Newcastle Chronicle asks: “Could Heathrow expansion hurt the North East and Newcastle Airport?”

Because Heathrow hopes to get support from the Newcastle area for its hoped-for 3rd runway, it held one of its “business summits” there. The airport has elaborate projections, based on extremely weak and shaky premises, of the economic benefit – and the jobs – that its runway would bring to the north east.  However, the No 3rd Runway Coalition has pointed out (which came as news to the local press, that has been starved on the real facts) just how few jobs the runway would probably bring, and how Heathrow has used unreliable estimates based on out of date, discredited, numbers. While Heathrow takes one figure (all the UK over 60 years) of economic benefit of £147 billion, the DfT downgraded this figure in 2016 to £61 billion. Even that is hugely inaccurate, with the actual number taking all costs into account, more like £1 – 2 billion at most. Heathrow implies (based on the incorrect £147 bn) that the north east region would get some 5,000 jobs  The other harsh reality is that a 3rd runway is unlikely to do much to increase domestic links to Heathrow, as these are only maintained if subsidised. What is much more likely to happen is that Newcastle airport would have fewer long haul flights, with even more of a concentration of these at Heathrow. The Coalition said that for good connections between the north east and international markets, the Government should be working to get direct flights into airports such as Newcastle.
.

 

 

Could Heathrow expansion hurt the North East and Newcastle Airport?

One campaign group say that a third runway and too much focus on the North East could hurt airports such as Newcastle

BY SEAN SEDDON  (Chronicle Live – Newcastle)
13 SEP 2017

A campaign group opposed to the expansion of Heathrow Airport has cast doubt on projections it could boost the North East economy.

The No 3rd Runway Coalition accused the Government of playing fast and loose with the future of regional airports with their focus on the South East.

One of the Government’s arguments for expanding Heathrow, despite vocal opposition, has been that the financial benefits would be felt across the country.

But the anti-expansion group rubbished these claims, saying any benefit would be “negligible” and that focusing on Heathrow rather than supporting domestic routes could actually cause harm to airports such as Newcastle in the long-term.

Paul McGuinness, chair of No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “If economic growth in the North East is to come through connections with international markets, the Government should be working to get direct flights into airports such as Newcastle.

“Instead, they’re using the largesse of taxpayers from across the UK, including the North East, to subsidise Heathrow’s expansion, to the benefit of Heathrow’s shareholders and the South East, yet again.”

A report by the Airport Commission in July 2015 said Heathrow’s expansion could create a £147bn economic benefit over 60 years.

But in October 2016, that was downgraded to a maximum of £61bn by the Department for Transport (DfT), leading the No 3rd Runway group to dismiss initial estimates that expansion could create more than 5,000 jobs in the North East by 2050.

The July 2015 report also found that, despite claims Heathrow’s expansion would increase the number of domestic links, routes between the South East and the regions could actually vanish if support wasn’t provided by to make them economically competitive.

Mr McGuinness said: “Rather than relying on the discredited figures that Heathrow continue to quote, politicians and business people from the North East will want to ask serious questions of Heathrow about how they can come anywhere close to delivering the jobs and investment, that they continue to promise, based on the now trusted, downwardly revised economic benefit figures.

“The Government needs to be more ambitious and ensure that regional airports receive significant investment, to deliver an internationally well-connected North East.

“Flights from Heathrow effectively compete with those from regional airports, so boosting Heathrow’s near monopoly position can only advance the interests of the South East, to the further detriment of the North of the country.”

A Newcastle International Airport spokesperson said connectivity was important for the region’s economy and are supportive of the third runway, signalling they hope it increases existing links between the two.

They added: “Newcastle Airport acts as an international gateway and we will continue to seek additional routes to help ensure the region remains well connected.

“We currently enjoy good connectivity to Heathrow, with up to 6 British Airways flights per day and approximately 0.5million passengers using the service each year.

“We were pleased the government supported a third runway, and hope that through the increased capacity our connections can not only be safeguarded but increased.”

The DfT defended its position, pointing to a recently-launched a review into the aviation industry which will address how links between London and airports such as Newcastle can continue.

A spokesperson said: “A new runway at Heathrow would boost economic growth throughout the whole of the UK.

“Regional airports also help connect people to global destinations – both via Heathrow and directly – creating jobs and boosting local economies.

“The Government supports growth of aviation across the country where there is demand and where environmental impacts can be managed.”

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/could-heathrow-expansion-hurt-north-13611492#ICID=sharebar_twitter

.

The Heathrow “business summit” in Newcastle https://www.neechamber.co.uk/events/1273/heathrow-business-summit-2016-connecting-ne-smes-with-the-heathrow-supply-chain 

.

 


See earlier:

SNP misled by Heathrow inflated claims of number of jobs for Scotland due to a 3rd runway

The SNP decided to give its backing to a Heathrow runway, rather than one at Gatwick – having been led to believe that the only choice on offer was between these two. They were led, by Heathrow PR, to believe there would be greater benefits for Scotland. The SNP hoped to get exports from Scotland (salmon and razor clams) shipped through Heathrow. The Airports Commission came up with a figure of economic benefit from a Heathrow runway of UP TO £147 billion to all the UK over 60 years. Heathrow got a consultancy called Quod to work out the number of jobs. They came up with the figure of 16,100 jobs for Scotland (over 60 years) from the runway. The DfT has now downgraded the £147 billion figure, as it included various speculative elements, and double counted benefits. The new figure (also still far higher than the reality) from the DfT is UP TO £61 billion for the UK over 60 years. That, pro rata, would mean up to about 9,300 jobs for Scotland – not 16,100. It is unfortunate that the SNP were misinformed, as were other MPs, Chambers of Commerce etc across the regions.  Heathrow also pledged benefits for Scotland such as using its steel for construction, and using Prestwick as a base. The Scottish Green party see the SNP backing of a Heathrow runway as a betrayal of those badly affected by it, and of Scotland’s climate commitments.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/11/snp-misled-by-heathrow-inflated-claims-of-number-of-jobs-for-scotland-due-to-a-3rd-runway/

.


See also

Airports Commission report shows fewer, not more, links to regional airports by 2030 with 3rd runway

The Times reports that analysis by Transport for London (TfL) of the Airports Commission’s final report shows that, with a 3rd runway, Heathrow would only serve 4 domestic destinations by 2030, compared to the 7 is now serves.  It would serve only 3 with no new runway by 2030. (The Gatwick figures are 7 domestic destinations by 2030 with a 2nd runway, compared to 10 now). Heathrow has been claiming that its runway will be important for better links to the regions, and improved domestic connectivity by air. The Heathrow runway has been backed by Peter Robinson, the first minister of Northern Ireland, Derek Mackay, the Scottish transport minister, and Louise Ellman, the chairwoman of the transport select committee – on the grounds that it would help the regions. The Commission’s reportsays: (Page 313) “15.8 ….without specific measures to support domestic connectivity even an expanded Heathrow may accommodate fewer domestic routes in future….”  The Commission cannot see effective ways to ensure domestic links are not cut in future, as less profitable than long haul, but they suggest public subsidy by the taxpayer for these routes. This is by using PSO (Public Service Obligations) which could cost £ millions, is a bad use of public money, and may fall foul of EU law.  So if the taxpayer has to pay, that means the runway costs us even more.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/07/airports-commission-report-shows-fewer-not-more-links-to-regional-airports-by-2030-with-3rd-runway/

.


Government needs to provide clarity on possible jobs across the UK created by 3rd runway

When the Government announced Heathrow as its preferred option in October 2016 it downgraded the economic benefits of a 3rd runway substantially. The Airports Commission Final Report assessed the economic benefit to the whole of the UK, over 60 years, might be up to £147 billion (their assessment of need scenario). Heathrow often uses a much higher figure of “up to £211 billion” and omit to say it is for all the UK, over 60 years. In October, the DfT, calculating the possible economic benefits in a different way, thought a more likely figure was £61 billion. This is benefits only. But if the costs are taken off, the benefit falls to something more like £6 billion (£2 – 11 billion or so range). Heathrow, and the DfT, say there will be huge benefits to the regions, and large numbers of future jobs. The figures Heathrow has on its website are based on the £147 billion estimate.  These have not been corrected, in the light of the reduced DfT estimate. So what is the actual value of a third runway to the English regions, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland? All that we do know is that it will be considerably less than the promises made by Heathrow to so many MPs and local councillors. The onus is on Heathrow and the DfT to come up with revised estimates of the employment benefits to the regions. So far, it has failed to do so.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/02/government-needs-to-provide-clarity-on-possible-jobs-across-the-uk-created-by-3rd-runway/
.

.

The table below is from the Quod report, for Heathrow (undated but somewhere before November 2015)

(these numbers are still on the Heathrow website here)

However, all these estimates were based on a presumption of about £147 billion of economic benefit (which does not deduct costs to the UK of the runway).

The actual regional benefits, and the actual number of extra jobs that might – or might not – materialise in the regions has not been amended, even though the DfT reduced the assessment of benefit from £147 to £61 billion.

