZAD, about which deportation procedures were confirmed by the court in January. A demonstration against the project and to support those deported had brought together between 15,000 and 50,000 people on 27 February.
The pro-airport supporters vigilant, opponents unhappy
For the pro-airport association “Wings to the West”, these announcements are logical. The collective advances the same reasons as the Prime Minister. “The perimeter [for the consultation area] suits us, since it corresponds to the declaration of public utility and it concerns people who are most impacted by this project,” says the Figaro Guillaume Dalmard, spokesman for the association. “As for the date, it corresponds to our expectations,” he added.
And if the result of the consultation was positive, as predicted by the association, it would leave a “window of opportunity” for work before the end of the DUP in October. The supporters are “not satisfied, but serene, while remaining vigilant.” “We are waiting for details of the arrangements,” the spokesman said.
Conversely, several elected officials and project opponents lambasted those announcements. “Manuel Valls transforms a healing process into the new object of confrontation” as the territory selected matches “nothing” about the project’s relevance, said Senator ecologist Loire-Atlantique René Dantec, criticising the announcement. A criticism by MEP Yannick Jadot EELV, referred to a “masquerade”.
The original in French:
Le référendum sur Notre-Dame-des-Landes aura lieu au mois de juin
15.3.2016 (Le Figaro)
With referendum awaited, 10 – 15,000 attend another massive protest against new Nantes airport
On the 9th January, there were estimated to have been 20,000 people at huge protests against the planned new airport for Nantes in countryside at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Then on 26th January, the local court confirmed that 11 families would be evicted from their homes on the ZAD (zone à défendre) within about two months. On 13th February, President Hollande declared there would be a referendum on whether the airport should be built. This has caused local concerns. But neither the date nor the exact questions, nor the scope of the consultation’s geographical area, have been settled. In response to the referendum proposal, the local campaign organised another massive demonstration (manifestation), to show the authorities the strength of feeling against the airport. Around 10,000 to 15,000 people came, from all across France. There are over 100 support committees across the country. They filled all 4 lanes of two local dual-carriageways, for many hours – in a peaceful protest, with a festival atmosphere. Two of the Heathrow 13 (spared prison on 24th February, with suspended 6 week sentences for their Heathrow runway occupation) attended the protest, showing solidarity from the London campaign. Campaigners in Turkey, against the new Istanbul airport, also sent messages of support.
Click here to view full story…
François Hollande announces there will be a local referendum on the contentious new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes
In late January, the court in Nantes ruled that the remaining people living in the “ZAD”, where the planned airport would be at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, should start to be removed after 25th March. However, now President Hollande – realising that this has become an issue of huge national significance and hours after three Green lawmakers joined his cabinet as part of a government reshuffle – has said there will be a local referendum to decide if the new airport should happen. Hollande hopes to put an end to the matter, which has dragged on for years, with elections in France in 2017. The referendum may not be popular with proponents of the airport, though some consider there is a majority in support locally. It is also a concern for opponents, who ask: who will be polled – from how far around Nantes? People from Rennes and Brittany? What will the questions be? Will the alternatives be given? However, François Hollande has said the schedule is settled: “Work must begin in October. If the answer is yes in the referendum, everyone will have to accept the airport. If its “No” we all know that it is a project that has been spearheaded by the government, the government will have to assume the consequences.” The evictions cannot proceed, now there is to be a referendum. The 11 families, including 4 farms, are given a breathing space.
Click here to view full story…
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Heathrow knows it has real problems worsening local air quality, with vehicles associated with the airport adding a great deal of pollution. The Airports Commission report was particularly weak on NO2 air pollution, and ignored the emissions from Heathrow’s air cargo. Heathrow has now put out a short document attempting to convince that it is making serious improvements to local air quality. On air freight, it says it will be getting shippers to share lorry journeys. Heathrow says in 2016 it will: “• Keep pushing for greater consolidation of vehicle loads at Heathrow and aim to provide an online venue for freight operators to buy and sell empty space on their trucks by July. • Establish a sustainable freight partnership with operators by September with the objective of reducing emissions [No clue what that actually means ?] • Develop and publish our plans for building a call-forward cargo facility to reduce congestion, idling, and emissions of vehicles coming to Heathrow by the end of the year.” So that does not look like much. But Heathrow is trying to persuade the government soon. The reality is that Heathrow hopes to double its volume of air freight, with a new runway – and that freight is carried in diesel vehicles, and lorries are not producing less air pollution.
Heathrow’s new tool to reduce freight emissions
16.3.2016 (Heathrow airport press release)
Heathrow has today revealed new plans for a WebPortal aimed at consolidating freight loads, and decreasing the amount of trucks and emissions on roads around the airport. Encouraging freight company partners to operate sustainably is one of ten priorities Heathrow has outlined for this year in its new Blueprint to Reduce Emissions, also launched today.
