Justine Greening hits out, with question in Parliament, at Heathrow expansion plans

Justine Greening is Conservative MP for Putney, and has been a vocal critic of a Heathrow 3rd runway for a long time. She quit the Cabinet last week, where she had been Education Secretary, so she is now free to express her opinions without the constraints of Cabinet collective responsibility.  She has already asked a question, at transport questions, in the House of Commons, criticising the government over its plans to expand Heathrow.  Her question was:  “On what evidence are the Government now pushing ahead with what I believe to be a flawed plan for expanding Heathrow? The updated national policy statement shows that it is more expensive, lower value, more congesting, noisier, and provides fewer connections. Will the Secretary of State meet me to discuss this?”  The reply from the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, was:  “I know how strongly my right hon. Friend feels about this. She and I have had many conversations about it and I know that we will carry on doing so. She and I, of course, do not share the same view—I believe that this project is strategically important for the United Kingdom—but I am happy to carry on discussing it with her”.  On Wednesday, Ms Greening told the Commons that a future generation of MPs will seek to “improve or undo” Brexit if it does not work for young people.
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Justine Greening hits out at Heathrow expansion plans

18th January 2018  (BBC)

Former Education Secretary Justine Greening has criticised the government over its plans to expand Heathrow.

The MP for Putney, which is close to the West London airport, said she believed the proposals were “flawed”.

Ms Greening quit the Cabinet last week after refusing a job as work and pensions secretary.

But Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said he believed expansion of the UK’s biggest international airport was “hugely important” for the UK.

The clash came as Ms Greening used transport questions in the Commons to claim the latest evidence suggested the plan was “more expensive, lower value, more congesting, noisier and provides fewer connections”.

Mr Grayling said he had already had a number of discussions with Ms Greening about the issue and said Heathrow expansion was “strategically important” for the UK.

But speaking from the backbenches, Ms Greening asked: “On what evidence is the government now pushing ahead with what I believe to be a flawed plan for expanding Heathrow?”

She added: “Will you meet me to discuss this?”

Mr Grayling replied: “I know how strongly you feel about this.

“You and I had many conversations about this and I know we will carry on doing so. You and I, of course, don’t share the same view.

“I believe this project is strategically important for the United Kingdom, but I’m happy to come and discuss it with you.”

On Wednesday, Ms Greening told the Commons that a future generation of MPs will seek to “improve or undo” Brexit if it does not work for young people.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42733285#

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  • On what evidence are the Government now pushing ahead with what I believe to be a flawed plan for expanding Heathrow? The updated national policy statement shows that it is more expensive, lower value, more congesting, noisier, and provides fewer connections. Will the Secretary of State meet me to discuss this?

  • I know how strongly my right hon. Friend feels about this. She and I have had many conversations about it and I know that we will carry on doing so. She and I, of course, do not share the same view—I believe that this project is strategically important for the United Kingdom—but I am happy to carry on discussing it with her.

     


See earlier: 

I’ll fight Heathrow over plans for a new runway, says Justine Greening – not ruling out resignation

Education Secretary Justine Greening, MP for Putney, has refused to rule out resigning if Heathrow is chosen by Theresa May to expand. She has been a vocal opponent of a larger Heathrow for years, as her constituency is badly overflown already by Heathrow planes – and the noise would be worse with a 3rd runway. She has now said she would continue to fight against Heathrow being the designated site for a runway. When asked by the BBC if her position in Cabinet would be ‘untenable’ if the decision went against her, Justine said the scenario was ‘hypothetical’.  Back in May, before the Brexit vote, she predicted that the then PM, David Cameron, would have to shelve plans to expand Heathrow and choose Gatwick instead.  Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond Park, close to Heathrow and badly over-flown by its planes, has again reiterated that he would trigger a by-election if the Cabinet chose Heathrow, but he would not clarify whether he would himself stand again. Theresa May herself clearly said, 10th May 2010 (on her own website) “Like many local residents, I strongly welcome to cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow. Expanding Heathrow in this way would have had a detrimental effect on the Maidenhead and Twyford areas by increasing levels of noise and pollution, and today’s announcement is a victory for all those who have campaigned against it.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/10/ill-fight-heathrow-over-plans-for-a-new-runway-says-justine-greening-not-ruling-out-resignation/

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Justine Greening believes Cameron and Cabinet will abandon Heathrow 3rd runway plans

Justine Greening, MP for Putney, long standing opponent of a 3rd Heathrow runway, and International Development Secretary, has said that David Cameron will abandon plans to build a 3rd Heathrow runway. She predicted that the Cabinet would conclude that Heathrow should not be expanded. Instead a new “long term” strategy should be drawn up to decide on a “sensible” future airport policy for the UK.  The Telegraph says this risks a backlash and potential legal challenge from pro airport campaigners. Those wanting a new runway claim that it is needed to prevent flights and businesses going to other countries in Europe in the decades ahead. Last autumn Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary and Britain’s most senior civil servant, warned ministers not to comment on the runway issue before an announcement due to concerns that the final decision could be vulnerable to legal challenge by the losing side or its backers. Justine Greening said she did not think the Cabinet would back Heathrow as it was not a smart decision. “Trying to expand Heathrow is like trying to build an eight bedroom mansion on the site of a terraced house. It is a hub airport that is just simply in the wrong place.”  She had said earlier that she might resign if Heathrow was granted a runway, but she my have changed her mind.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/03/justine-greening-believes-cameron-and-cabinet-will-abandon-heathrow-3rd-runway-plans/

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Justine Greening Named As Transport Secretary

Putney MP Justine Greening has been announced as new transport secretary, after
Philip Hammond stepped in to fill the void at the Ministry of Defence following
Liam Fox’s resignation. Greening was elected to Parliament in 2005 and was made
economic secretary at the Treasury following the 2010 general election. Greening
was a vocal opponent of Labour’s plans to build a 3rd runway at Heathrow. Many
of her constituents live under the Heathrow flight path.  She joins Theresa Villiers.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2011/10/justine-greening-named-as-transport-secretary/

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Letter in FT from Paul McGuinness, Chair of No 3rd Runway Coalition: MPs should assess risks of 3rd Heathrow runway

Letter to the Editor of the Financial Times, from Paul McGuinness (Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition).  In it Paul says that while the government says no decision on the 3rd Heathrow runway will be taken until after a parliamentary vote (this summer), Heathrow is behaving as if the matter is already agreed and the runway approved. It has now launched a “consultation” on how it might build it. The airport’s “consultation” floats the possibility that the proposal before parliament could be mutated into a less expensive project — by tunnelling the M25 and shortening any new runway (although such a mutation could effectively make for a “new” proposal, requiring a new round of scrutiny).  Coalition members regard this latest “consultation” to be little more than a charade. A key issue of concern to large numbers of people under Heathrow planes is noise. However, there is no information about which areas and communities would be overflown more intensively than now, or newly overflown.  According to the government, it is for Heathrow to designate these, but there’s nothing in this consultation. Nor is there any plan to publish them — until after parliament has voted, perhaps approving the runway. Those preparing a legal challenge, on behalf of 4 councils (members of the Coalition) are ever more certain that the proposal will not survive the courts. It would be regrettable if MPs were to vote for the runway, just to find was then challenged and defeated at some stage, because the huge risks and impacts had not been properly assessed.
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Letters to the Editor:

MPs should assess risks in a third Heathrow runway

From Paul McGuinness, Chair, No 3rd Runway Coalition,London TW11

19.1.2018  (Letter to the  Financial Times)

Sir,

While the government may have “accepted the Airports Commission’s recommendation” to expand Heathrow (Comment, January 15), the secretary of state continues to insist that no decision can be said to have been taken until after parliament has scrutinised — and MPs have approved — its Airports National Policy Statement.

Meanwhile, the airport is behaving as if the decision is done and dusted. Whether it knows something the rest of us don’t, or is merely trying to twist the arms of decision makers, Heathrow has been spending money preparing for its third runway, and has even launched a “consultation” on how it might build it.

The airport’s “consultation” floats the possibility that the proposal before parliament could be mutated into a less expensive project — by tunnelling the M25 and shortening any new runway (although such a mutation could effectively make for a “new” proposal, risking a new round of scrutiny).

Either way, our members consider this latest “consultation” to be little more than a charade.

Heathrow is the world’s most highly disruptive airport, by virtue of its planes overflying the most densely populated residential region in the UK. Residents want to know where new flight paths will be — which areas will be overflown more intensively than before?

Which new communities will be overflown for the first time? How, a child might ask, could the negative noise consequences even be assessed without such essential information?

According to the government, it is for Heathrow to designate these, but there’s not a dicky bird in this consultation. Nor is there any plan to publish them — until after parliament has voted.

To many who have studied the issue and considered its likely problems, it seems absurd the government should have allowed itself to have considered the building of a new airport, the size of a Frankfurt or Gatwick, on top of the current Heathrow operation.

As the matter draws to a head, those preparing an environmental legal challenge, on behalf of four of our borough council members, are becoming yet more certain that the proposal will not survive the courts.

It would be a shame if parliamentarians were to join the government in succumbing to Heathrow’s hard-arm strategy, to back an idea that will be challenged and felled at some stage, because it was too replete with risk to see the light of day.

Paul McGuinness

Chair, No 3rd Runway Coalition

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https://www.ft.com/content/dc4020b2-fb7b-11e7-9b32-d7d59aace167

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Councils badly affected by Heathrow noise say 3rd runway could mean even more night flights than now

Government assurances that night flights could be banned with a third runway have been undermined by a new report from a major airline group – IAG – making the case for additional flights in the early morning period.  In its submission to the Transport Select Committee, IAG, (parent company of BA, the main airline at Heathrow), said that the Government’s Airports NPS should focus on providing “extended periods of predictable respite from scheduled night flights rather than a prescriptive ban for an arbitrary number of hours”. BA operates 11 of the 16 flights which arrive at Heathrow in the night time period between 11.30pm and 6am. The Airports Commission recommended that all scheduled flights should be banned, between 11.30pm and 6.00am (six and a half hours) as a condition of the 3rd runway going ahead. But Heathrow said it would move that six hours back, so it is 11.00pm to 5.30am. There is already a ban (scheduled – not mentioning non-scheduled) after 11pm.  The  Government’s draft NPS published in February 2017 watered down this recommendation and proposed a ban of six and a half hours with the exact times to be determined following consultation together with a “predictable, though reduced, period of respite for local communities”.  So the NPS as currently drafted provides no guarantee that a meaningful night ban will be introduced .IAG says a curfew would make it harder to add new flights from certain time zones.
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Third Runway Could Mean More Night Flights

New report undermines Government promise that night flights might be banned says four councils

15.1.2018 (Brentford.tw8)

Government assurances that night flights could be banned with a third runway have been undermined by a new report from a major airline group making the case for additional flights in the early morning period.