The Government has not provided a break-down for the English regions, Scotland,
Wales or Northern Ireland.

The government estimates that, overall, the aviation sector currently contributes around £18bn – £21bn per annum to the UK. Even if the 3rd runway contributed £61 billion (over 60 years) rather than just the NPV of £6 billion, that comes to all of £1 billion per year.

That is an increase of 5%.

.

.


New DfT report indicates number of local jobs from Heathrow 3rd runway about 37,700 by 2030 – not “up to 77,000”

The Airports Commission’s Final Report said the Heathrow NW runway would lead to an additional 59 – 77,000 jobs [direct, indirect and induced jobs – ie. supply chain etc] in 2030 for local people. Indeed, Heathrow “astroturf” lobby group got membership partly on the strength of the jobs claims. But now, having looked at the details, the DfT has come up with much lower figures. While the statement on the DfT website on 25th October still says “up to 77,000” local jobs, its more considered assessment “review and sensitivities” document accepted these figures were exaggerated. Instead they now say, using a more accurate method, the number of local jobs might be 37,740 by 2030, not 77,000. By 2050, the DfT now estimate the number of jobs might be 39,100 – while the Commission expected 78,360.  The DfT say the 2050 figure is the cumulative total, and cannot be added to the number of jobs created by 2030.  The DfT “assessment and sensitivities” report states that it had “identified a number of uncertainties with the approach taken” to assessing jobs by the Commission, which used job multipliers from the airports. These “could lead to significantly different results”. The new DfT figures use Berkeley Hanover Consulting Ltd (BHC) and Optimal Economics Ltd survey data rather than airport assumptions to generate estimates of the indirect job multipliers, which are likely to be more robust.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/10/new-dft-report-indicates-number-of-local-jobs-from-heathrow-3rd-runway-about-37700-by-2030-not-up-to-77000/

.

NB. The DfT makes no assessment of the numbers of jobs created in the regions. The 37,700 are just locally to Heathrow.

 

Read more »

Gatwick continues to claim it would build a runway even if there is also a 3rd Heathrow runway

The boss of Gatwick, Stewart Wingate (in line for huge bonuses if he can get a 2nd runway approved) is repeating his claim that he will get the runway, and build it instead of – or in addition to – a 3rd runway at Heathrow. Gatwick has managed to considerably grow its passenger numbers this year, as affluent citizens have plenty of spare spending money and flying is so dirt cheap (especially with the oil price being very low). Gatwick is increasingly adding long-haul destinations in the US, Florida and the Caribbean to its tourist customers. Gatwick says it has had an 11% rise in long-haul passengers this summer compared to 2016. Stewart Wingate said:  “Later this year, we’ll be further adding to our more than 60 long-haul connections with routes to Denver, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Taipei and Singapore  … As Gatwick continues to grow beyond 45 million annual passengers, we remain ready and willing to build our financeable and deliverable 2nd runway scheme ….”   His comments came as Labour peer Lord Blunkett claimed that the party will support building a 3rd runway at Heathrow because it fears the anger of powerful trade unions if it does not. He said the unions would “not countenance” the parliamentary Labour party being told to vote down the plans due to the sheer number of jobs involved. He has been persuaded by the job numbers put about by Heathrow.
.

 

Gatwick vows to build a second runway

by Phil Davies (Travel Weekly)

Sep 11th 2017

The boss of Gatwick today vowed to build a second runway instead of or in addition to a third runway at Heathrow.

The comments from chief executive Stewart Wingate came as Gatwick reported that August was the busiest month in its history with 2.1% year-on-year growth to 4.9 million passengers – boosted by a surge in long-haul travel to destinations such a Florida and the Caribbean.

Total numbers over the school holiday period also rose by more than 2% to reach 8.1 million passengers, including long-haul growth of 11.1%.

Wingate said: “Gatwick has just had its biggest-ever month during its busiest-ever summer holiday period. This clearly demonstrates the passenger demand for the growing global connectivity offered by Gatwick.

“Later this year, we’ll be further adding to our more than 60 long-haul connections with routes to Denver, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Taipei and Singapore starting.

“As Gatwick continues to grow beyond 45 million annual passengers, we remain ready and willing to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme instead of, or in addition to, Heathrow should the government give us the green light.”

His comments came as Labour peer Lord Blunkett claimed that the party will support building a third runway at Heathrow because it fears the anger of powerful trade unions if it does not.

Unions would “not countenance” the parliamentary party being told to vote down the plans due to the sheer number of jobs involved.

Heathrow said that the mega-project would create 180,000 jobs in construction, airport services, the wider supply chain and the knock-on boost to the economy. This includes 10,000 apprenticeships by 2030.

Airport bosses have established a 14-strong task force to make sure that the jobs are shared across Britain. It is claimed that 100,000 could be created outside London and the south-east.

The group launched a six-week consultation at the TUC congress in Brighton, aimed at shaping the airport’s employment policy.

Lord Blunkett, the former education and employment secretary who is the task force’s chairman, said that the job opportunities made it almost inconceivable that a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn would oppose a third runway.

It was reported last month that Labour was almost certain to vote against Heathrow when the plans were put to a vote of MPs in the first half of next year, citing environmental concerns.

However, Lord Blunkett insisted that union support for the £16.8 billion scheme would swing Labour behind the project. Unite, Britain’s biggest union, which is led by Len McCluskey, a key Corbyn ally, has campaigned in favour of a third runway.

He told The Times: “I would be very surprised if the major trade unions were to countenance the Labour Party opposing the kind of job creation, skills development and apprenticeship programmes that go hand-in-hand with the development and expansion of Heathrow.

“If we don’t have the expansion of Heathrow, it’s not just the jobs and the apprenticeships and training that will be lost; it’s an opportunity to present Britain post-Brexit as a country that’s going somewhere.

“I would be surprised if the trade union movement countenanced the Labour Party in parliament being asked to vote down a project that is so crucial to job creation.”

The new runway would be built by 2025 under the airport’s present plans. It is expected to boost capacity by 50%, allowing Heathrow to handle 740,000 flights a year.

The task force has been founded to make sure that suppliers invest in skills and apprenticeships while promoting careers in local schools and providing opportunities to job returners or older workers.

….. and it continues about Heathrow ….. see full article at

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/287129/gatwick-vows-to-build-a-second-runway 

More:

Government to consult further on Heathrow expansion

Gatwick outlines £1bn investment plans

.


Bargain-hunting tourists lift Heathrow and Gatwick

By MICHAEL BOW (Evening Standard)

12.9.2017

London’s biggest airports hailed a record-breaking August on Monday as tourists flooded to Britain to take advantage of the cheap pound.

Heathrow and Gatwick separately said they had their busiest ever August, with 7.5 million passengers and 4.9 million coming and going.

The relatively low value of sterling against international currencies has made Britain a bigger hotspot for bargain-hunting tourists, although Brits travelling abroad are feeling the pinch.

Heathrow said passenger numbers were up 2% in August, crowning it as the second-busiest month in the airport’s history. New flights to Scotland launched by Flybe in March helped drive UK destinations up 6% and 7% more people also went to the Middle East.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said demand to travel from Heathrow had “never been stronger”. “Heathrow is firing on all cylinders and showing the world our country is open for business,” he added of the airport which wants a third runway.

Rival Gatwick said August was the biggest month in the airport’s history, with passenger numbers up 2.1% on last year.

Long-haul flights were especially popular, with passengers travelling to far-flung destinations up 11.1%.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said the airport, which opened a new Jamie Oliver restaurant in the South Terminal, had put greater focus on service.

“We have worked closely with our airlines and ground handlers to help ensure that more planes depart on time,” he said.

Cargo climbed 13% to 139,000 tonnes at Heathrow, with Latin America cargo volumes up 30% in August. Gatwick’s cargo numbers rose 25.6% year on year.

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/bargainhunting-tourists-lift-heathrow-and-gatwick-a3632051.html


 

Gatwick passenger numbers boosted by low-cost long-haul carriers

by Phil Davies (Travel Weekly)

Aug 23rd 2017

The low-cost, long-haul flying revolution from Gatwick is boosting August bank holiday passenger numbers as the airport continues to push for a second runway to meet the growing demand.

The airport has seen a 14% rise in long-haul passengers over the holiday weekend compared to last year.

More than 300,000 passengers are due to fly out as part of a record 631,000 expected to use the airport this weekend – an increase of almost 1%.

Three of the 10 biggest-growing long-haul routes are to the US – Oakland up 124.8% year-on-year, New York up 54.9% and Los Angeles up 28.9%.

Boston is in 11th place with a 16.2% increase on the same weekend in 2016.

However, Dubai will be the most popular long-haul destination this weekend, up 10.7% year-on-year.

Almost a third of the airport’s leisure passengers (31.9%) will be heading off on four-day trips.

Head of airline relations Stephen King said: “As more American destinations are added to our growing long-haul route network, it’s clear that passengers are making the most of it with thousands heading across the pond for the bank holiday weekend.