[Heathrow’s little report is “Heathrow’s blueprint for reducing emissions Our top ten actions to reduce Heathrow’s emissions in 2016 ” ]
Heathrow’s plans for a freight WebPortal have been announced during the IATA World Cargo Symposium, where Heathrow has been named a finalist in the Air Cargo Excellence Awards in recognition of its customer performance, facilities, and value of cargo offering.
Incorporating sustainability into freight is a priority for Heathrow given the impact these operations have on the airport’s local environment. Heathrow is the largest freight port by value in the UK, handling over 1.5 million tonnes of cargo a year. This activity also generates a substantive amount of vehicle movements a day in the Heathrow area for servicing, deliveries and cargo operations, along with their related emissions.
Heathrow’s proposed WebPortal would be the UK’s first geographically specific system of its kind. Subscribed members would exchange and share information about any spare capacity on their vehicles. Once a match has been found, operators could then negotiate a price for this space amongst themselves.
This Portal, along with measures like providing an off-airport distribution centre, increased monitoring of the use of local roads by freight vehicles, and tighter rules on vehicle licensing will ensure the number of freight vehicles will be maintained at similar levels to today’s in the future and that the lowest emission freight vehicles are encouraged to operate around Heathrow.
Nick Platts, Head of Cargo at Heathrow said:
“Operating a cleaner, leaner and more efficient freight operation is an essential part of delivering on our ambition to be the best airport in Europe for cargo gateway in the world. This WebPortal can deliver for all. Our cargo partners can reduce their costs, our local communities will experience less congestion and improved air quality, and Heathrow will build on its strength as an airport of choice for cargo.”
By collaborating with stakeholders across London, emissions of NOx from the airport have reduced by 16% over 5 years. Heathrow’s Blueprint for Emissions Reduction outlines the top ten actions the airport will be focussing on this year to continue building on this record and reduce emissions further. Besides Heathrow’s work with freight operators, other actions listed in the Blueprint include a new £16.2 million investment in equipment at gates to ensure aircraft don’t run their engines, as well as instituting “eco-driving” training for airside drivers to reduce emissions.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Heathrow’s cargo strategy outlines the airport’s vision for cargo. Today, it will maintain being the UK & Ireland’s cargo gateway, 2020 be the preferred transatlantic gateway for Europe, 2025 one of the best in Europe, and by 2030 the best in Europe for providing a timely and predictable cargo service.
Airports Commission did not properly look at air pollution related to air freight
Transport for London said Heathrow expansion “will lead to an increase in freight movements to and from the airport, and this was not properly included in the surface access assessment undertaken by the Airports Commission.”
TfL October 2015
Heathrow’s (rather thin and unconvincing) leaflet entitled “Heathrow’s blueprint for reducing emissions Our top ten actions to reduce Heathrow’s emissions in 2016” says, on the subject of reducing NO2 from lorries etc carrying cargo:
Drive sustainable freight operations
“Heathrow is a major freight hub and is the largest freight port by value in the UK. As a result, there is an established network of logistics companies around the airport. Each year, Heathrow handles more than 1.5m tonnes of cargo. This cargo also adds to the volume of
traffic on the road network and to local emissions.
Key partners: freight companies
In 2016, we will:
• Keep pushing for greater consolidation of vehicle loads at Heathrow and aim to provide an online venue for freight operators to buy and sell empty space on their trucks by July
• Establish a sustainable freight partnership with operators by September with the objective
of reducing emissions
• Develop and publish our plans for building a call-forward cargo facility to reduce congestion,
idling, and emissions of vehicles coming to Heathrow by the end of the year.”
Heathrow’s bid for a 3rd runway includes doubling air freight – with associated increase in lorries
In Heathrow’s proposal for a 3rd runway, it plans to double its cargo capacity. It hopes this will help its bid, due to the financial value of air freight. In the past, some of the air freight industry have said Heathrow ignored their needs. Heathrow is now saying that its key logistics role as a single primary air freight hub for the UK is important for the economy, for export competitiveness, and essential for British importers and exporters to enable them to access key global markets. Some 65% of the UK’s £400bn air freight exports already travel via Heathrow, almost all as belly hold in passenger planes. The airport plans to have its freight area improved with a new cargo railhead, and better road links. Speaking at the Runways UK conference on 2nd June, Simon Earle said local residents consulted by Heathrow were unhappy about the number of HGV lorries. Air pollution is already often in breach of air quality levels. An article by T&E bemoans the resistance to changes and to cuts in polluting emissions by the lorry manufacturers. That does not bode well for Heathrow air quality, with much higher numbers of HGV movements in future.