In its submission to the Transport Select Committee, IAG, which is the parent company of British Airways, said that the Government’s national policy statement on aviation (NPS) should focus on providing ‘extended periods of predictable respite from scheduled night flights rather than a prescriptive ban for an arbitrary number of hours’.

BA operates 11 of the 16 flights which arrive at Heathrow in the night time period between 11.30pm and 6am.

The Airports Commission recommended that all flights in the night time period should be banned as a condition of the third runway going ahead.

The Government’s draft NPS published in February 2017 watered down this recommendation and proposed a ban of six and a half hours with the exact times to be determined following consultation together with a ‘predictable, though reduced, period of respite for local communities’.

The IAG submission also argued that a curfew would make it harder to add new flights from certain time zones.

Local authorities opposed to expansion at Heathrow say that in pressing for more night flights the airline had demonstrated the feebleness of the Government’s position.

Wandsworth council leader Ravi Govindia, pictured above, said: “The pressure from the airlines shows once again that the industry is not prepared to share the benefits of expansion with the communities affected at an airport which is responsible for more noise than all the major European hubs put together.

“We can expect further challenges to all the essential mitigation that the Airports Commission said must accompany an expanded Heathrow. It shows that whatever the Transport Secretary may say a third runway cannot be delivered without bringing extra noise for local communities.”

Cllr Paul Hodgins, Leader of Richmond Council, said: “The Government’s NPS as currently drafted provides no guarantee that a meaningful night ban will be introduced. Once the detailed planning process begins we can expect the current conditions to be whittled away. This is yet another example of why the Government should be looking at Gatwick Airport rather than expanding Heathrow.”

Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, added: “No Government promise to ban or even reduce the number of early morning arrivals is worth the paper it is written on. Unless the airlines agree there is nothing ministers can do.”

Councillor Simon Dudley, Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “BA has shown that rather than accepting any restriction they actually want more night flights. There is simply no form of ‘respite’ that is going to protect residents from the extra sleep disruption this is bound to cause.”

The Chancellor Philip Hammond was reported in April 2017 as saying that many of his Cabinet colleagues made the decision to support the third runway on the basis that (they) accepted the Airports Commission’s recommendations for mitigation.

The IAG submission is published on the Transport Select Committee website.

The local authority group which comprises Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils will be giving evidence to the transport Select Committee today (Monday).

http://www.brentfordtw8.com/default.asp?section=community&link=http://neighbournet.com/server/common/conhrw296bsouth.htm

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This is what Heathrow said, on 11th May 2016:

Airports Commission conditions

NIGHT FLIGHTS.

“Following construction of a third runway there should be a ban on all scheduled night flights in the period 11:30 pm to 6 am”

Heathrow proposal

Meeting the Airports Commission

The introduction of a legally binding ban on all scheduled night flights for six and a half hours (as recommended by the Airports Commission) from 11 pm to 5:30 am when the third runway opens.

Exceeding the Airports Commission

We will support the earlier introduction of this extended ban on night flights by Government as soon as the necessary airspace has been modernised after planning consent for the third runway has been secured.

http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Expansion-News-23/6296

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See earlier:

 

DfT confirms numbers of night flights – till 2022 – at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted will not be cut

Changes to the night flights regime, at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted have been delayed for several years. The DfT has now produced its Decision Document on the issue. Anyone expecting meaningful cuts in night flights, or noise from night flights will be disappointed. There is no change in numbers, and just some tinkering with noise categories.  The DfT says night flights from Heathrow will continue until (if) the airport is expanded, and it just hopes airlines will be using slightly less noisy planes. Pretty much, effectively, “business as usual.” Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, said he had to “strike a balance between the economic benefits of flying and the impact on local residents.” The DfT objective is to: “encourage the use of quieter aircraft to limit or reduce the number of people significantly affected by aircraft noise at night, while maintaining the existing benefits of night flights”. But it says: “Many industry responses welcomed the recognition by government of the benefits night flights offer and highlighted the importance of night flights to the business models of airlines, for instance by allowing low-cost airlines to operate the necessary minimum amount of rotations a day, or the benefits to the time-sensitive freight sector through enabling next day deliveries.”     

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/07/dft-confirms-numbers-of-night-flights-till-2022-at-heathrow-and-gatwick-will-not-be-cut/

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Phillip Hammond: Ministers ‘only backed third Heathrow runway if night flight ban remained’

Several Cabinet ministers only backed a Heathrow 3rd runway on the condition that the Government ensured there was a proper night flight ban. At a meeting in his Englefield Green constituency, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond hit back at airlines – like IAG – that are pushing strongly for early morning flights, which cause noise misery for many local people, to be allowed to continue. He told local residents in his Runnymede and Weybridge constituency that he supports Heathrow expansion if measures proposed by the Airport Commission (Chairman, Howard Davies) were guaranteed to protect communities close to the airport. The Commission said there should be a ban on all scheduled [ignoring un-scheduled however] night flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am.  Heathrow has proposed 11pm to 5.30am – it wants early flights. IAG has said it needs flights landing early, and at the terminal, by 5.30am and then a large number of flights before 7am.  Few people consider 5.15am the end of their period of sleep, so that is entirely unacceptable to anyone who is woken by plane noise. Evidence shows many health impacts of sleep disturbed by plane noise, including cardiovascular impacts and Type 2 diabetes.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/04/phillip-hammond-ministers-only-backed-third-heathrow-runway-if-night-flight-ban-remained/
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Night flight noise likely to increase risk of Type 2 diabetes for those living under flightpaths

Research by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel has shown that people who live below an airport flightpath are more than 80% more likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who live in quieter areas. The findings have led scientists to suggest that aircraft noise, rather than air pollution, could be to blame. The noise of the planes overhead, when they are low and loud, is likely to have a devastating effect on the body’s metabolism, leading to increased blood sugar levels. The effect is largely from noise at night, confirming that night flights are damaging to health. The cost to the health of over-flown populations needs to be properly taken into account, and given enough significance against small economic benefits of night flights to airports and airlines (which is how the DfT assesses the issue at present). Heathrow already has – by an order of magnitude – the most people affected by night flights, with over 700,000 living within the 55 Lden noise average contours. The link to diabetes is through the body’s reaction to stress, raising blood pressure. Noise stimulates the body’s sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis, leading to increased blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease, strokes, limb amputations and blindness. It affects over 3 million people in the UK.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/04/living-under-flightpath-roar-may-cause-diabetes-scientists-say-residents-who-are-exposed-to-daily-aircraft-noise-are-86-per-cent-more-likely-to-have-the-type-2-condition/

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Heathrow begins public consultation on airport expansion

Heathrow has launched its public consultation on some aspects of its hoped-for 3rd runway. https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/  It runs till the 28th March, and the airport will be putting on a number of public information events. Details of those are at https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/events/  The consultation is very vague and general, and is looking initially at a range of topics, on which is has produced “information papers”. These topics are airspace principles  https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/documents-resources/airspace-principles-consultation-document/ the Development Consent Order  process https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/documents-resources/development-consent-order-process-information-paper/ the Environmental Impact Assessment  https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/documents-resources/environmental-impact-assessment-information-paper/  Property Policies https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/documents-resources/property-policies-information-paper/ and generally their Emerging Plans  https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/documents-resources/our-emerging-plans/   
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There is little to reassure those horrified by the implications of a 3rd runway, whether in terms of its social, economic or environmental impact. There is nothing, for example, to give any certainty on air pollution.  AEF Deputy Director Cait Hewitt commented: “The key environmental barriers to expansion will need to be addressed by Government. On air quality, the scale of the problem means that any measures that Heathrow may be proposing will be pretty much irrelevant.”

 

The Heathrow consultation launched today

They have a dedicated website with all the documents.

https://www.heathrowconsultation.com

Key documents:

Main consultation documenthttps://www.heathrowconsultation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2263-Heathrow-OEP-and-Appendix-FINAL-RGB-200dpi.pdf

There is then a page with dozens of documents which can be found here https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/documents-resources/


Some media coverage:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-42715407

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-5277279/Heathrow-unveils-expansion-proposals.html

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/heathrow-plans-shorter-new-runway-to-reduce-disruption-w6w6xmqkk


Heathrow public consultation can’t resolve air quality and climate change barriers to expansion

Heathrow Airport has launched a public consultation on its proposed expansion and airspace change principals. The consultation, which opened today, remains open until 28th March 2018. Below is AEF’s reaction.

AEF’s deputy director, Cait Hewitt, said:

“The key environmental barriers to expansion will need to be addressed by Government.On air quality, the scale of the problem means that any measures that Heathrow may be proposing will be pretty much irrelevant.

“The bigger question of whether or not London’s air pollution will have fallen to within legal limits by the time a new runway is due to open (bringing with it an additional swathe of passenger and freight traffic) depends on how successful the London Mayor and the UK Government are in delivering new air quality policies and measures.

“There’s little Heathrow can do to influence the issue of background emissions, and we’re concerned that the Government plans to shift responsibility for the problem to the airport.

“When it comes to climate change, the Government is still refusing even to have a conversation about how to tackle the problem of how to keep aviation emissions in line with the UK’s legal obligations until the other side of a parliamentary vote on Heathrow, because a third runway would push CO2 emissions over the limit recommended by the Government’s own advisers.

“Even on noise, Heathrow can’t change the fact that expansion would mean an additional 700 planes per day over London residents, and it will be several years before we know where these will fly as we still have no certainty on where the flight paths will be.

“No one should assume that a decision to expand Heathrow is done and dusted. There are still big questions about environmental impacts that only the Government can answer.”

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Contact: Tim Johnson tim@aef.org.uk 

Cait Hewitt cait@aef.org.uk 

0203 859 9371 (Out of office hours 07710 381742)  

https://www.aef.org.uk/2018/01/17/heathrow-public-consultation-cant-resolve-air-quality-and-climate-change-barriers-to-expansion/

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Heathrow begins public consultation on airport expansion, motorway move

Reuters Staff

 

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has said the government aims to give the go-ahead to the new runway in the first half of this year.

The expansion plan has been controversial, with critics highlighting the possible impact on air quality in London and noise levels in the local community, while airlines want the airport to keep costs down.

“Heathrow is consulting to ensure that we deliver benefits for our passengers, businesses across the country but also, importantly, for those neighbours closest to us,” Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Director for expansion, said in a statement.

The consultation will work to deliver expansion while meeting strict environmental tests, the airport said, but will also ask for views on a proposal to move a short section of the London orbital M25 motorway 150 metres to the west.

The proposal would also lower the motorway by 7 metres and put it in a tunnel so the runway can pass over it. Local residents will also be consulted on three options for the new runway and what the terminal infrastructure should be.