“Later this year we’re set to give our passengers even more choice with the launch of new routes to Denver, Seattle, Austin and Chicago.

“Gatwick is already the world’s busiest single-runway airport and we are exploring new and innovative ways to make best use of our existing facilities so we can continue to forge new connections and increase Britain’s global connectivity when it’s needed most.”

He added: “Our August bank holiday figures demonstrate that, while we continue to provide new services for our growing number of passengers, we are also keen to expand.

“We stand ready to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme instead of, or in addition to, Heathrow should the government give us the green light.”

[THIS IS SHOCKING.   EVER MORE PEOPLE GOING ON LONG-HAUL FLIGHTS FOR JUST A BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND.  THIS IS TRULY A WORLD GONE MAD, AND A SOCIETY THAT HAS LOST ANY SORT OF MORAL DIRECTION – LET ALONE THE VITAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY THAT THE WORLD (AND THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY ITSELF) NEEDS].

Gatwick’s top ten biggest-growing August Bank holiday long-haul destinations

• Kingston
• Oakland, San Francisco
• Punta Cana
• Lima
• New York
• Cape Verde
• Hurghada
• Los Angeles
• Providenciales
• Tobago

Top ten biggest-growing August bank holiday short-haul destinations

• Ljubljana
• Pristina
• Varna
• Brindisi
• Kos
• Algiers
• Cork
• Tunis
• Florence
• Lisbon

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/286135/gatwick-passenger-numbers-boosted-by-low-cost-long-haul-carriers

.

.

 

Read more »

Holland-Kaye confirms again that Heathrow will need to build its runway etc in phases to spread costs

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, has again said the airport may need to build its 3rd runway and associated airport infrastructure in phases, to spread the massive £17 billion cost over many years. It will be interesting to see the latest government air travel demand forecasts when they are finally published later this year. It is likely they will show more demand at Gatwick than the Airports Commission had assumed, when it pressed for a 3rd Heathrow runway. There may be less strong demand for Heathrow than originally suggested, with impacts on Heathrow’s finances.  Holland-Kaye says he is not in favour of the cheaper runway plan by hotel tycoon Surinder Arora, which could be some £7 billion cheaper than Heathrow’s own. Not otherwise very bothered about the extra noise caused by his 3rd runway, Holland-Kay says …”I’m most concerned about the idea that the runway might move closer to London – that means more homes lost, more people hit by aircraft noise.”  He says: ‘We can expand the airport with fewer new buildings. We can do the construction on a phased basis so we can smooth out the price. Originally we were going to expand Terminal 2 early on which would have given us an extra 20 million passengers a year. …Now we’re going to do that in phases, adding enough for 5 million at a time.”
.

 


 

Extracts from the Mail on Sunday article:

Airport boss John Holland-Kaye speaks out ahead of new probe 

By Jon Rees, Financial Mail on Sunday

9.9.2017

….
But Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye urgently needs to convince politicians of his green credentials, at the same time as fending off a cheaper rival.
The Labour Party’s leadership is understood to be preparing to vote against his plans for a third runway when it comes to a Commons vote amid concerns over air quality.

Now the Government has said there will be a ‘short period of further consultation’ in the autumn to allow the public to consider new evidence on Heathrow – including, crucially, ‘revised aviation demand forecasts and the Government’s final air quality plan’.

The Airports Commission opted for Heathrow over rivals like Gatwick because it said extending Heathrow would bring greater economic benefits.
But if revised figures show Gatwick expanding faster than previously thought, then it might have the edge on future economic benefits, too.

……
…. hotel tycoon Surinder Arora has come up with his own plan to build a new runway at Heathrow, backed by US building giant Bechtel and ex-British Airways boss Sir Rod Eddington. It claims to be nearly £7 billion cheaper than Holland-Kaye’s £16.5 billion scheme.
….

Heathrow’s biggest customer, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic have both welcomed the Arora proposal.

….
But can business leaders really be trusted? After all, it was Sir John Egan, chief executive of Heathrow’s then owner BAA, who assured local residents that ‘Terminal 5 will not lead to a third runway’. And car maker Volkswagen cheated over its diesel emissions on a grand scale.

….

Holland-Kaye:  “We will add up to 40,000 new jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships – we’ll need pilots, engineers, construction workers, customer service people, IT staff.”

As for the Arora plan, which includes an option of shifting the new runway so that work on the M25 motorway is not required, Holland-Kaye is coolly damning ….. “I’m most concerned about the idea that the runway might move closer to London – that means more homes lost, more people hit by aircraft noise,” he says.

He points out, too, that one of Heathrow’s earlier proposals included building the new runway in a position that avoided the necessity of working on the M25 – and that was rejected by the Airports Commission.

Holland-Kaye admits the task of delivering the world’s biggest private investor-backed construction project without increasing passenger charges – currently £22 a time – as he has promised, is a tough one but ‘deliverable’.

Willie Walsh, boss of British Airways owner IAG, insists Heathrow cannot deliver expansion and stay competitive without hiking prices.
But Holland-Kaye, 52, says: ‘We can expand the airport with fewer new buildings. We can do the construction on a phased basis so we can smooth out the price. Originally we were going to expand Terminal 2 early on which would have given us an extra 20 million passengers a year. ”    “Now we’re going to do that in phases, adding enough for 5 million at a time. We’ve seen a big appetite from the airlines to increase their business here, much faster than we had planned. New airlines, too, who couldn’t get into Heathrow are very interested. It looks like growth in the early years might be faster than we had assumed.”

….

It is why he supports the smoothest possible transition post-Brexit for whatever replaces the EU’s customs union, noting that the red tape involved in coping with new customs barriers would be a huge extra cost for very little gain.
He is also after a long-term contract with the Civil Aviation Authority over charges. It is understood he wants a 15-year contract though nothing has yet been decided.

He is in line for an as yet unquantified bonus on delivery of the runway – on top of his basic pay thought to be £896,000, plus bonuses taking that to £1.9 million last year.

 

Full article at

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-4868292/Heathrow-boss-John-Holland-Kaye-speaks-out.html

.


See earlier:

 

University pension scheme, 10% owners of Heathrow, have £17.5 deficit in pension fund

Universities face a new blow to their finances after the main pension fund deficit has risen to £17.5bn. The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) now has the largest pensions deficit of any UK pension fund after it increased by £9 billion last year.  One expert said student fees may have to rise or be diverted from teaching.  But a USS spokesperson said the pensions were “secure, backed by a solid investment portfolio and the strength of sponsoring employers.”  The USS funds pensions for academics who are mostly based in the pre-1992 universities, and has more than 390,000 members.  The pensions deficit has grown rapidly since 2014, when benefits were reduced for new entrants to plug a £5,3bn deficit.  The USS bought an 8% stake in Heathrow in 2014 and has since increased that to 10%. They also bought, in 2013, a nearly 50% stake in the Airlines Group, which owns almost half of air traffic controller, NATS.  USS said:  “USS pensions are secure, backed by a solid investment portfolio and the strength of sponsoring employers.”  The owners of Heathrow are expected to put up money for the very expensive Heathrow expansion scheme, and will be needing large returns on their investment if the runway is ever built.  Heathrow is having to cut the costs of its scheme, now saying it will delay a terminal + underground rail link, which it cannot afford.

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow plans to cut building costs of its runway plan, to keep fares low, by not adding new terminal

Heathrow has said it will – allegedly – guarantee to effectively freeze passenger landing fees when [if] a 3rd runway is built, by scrapping plans for a new terminal. The cost for the whole planned expansion is about £17.6 billion, and Heathrow knows it will have trouble raising all this and paying for changes to surface access transport. The government does not want air fares to get any more expensive. So Heathrow now says it will knock “several billion” pounds off the cost of its plan by abandoning facilities such as an additional terminal. The terminal would require a huge subsurface baggage handling system and an underground passenger metro system, which was estimated to cost £1 billion alone. They instead suggest extending Terminals 5 and 2 and phasing the expansion work over as long as 20 years, to control costs. The main airline at Heathrow, IAG, is not prepared to pay higher charges to fund inefficient expansion, that is unnecessarily expensive. The amended expansion plans by Heathrow will be put out for a public consultation later in 2017.  The publication of the final Airports National Policy Statement [the consultation on it ended in May 2017] setting out the Government’s position, and a subsequent House of Commons vote, are expected in the first half of 2018 with the vote not before June. Heathrow hopes to cut costs in every way it can, and get in the necessary funds by attracting many more passengers, even if paying hardly more than they do now – about £22 landing fee – each.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Excellent AEF analysis: Why Heathrow’s sustainability strategy “Heathrow 2.0” doesn’t quite cut it

Heathrow produced a plan it calls “Heathrow 2.0” in an attempt to persuade MPs that its hoped for 3rd runway would be environmentally “sustainable” and its carbon emissions would all be offset, producing a “carbon neutral” runway. In a masterful rebuttal of the Heathrow 2.0 document, the AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) sets out clearly why this plan falls very far short of its ambition. It is likely that Heathrow hopes its document will be enough to give MPs who are poorly informed on UK carbon emissions the assurance they need, to vote for a 3rd runway. However, AEF points out that even if the airport itself tries to be “zero carbon”, that is only around 3% of the total carbon emitted by all Heathrow flights – so a sideshow. AEF explains how offsetting CO2 emissions by Heathrow planes is not an acceptable way or effective way to deal with the problem. Indeed, this is the advice given consistently by the government’s climate advisors, the CCC.  Offsets will just not be available in future decades. The Heathrow 2.0 document pins its hopes on the UK plan, CORSIA, but this does not achieve actual cuts in aviation carbon and Heathrow has no plans to do anything practical to cut emissions. The key problem is that the UK has no strategy for limiting aviation emissions to a level consistent with our obligations on climate change, though the CCC and the EAC have repeatedly asked for one. 
.