And at about the same time as Heathrow’s air pollution proposals:
ClientEarth takes government back to court over the inadequate air quality improvement plan it produced in December
Environmental lawyers, ClientEarth, have launched a new legal challenge against the UK government due to its repeated failure to tackle illegal air pollution. In this latest round of legal action, ClientEarth has lodged papers at the High Court in London seeking judicial review and will serve papers on government lawyers shortly. As well as the UK Environment Secretary who is named as the defendant, Scottish and Welsh ministers, the Mayor of London and the DfT will also be served with papers as interested parties in the case. ClientEarth believes the government is in breach of a Supreme Court order to clean up air quality. The Supreme Court ordered DEFRA to produce new air quality plans to bring air pollution down to legal levels in the “shortest possible time”. But the the plans the government came up with, released on 17 December 2015, wouldn’t bring the UK within legal air pollution limits until 2025. The original, legally binding deadline passed in 2010. The papers lodged with the High Court ask judges to strike down those plans, order new ones and intervene to make sure the government acts. ClientEarth said: “As the government can’t be trusted to deal with toxic air pollution, we are asking the court to supervise it and make sure it is taking action.” ClientEarth are launching a fundraising campaign to help fund this work. #NO2DIRTYAIR
Click here to view full story…
DEFRA produces plan to improve air quality – Client Earth regards it as inadequate
A ruling by the Supreme Court in April 2015 required the government to produce a comprehensive plan to meet air pollution limits by December. The government has now produced this. The intention is that it has to include low emission zones, congestion charging and other economic incentives. It is thought that due to the failure to meet European limits of harmful NOx gases, which are mostly caused by diesel traffic, there are up to 9,500 premature deaths each year in London alone. Under the government’s plan, “Clean Air Zones” will be introduced – by 2020 – in areas of Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton where pollution is most serious. However, though vehicles like old buses, taxis, coaches and lorries have to pay a charge to enter these zones – private passenger cars will not be charged. Also newer vehicles that meet the latest emission standards will not need to pay. Client Earth, the lawyers who brought the legal case against the UK government, for breaching the EU’s Air Quality Directive, said the plan falls far short of the action necessary to comply with the Supreme Court ruling, and they will make a legal challenge to force the government to take faster action to achieve legal pollution limits. “As soon as possible,” or by 2020, is not soon enough.
London parents see toxic air as ‘the biggest health threat to their children’
By Nicholas Cecil (Evening Standard)
Mothers revealed their fear over toxic air in London today with seven out of 10 admitting they worry about its impact on their children.
A YouGov poll found that parents in the capital now see air pollution as the biggest health threat.
The stark findings are published as the Standard launches Clean London — a series of hard-hitting reports on dirty air and ways to tackle it.
Experts now blame air pollution for a death toll of more than 9,000 a year in the capital.
The survey, commissioned by environmental lawyers ClientEarth, shows 68 per cent of London parents are worried about their children breathing in dirty air.
…… whole article at
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A 3rd Heathrow runway would exacerbate London’s housing challenge. The Airports Commission considered between about 30,000 and 70,000 extra homes needed in the area, for the extra employees attracted to the area, by 2030. In the recent report by the Mayor of London, he considers that there might demand for around 80,000 extra new homes by 2050, due to Heathrow with new direct, indirect and induced jobs Most will need to be accommodated in the region. The Airports Commission said: “…an average of some 500 homes per year in each of 14 local authorities – may be challenging to deliver, …” The Mayor says: “By 2030 the number of people living in the city will grow by 1.4 million to 10 million. By 2050 this number is forecast to be about 11.3 million … .West London and the areas surrounding the airport are, however, already struggling to keep up with background growth, in the face of overheated property markets and increasingly limited land supply. …The Airports Commission believes that expansion can be accommodated without placing additional pressure on housing. Primarily, it claims this by drawing on local unemployment to fill the new jobs; however, this is not borne out by experience of similar schemes; expansion will require a variety of skills levels and will attract employees from across the London area.”
Heathrow expansion would exacerbate London’s housing challenge, mayor’s report says
22 March 2016
by Winnie Agbonlahor (Planning Resource)
Expanding Heathrow Airport would exacerbate London’s housing challenge, while the health risks caused by a third runway would cost the government up to £25 billion over 60 years, a new report by the mayor of London claims.
With London’s population predicted to grow to 11.3 million by 2050, London’s housing challenge would be exacerbated by a Heathrow expansion, the report says.
It said: “The Airports Commission expects an expanded Heathrow to generate an additional 80,000 new direct, indirect and induced jobs by 2050 … A significant proportion of these new employees will need to be accommodated in the region. ( Airports Commission Nov 2014 The Commission adds: “The additional housing at the upper end of this range – which equates to an average of some 500 homes per year in each of 14 local authorities – may be challenging to deliver, especially give that many local authorities struggle to meet current housing targets.” AW comment )
“West London and the areas surrounding the airport are, however, already struggling to keep up with background growth, in the face of overheated property markets and increasingly limited land supply.”