Heathrow has pledged to keep costs down during the expansion, and said it had identified options to deliver the airport for 2.5 billion pounds less than previous plans thanks to engagement over the last year.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways owner IAG (ICAG.L), said Heathrow had to become cheaper for its expansion to succeed, in an article in the Financial Times earlier this week.

Airlines UK, an industry association which represents UK-registered carriers, said that airlines might renege on their support for expansion if costs were not kept down.

“Airlines have been consistent in their support for expansion at Heathrow and will be making the case for a new runway,” said Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK.

“However… this backing remains conditional upon costs being kept under control and passenger charges not increasing in real terms, and they will reserve the right to withdraw their support if this is not achievable.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-airports-heathrow/heathrow-begins-public-consultation-on-airport-expansion-motorway-move-idUKKBN1F600R

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Heathrow to unveil shorter third runway plan in bid to cut costs

Proposal sees 300 metres cut from runway in effort to help reduce costs to £15bn, but opponents say move changes forecasted economic benefits

By  Transport correspondent (Guardian)

The airport will propose cutting 300 metres from the length of the northwestern runway, a scheme approved by the government following the Airports Commission process, in an attempt to cut costs.

Although the government has backed Heathrow’s expansion, it has also said it must not mean higher charges for airlines, which would probably be passed on to passengers. British Airways, which operates about half the flights at Heathrow, had complained bitterly about the expected cost of the new runway. Heathrownow believes it can deliver the runway for £14.3bn, cutting £2.5bn from the original price, and keeping charges “close to” today’s levels.

Plans for a brand new terminal could also be jettisoned in favour of expanding around its two main existing terminals, with construction phased to cut costs.

The shorter runway will still require the M25 to be moved 150 metres west, with the airport now proposing that Britain’s busiest motorway be accommodated in a shallower tunnel under a slightly ramped runway.

The options, including whether the shorter runway would be located to the western or eastern end of where the full-length 3.5km runway (2.1 miles) would lie, will be presented to the public in 40 events over a 10-week consultation.

Heathrow hopes that its consultation – independent of government consultations in the planning process – will allow it to present its best case and pre-empt some objections ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote expected this year on the national policy statement on aviation, which gives the go-ahead for another runway. The airport has pledged higher compensation to residents, a six-and-a-half-hour ban on scheduled night flights, and to stay within air quality limits.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, said: “We need feedback to help deliver this opportunity responsibly and to create a long-term legacy both at a local and national level. Heathrow is consulting to ensure that we deliver benefits for our passengers, businesses across the country but also, importantly, for those neighbours closest to us.”

John Stewart, chair of the anti-Heathrow noise group Hacan, said: “The Airport Commission calculations of economic benefits were on the basis of the capacity of a full-length runway. A shorter runway could open a can of worms, and invite a judicial review from Heathrow Hub or even Gatwick.”

The consultation will also discuss the redesign of air space, which will affect flight paths over London and beyond. Although the reform is being driven independently of Heathrow, the likely impact would be to further concentrate air traffic over the same routes.

Should parliament back expansion, Heathrow will need to consult further on the details before submitting plans, with final approval not expected before 2021. A 3rd runway is not expected to be operational before 2025 at the earliest.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/17/heathrow-third-runway-shorter-cut-costs?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Heathrow plans consultation reveals – despite greenwash – it wants to build mega car park on greenbelt land

Heathrow Airport Limited have – in their latest consultation on its runway hopes – outlined proposals that would see vast swathes of green belt land around the airport used for buildings to support a 3rd runway. One building in particular would be a “new car park for the airport” on Little Harlington Playing Fields, for 20,000 vehicles (see map below), close to an air pollution monitor which has frequently broken legal air quality limits. The plan to build a car park on green belt land is, according to campaigners, somewhat ironic given the airport have been pushing so-called environmental credentials of a third runway, including a specific pledge to have “no more airport-related traffic on the roads compared to today”. The pledge has been widely publicised, including to MPs, who will decide on whether Heathrow should expand later this year, in a parliamentary vote. Rob Barnstone, Coordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “It is deeply disappointing and worrying for our local environment that Heathrow have expressed intent to build on so many green belt land sites. … There is a great irony in pledging to have no additional cars using an expanded airport compared with now, then wanting to build a huge new car park on green belt land site. The pledge is now simply laughable.”
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Heathrow want to build mega car park on greenbelt land

Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) Press Release

17th Jan 2018

Heathrow Airport Limited have today outlined proposals that would see vast swathes of green belt land around the airport used for buildings to support a third runway (1).

One building in particular would be a “new car park for the airport” on Little Harlington Playing Fields, for 20,000 vehicles (2), close to an air pollution monitor which has frequently broken legal air quality limits.

The proposals came to light in a consultation launched on Wednesday as part of its effort to build a third runway at Heathrow, despite ongoing parliamentary scrutiny as to whether the airport should expand altogether.

The plan to build a car park on green belt land is, according to campaigners, somewhat ironic given the airport have been pushing so-called environmental credentials of a third runway, including a specific pledge to have “no more airport-related traffic on the roads compared to today” (3). The pledge has been widely publicised, including to MPs, who will decide on whether Heathrow should expand later this year.

Rob Barnstone, Coordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “It is deeply disappointing and worrying for our local environment that Heathrow have expressed intent to build on so many green belt land sites.

“There is a great irony in pledging to have no additional cars using an expanded airport compared with now, then wanting to build a huge new car park on green belt land site. The pledge is now simply laughable.”

Ends.

Notes

1. IMAGE 1: Heathrow consultation document page 89. https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2263-Heathrow-OEP-and-Appendix-FINAL-RGB-200dpi.pdf

Figure showing the sites Heathrow want to build new cars parks

2. IMAGE 2: Map of local green belt land sites, (taken from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/greenpolitics/planning/9708387/Interactive-map-Englands-green-belt.html)

Greenbelt land around Heathrow

Red dot indicates location of the Little Harlington Playing Fields.

3. Heathrow ‘no more cars than today’ pledge https://your.heathrow.com/takingbritainfurther/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Transport-Fact-Sheet_FINAL2.pdf

Further info:

Rob Barnstone 07806 947 050


Spaces for 40,000 cars under Heathrow’s ‘green’ expansion

By Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent (Times)
January 18 2018,

Plans for Heathrow published yesterday contained proposals for car parks for up to 40,000 cars

The biggest car parks in the world could be built at Heathrow under plans for a third runway, despite a pledge to clampdown on motor traffic to the airport.

Detailed plans published yesterday contained proposals for two car parks for up to 20,000 cars each. The multi-storey structures could be on sites north and southwest of the airport. One could be built on playing fields.

The buildings would be as big as a shopping centre car park in Edmonton, Canada, the largest in the world.

The designs angered campaigners in west London who oppose expansion of the airport. They warned that they would make a mockery of a pledge to cut the number of vehicles being driven to Heathrow. A spokeswoman for the airport insisted that it represented an attempt to consolidate parking on a few multi-storey sites close to terminals rather than the present position in which several sprawling surface-level car parks were used.

Heathrow plans to introduce congestion charges to reduce the number of vehicles driven to the site. Prices may be based on emissions, with “cleaner, less polluting vehicles paying less”.

The proposals were outlined in plans for the third runway published by Heathrow yesterday, which will be subject to a ten-week public consultation.

The airport will eventually grow by 50 per cent to accommodate 740,000 flights a year under the £14 billion scheme, to be completed in late 2025.

The proposals do not include the location of new flight paths over London and the southeast, leading to claims that the airport is withholding the worst effects of expansion. Heathrow has about 51,500 parking spaces. Many will go when the new runway is built northwest of the airport.

Other facilities that need to be relocated include the headquarters of British Airways and the main Home Office immigration removal centre.

Opponents said that the plan “would see vast swathes of green belt land around the airport” for cars. The northern car park could be built on the Little Harlington playing field.

Robert Barnstone, co-ordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “There is a great irony in pledging to have no additional cars . . . then wanting to build a huge new car park on green belt land. The pledge is simply laughable.”

A Heathrow spokeswoman said: “Building on green belt land is justifiably only allowed in special circumstances, which our planning submission will have to prove exist with our expansion.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/spaces-for-40-000-cars-under-heathrow-s-green-expansion-78t6m2ghq

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Heathrow expansion: Green belt field could be turned into airport car park or relocated immigration centre

Little Harlington Playing Fields has been one of Hillingdon’s most used sporting facilities since the 1950s

By Qasim Peracha (Get West London)
22nd JAN 2018

Heathrow Airport has lined up a green belt playing field as a potential location for a new car park in its latest consultation.

The land at Little Harlington Playing Fields, just to the north of the current airport site, could be swallowed up if the third runway is built at the airport.

The green belt site could also be the location of the new Immigration Removal Centre, with Harmondsworth IRC set to shut down to make way for the proposed runway.

The land lies within Heathrow’s Compulsory Purchase Zone and is owned by Hillingdon Council, which currently rents it out as a local sports facility.

It has been the borough’s most used grass sporting facilities since the 1950s and is home to 19 football clubs as well as casual bookings for football and cricket.

The proposal has been dubbed “ironic” by anti-Heathrow campaigner Robert Barnstone, who highlighted the airport’s pledge to have “no more airport-related traffic on the roads compared to today”.

The pledge has been one of the cornerstones of the Heathrow proposal, presented to MPs ahead of a vote later this year which would finalise the hub as the government’s official site for airport expansion.

Rob Barnstone, coordinator of Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “It is deeply disappointing and worrying for our local environment that Heathrow have expressed intent to build on so many green belt land sites.

“There is a great irony in pledging to have no additional cars using an expanded airport compared with now, then wanting to build a huge new car park on green belt land site. The pledge is now simply laughable.”

The third runway will extend over the M25 but the length of it and options for the relocation of the M25 are up for consultation (Image: Heathrow Airport/Grimshaw Architects)
A spokesman for Heathrow told getwestlondon: “We are just at the first consultation phase and we have invited everyone to give feedback on the consultation.

“We are not at the stage where we have made decisions about where to put the car park.”

Hillingdon Council has been approached for comment but has not yet responded at the time of publishing.

Heathrow launched its first official consultation on infrastructure and airspace for the North West Runway on Wednesday (January 17).

The airport is holding 40 consultation events across neighbouring areas as part of the 10-week consultation allowing locals to feedback on options for the M25, runway length, terminal provisions and priorities for remapping airspace.