 

Why Heathrow’s sustainability strategy doesn’t quite cut it

11.9.2017 (AEF – Aviation Environment Federation)

Earlier this year, sustainability strategy agency, Futerra, announced it had been working with Heathrow Airport on its latest sustainability strategy, Heathrow 2.0.

AEF responded to the news with its concerns, which was previously available on Futerra’s blog, and this can now be read below:

AEF commented:

We appreciate the work you’ve done in the past to highlight the challenge that aviation growth poses to climate ambition, and to show that it’s possible to cut down on flying while still connecting with people around the world and enjoying a good life. But your description of Heathrow’s latest sustainability strategy has left us wondering if we’ve read the same report as you, and your claim that Heathrow has made a “huge, bold and courageous aspiration” on climate change is baffling us.

In terms of the airport’s own emissions, we’re pleased that Heathrow wants to become, like many other airports, ‘zero carbon’. But as these emissions will account for only about 3% of the total once flights are factored in, this is obviously a bit of a sideshow that a cynic might regard as being designed to confuse hapless MPs who will soon be voting on the issue of runway expansion and who want reassurance that the ideal of sustainable growth is within reach.

Rightly, then, Heathrow also tries to cover off the issue of the emissions from departing aircraft – at least partially – with its aspiration for a ‘carbon neutral runway’. As you imply, though, this aspiration appears to have no substance beyond a kind of moral support for the UN carbon offsetting scheme for aviation, CORSIA, a scheme that applies to airlines, not airports (let alone runways), and which will be required by law. No action whatsoever is required, or proposed, from Heathrow, to deliver the scheme.

The message Heathrow seems to want to convey, of course, is that offsetting means that climate change concerns need not be a barrier to expansion.  In terms of CORSIA, AEF has worked pretty doggedly over the years, partly as an active participant in discussions, for the scheme to be as effective as possible. In a global context, particularly for countries with no climate policies, we see last year’s agreement as a step towards ending the attitude of ‘aviation exceptionalism’ that you describe, but it’s not a long-term solution and certainly not a reason to think that uncontrolled growth is now OK.

In particular, CORSIA is woefully inadequate for meeting the scale of the challenge here in the UK. We’ve written a briefing, setting out the detail on this. But it’s probably quicker to check out the advice of the UK’s official experts on climate policy, the CCC, who, while remaining fiercely neutral on the question of runways, have told Government as explicitly as possible that it should not be giving approval to expansion before it has a credible plan to limit aviation emissions in line with the Climate Change Act.  Offsetting, they say, has no bearing on this issue since by 2050 – the target date for the Act – we’ll need to be making emissions cuts domestically, not relying on increasingly scarce and expensive offsets. (The EU has meanwhile concluded, for similar reasons, that international credits won’t count towards its climate ambition.)

This brings us to the crux of the matter.

You suggest that some ‘i’s remain to be dotted and some ‘t’s have yet to be crossed.  If only that was the case.  In fact, the UK has no strategy for limiting aviation emissions to a level consistent with our obligations on climate change.  The CCC has persistently asked for one, as has the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), and the Government has persistently ignored them.

Why? Because all the evidence shows that a new runway at Heathrow can’t be compatible with such a plan. As the EAC has recently pointed out the Government’s approach to tackling emissions while expanding Heathrow appears to be based on ‘magical thinking’.

Our primary target on this is clearly not Heathrow but the Government, but ‘Heathrow 2.0’ confuses the debate by suggesting that somehow the airport can both solve the aviation climate problem and build a new runway.  If instead, Heathrow wants to make a meaningful contribution, it should start by publicly supporting the advice of the CCC that UK aviation emissions must be no higher than 37.5 Mt in 2050 without recourse to offsetting, and join the calls on Government to set out a plan – urgently – for delivering it.

Without this framing, unless it’s planning to close one of its other two runways, Heathrow’s aspiration to make a third one ‘carbon neutral’ misses the point.  

http://www.aef.org.uk/2017/09/11/why-heathrows-sustainability-strategy-doesnt-quite-cut-it/

.


.

Heathrow 2.0

Link to the Heathrow 2.0 website by Heathrow  http://your.heathrow.com/sustainability/ 

and the document itself at

.

.

Read more »

Heathrow promises of thousands of jobs to the North East are based on flawed projections

On the day of Heathrow’s Business Summit in Newcastle, the No 3rd Runway Coalition has revealed that far from bringing the economic benefits that the airport claim, the actual benefits of Heathrow expansion are likely to be negligible. While the figure of £147 billion benefit of the runway to the UK (over 60 years), by the Airports Commission, using one future scenario was seized upon by Heathrow to claim huge regional job figures, even the DfT admitted by October 2016  that the £147 was far too high. The DfT’s own analysis, taking into account costs and not just adding up putative benefits, indicates very low benefits indeed to the UK – more like under £6 billion (for all the UK, over 60 years). So the inflated, exaggerated promises Heathrow had repeatedly made to the regions, of huge economic benefits and thousands of jobs, based on the £147 billion figure, are utterly spurious. The No 3rd Runway Coalition says the actual benefit per UK person per year might be of the order of £1.50. That is a very paltry paltry benefit and would not “play a major role in boosting jobs and growth” in the North East, or any other region. The runway will also probably reduce – not increase – the number of domestic routes to Heathrow, and these would only be kept open by public subsidy, as they would not be financially viable without being propped up by the taxpayer.
.

 

Heathrow promises to the North East are based on flawed projections

8.9.2017  (No  3rd Runway Coalition press release)

On the day of Heathrow’s Business Summit in Newcastle, the No 3rd Runway Coalition has revealed that far from bringing the economic benefits that the airport claim, the actual benefits of Heathrow expansion are likely to be negligible.

Although the Airports Commission had estimated (in 2015) that Heathrow’s expansion could deliver £147 billion of gross economic benefit over 60 years (which initially allowed Heathrow to claim that its expansion “could” deliver 5,100 jobs to the North East by 2050 and £4 billion of economic benefit), the Department for Transport (DfT) significantly downgraded this estimate (in October 2016) to a maximum possible, country wide gross benefit of just £61bn over 60 years  (page 9) – and a Net benefit of just £0.2bn to £6.1bn.

Over the 60-year time frame, this equates to a mere £1.60 per head of population.[If the benefit was £6 billion and the UK population was 70 million – it is currently around 65 million and is expected to be 75 million by 2050 – so that would be £1.43 per per person per head over 60 years]. 

And it is anything but clear how such paltry benefits could “play a major role in boosting jobs and growth in the North East”.

Furthermore, Heathrow claims that a new runway would enable it to serve a total of 14 domestic routes, up 6 from the current position. Yet, the Airports Commission’s economic analysis demonstrated that even with a third runway, the number of domestic routes served by Heathrow would fall to 4, stating the routes may not be commercially viable; “without specific measures to support domestic connectivity even an expanded Heathrow may accommodate fewer domestic routes in future than the seven served currently” (Airports Commission, Final Report, July 2015, p. 313 and 316) .

And, as yet, neither Government, nor Heathrow, have committed to providing the requisite funding (or guarantee of slot allocation) to support such a minimal growth in regional connections.

Moreover – as the business people in the North East who contributed to the CBI’s 2016 report “Unlocking Regional Growth” will know – while businesses recognise the need for better links to international markets, they believe that flights need to fly directly to centres of trade and commerce (i.e. without transfer before reaching their destination).  In other words, that it will be through direct flights to the North East, that the region will become better connected – and not by concentrating (yet again) all the best infrastructure in the already, disproportionately well-endowed South East of the country.

Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said:

“Rather than relying on the discredited figures that Heathrow continue to quote, politicians and business people from the North East will want to ask serious questions of Heathrow about how they can come anywhere close to delivering the jobs and investment, that they continue to promise, based on the now trusted, downwardly revised economic benefit figures.

Government needs to be more ambitious and ensure that regional airports receive significant investment, to deliver an internationally well-connected North East. Flights from Heathrow effectively compete with those from regional airports, so boosting Heathrow’s near monopoly position can only advance the interests of the South East, to the further detriment of the North of the country.