Johnson argued that the only solution to Britain’s aviation dilemma was to pursue plans for a new hub airport to the east of the capital, away from populated areas.
He added that Heathrow’s “cramped urban location simply cannot accommodate the kind of airport this country requires to compete on the global stage and the cost to the taxpayer of necessary road and rail connections would be huge”.
…… there is more on noise, health etc ….. full article at
The Mayor’s report, “Landing The Right Airport” states:
“Housing and regeneration
London’s population challenge
London is growing. By 2030 the number of people living in the city will grow by 1.4 million
to 10 million. By 2050 this number is forecast to be about 11.3 million.
This represents a huge housing challenge for the boroughs and districts of London and the
South East in accommodating this exponential growth in population.
Exacerbated by Heathrow
The Airports Commission expects an expanded Heathrow to generate an additional 80,000 new direct, indirect and induced jobs by 2050 (notwithstanding the issues with staffing
numbers raised earlier). A significant proportion of these new employees will need to be
accommodated in the region. West London and the areas surrounding the airport are, however, already struggling to keep up with background growth, in the face of overheated property markets and increasingly limited land supply.
The Airports Commission believes that expansion can be accommodated without placing additional pressure on housing. Primarily, it claims this by drawing on local unemployment to fill the new jobs; however, this is not borne out by experience of similar schemes; expansion will require a variety of skills levels and will attract employees from across the London area.”
Windsor councillor says there would be homes ‘turmoil’ if Heathrow is expanded
A Windsor councillor has said that creating up to 70,800 homes if Heathrow expansion plans go ahead would cause “absolute turmoil.” He said a 3rd runway north-west of the airport could create the need to use greenbelt land for housing. However, almost unbelievably, a Heathrow spokesman said: “There will be little or no need for additional house-building over and above current local authority plans.” The Airports Commission, said Heathrow expansion would create between 47,400 and 112,400 jobs by 2030, which in turn would require an extra 29,800 to 70,800 homes to be created in the surrounding area, including Windsor, Slough and London boroughs. There will be a public meeting in Windsor to discuss the Heathrow plans, before the consultation ends on 3rd February. Windsor already has an enormous housing problem in the area, and are having go consider building on green belt land (which is locally very unpopular), even with no new runway. And there is increasing urbanisation …”The impact will be felt across the Thames Valley – it’s commercial greed gone mad.”
Airports Commission estimates new homes needed for new runway – 18,400 at Gatwick; 70,800 at Heathrow (maybe more)
The Airports Commission estimates that a 3rd Heathrow runway could require up to 70,800 homes to be built locally to support the additional jobs created by the development. The Commission estimates a Gatwick 2nd runway could require up to 18,400 homes to be delivered across 14 local authorities, and it said this could be done up to 2030, with “land availability unlikely to be affected by green belt issues”. (Estimate of 30,000 – 45,000 homes by W Sussex County Council + Gatwick Diamond). More houses would be needed for Heathrow expansion than Gatwick expansion, due to more additional business activity following a runway at Heathrow than at Gatwick, and more from the airport’s north-west runway plan (up to 70,800), than the Heathrow Hub idea of extending the northern runway (up to 60,600). The Commission acknowledges that these upper limits may present challenges for local authorities, outlining that “many… already struggle to meet housing targets”. The only relief would be that the homes could be delivered over a number of years, and the pain would be shared between many authorities. However, Green Belt would be seriously threatened – not to mention urban cramming and loss of village character.
Heathrow runway would mean loss of at least 431 hectares of Green Belt – and more in future
The CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) believes the Airports Commission’s terms of reference were flawed, and therefore so is its recommendation of a Heathrow runway. Looking at the Heathrow north west runway option, CPRE say it would destroy up to 694 hectares of Green Belt (one AC report says 694, another says 431 hectares). It would destroy 60 hectares of woodland. The runway would also wreck tranquillity in parks and gardens with impacts likely to spread into the Chilterns AONB. It would mean destroying 783 homes, and require up to 70,800 new homes to be built by 2030. In addition, the Commission said in November 2014: “The land take associated with the additional housing demand may require some de-designation of areas of the Green Belt, although the London Plan’s encouragement of high density housing and brownfield redevelopment may reduce this.” More houses may need to be built after 2030, and this would be in an area that already has acute housing pressure. CPRE considered that the formation of the Airports Commission, and its terms of reference, prevented a more ambitious regional rebalancing strategy. Instead the UK needs to boost the northern regions, avoid further over-heating the South East and make the most of the ample spare capacity in other airports.
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