To find out more details about the consultation events, detailed proposals and to respond to the consultation visit the website . https://www.heathrowconsultation.com/

https://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/heathrow-expansion-green-belt-field-14172681

 

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Read more »

CCC report on UK government CO2 targets shows there has been NO progress on aviation carbon

The Committee on Climate Change’s review of the Government’s Clean Growth plan says that, though it is ambitious in tone, it is riddled with policy gaps. And yet again, aviation is on the list of sectors needing urgent attention. The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) comments that the CCC’s longstanding advice is that emissions from international aviation, must be allowed for by setting aside 37.5 Mt from the total carbon budget allowed in 2050 (around 25% of the allowable CO2 by that date). Yet as today’s report notes, the government has made ‘no progress’ in setting out a policy to achieve this.  Meanwhile, with its fingers apparently stuffed into its ears, the Government is ploughing on with plans for a third Heathrow runway.  While the CCC advice has always been that, at most, about 60% increase in air passenger growth could be accommodated, in the 37.5MtCO2 cap, the DfT’s own data shows that (as all UK airports hope to grow) even without any new runway there will be around 78% UK air passenger growth expected by 2050 (compared to 2005), and that with a new runway at Heathrow the figure will be more like 89% (or about  88%. with a Gatwick runway). It surely stretches credulity to think that a new runway could be shoehorned into this equation without putting the CO2 target effectively out of reach, which is presumably why the Government is refusing to talk about it.
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‘No progress’ on closing aviation emissions policy gap says CCC, on the day Heathrow launches third runway consultation

The CCC’s review of the Government’s Clean Growth plan is out. And the verdict? While ambitious in tone, it’s riddled with policy gaps. And yet again, aviation is on the list of sectors needing urgent attention.

The report, An independent assessment of the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy: from ambition to action, is based around the following key points:

  1. Policies to meet existing commitments in the Government’s strategy are lacking. There are inadequate measures to deliver on: buildings energy efficiency: low-carbon heat; surface transport; power generation, agriculture and land use; and aviation.
  2. Even if all existing commitments were met, there remains a gap that must urgently be closed in order to meet the fourth and fifth carbon budgets. Delay to publication of the strategy means that “time has already been lost” in which to make the right investments.
  3. The Government must plan to meet the carbon budgets through domestic action, not relying on carbon offsetting or on banking from previous budgets; and
  4. As we’ll almost certainly need to ratchet up our legal climate commitments in order to meet the Paris Agreement, the UK should be over-delivering, not under-delivering on carbon budgets as currently set.

The CCC’s longstanding advice is that emissions from international aviation, while not formally included in carbon budgets, must be allowed for by setting aside 37.5 Mt from the total carbon budget allowed in 2050 (around a quarter of the allowable CO2 by that date). Yet as today’s report notes, the government has made ‘no progress’ in setting out a policy to achieve this.

The next available opportunity to fix this, suggests CCC, is by way of the aviation strategy, launching for consultation this year from the Department for Transport. This, the CCC spells out:

“will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.”

So what about Heathrow?

Meanwhile, with its fingers apparently in its ears, the Government is ploughing on with plans for a third Heathrow runway, and the airport, which has launched a consultation on the project today, has claimed that “the planning process for Heathrow expansion is now firmly underway” despite the fact that parliament has yet to take a decision on the plan. A vote in the house is expected before the summer – before, in other words, there’s likely to be any aviation emissions strategy in place.

As the Airports Commission cannily argued, the CCC’s recommendation that a 60% passenger growth may be possible for aviation could in theory allow for a whole new runway. The problem is that Heathrow isn’t the only UK airport that wants to grow. The large majority of the UK’s airports, in fact, have ambitious growth plans, and most of these don’t need Government approval or runway expansion to deliver them. The latest official aviation forecasts (published quietly and late) indicate that even without expansion there will be around 78% passenger growth expected by 2050 (compared to 2005), and that with a new runway at Heathrow the figure will be more like 89%. (And for the record, the figure for Gatwick expansion is not far behind at 88%.)

Any answers?

Squeezing aviation emissions down to a level compatible with the Climate Change Act will be a challenge even without runway expansion. The sector, as the CCC reiterates today, falls firmly into the ‘difficult to reduce’ category when it comes to CO2. There are tough conversations to be had – about the price of flying, the prospects (and costs) of ramping up technology improvements, and what kind of demand constraints may be necessary in relation to existing infrastructure.

It surely stretches credulity to think that a new runway could be shoehorned into this question without putting the target effectively out of reach, which is presumably why the Government is refusing to talk about it.

And as today’s report makes clear, the chance that other sectors will over-deliver to allow for extra emissions for aviation is pretty much out of the question.

https://www.aef.org.uk/2018/01/17/no-progress-on-closing-aviation-emissions-policy-gap-says-ccc-on-the-day-heathrow-launches-third-runway-consultation/

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Related articles

Clean Growth Strategy fails to address aviation policy gap

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See also

 

Committee on Climate Change – reiterates its need for aviation demand increase to be 60% at most (cf. 2005 level)

The Committee on Climate Change has produced its assessment of the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy.  Its key findings are that thought the Government has made a strong commitment to achieving the UK’s climate change targets, policies and proposals set out in the Clean Growth Strategy will need to be firmed up, and gaps to meeting the 4th and 5th carbon budgets must be closed. The CCC says, on aviation: “The government should plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050), supported by strong international policies. Emissions at this level could be achieved through a combination of fuel and operational efficiency improvement, use of sustainable biofuels, and by limiting demand growth to around 60% above 2005 levels by 2050.” And while their recommendation was “A plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set: around 2005 levels by 2050, implying around a 60% potential increase in demand, supported by strong international policies” there has been NO progress made.  They also say: The Government have committed to publish a new Aviation Strategy by the end of 2018. This will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.”

Click here to view full story…

 

 

 

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After 50 year battle, French government abandons plans for new Nantes airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Victory!

It has finally been announced, by Edouard Philippe (Prime Minister of France) that the proposed new airport for Nantes, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes (NDDL), has been abandoned.  President Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe have buried the project, which has been seriously criticised for its cost and its environmental consequences. The leaders see the airport as impossible to build because of the fierce opposition by around half the population, so it just a constant source of division. Instead the executive backs re-development of the current Nantes-Atlantique airport, south of the city of Nantes, which will be modernised and have its runway lengthened. That would help a bit to lessen the noise from the flight path that goes over part of the city. The Prime Minister has also announced an expansion of the airport of Rennes-Saint-Jacques and a development of high-speed rail lines between the West and Paris airports. Opponents of the NDDL scheme are jubilant – the battle has lasted almost 50 years, and they almost lost on several occasions. But Edouard Philippe said the “zone to defend” (ZAD) will be cleared, so it is no longer a lawless area with blocked roads etc.  Those occupying it will have to leave, and the land be returned to agricultural use.

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There is more information, in English, about the lengthy campaign at Notre Dame des Landes (NDDL) against the new airport plans, at Nantes Aeroport du Grand Ouest – NDDL

and news stories over many years at  Nantes Airport News


Notre-Dame-des-Landes: the executive buries the airport

By Dominique Albertini   (Liberation, France)
Wednesday, on the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
Wednesday, on the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Photo Loic Venance. AFP

“Notre-Dame-des-Landes is the airport of the division,” said Edouard Philippe Wednesday, to justify the abandonment of the project. More surprisingly, the evacuation will take place only in the spring.

No plane will take off at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe on Wednesday buried the project of new airport Nantes, criticized for its cost and its environmental consequences. “I see today that the conditions are not met to carry out the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project, said the Prime Minister from the Elysée, at the exit of a Council of Ministers which lasted until 13:30. Such a project […] can not be done in a context of heightened opposition between two almost equal parts of the population […] Notre-Dame-des-Landes, I can see it, is the airport of the division “ .

READ ALSO  The main declarations of Edouard Philippe

This is a redevelopment of the current Nantes-Atlantique airport that has retained the executive. He will see his current equipment modernized, then his track lengthened “to reduce noise pollution in Nantes,”promised Edouard Philippe. The Prime Minister has also announced an expansion of the airport of Rennes-Saint-Jacques and a development of high-speed rail lines between the West and Paris airports.

While the supporters of the airport denounce a “retreat” of the State against the occupants of the “zone to defend” (ZAD), Edouard Philippe promised the “end of this zone of lawlessness” : “The roads must be returned to free movement, obstacles removed, circulation restored. Otherwise, the police will proceed to the necessary operations “ . On the rest of the area, “illegal occupants will have to leave by the next spring or be expelled” . After which “the lands will return to their agricultural vocation” .

“Disintegration”

With this decision, the Head of State and his Prime Minister put an end to fifty years of procrastination around a project conceived under the Thirty Glorious, never launched, but never buried until today. Returning an unflattering image to unresolved public authorities, the file also symbolized the limits of French-style spatial planning. “For fifty years, the project was successively decided, abandoned, relaunched, re-examined, reconfigured, postponed ,  said the Prime Minister. Denouncing, in a series of allusions to the five-year Hollande, “the indecision of successive governments” .

Paradox: this denouement, major victory for the green current, will have been carried by two officials rather favorable, at the origin, with the new airport. “My first choice would have been to immediately allow this project,” did not hide Edouard Philippe Wednesday. As for Emmanuel Macron, he said during the presidential campaign his intention to  “enforce”  the consultation held in Loire-Atlantique in June 2016, where 55% of voters had supported the airport project. A few days later, however, the candidate said he wanted  “one last time look at things”, and in particular the idea of ​​a redevelopment of Nantes-Atlantique. After coming to power, neither the Head of State nor the Prime Minister had expressed any wish for the future of the project. Retreating for eight months behind  a perfectly fair consultation .

By June 2016, the executive had entrusted three experts with a “mediation mission”.  In a report submitted in December , it had weighed the construction of the new airport and the expansion of the current platform in Nantes. But gave the advantage to the second in terms of cost. At the beginning of January, in the wake of this report, Edouard Philippe had multiplied the meetings with local elected officials, favorable or opposed to the site. And made last Saturday, a surprise visit in Loire-Atlantique, without revealing anything of its intentions.

“Weakness”

The decision opens two fronts for the executive. Perhaps facilitated by the abandonment of the project, the evacuation of the ZAD, even if it is pushed back in the spring, will still be a delicate operation. In a statement released Tuesday, the occupiers oppose “any expulsion of those who have come to live in recent years in the grove to defend and who want to continue to project their lives and activities . ” Available on the ZAD website,  a document lists the locations and times of the rallies to be organized from the beginning of the expulsion, all over France. And especially in Nantes and Rennes, where police reinforcements have already been planned.

Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe will also have to deal with the discontent of local elected representatives, who are overwhelmingly in favor of a new airport. On Wednesday, the PS chairman of the Loire-Atlantique departmental council, Philippe Grosvalet, denounced a decision that “tramples the communities [and] the inhabitants” of the department. “Betrayal of the Great West and denial of democracy, ” added on Twitter the Mayor PS of Nantes, Johanna Rolland. While the president of the Pays de la Loire LR, Christelle Morançais, lamented “the victory of the zadistes on the rule of law.”  A trial that the Prime Minister will try to disarm, receiving the parliamentarians of Loire-Atlantique to Matignon, this afternoon.

http://www.liberation.fr/france/2018/01/17/notre-dame-des-landes-l-executif-enterre-l-aeroport_1623067

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Notre-Dame-des-Landes : l’exécutif enterre l’aéroport

Par Dominique Albertini  (Liberation, France)

«Notre-Dame-des-Landes, c’est l’aéroport de la division», a déclaré Edouard Philippe mercredi, pour justifier l’abandon du projet. Plus surprenant, l’évacuation n’aura lieu qu’au printemps.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes : l’exécutif enterre l’aéroport

Aucun avion ne décollera à Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Emmanuel Macron et Edouard Philippe ont enterré mercredi le projet de nouvel aéroport nantais, critiqué pour son coût et ses conséquences environnementales. «Je constate aujourd’hui que les conditions ne sont pas réunies pour mener à bien le projet d’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, a déclaré le Premier ministre depuis l’Elysée, à la sortie d’un Conseil des ministres qui aura duré jusqu’à 13h30. Un tel projet […] ne peut se faire dans un contexte d’opposition exacerbée entre deux parties presque égales de la population […] Notre-Dame-des-Landes, je le constate, c’est l’aéroport de la division».

A LIRE AUSSI
Les principales déclarations d’Edouard Philippe

C’est un réaménagement de l’aéroport actuel de Nantes-Atlantique qu’a retenu l’exécutif. Celui-ci verra ses équipements actuels modernisés, puis sa piste allongée «pour réduire les nuisances sonores à Nantes», a promis Edouard Philippe. Le Premier ministre a en outre annoncé un agrandissement de l’aéroport de Rennes-Saint-Jacques et un développement des lignes ferroviaires à grande vitesse entre l’Ouest et les aéroports de Paris.

Alors que les partisans de l’aéroport dénoncent un «recul» de l’Etat face aux occupants de la «zone à défendre» (ZAD), Edouard Philippe a promis la «fin de cette zone de non-droit» : «Les routes doivent être rendues à la libre circulation, les obstacles retirés, la circulation rétablie. À défaut, les forces de l’ordre procèderont aux opérations nécessaires». Sur le reste de la zone, «les occupants illégaux devront partir d’eux-mêmes d’ici le printemps prochain ou seront expulsés». Après quoi «les terres retrouveront leur vocation agricole».

«Délitement»
Avec cette décision, le chef de l’Etat et son Premier ministre mettent un terme à cinquante ans de tergiversations autour d’un projet conçu sous les Trente Glorieuses, jamais lancé, mais jamais enterré jusqu’à ce jour. Renvoyant une image peu flatteuse à des pouvoirs publics irrésolus, le dossier symbolisait aussi les limites de l’aménagement du territoire à la française. «Durant cinquante ans, le projet a été successivement décidé, abandonné, relancé, rééxaminé, reconfiguré, remis à plus tard», a souligné le Premier ministre. Dénonçant, dans une série d’allusions au quinquennat Hollande, «l’indécision des gouvernements successifs».

Paradoxe : ce dénouement, victoire majeure pour le courant écologiste, aura été porté par deux responsables plutôt favorables, à l’origine, au nouvel aéroport. «Mon premier choix aurait été d’autoriser sans délai ce projet», n’a pas caché Edouard Philippe mercredi. Quant à Emmanuel Macron, il avait dit pendant la campagne présidentielle son intention de «faire respecter» la consultation organisée en Loire-Atlantique en juin 2016, où 55% des votants avaient soutenu le projet d’aéroport. Quelques jours plus tard, le candidat avait cependant déclaré vouloir «une dernière fois regarder les choses», et notamment l’idée d’un réaménagement de Nantes-Atlantique. Après leur arrivée au pouvoir, ni le chef de l’Etat ni le Premier ministre n’avaient exprimé le moindre vœu sur l’avenir du projet. Se retranchant, durant huit mois, derrière une consultation voulue parfaitement équitable.

Dès juin 2016, l’exécutif avait confié à trois experts une «mission de médiation». Dans un rapport remis en décembre, celle-ci avait mis en balance la construction du nouvel aéroport et l’agrandissement de l’actuelle plate-forme nantaise. Mais donnait l’avantage à la deuxième en termes de coût. Début janvier, dans la foulée de ce rapport, Edouard Philippe avait multiplié les rencontres avec les élus locaux, favorables ou opposés au chantier. Et effectué, samedi dernier, une visite surprise en Loire-Atlantique, sans rien y dévoiler de ses intentions.

«Faiblesse»
La décision ouvre deux fronts pour l’exécutif. Peut-être facilitée par l’abandon du projet, l’évacuation de la ZAD, même si elle est repoussée au printemps, n’en sera pas moins une opération délicate. Dans un communiqué publié mardi, les occupants s’opposent à «toute expulsion de celles et ceux qui sont venus habiter ces dernières années dans le bocage pour le défendre et qui souhaitent continuer à y projeter leurs vies et leurs activités». Consultable sur le site de la ZAD, un document énumère les lieux et horaires des rassemblements à organiser dès le début de l’expulsion, partout en France. Et notamment à Nantes et Rennes, où des renforts policiers ont d’ores et déjà été projetés.

Emmanuel Macron et Edouard Philippe devront également gérer le mécontentement des élus locaux, très majoritairement favorables à un nouvel aéroport. Mercredi, le président PS du conseil départemental de Loire-Atlantique, Philippe Grosvalet, a dénoncé une décision qui «piétine les collectivités [et] les habitants» du département. «Trahison du Grand Ouest et déni de démocratie», a renchéri sur Twitter la maire PS de Nantes, Johanna Rolland. Tandis que la présidente LR des Pays de la Loire, Christelle Morançais, a déploré «la victoire des zadistes sur l’Etat de droit». Un procès que le Premier ministre s’efforcera de désarmer, en recevant les parlementaires de Loire-Atlantique à Matignon, dès cet après-midi.

http://www.liberation.fr/france/2018/01/17/notre-dame-des-landes-l-executif-enterre-l-aeroport_1623067

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Notre-Dames-des-Landes: fifty years of battles

The new airport project near Nantes has followed a very long institutional path enamelled by numerous confrontations in the field.

THE WORLD | 

By Rémi Barroux

The Notre-Dame-des-Landes file is coming to an end. Opened fifty years ago, it is the oldest environmental conflict in France . The airport of the discord has become the symbol, for the defenders of the environment , of the “big useless projects”. Fifty years of struggle, of stagnation, of legal battle.

The 1970s: Concord and Decentralization

It was at the end of the 1960s that the idea of ​​an airport for the West was born, as part of the decentralization promoted by the interministerial delegation to regional planning and regional attractiveness. Nantes Atlantique Airport (formerly Château-Bougon) is considered unsuitable to accommodate the millions of passengers expected. It is a question of transatlantic flights and to land the national flagship, the Concorde.

The first opponents created in 1972 the Association of Defense Operators concerned by the airport (Adeca). A small delegation goes to Orly (Val-de-Marne) to record airplane noises and collect testimonials from local residents. In January 1974, a prefectural decree fixed the deferred development zone (ZAD) which enabled the department to acquire some 1,200 ha (the total project area being 1,650 ha).

Read also:   The forces of law converge towards Notre-Dame-des-Landes

image: http://img.lemde.fr/2018/01/17/0/0/4928/3280/1068/0/60/0/25168ab_5738988-01-06.jpgIn the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, January 17th.

The 2000s: towards the decree of public utility

The airport project is put to sleep for fifteen years, because of the oil crisis and the arrival of the TGV to Nantes (1989). The idea of ​​a third Parisian airport is promoted in 1994 and Notre-Dame-des-Landes remains in the race. In 2000, the project is reactivated by the socialist government of Lionel Jospin. In October, an interministerial committee decided to “build a new airport, replacing Nantes Atlantique, on the site of Notre-Dame-des-Landes” .

The appearance of sound exposure plans, prohibiting or limiting buildings exposed to aircraft noise, is contrary to the will of the mayor (PS) of Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, to urbanize the island of Nantes. The latter is very attached to the idea of having an infrastructure equal to the major European airports. In December 2000, the Inter-communal Citizens’ Association of the populations concerned by the airport project (Acipa) was created.

In 2003, the advisory committee of the public debate is set up. Three years later, on the basis of the public declaration file (DUP), the public inquiry is organized . On February 9, 2008, the state signed the decree (for ten years) declaring public utility the construction of the new airport.

In 2009, is born the Collective of elected officials doubting the relevance of the airport (CéDpa). The summer of that year is held on the site referred a ” climate action camp  “. In the wake, the first occupations are born and the ZAD is renamed “area to defend.”

The 2010s: “zadistes” against “legalistes”

In December 2010, Prime Minister François Fillon ( UMP ) signed the decree awarding the concession to the company Vinci, for a period of fifty-five years, the existing airports of Nantes Atlantique and Saint-Nazaire Montoir, as well as of the future Notre-Dame-des-Landes. The opening of the new site is scheduled for 2017. Vinci will be the victim of many actions throughout France.

Many appeals are filed by the opponents. The trials succeed and the legal battle will last for several years. In April 2012, two farmers, Michel Tarin and Gilles Denigot, went on a hunger strike in front of the prefecture of Nantes. François Hollande ensures that there will be no intervention on the area before the end of all appeals.

On October 16, 2012 in the early morning, the government of Jean-Marc Ayrault – Manuel Valls is Minister of the Interior – launches the operation “César” to evacuate the ZAD. But the violent clashes lead the government to suspend the operation. On November 17, tens of thousands of people demonstrate to reoccupy the area. A week later, the Prime Minister announced the creation of three commissions (experts, dialogue and scientists). In April 2013, the Dialogue Commission concluded that the project was valid, but called into question the compensation measures planned.

During the year 2013, the occupations multiply and many agricultural projects are born. On February 22, several tens of thousands of demonstrators, supported by some 500 tractors, parade in the center of Nantes. Violent incidents punctuate the event.

image: http://img.lemde.fr/2018/01/17/0/0/3735/2646/1068/0/60/0/e9c0a9a_23939-bmmuwl.9wtf6.jpgIn the city center of Nantes, February 22, 2013.

Trials and appeals continue to be chained. They are all lost by the opponents of the project. In January 2016, the district court of Nantes validates the expulsions of the inhabitants and farmers, historical opponents. Ségolène Royal, then Minister of the Environment, commissioned a study to the General Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CGEDD), which proposes, on April 5, two solutions: the airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes but with only one track on both planned, or the redevelopment of Nantes Atlantique.

On February 11, François Hollande proposes a local referendum. It will be held on the only department of Loire-Atlantique and will give, on June 26, the victory to supporters of the transfer of the airport to Notre-Dames-des-Landes (55.1% for).