It is vital that the UK makes full use of the capacity at all its airports, to the benefit of all its regions. The government should be promising a national aviation strategy, including improvements in surface access to regional airports, rather than succumbing to Heathrow’s no expenses spared lobbying which is solely designed to advance its own narrow commercial interests.”

Ends.


Notes for editors:

The No 3rd Runway Coalition was set up in London in March 2017. It brings together MPs, NGOs, local authorities, community groups and residents opposed to Heathrow expansion. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heathrow Expansion is Co-Chaired by Labour MP Ruth Cadbury and Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/562160/further-review-and-sensitivities-report-airport-capacity-in-the-south-east.pdf, p.9

For more information: Rob Barnstone, 07806 947050, robert.barnstone@outlook.com

 


See also

 

The truth about economic benefits of Heathrow expansion – new detailed analysis from FoE

A new briefing on the economics of a 3rd Heathrow runway makes interesting reading.  It comes with extensive background analysis.  MPs, councils, Chambers of Commerce and others have been subject to a barrage of propaganda from Heathrow, urging them to support a new runway, for massive economic benefits.  But the actual evidence – instead of hype, sound bites and corporate propaganda – shows there is virtually no economic benefit for the country. Furthermore, the regions lose out to the south east. The most important single table from the Airports Commission’s final report shows a total benefit, to all of the UK over 60 years, of just £1.4 billion – in the carbon capped scenario (£11.4 billion in the carbon traded scenario). Compare this to the figure of £211 billion that Heathrow is using is its PR.  The Commission also showed that without a third runway at Heathrow, growth in necessary air traffic goes to other airports where there is lots of spare capacity. With a Heathrow runway, the flights at regional airports will end up being substantially reduced. It is very hard to see how losing traffic and destinations from regional airports to Heathrow is good for the economy of the regions. In addition, Heathrow is only prepared to contribute £1.1 billion to surface access infrastructure, leaving the taxpayer to fund as much as £17 billion.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/10/the-truth-about-economic-benefits-of-heathrow-expansion-new-detailed-analysis-from-foe/

.


Government needs to provide clarity on possible jobs across the UK created by 3rd runway

When the Government announced Heathrow as its preferred option in October 2016 it downgraded the economic benefits of a 3rd runway substantially. The Airports Commission Final Report assessed the economic benefit to the whole of the UK, over 60 years, might be up to £147 billion (their assessment of need scenario). Heathrow often uses a much higher figure of “up to £211 billion” and omit to say it is for all the UK, over 60 years. In October, the DfT, calculating the possible economic benefits in a different way, thought a more likely figure was £61 billion. This is benefits only. But if the costs are taken off, the benefit falls to something more like £6 billion (£2 – 11 billion or so range). Heathrow, and the DfT, say there will be huge benefits to the regions, and large numbers of future jobs. The figures Heathrow has on its website are based on the £147 billion estimate.  These have not been corrected, in the light of the reduced DfT estimate. So what is the actual value of a third runway to the English regions, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland? All that we do know is that it will be considerably less than the promises made by Heathrow to so many MPs and local councillors. The onus is on Heathrow and the DfT to come up with revised estimates of the employment benefits to the regions. So far, it has failed to do so.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/02/government-needs-to-provide-clarity-on-possible-jobs-across-the-uk-created-by-3rd-runway/

.


SNP misled by Heathrow inflated claims of number of jobs for Scotland due to a 3rd runway

The SNP decided to give its backing to a Heathrow runway, rather than one at Gatwick – having been led to believe that the only choice on offer was between these two. They were led, by Heathrow PR, to believe there would be greater benefits for Scotland. The SNP hoped to get exports from Scotland (salmon and razor clams) shipped through Heathrow. The Airports Commission came up with a figure of economic benefit from a Heathrow runway of UP TO £147 billion to all the UK over 60 years. Heathrow got a consultancy called Quod to work out the number of jobs. They came up with the figure of 16,100 jobs for Scotland (over 60 years) from the runway. The DfT has now downgraded the £147 billion figure, as it included various speculative elements, and double counted benefits. The new figure (also still far higher than the reality) from the DfT is UP TO £61 billion for the UK over 60 years. That, pro rata, would mean up to about 9,300 jobs for Scotland – not 16,100. It is unfortunate that the SNP were misinformed, as were other MPs, Chambers of Commerce etc across the regions.  Heathrow also pledged benefits for Scotland such as using its steel for construction, and using Prestwick as a base. The Scottish Green party see the SNP backing of a Heathrow runway as a betrayal of those badly affected by it, and of Scotland’s climate commitments.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/11/snp-misled-by-heathrow-inflated-claims-of-number-of-jobs-for-scotland-due-to-a-3rd-runway/

.


Quod report

The flimsy little 4 page paper on which the claims of jobs etc is based is by “Quod” and is at

http://your.heathrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Regional-Disaggregation-of-ACs-Economic-Impacts-FINAL-v2.pdf
.
It has no date, no author, almost no references ….
 .
Their table from the Quod report – which is being used by the regions etc – is copied below.
quod
(The Airports Commission itself never anywhere said anything about 179,800 or even 180,000 jobs. This is extrapolation by Quod for Heathrow.  AW note)
And another table shows a total benefit for Scotland of £14 billion. But that is over 60 years, and it is derived from the assumption from the Airports Commission that Heathrow would provide a total benefit to the UK of £147 billion, over 60 years.
quod-pv-of-gdp-impacts-by-region
(This table appears to have been created by Quod, and is not from the Airports Commission – it us using Quod’s own methodology.  AW note).
The DfT has now reassessed this figure of up to £147 billion, (Quod etc of course use the £147 figure, and forget that it is “up to” …) and decided that it cannot be relied on.  It includes benefits from trade and other assumptions that cannot be justified, and risk double counting.
So the DfT has now come out with a figure of benefit to all of the UK of up to £61 billion (not £147) for all the UK over 60 years.  This is far lower than the £147 figure – in fact is it only 41.5% of it.
The job numbers in the Quod report are based on the  GDP level of £147.
Therefore, even if the assumptions in the Quod report are correct (and it is not clear in their paper how they have calculated the numbers, as there is no detail) the job figures should all be reduced by about 58%.  That would make the number of jobs, in Scotland, over 60 years, as more like 9,300 – not 16,100.

.

.

.

Read more »

SHE – taking the fight against Heathrow expansion to the TUC at the Brighton seaside

At the start of the TUC conference in Brighton, there was a small gathering outside the meeting by opponents of a 3rd Heathrow runway, from local group SHE (Stop Heathrow Expansion). A coach full of runway opponents, many from the villages near Heathrow like Harmondsworth that would be obliterated by the runway – or made virtually impossible to live in – went down to Brighton, to ensure TUC delegates were reminded of the situation.  With the Trade Unions split on whether to oppose or support a Third Runway at Heathrow, the residents and campaigners were determined to put their side of the story and convince the Unions that opposition is the best course of action. The group was joined for a briefing on the latest developments by Hayes & Harlington MP John McDonnell, who posed with the team from SHE for photos. Many unions are keenly aware of climate change issues, and the need to reduce the UK’s emissions. They are aware that building new high carbon infrastructure is contrary to that. However, some unions (such as Unite) hope that expansion would bring jobs, at least to some parts of the country, and that hope overrides carbon responsibilities. Benefits from a 3rd runway to the rest of the country, in terms of jobs – other than near Heathrow – are tenuous and uncertain.
.

 

Taking the fight against Heathrow Expansion to the seaside

10th September 2017

By Cliff Dixon  – with SHE – Stop Heathrow Expansion, at the TUC in Brighton

 

Today saw the TUC bring their conference to Brighton where senior Trade Union officials and their members meet to discuss policy matters and campaigns ahead.

With the Trade Unions split on whether to oppose or support a Third Runway at Heathrow, my friends at Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) decided to run a coach full of campaigners from Harmondsworth to the seaside to put their side of the story and convince the Unions that opposition is the best course of action.

Leaving the Village at 9.30am, we arrived in a wet and windswept Brighton just before 11 and formed up outside the conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were joined shortly for a briefing on the latest developments by Hayes & Harlington MP John McDonnell, who posed with the team from SHE for photos afterwards (Below)

With the wind whipping up, the two of us holding the long banner were struggling to hang on to it – after John McDonnell commented on the weather, I joked that we were about to get some impromptu kite surfing in at this rate. His response was to quip, ‘ what’s that, the UKIP air force?’ – he obviously hasn’t heard the news! Whilst it was strange to be joking with a man who I have locked horns with politically for many years (Some of it quite unpleasant), it shows the strength of feeling against the runway that such diametrically opposed characters can come together and work alongside people of all backgrounds and political views on a subject that transcends politics and affects so many.

From there, we engaged with a number of trade unionists attending the conference and were met with a very good reception for the message.

I had a long chat with a gentleman who was handing out copies of Unity and was a member of UNITE – he was in agreement with us and was surprised that his Union leader, Len McCluskey, was in favour of Heathrow Expansion. Hopefully, the UNITE members we spoke with today who agreed with us will pass the message on and get him to change his mind!

After the initial mass pictures, the team split up with some remaining to speak further with delegates entering whilst others of us went for refreshments before rejoining the fray outside the conference building.

Amongst leaflets being handed out were some advertising a national shop stewards network event at the nearby Holiday Inn where UNITE General Secretary, the aforementioned Len McCluskey, was due to speak.

I suggested to SHE stalwart Neil Keveren that it might be an idea for me to pop down to the venue for ten minutes before our coach arrived for the return journey and try to get a word with him. He agreed and I trotted off with a placard and my No 3rd runway T-shirt to see if I could get an audience with arguably the most powerful Union leader in the UK.

Slipping in to the venue with a handful of assorted leaflets to make myself look like an invited guest, I evaded security easily and gatecrashed The Arundel Suite where the speakers were in full flow

Unfortunately, Mr McCluskey was nowhere to be seen but I arrived just as a Unite shop steward for the British Airways cabin crew took to the stage.

To be fair, the story he recounted of the pay and conditions of the cabin crew on differing contracts was compelling and not to the credit of ‘The World’s Favourite Airline’. With BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh complaining that a third runway would raise his operating costs, I wonder if he realises how his members pay could be affected should the project go ahead?

After an uncomfortable exit from the hotel where I was recognised as a former UKIP candidate, a brisk walk along the front brought me back to the rest of the group just as the coach was turning up for the return journey.

The general feeling was that we had received a favourable reception and hopefully this will filter through to those trade union bosses who think that a third runway is a good idea.

Below is a transcript of the leaflets that were prepared for the day –

Why Heathrow Expansion does not deserve the support of trade unionists

Heathrow won’t pay the full cost of a third runway. For a start, it won’t pay the £17bn needed for transport infrastructure to support this massive expansion. This largely foreign owned company wants the UK taxpayer to front the bill and it is using the lure of jobs to get approval.Don’t expect to get what you are promised.

Dodgy Job predictions

Outlandish predictions of 180,000 UK jobs are based on £147bn economic benefits, suggested by The Airports Commission.However, even the DfT have scaled back the maximum economic benefit to £6.1bn over 60 years! Not quite the golden jobs forecasts we were led to believe by Heathrow.

Despite the reduced benefit, the same jobs projection figure is being claimed. As well as this being completely fanciful, most of those people will never be held accountable when the jobs don’t happen.

Promises on jobs can’t be trusted

Heathrow will promise anything to get expansion. When it wanted Terminal 5 it made a range of promises on jobs – none were kept.

In 1993 The Airports Policy Consortium said 9000 would be saved. In 1999, the figure from John Egan, BAA Chief exec, was 16,000 local jobs. In November 2001, it claimed T5 would create 6500 jobs at the airport.

Yet Heathrow have failed at every opportunity to reveal the increase in jobs since T5 opened.

Regions expected to be satisfied with the crumbs from Heathrow’s table

Offering jobs is a way to persuade people in poorer regions to support taxpayers money being invested in the South East yet again.

Projects to electrify Northern railways or provide UK wide broadband coverage suffer while money is allocated for more development at Heathrow.

Taxpayers will be lumbered with a white elephant

Heathrow must spend around £17bn for its third runway and it has recently asked the CAA to allow it to raise charges for passengers to cover the risk of extra costs.

An overrun in Heathrow’s costs of just 1% would be enough to negate the overall benefits of the scheme.

Poor quality jobs and poverty pay

We all want our children to make the most of their education and have a satisfying career.

The towns where residents live close to the northern runway and might expect to benefit from airport jobs has the highest percentage of workers in elementary jobs in the London Borough of Hillingdon and the lowest percentage of professionals according to the 2011 census.

‘Poverty Pay’ was the reason Unite gave for strike action by British Airways Mixed Fleet Cabin Crew. The union could find no evidence that crew achieved anything like the advertised ‘£21,000-£25,000’ for the job.

The reality was a base starting at £12.000 with £3 an hour flying pay.

There is one plum job. Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye earned £2.06 million in 2015/16 and has a deal that will give him a big bonus if he secures a third runway

 

If you would like further information on the campaign against the third runway, please email info@stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk 

With thanks to Stop Heathrow Expansion for use of their leaflet and some of the photographs 

Read more »

Chris Grayling publishes Sir Jeremy Sullivan’s NPS bland consultation review report

Chris Grayling appointed the former Senior President of Tribunals, Sir Jeremy Sullivan, to provide “independent oversight of the consultation process.”  Apart from the fact Sir Jeremy says he does not use a computer, and has never been involved in a large consultation exercise, he has come out – predictably – finding very little to criticise.  He presumes those opposed to the runway will find fault with the consultation.  He does say that because of the purdah period before the 8th June election, some of the consultation was curtailed, the government will need to make up for this with more consultation. He acknowledges that the leaflet by the DfT, sent to 1.5 million people, was a bit biased in favour of Heathrow. He says:  “…in my view the headline points, as presented in the leaflet, did give the impression of a “hard sell” for Heathrow.  It would have been much better if a more neutral leaflet had been distributed …”. But he says (to paraphrase) people should jolly well know that the DfT favours Heathrow, and not be surprised. And they should already know the arguments against the runway, so cannot expect them all to be in the leaflet. … That does not appear to be an acceptable attitude, for someone overseeing the consultation. Chris Grayling has announced that Sir Jeremy “has agreed to oversee the period of further consultation.”
.

 

Chris Grayling announces the publication of Sir Jeremy Sullivan’s consultation review report and the launch of a further consultation later this year.

7th September 2017  (DfT website)

……. [the section about Sir Jeremy Sullivan …]

I appointed the former Senior President of Tribunals, Sir Jeremy Sullivan, to provide independent oversight of the consultation process. I am very grateful to him for his hard work in helping to ensure that the consultation was as open, fair and transparent as possible. Today (7 September 2017) I am publishing his report on the initial consultation, and can announce that he has agreed to oversee the period of further consultation.

….

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/update-on-draft-airports-national-policy-statement-process

.

Report of the Independent Consultation Adviser to the Secretary of State for Transport: consultation on the draft Airports National Policy Statement

[Sir Jeremy Sullivan says:   “I do not use a computer.”  That is a weird thing for someone to say, in the current times. Does this imply he is not familiar with how websites work, how information is put out on the internet etc?   Is he a fit person to judge this matter, if he is not familiar with the internet? ]  AW comment.

[He also says:  “This is the first occasion on which I have been able to observe the preparation and progress of a consultation from inside the administration. I had not realised just how much work is involved in the planning and execution of a major consultation.”  Does that rather imply he is on unfamiliar ground, and not really properly equipped to assess the adequacy, or otherwise, of a huge consultation?   ]  AW comment.

On the issue of whether the “purdah” period before the 8th June 2017 election had an effect, Sir Jeremy says: 

77.   Nevertheless, the fact that an impending General Election was announced just over
5 weeks before the end of the consultation on 25th May, and the announcement was
followed by the pre-election “Purdah” period means that there is unfnished business
(see paragraphs 66-69, above) which will have to be dealt with by the new Government
if it wishes to proceed with the designation of the draft NPS. In this sense, the
consultation has not been completed, and this report sets out the “story so far”.

78.   While it will be for the new Government to decide how to proceed, I should make it clear
that if best practice is to be adhered to, it will be necessary to re-open the consultation in
order to deal fairly with the unfnished business; and it will be necessary to re-open the
consultation for a period which is suffciently long both to make up for some loss of time
(particularly for local authorities) during the “Purdah” period, and to enable consultees to
have a fair opportunity to consider the implications of the fnal modifed Air Quality plan
and the fnal passenger demand forecasts. My provisional view is that this period would
need to be not less than 8 weeks, excluding main school holiday periods.

 

On the issue of the leaflet sent to 1.5 million homes by the DfT being unduly biased towards Heathrow, Sir Jeremy says: 

 

28. I did object to the wording that was initially proposed for the press advertisements, and the wording was altered to my satisfaction. Unfortunately, I did not have the same opportunity to influence the wording of the leaflet: Heathrow Expansion – Have Your Say. The changing consultation launch date, some late difficulties trying to secure appropriate event venues and the tight timescale for printing and distributing 1.5 million copies prior to the start of the local events on 13 February meant that I did not see the final version of the leaflet until the day before it was due to be printed. While I did not raise any objection to the leaflet, it is fair to say that any objection at that stage would have jeopardised the start of the programme for the local events.

.