In April, the European Commission classifies the dispute, initiated three years earlier, on France’s failure to comply with regulations on the environmental impacts of infrastructure projects. The administrative court of appeal of Nantes validates, it, in November, the prefectural orders – the Council of State is always seized of the recourses of the opponents.

2017-2018: the last consultations?

With the election of Emmanuel Macron in May, then the appointment of Nicolas Hulot – opponent of the airport project – at the head of the Ministry of ecological transition and solidarity, the suspense is revived. In a campaign promise, the Head of State announced that he will make a decision after having heard a final report. Three mediators are appointed on  June 1 st . Mid-December, they make their work without taking advantage of the construction of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes according to the initial project or for the redevelopment of Nantes Atlantique. After consulting local elected officials, the Prime Minister reiterates that the decision will be announced before the end of January.

 

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The original French below:

Notre-Dames-des-Landes : cinquante ans de batailles

Le projet de nouvel aéroport près de Nantes a suivi un très long parcours institutionnel émaillé de nombreuses confrontations sur le terrain.

LE MONDE

Par Rémi Barroux

17.1.2018

Le dossier Notre-Dame-des-Landes touche à sa fin. Ouvert il y a cinquante ans, il constitue le plus ancien conflit environnemental en France. L’aéroport de la discorde est devenu le symbole, pour les défenseurs de l’environnement, des « grands projets inutiles ». Cinquante ans de lutte, d’enlisement, de bataille juridique.

C’est à la fin des années 1960 que naît l’idée d’un aéroport pour le Grand Ouest, dans le cadre de la décentralisation promue par la délégation interministérielle à l’aménagement du territoire et à l’attractivité régionale. L’aéroport de Nantes Atlantique (anciennement Château-Bougon) est jugé inadapté pour accueillir les millions de passagers prévus. Il est alors question de vols transatlantiques et de faire atterrir le fleuron aéronautique national, le Concorde.

Les terres du bocage, à une vingtaine kilomètres au nord de Nantes et à quatre-vingts kilomètres au sud de Rennes, majoritairement sur la commune de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, sont désignées, en 1968, comme site préférentiel. Alors que le conseil municipal, comme ceux des bourgs voisins, vote en faveur du projet, certains agriculteurs s’opposent. « On aurait autant aimé pas », déclare un habitant de la commune dans un reportage télévisé de 1974.

Les premiers opposants créent en 1972 l’Association de défense des exploitants concernés par l’aéroport (Adeca). Une petite délégation se rend à Orly (Val-de-Marne) enregistrer des bruits d’avion et recueillir des témoignages de riverains. En janvier 1974, un arrêté préfectoral fixe la zone d’aménagement différé (ZAD) qui permet au département d’acquérir quelque 1 200 ha (la surface totale du projet étant de 1 650 ha).

Le projet d’aéroport est mis en sommeil durant une quinzaine d’années, à cause de la crise pétrolière et de l’arrivée du TGV à Nantes (1989). L’idée d’un troisième aéroport parisien est promue en 1994 et Notre-Dame-des-Landes reste dans la course. En 2000, le projet est réactivé par le gouvernement socialiste de Lionel Jospin. En octobre, un comité interministériel décide de « réaliser un nouvel aéroport, en remplacement de Nantes Atlantique, sur le site de Notre-Dame-des-Landes ».

L’apparition des plans d’exposition au bruit, interdisant ou limitant les constructions exposées au bruit des avions, contrarie la volonté du maire (PS) de Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, d’urbaniser l’île de Nantes. Ce dernier est très attaché à l’idée de disposer d’une infrastructure à l’égal des grands aéroports européens. En décembre 2000, l’Association citoyenne intercommunale des populations concernées par le projet d’aéroport (Acipa) est créée.

En 2003 se met en place la commission consultative du débat public. Trois ans plus tard, sur la base du dossier de déclaration publique (DUP), est organisée l’enquête publique. Le 9 février 2008, l’Etat signe le décret (pour dix ans) déclarant d’utilité publique la construction du nouvel aéroport.

En 2009, naît le Collectif d’élus doutant de la pertinence de l’aéroport (CéDpa). L’été de cette même année se tient sur le site visé un « camp d’action climat ». Dans la foulée, les premières occupations voient le jour et la ZAD est rebaptisée « zone à défendre ».

Les années 2010 : « zadistes » contre « légalistes »
En décembre 2010, le premier ministre François Fillon (UMP) signe le décret d’attribution de la concession à la société Vinci, pour une durée de cinquante-cinq ans, des aéroports existant de Nantes Atlantique et de Saint-Nazaire Montoir, ainsi que du futur Notre-Dame-des-Landes. L’ouverture du nouveau site est prévue en 2017. Vinci sera dans la foulée victime de nombreuses actions un peu partout en France.

De nombreux recours sont déposés par les opposants. Les procès se succèdent et la bataille juridique va durer plusieurs années. En avril 2012, deux agriculteurs, Michel Tarin et Gilles Denigot, font une grève de la faim devant la préfecture de Nantes. François Hollande assure qu’il n’y aura pas d’intervention sur la zone avant la fin de tous les recours.

Le 16 octobre 2012 au petit matin, le gouvernement de Jean-Marc Ayrault – Manuel Valls est ministre de l’intérieur – lance l’opération « César » pour évacuer la ZAD. Mais les violents affrontements conduisent le gouvernement à suspendre l’opération. Le 17 novembre, plusieurs dizaines de milliers de personnes manifestent pour réoccuper la zone. Une semaine plus tard, le premier ministre annonce la création de trois commissions (experts, dialogue et scientifiques). La commission du dialogue conclut, en avril 2013, à la validité du projet, mais remet en question les mesures de compensation prévues.

Durant l’année 2013, les occupations se multiplient et de nombreux projets agricoles voient le jour. Le 22 février, plusieurs dizaines de milliers de manifestants, appuyés par quelque 500 tracteurs, défilent dans le centre de Nantes. De violents incidents ponctuent la manifestation.

Les procès et les recours continuent de s’enchaîner. Ils sont tous perdus par les opposants au projet. En janvier 2016, le tribunal de grande instance de Nantes valide les expulsions des habitants et agriculteurs, opposants historiques. Ségolène Royal, alors ministre de l’environnement, commande une étude au Conseil général à l’environnement et au développement durable (CGEDD), qui propose, le 5 avril, deux solutions : l’aéroport à Notre-Dame-des-Landes mais avec une seule piste sur les deux prévues, ou le réaménagement de Nantes Atlantique.

Le 11 février, François Hollande propose un référendum local. Il se tiendra sur le seul département de Loire-Atlantique et donnera, le 26 juin, la victoire aux partisans du transfert de l’aéroport vers Notre-Dames-des-Landes (55,1 % pour).

En avril, la Commission européenne classe le contentieux, engagé trois ans plus tôt, sur le non-respect par la France des réglementations sur les impacts environnementaux des projets d’infrastructure. La cour administrative d’appel de Nantes valide, elle, en novembre, les arrêtés préfectoraux – le Conseil d’Etat est toujours saisi des recours des opposants.

2017-2018 : les dernières consultations ?
Avec l’élection d’Emmanuel Macron en mai, puis la nomination de Nicolas Hulot – opposant au projet d’aéroport – à la tête du ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire, le suspense est relancé. Suivant une promesse de campagne, le chef de l’Etat annonce qu’il prendra une décision après avoir pris connaissance d’un ultime rapport. Trois médiateurs sont nommés le 1er juin. Mi-décembre, ils rendent leur travail sans prendre parti pour la construction de l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes selon le projet initial ou pour le réaménagement de Nantes Atlantique. Après consultation des élus locaux, le premier ministre réaffirme que la décision sera annoncée avant la fin du mois de janvier.

http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2018/01/17/notre-dames-des-landes-cinquante-ans-de-batailles_5242953_3244.html

 

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Committee on Climate Change – reiterates its need for aviation demand increase to be 60% at most (cf. 2005 level)

The Committee on Climate Change has produced its assessment of the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy.  Its key findings are that thought the Government has made a strong commitment to achieving the UK’s climate change targets, policies and proposals set out in the Clean Growth Strategy will need to be firmed up, and gaps to meeting the 4th and 5th carbon budgets must be closed. The CCC says, on aviation: “The government should plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050), supported by strong international policies. Emissions at this level could be achieved through a combination of fuel and operational efficiency improvement, use of sustainable biofuels, and by limiting demand growth to around 60% above 2005 levels by 2050.” And while their recommendation was “A plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set: around 2005 levels by 2050, implying around a 60% potential increase in demand, supported by strong international policies” there has been NO progress made.  They also say: The Government have committed to publish a new Aviation Strategy by the end of 2018. This will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.”
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Some extracts – relating to aviation – from the Committee on Climate Change’s independent assessment of the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy.

 

Box 2.4. Key technologies and infrastructures for long-term emissions reduction

• Aviation.

The government should plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050), supported by strong international policies. Emissions at this level could be achieved through a combination of fuel and operational efficiency improvement, use of sustainable biofuels, and by limiting demand growth to around 60% above 2005 levels by 2050.

 

Table 3.1. Progress against the Committee’s recommendations in the 2017 Progress Report

Recommendation 

A plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set: around 2005 levels by 2050, implying around a 60% potential increase in demand, supported by strong international policies

Assessment

No progress.

 

Box 4.1. Gaps in the policies and proposals included in the Clean Growth Strategy

• Aviation.

The Government have committed to publish a new Aviation Strategy by the end of 2018. This will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.

We will continue to monitor progress reducing the policy and delivery risks in these areas as part of our annual reports to Parliament on meeting carbon budgets.

[It also lists, under Box 4.1:

Buildings energy efficiency. The overarching trajectory set out for improving the efficiency of the existing building stock is promising. Details need to be set out on how this will be delivered, particularly for ‘able-to-pay’ homeowners for whom there are still no firm policies to drive the necessary actions. • Low-carbon heat in homes, businesses and industry. The commitment to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in buildings off the gas grid is welcome. This should include heat pump deployment, which, together with installation in new-build properties, would develop heat pump markets and supply chains in order to prepare, if necessary, for potential widespread deployment in buildings connected to the gas grid from the 2030s. However, the Strategy provides little commitment to a low-carbon supply mix in heat networks and no commitment to biomethane post-2021, both of which the Committee has identified as ‘low-regrets’ options at this stage. There is also little commitment to support an increase in the use of bioenergy for industrial process heat.

• Surface transport. The Government has set out an ambition for 30-70% of car sales and up to 40% of van sales in 2030 to be ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). It is will be necessary to deliver towards the upper end of the range for cars, and greater ambition will be needed for vans. There is little concrete action on emissions from HGVs. More is also needed on shifting travel demand from passenger cars to lower-emission modes.