51.  Turning to criticism (a) in paragraph 48, it is true that the “headline points” in favour of Heathrow in the leaflet are prefaced by the words “Why the Government prefers a new Northwest runway at Heathrow”. In that respect it could be said that, as with the display panels at the local events, the leaflet is merely expressing the Government’s preferred policy. I was told by the Department that the points made in headline form in the leaflet were not new, they were extracted from a document published by the Department after the Secretary of State’s statement on 25th October 2016: Airports: The Government’s View. The Department’s intention was to design the leaflet to communicate the Government’s position in the October 25th statement on its preference for new airport capacity and to provide detail on how to take part in the consultation and get further information. However, in my view the headline points, as presented in the leaflet, did give the impression of a “hard sell” for Heathrow. It would have been much better if a more neutral leaflet had been distributed giving more information about the addresses of the local events.

and

52.  I should have picked this up. I had objected to the wording initially proposed for the press advertisements because I felt that it would be seen as too “pro Heathrow” (see paragraph 28, above). However, I do not believe that the “hard sell” impression given by the leaflet could have had any real impact on the effectiveness of the consultation. Given the lengthy history of the proposal for a Northwest Runway at Heathrow (see paragraphs 1-5, above) it would be difficult for any local resident with the slightest interest in the subject to be unaware of the fact that the Government’s claims in the leaflet are hotly contested by those local authorities and residents’ groups who are opposed to Heathrow. The expansion of Heathrow has been such a contentious issue, for so long, that it is difficult to believe that any consultee would have been lulled into a false sense of security on reading the leaflet. Certainly, those who complained to me about the content of the “Heathrow flyer” were well aware of the counter-arguments.  

[That is not the point. The leaflet was aimed at tens of thousands of people who may NOT be well informed.  Of course those sufficiently well informed to see the failings of the leaflet complained – on behalf of those who were not already so well informed, and may have hoped the DfT would provide them with the proper information.  AW comment]

[This is not acceptable. Sir Jeremy is saying people already know enough about the runway so they hardly need any more information.  He is saying ordinary people should already know a lot about the negative impacts of the runway, even though opponents generally have only few paid staff, mainly volunteers working in their own time, and very limited budgets with which to put their points. By contrast, the DfT has all the machinery of government to push the arguments in favour of the runway, and Heathrow has millions of £s at its disposal for its promotional materials, endless advertising, wining and dining those in positions of influence etc.  It is NOT satisfactory to assume the negative impacts of the runway are well known to everyone.  This should have been part of the purpose of the consultation.  Sir Jeremy seems to have failed spectacularly in not realising this massive flaw, and not recognising a huge defect in the DfT consultation.]  AW comment

 

And there is more – generally Sir Jeremy is happy with the consultation, and can see few flaws in it.   His assessment does not seem to be particularly well informed, or sufficiently critical, and he just assumes that those opposed to the 3rd runway will complain about the consultation process. Bit of a whitewash job ….   AW comment

Full document at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/642739/independent-consultation-advisor-draft-airports-national-policy-statement.pdf


Comment from one local resident affected by Heathrow:

At a first glance the Sullivan report seems to show his 7-month love-in with the DfT. Maybe that’s a bit critical, but that’s certainly the impression I’ve got from it thus far.  It appears that Sullivan misunderstands the difference between a Consultation and an Exhibition.
Those, whom he terms objectors, were hoping for the former; the Government gave us the later.

.

.

.

 

Read more »

Chris Grayling announces the launch of a further consultation in the Airports National Policy Statement process, later this year

Transport Minister, Chris Grayling, has announced that there will be a further short period of consultation on the Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), about a Heathrow 3rd runway. The date of the consultation is not known, but it will be this year. The initial consultation on the NPS was between 2 February and 25 May this year. Some 70,000 responses were received, which the DfT is plodding through. Now there is further evidence on air  pollution and the DfT feels – rightly – that it necessary to consult on this. There is also more evidence on air travel demand forecasts, which the DfT had said it would release months ago, but has not yet done so. Grayling says the new consultation is partly as documents could not be publicised during the purdah period in the run-up to the June election (that was disastrous for the Tories). In his statement Grayling says “This government remains committed to realising the benefits that airport expansion could bring, [note, could not would] and I can confirm that we do not expect this additional period of consultation to impact on the timetable for parliamentary scrutiny of the NPS.” The Times considers this added need to consult, and the potential embarrassment of the air travel forecasts, could put the Heathrow process back by a year – with the vote on the NPS in the Commons not taking place till 2019. But this is merely speculation.
.

 

 

Chris Grayling announces the launch of a further consultation in the Airports National Policy Statement process, later this year.

7th September 2017  (DfT website)

In my statement on 13 July this year, I said I would set out the next steps of the draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) process following the summer recess.

The government consulted on a draft Airports NPS between 2 February and 25 May this year.

We received over 70,000 responses, and work to analyse them is ongoing. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to feed in their views.

In the consultation document, my department was clear that further work was underway to update the evidence base, including revised aviation demand forecasts and the government’s final air quality plan. It was intended these documents would be presented for consideration during the initial consultation, but the timing of the general election meant this was not possible.

I am therefore confirming that there is a need to conduct a short period of further consultation to allow this updated evidence to be taken into account. This further consultation will focus mainly on the specific elements of the NPS affected, and is expected to begin later this year.
In my statement in July I said that the timing of the election — in particular the need to re-start the Select Committee process — meant we now expect to lay any final NPS in the first half of 2018 for a vote in the House of Commons. This government remains committed to realising the benefits that airport expansion could bring, and I can confirm that we do not expect this additional period of consultation to impact on the timetable for parliamentary scrutiny of the NPS.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/update-on-draft-airports-national-policy-statement-process

.


 

Third Heathrow runway ‘faces further year of delay’

By Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent (The Times)
September 8 2017

A final decision on Heathrow expansion could be delayed for another year, it was claimed yesterday, after the government ordered new analysis of passenger demand for a third runway.

Ministers said that a “short period” of consultation would be staged this autumn to allow the public to consider new evidence on Heathrow.

The government will publish updated forecasts outlining the likely scale of passenger demand for air travel over the next three decades. It follows claims that figures used to promote Heathrow over its rival Gatwick were flawed because they exaggerated the importance of the west London hub.

Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, denied the process would lead to any further delay. He has previously committed to publishing the full national policy statement (NPS) — the legislation that clears the way for a third runway — in the first half of next year.

However, aviation sources said there was a strong possibility the latest consultation would delay a Commons vote, possibly until mid-2019. That could have a bearing on plans to build the runway by 2025, although this was denied by the airport.

Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the airports commission, made an overwhelming recommendation in favour of the scheme more than two years ago.

The government said last October it was accepting Sir Howard’s recommendation. It published a draft NPS in February and received more than 70,000 responses to a consultation.

Data around pollution levels at Heathrow is also being updated to take account of the government’s recently published air quality plan.

Mr Grayling said: “There is a need to conduct a short period of further consultation to allow this updated evidence to be taken into account.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/third-heathrow-runway-faces-further-year-of-delay-xl6v2sx2g


 

“Heathrow is in for a bumpy landing”

BUSINESS COMMENTARY
September 8 2017
by Alistair Osborne in The Times
[The Times has been hugely in favour of a Gatwick 2nd runway, and against a Heathrow 3rd runway for years, and continues to express this view …] 

Few things in life are as exciting as government consultations. So, little wonder the one on the draft Airports National Policy Statement has proved such a hit. It’s produced more than 70,000 responses. So, here’s some cracking news. They can all write in again — because the forecasts are wrong.

No, Chris Grayling didn’t put it quite like that. But the transport secretary’s latest “update” on the planned £17.6 billion third runway at Heathrow certainly invites the question. Thanks to his boss calling her daft election, he was unable to include key info in the 16-week public consultation that ended in May. So, he’s now proposing a “short period of further consultation”.
And, what is this info, you ask? Oh, the “revised aviation demand forecasts and the government’s final air quality plan”. Or, to put it another way, the two main issues, alongside noise pollution, that determine whether Heathrow really is a better option than a £7.1 billion second runway at Gatwick.
Take the traffic forecasts. The government’s decision — and the consultation — was based on the ones in the Airports Commission report. But even Mr Grayling would admit they are hopelessly wrong. Sir Howard Davies’s commission had 2013 figures to go on, but for bizarre reasons used a “model base year” of 2008 to extrapolate trends.
The upshot? Laughable estimates for Gatwick, not least because the commission’s oil price forecast was far too high. So, it missed the effect of cheap oil on demand for low-fare airlines, such as Easyjet — Gatwick’s biggest customer. The result? It reckoned the airport wouldn’t handle 46 million passengers a year until 2040. In fact, it’s almost there already: 45.2 million in the 12 months to August. Not only that: it claimed that, even with two runways, Gatwick wouldn’t have 50 long-haul flights a year until 2050. It already has 60.
From air traffic forecasts follow all sorts of other issues, not least the projects’ economic benefits. Even on the old figures, the difference is tiny once you adjust for transfer traffic, which brings no real benefits to the UK. On updated forecasts, Gatwick may well be in front.
And on air quality, there’s only one winner. Heathrow’s in breach of EU nitrogen dioxide limits, mainly because of the cars on the M4, M25 and M40. Moreover, it’s hard to spot anything in the new air quality plan that will solve that before the runway’s planned 2025 opening.
In short, the new information, when it’s published, could radically change the case for and against Heathrow. Mr Grayling insists that the new period of consultation, due to “begin later this year”, won’t change the timetable for the final national policy statement — and an MPs’ vote in the first half of 2018.
But people need time to respond: a point that must be made by Sir Jeremy Sullivan, the former lord justice of appeal, whose job it is to ensure the consultation is “fair and thorough”. Mr Grayling’s latest “update” may have bigger ramifications than he thinks.