• Power generation. The Government has set out plans for the decarbonisation of UK power generation to below 100 gCO2 per kWh by 2030. However, this places a high reliance on new nuclear build and net imports across interconnectors, both of which have associated risks. More is needed to provide a route to market for low-carbon electricity generation, especially lower-cost options such as onshore wind and solar, and to contract for additional low-carbon generation should the Government’s expected contributions from new nuclear plants and overseas generators under-deliver.

• Agriculture and land use. A commitment to include climate change mitigation as part of a new system of future agricultural support is welcome. However, strong policies to deliver emissions reductions in agriculture need to be developed soon. The acceleration of tree-planting rates should occur earlier than the Strategy’s proposed timeline of the 2020s, to ensure that around 70,000 hectares of afforestation is delivered in England by 2025. ]

 

Under “Preparing for 2050”

Furthermore, deeper reductions will be required to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement, whether by 2050 or subsequently. Development of CCS, combined with very low emissions from transport, buildings and power generation by 2050 (i.e. emissions reductions across those sectors of at least 90%), progress in ‘difficult to reduce’ sectors (e.g. agriculture and aviation) and, if feasible, deployment of GGR technologies, would retain the potential for reductions of more than 80% to be achieved.

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https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/CCC-Independent-Assessment-of-UKs-Clean-Growth-Strategy-2018.pdf

 

This report provides the Committee on Climate Change’s independent assessment of the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy.

The report finds that:

  • The Government has made a strong commitment to achieving the UK’s climate change targets.
  • Policies and proposals set out in the Clean Growth Strategy will need to be firmed up.
  • Gaps to meeting the fourth and fifth carbon budgets remain. These gaps must be closed.
  • Risks of under-delivery must be addressed and carbon budgets met on time. 
  • https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/independent-assessment-uks-clean-growth-strategy-ambition-action/

Box 2.3. A strategy for greenhouse gas removals

Even with full deployment of known low-carbon measures some UK emissions will remain, especially from aviation, agriculture and parts of industry. Greenhouse gas removal options (e.g. afforestation, carbon-storing materials, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and direct air capture and storage) will be required alongside widespread decarbonisation in order to reach net-zero emissions. Success requires a globally co-ordinated effort across the full innovation chain from basic research to market readiness, reflecting the differing levels of development of removal options. In the Clean Growth Strategy the Government committed to developing a strategic approach to greenhouse gas removals technologies.

 

Box 2.4. Key technologies and infrastructures for long-term emissions reduction

• Aviation.

The government should plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050), supported by strong international policies. Emissions at this level could be achieved through a combination of fuel and operational efficiency improvement, use of sustainable biofuels, and by limiting demand growth to around 60% above 2005 levels by 2050.

 

Table 3.1. Progress against the Committee’s recommendations in the 2017 Progress Report

Recommendation 

A plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set: around 2005 levels by 2050, implying around a 60% potential increase in demand, supported by strong international policies

Assessment

No progress.

 

Box 4.1. Gaps in the policies and proposals included in the Clean Growth Strategy

• Aviation.

The Government have committed to publish a new Aviation Strategy by the end of 2018. This will need to include a plan to limit UK aviation emissions to the level assumed when the fifth carbon budget was set (i.e. around 2005 levels by 2050, likely to imply around a 60% potential increase in demand), supported by strong international policies.

We will continue to monitor progress reducing the policy and delivery risks in these areas as part of our annual reports to Parliament on meeting carbon budgets.

[It also lists, under Box 4.1:

Buildings energy efficiency. The overarching trajectory set out for improving the efficiency of the existing building stock is promising. Details need to be set out on how this will be delivered, particularly for ‘able-to-pay’ homeowners for whom there are still no firm policies to drive the necessary actions. • Low-carbon heat in homes, businesses and industry. The commitment to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in buildings off the gas grid is welcome. This should include heat pump deployment, which, together with installation in new-build properties, would develop heat pump markets and supply chains in order to prepare, if necessary, for potential widespread deployment in buildings connected to the gas grid from the 2030s. However, the Strategy provides little commitment to a low-carbon supply mix in heat networks and no commitment to biomethane post-2021, both of which the Committee has identified as ‘low-regrets’ options at this stage. There is also little commitment to support an increase in the use of bioenergy for industrial process heat.

• Surface transport. The Government has set out an ambition for 30-70% of car sales and up to 40% of van sales in 2030 to be ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). It is will be necessary to deliver towards the upper end of the range for cars, and greater ambition will be needed for vans. There is little concrete action on emissions from HGVs. More is also needed on shifting travel demand from passenger cars to lower-emission modes.

• Power generation. The Government has set out plans for the decarbonisation of UK power generation to below 100 gCO2 per kWh by 2030. However, this places a high reliance on new nuclear build and net imports across interconnectors, both of which have associated risks. More is needed to provide a route to market for low-carbon electricity generation, especially lower-cost options such as onshore wind and solar, and to contract for additional low-carbon generation should the Government’s expected contributions from new nuclear plants and overseas generators under-deliver.

• Agriculture and land use. A commitment to include climate change mitigation as part of a new system of future agricultural support is welcome. However, strong policies to deliver emissions reductions in agriculture need to be developed soon. The acceleration of tree-planting rates should occur earlier than the Strategy’s proposed timeline of the 2020s, to ensure that around 70,000 hectares of afforestation is delivered in England by 2025. ]

 

Under “Preparing for 2050”

Furthermore, deeper reductions will be required to meet the aims of the Paris Agreement, whether by 2050 or subsequently. Development of CCS, combined with very low emissions from transport, buildings and power generation by 2050 (i.e. emissions reductions across those sectors of at least 90%), progress in ‘difficult to reduce’ sectors (e.g. agriculture and aviation) and, if feasible, deployment of GGR technologies, would retain the potential for reductions of more than 80% to be achieved.

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https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/CCC-Independent-Assessment-of-UKs-Clean-Growth-Strategy-2018.pdf

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Even with full deployment of known low-carbon measures some UK emissions will remain, especially from aviation, agriculture and parts of industry. Greenhouse gas removal options (e.g. afforestation, carbon-storing materials, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and direct air capture and storage) will be required alongside widespread decarbonisation in order to reach net-zero emissions. Success requires a globally co-ordinated effort across the full innovation chain from basic research to market readiness, reflecting the differing levels of development of removal options. In the Clean Growth Strategy the Government committed to developing a strategic approach to greenhouse gas removals technologies.

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See also

comment from the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF)

 

CCC report on UK government CO2 targets shows there has been NO progress on aviation carbon. AEF comment

The Committee on Climate Change’s review of the Government’s Clean Growth plan says that, though it is ambitious in tone, it is riddled with policy gaps. And yet again, aviation is on the list of sectors needing urgent attention. The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) comments that the CCC’s longstanding advice is that emissions from international aviation, must be allowed for by setting aside 37.5 Mt from the total carbon budget allowed in 2050 (around 25% of the allowable CO2 by that date). Yet as today’s report notes, the government has made ‘no progress’ in setting out a policy to achieve this.  Meanwhile, with its fingers apparently stuffed into its ears, the Government is ploughing on with plans for a third Heathrow runway.  While the CCC advice has always been that, at most, about 60% increase in air passenger growth could be accommodated, in the 37.5MtCO2 cap, the DfT’s own data shows that (as all UK airports hope to grow) even without any new runway there will be around 78% UK air passenger growth expected by 2050 (compared to 2005), and that with a new runway at Heathrow the figure will be more like 89% (or about  88%. with a Gatwick runway). It surely stretches credulity to think that a new runway could be shoehorned into this equation without putting the CO2 target effectively out of reach, which is presumably why the Government is refusing to talk about it.

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With Heathrow consultations starting soon, critics warn of insurmountable flaws in its runway plans

Heathrow will publish its public consultations, on its hopes for a 3rd runway, on Wednesday 17th January.  It says this is to gather public feedback on its proposals, to help refine its plans further (ie. see what tweaks it needs to make, to try and get round the most serious criticisms). The consultations will include options for how to get the runway to cross Britain’s busiest motorway, the M25, and provide detail on the cost-cutting it has envisaged to trim £2.5bn off expansion costs. Meanwhile London’s deputy mayor for transport, Val Shawcross, has said that she and London Mayor Sadiq Khan are in “no doubt that the government is pushing ahead with the wrong option.” She said there are currently “no significant plans for investment in public transport access to the airport.” This would come at an immense cost to Londoners, and Val said it was “a disastrous failing and it’s vital that the government acknowledges these insurmountable flaws and changes course now”. Labour’s shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald said: ‘Heathrow’s planning consultation must provide firm commitments on noise, air pollution, climate change and wider UK airport growth to ensure support from Labour MPs, the public and the aviation industry.”
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Heathrow hails expansion progress as critics warn of ‘insurmountable flaws’

Monday 15 January 2018

By Rebecca Smith (City AM)

A key milestone looms for Heathrow this week, as the airport launches a consultation with fleshed-out revamped proposals for expansion to appease critics.

London’s biggest airport will on Wednesday start a public planning consultation on the project, to gather public feedback on its proposals which it said will help refine its plans further.

It will set out the options for addressing the question of how to cross Britain’s busiest motorway, the M25, and provide detail on the cost-cutting it has envisaged to trim £2.5bn off expansion costs.

The Transport Select Committee meanwhile, will meet today for another session scrutinising the government’s airports national policy statement (NPS), setting out its case for progressing with the third runway.

London’s deputy mayor for transport Val Shawcross is among those giving evidence, with mayor Sadiq Khan a vocal critic of the third runway.

“We know that the south east needs greater airport capacity to support economic growth, but Sadiq is in no doubt that the government is pushing ahead with the wrong option,” she said.

“An expanded Heathrow will undermine London’s ability to meet legal air quality limits, have dire consequences on the roads, continue to cause significant noise harm to Londoners and all for fewer economic benefits than a second runway at Gatwick,” Shawcross added, saying currently there were “no significant plans for investment in public transport access to the airport” provided.

Shawcross said this was “a disastrous failing and it’s vital that the government acknowledges these insurmountable flaws and changes course now”.

A parliament vote looms on the government’s NPS too, set to go before MPs in the summer.

Labour’s shadow transport secretary has said he thinks there will be sufficient backing in parliament but says key questions still need to be answered by Heathrow.

Andy McDonald said: “‘Heathrow’s planning consultation must provide firm commitments on noise, air pollution, climate change and wider UK airport growth to ensure support from Labour MPs, the public and the aviation industry.”

Business groups are keen to see the proposals progress, but say the airport is not home and dry just yet.

“As we progress towards expansion at Heathrow, it will be critical for the airport to work with local communities and find practical ways to mitigate the impact – this public consultation and ongoing scrutiny are important parts of the process,” said David Leam, infrastructure director at London First.

Sean McKee, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s director of policy said: “With Brexit on the horizon and the main political focus being what Britain’s future trading arrangements might look like, now more than ever do we need to be considering the practicalities how to connect our island economy to the rest of the world.”

Heathrow meanwhile, says the consultation “represents a major milestone to deliver Heathrow expansion in a way that is fair to our local communities, meets or exceeds strict environmental targets set by the Airports Commission and creates opportunities for businesses that will deliver a stronger, more sustainable UK in a post Brexit world”.

A spokesperson for the airport said: “Heathrow remains on track to deliver a once-in-a-generation boost for the economy, in a way that is affordable, financeable and deliverable.”

http://www.cityam.com/278764/heathrow-hails-expansion-progress-critics-warn

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BA owner IAG tells Heathrow it should sell the Heathrow Express link and focus on running airport

The owner of British Airways, IAG, has demanded that Heathrow be forced to sell the Heathrow Express rail line, which is Britain’s most expensive train service. They say Heathrow should focus on running the airport instead.  IAG does not want to have to pay for Heathrow’s expansion with a 3rd runway, or have to put up its prices for its air passengers.  This week, Heathrow is to launch consultations on its building plans, hoping to get ways to cut about £5 billion off the previously estimated cost of about £17.5 billion. The Heathrow Express, which operates the 15-mile route between the airport and Paddington station, charges passengers as much as £27 for a single journey. But there will be a threat from new Crossrail trains, which are due to start running competing services in May. Heathrow also owns part of the track, but last May lost a high court battle over attempts to raise charges for rival operators to run on its rails. IAG said Crossrail’s introduction would mean infrastructure costs were disproportionately heaped on to Heathrow Express at a time when its revenues were diluted — and would end up in higher landing charges for airlines.
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BA owner IAG tells Heathrow: Sell Express rail link and focus on running airport

By John Collingridge (The Sunday Times)
January 14 2018

Passengers are charged as much as £27 to travel on the Heathrow Express

The owner of British Airways has demanded that Heathrow be forced to sell Britain’s most expensive train service and focus on running the airport instead.

IAG’s latest salvo escalates the long-running battle between the airport and its biggest customer over the cost of Heathrow’s plans for a third runway. IAG made the call for the Heathrow Express to be sold in a response to a consultation by the aviation watchdog. On Wednesday, the airport is due to reveal its blueprint for expansion as it attempts to slash about £5bn from the £18.6bn price tag for the third runway.

Its 10-week planning consultation is likely to examine options such as erecting a runway on stilts over the M25 and building new terminals.

The Heathrow Express, which operates the 15-mile route between the airport and Paddington station in west London, is renowned for charging passengers as much as £27 for a single journey.

However, the operator faces a threat from new Crossrail trains, which are due to start running competing services in May. Heathrow also owns part of the track, but last May lost a high court battle over attempts to raise charges for rival operators to run on its rails.

IAG said Crossrail’s introduction would mean infrastructure costs were disproportionately heaped on to Heathrow Express at a time when its revenues were diluted — and would end up in higher landing charges.

“Consequently, it would be in passengers’ interests for Heathrow to divest Heathrow Express . . . to a rail operator and to instead focus on its core business of running and expanding an airport,” it said.

Heathrow said: “We are looking forward to the arrival of Crossrail in coming years as part of our plans to treble Heathrow’s rail capacity by 2040 and put the airport at the heart of an integrated transport network.

“Heathrow Express has carried more than 100m passengers and will continue to play an important role in sustainable transport at Heathrow alongside Crossrail.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ba-owner-iag-tells-heathrow-sell-express-rail-link-and-focus-on-running-airport-hrlsbjzq9

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BA chief calls for tighter regulation on Heathrow

Walsh says aviation watchdog must hold airport to account over excessive investment spending

By Peggy Hollinger, industry editor (Financial Times)

14.1.2018

Britain’s aviation regulator is failing to hold Heathrow to account over excessive investment spending and the airport should be more closely scrutinised if the UK gives the go-ahead to a £14bn expansion plan, according to one of the world’s biggest airline groups.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways parent, International Consolidated Airlines, has accused the Civil Aviation Authority of failing passengers by not demanding greater transparency and efficiency from one of the world’s busiest airports on investments.

Writing in the Financial Times, Mr Walsh said: “For Heathrow’s expansion to succeed, there needs to be a relentless focus on controlling costs. But I have no confidence that the CAA is up to the task.”

Heathrow was already one of the most expensive airports in the world with charges 65 per cent higher than any other major European hub, he said.

The IAG boss said airlines were being “forced to raise fares when they pay too much for the landing fees that mask Heathrow’s inefficiencies”, adding: “There is no benchmarking, no transparency and very little recourse.”

However, he said the CAA’s mandate needed to be changed if Heathrow was to remain globally competitive.

Mr Walsh’s stinging attack on the CAA comes as Heathrow embarks on a 10-week public consultation on Wednesday with its detailed plans for a new runway and terminal. MPs are due to vote on expansion by the summer.

He said he was “alarmed” at signs that the government “looks set to give its blessing to the £14bn proposal”.

Heathrow’s expansion is a politically charged subject given its environmental impact and strong opposition in conservative constituencies near the airport. However, pressure for new airport capacity is mounting with all of the UK’s five major airports expected to be at full capacity by the mid 2030s and British business arguing that congestion is holding back international trade.

Many airlines have also criticised the failure to expand capacity at Heathrow in particular, the UK’s biggest airport, and where IAG’s BA dominates with 51 per cent of weekly take-off and landing slots.

However, many have also raised the alarm over the potential impact on airport charges, which are determined every five years after taking into account airport investment.

Mr Walsh said the fault lay in part with the CAA, which “rewards the inefficient use of capital: the more it spends on capital projects, the cost of which can be passed on to airlines, the more it makes for its shareholders . . . By not regulating Heathrow firmly enough, the CAA is failing to protect the consumer.”

Heathrow rejected Mr Walsh’s criticisms, saying estimated costs of expansion had already been cut by £2.5bn after discussions with airlines and other stakeholders, and the government’s challenge to Heathrow was to keep charges “close to today’s levels”.

Andrew Haines, CAA chief executive, admitted that Heathrow’s expansion posed challenges for the regulator, but said plans were being put in place to ensure the investment did not lead to excessive charges.

The CAA had put forward proposals in December for a new approach to setting airport charges in light of Heathrow’s expansion. “The CAA has been crystal clear for a number of years that the economic regulation of this expansion cannot be treated as business as usual and, moreover, that Heathrow’s airline customers have a critical role to play in judging the efficiency of the scheme design, procurement and delivery,” he said.

https://www.ft.com/content/4af7e08a-f94c-11e7-a492-2c9be7f3120a

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See earlier:

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG (with over half Heathrow’s slots) again says its expensive 3rd runway plans are “a ridiculous glory project”

Willie Walsh, the boss of British Airways’ parent company, IAG, has again lambasted Heathrow’s expansion plans as a “ridiculous glory project”. He said the £17.6bn plan to build the 3rd runway (just £200 million for the runway itself – not counting the M25 problem) could lead to a “completely unjustified” increase in airport charges, which airlines would have to charge to passengers, denting demand etc. IAG (which owns Iberia and Aer Lingus) have over 50% of Heathrow landing slots.  IAG wants a 3rd runway, though it would increase its competition, but they want a cheap no-frills scheme – and have backed the £7 billion cheaper scheme promoted by Surinder Arora.  The Heathrow scheme requires the demolition of the BA HQ at Waterside in Harmondsworth and IAG could end up effectively paying its own compensation through increased charges levied by Heathrow.  Willie Walsh also said IAG’s new long-haul, low-cost brand Level might one day fly from Heathrow. At present, the subsidiary operates just two aircraft from its base in Barcelona. He hopes it will have 30 planes by 2022, and fly to destinations currently off the BA route map, like secondary cities in China.    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/10/willie-walsh-ceo-of-iag-with-over-half-heathrows-slots-again-says-its-expensive-3rd-runway-plans-are-a-ridiculous-glory-project/

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Willie Walsh and IAG: Work out cost of crossing M25 before Heathrow runway plan

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, says pushing through Heathrow’s 3rd runway should be suspended until there are proper plans of how the airport is going to bridge the M25. The section of the M25 that the runway would have to go over is about the busiest stretch of motorway in the UK, and it is unclear if there would be some sort of bridge (a cheaper option, about 8 metres above the road surface), or a proper tunnel (more expensive for Heathrow). IAG, and British Airways, are concerned the extra cost would mean higher charges by Heathrow, so higher ticket prices. Heathrow says landing charges would remain as close to flat “as possible” but Walsh fears they could double and they raised their concerns in their submission to the inquiry by the Commons Transport Committee, into the draft NPS.  There are a few airports globally that have some sort of bridge, with planes taxiing above the road, clearly visible to traffic. None over such a wide, busy section of motorway. In October, when the bridge idea was first suggested (the Airports Commission always presumed a tunnel) papers from Highways England showed it described the scheme as “high risk”, warning of a “a substantial risk of excessive customer frustration about what might be prolonged period of disruption”.  IAG is also deeply opposed to Heathrow ending night flights between 11pm and 5.30am, as that risks flights going instead to airports like Frankfurt, losing IAG money.    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/04/willie-walsh-and-iag-work-out-cost-of-crossing-m25-before-heathrow-runway-plan/

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Willie Walsh reiterates that he will fight Heathrow runway, due to cost; content with 3 hub system for IAG instead

Willie Walsh has reiterated his determination not to pay the exorbitant costs of a new Heathrow runway (and that’s without the costs that the taxpayer would have to pick up for surface access improvements – which could be £20 billion).  He said the current proposal to build a 3rd Heathrow runway is “indefensible” from a cost point of view and he will fight it.  BA holds over 50% of Heathrow’s slots. Walsh said he was worried about the current Heathrow proposal because there was now “desperation by the airport to get a third runway and they are willing to do anything to get it.”  He commented: “So the airport is incentivised to spend money while I am incentivised to save money.”  Because the coalition government blocked a 3rd runway in 2010, in January 2011 BA and Iberia were merged to form IAG.  Then IAG bought UK airline BMI, to get hold of its Heathrow slots, gaining an extra 42 pairs.  That  ensured IAG  had enough Heathrow slots to secure its ability to compete from its hub base.  Since then Walsh has made his plans to use  a 3 hub strategy – with Madrid and Dublin as its two others, not depending so much on Heathrow.  IAG also owns Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus. Dublin will be adding a new runway – probably by 2020.    
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http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/05/willie-walsh-reiterates-that-he-will-fight-heathrow-runway-due-to-cost-content-with-3-hub-system-for-iag-instead/

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