 


UK government seeks further consultation on Heathrow’s third runway

7.9.2017 (Air Cargo News)

The UK government has called for further consultation on its selection of a new north-west runway at London’s Heathrow airport.

A statement today from the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, on the extension came as the government published Sir Jeremy Sullivan’s interim report on consultation on the draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS).

The draft NPS sets out the reasons for the choice of Heathrow rather than a rival runway proposal at Gatwick airport, a decision announced in October 2016 by the government . The draft also includes the “mitigation and compensation measures” the government expects the promoter to put in place if planning permission is granted.

Consultation closed on May 25 this year, with more than 70,000 responses, reflecting the scale of the regulatory obstacles that approval for a third runway at Heathrow has to overcome before construction can begin.

In his statement today, Grayling said: “In the consultation document, my department was clear that further work was underway to update the evidence base, including revised aviation demand forecasts and the government’s final air quality plan. It was intended these documents would be presented for consideration during the initial consultation, but the timing of the general election meant this was not possible.

“I am therefore confirming that there is a need to conduct a short period of further consultation to allow this updated evidence to be taken into account. This further consultation will focus mainly on the specific elements of the NPS affected, and is expected to begin later this year.”

The UK General Election on June 8 this year pushed the reset button on Parliament’s Select Committee process, meaning that any final NPS would be delayed until the first half of 2018 for a vote in the House of Commons.

The minister said that the Conservatige government “remains committed to realising the benefits that airport expansion could bring, and I can confirm that we do not expect this additional period of consultation to impact on the timetable for parliamentary scrutiny of the NPS”.

Immediate industry reaction described the announcement as unfortunate but not a surprise.

Duncan Field, UK head of planning, global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright, said:“The need for a short period of further consultation on the draft Airports NPS announced today by Chris Grayling, is unfortunate but does not come as a surprise.

“The importance of air quality to the future expansion of Heathrow made it almost inevitable that as soon as the Government published its Air Quality Plan, the draft NPS would have to be reviewed again.

“However, if it is to avoid a third round of consultation, the Government must not only allow sufficient time for responses but also take this opportunity to set out much more clearly the relevance of the draft NPS to other airports in the UK and whether, for example, we will see a separate overarching Airports NPS as a product of the government’s ongoing review of the Aviation Policy Framework.”

http://www.aircargonews.net/news/airport/single-view/news/uk-government-seeks-further-consultation-on-heathrows-third-runway.html

.

.


AirportWatch member comment:

There are other issues on which the Government and Heathrow have serious problems. One is that there is no agreement on how much of the cost of necessary surface transport infrastructure outside the airport Heathrow will pay for.

There is the problem of the huge business risk for the funders of the runway, if things do not go smoothly and this would leave a potentially massive bill for the UK taxpayers if Heathrow is unable to finance the project.

And there is a current consultation on UK aviation policy in general – which should have come before, not after, the policy on one part of it – a new south east runway.  Serious case of cart before horse.

The immense problem of noise from another 250,000 annual flights over densely populated areas around London and its suburbs are virtually insoluble. The problem of the added carbon emissions cannot be solved, and air pollution is another issue that cannot be remedied to the extent that people living around Heathrow will be able to breathe air of a sufficient quality for good health.

.

.

.

 

 

Read more »

GACC Chairman – Brendon Sewill – to retire after 27 successful years in the role

Brendon Sewill, chairman of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, is to retire on 15 October.  He has been chairman since 1990, and has masterminded successful campaigns against a second Gatwick runway in 1993, in 2003 and again in 2013-16. Brendon says: ‘Campaigning to protect the environment around Gatwick for so many years has been exciting and immensely worthwhile.  I have been fortunate to have had such strong support from our committee, from all our GACC members, from local councils and from our local MPs.’  Brendon is now 88 and feels that is a suitable age at which to reduce his commitments.  He will be sorely missed by his colleagues, for his untiring and hugely expert campaigning over more than 27 years.  His connection with Gatwick goes back a long way.  As a child he attended the 1936 opening of Gatwick – with grass runways and biplanes.  As a young man he was a member of the Gatwick Protest Committee which in 1952-54 opposed the construction of the existing airport. Brendon Sewill CBE has had a distinguished career with numerous high level and responsible positions, including being an advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on economics.
.

 

Brendon Sewill CBE is a former Director of the Conservative Research Department, and adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  He was a member of the Council of the National Trust, Vice-President of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers,  a member of the CPRE National Executive.  Copies of his book, “Tangled Wings”, telling the story of the growth of Gatwick as seen from his home village of Charlwood are available – now at £5.00.   http://www.aef.org.uk/?s=Tangled+wings

 

 

 

 

Read more »

Heathrow spent almost £1.25 million advertising on TfL properly in the year to June 2017

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request show Heathrow Airport spent over £1million advertising on TfL property in the year leading up to the June 2017 general election. Details obtained by campaign group Friends of the Earth reveal that in the 12 months up to 8th June, Heathrow spending on TfL property was £1,244,434. Gatwick Airport spent a total of £255,342 in the same period.  The No 3rd Runway Coalition say that whilst the Government announced its own preference for the Heathrow scheme in October 2016, the amount spent by the airport over the period reinforces the view that Heathrow still has some way to go to convince parliament to support its proposals for a 3rd runway. A vote in parliament on the Airports National Policy Statement (for the 3rd runway) is expected in the first half of 2018. Heathrow is uncertain about whether it really can persuade MPs that its deeply environmentally damaging, and economically doubtful, runway plan can succeed – hence the need for so much advertising spend. Rob Barnstone, Coordinator of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “If Heathrow have spent over a million pounds with one organisation, I wonder how much money has been spent across the board. It is alarming that a company the size of Heathrow can buy support in this way.”
.

 

 

HEATHROW SPEND £1.25M ADVERTISING ON TFL PROPERTY

29.8.2017   (No 3rd Runway Coalition)

Heathrow Airport Limited spent over £1million advertising on TfL property in the year leading up to the general election, it has been revealed.

Figures obtained by campaign group Friends of the Earth reveal that in the twelve months prior to the general election on 8 June, Heathrow Airport Ltd. spending on TfL property amassed to a total of £1,244,434. Gatwick Airport spent a total of £255,342 in the same period (See FoI – Freedom of Information request – copied below).

Whilst the Government announced its own preference for the Heathrow scheme in October 2016, the amount spent by the airport across the period reinforces the view that Heathrow still has some way to go to convince parliament to support proposals for a third runway. A vote on the Airports National Policy Statement is expected in the first half of 2018.

Rob Barnstone, Coordinator of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “No matter how much money Heathrow throw at their campaign to secure support for a third runway, the facts don’t change. A third runway is the most environmentally catastrophic option for UK aviation on grounds of noise pollution, air pollution, cost to the passengers and to the taxpayer, as well as taking over a decade to construct.”

“If Heathrow have spent over a million pounds with one organisation, I wonder how much money has been spent across the board. It is alarming that a company the size of Heathrow can buy support in this way.”

Ends.


FOI

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 19 July 2017 asking for information about advertising spend by Heathrow & Gatwick owners with TFL.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require. You asked:

How much was spent on advertising over 1) the entire TfL network (tube stations, tube carriages, bus stops etc) and 2) at Westminster tube station specifically, by:

  • Heathrow (/ their owners BAA), and
  • Gatwick (/ their owners Global Infrastructure Partners),

Over the period 8th June 2016 to 8th June 2017 (the year in the run-up to the general election).

Gatwick Airport Limited Total –  £255,342

Heathrow Airport Limited Total – £1,244,434

If this is not the information you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

.


See earlier:

Spending for ads just on the TfL network – £1.7 million by Heathrow; £1.6 million by Gatwick

Darren Johnson, Green Party Assembly Member at the London Assembly, Great London Authority, has obtained figures for the amount spent by the two airports. This is just on Transport for London, so on buses, tubes and trains. The Mayor revealed that Heathrow spent £1.7 million on advertising across the TfL network (from the start of 2012 until April 2015). Gatwick spent £1.6 million on advertising across the TfL network (from the start of 2014 until April 2015). Darren commented: “I’m not surprised that Heathrow has spent almost two million on ads on buses, tubes and trains. The grim reality of aviation expansion will be more noise, pollution and traffic hell for Londoners. As well as the acceleration of climate change which is the biggest threat to our economy. You need a big budget to paper over those huge cracks in your argument.”  In December 2014 campaigners against a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick wrote to the Airports Commission to say the multi-million ££ advertising and PR campaigns being mounted by both airports for their runway plans were “subverting democracy”. They said the advertising was drowning out discussion of alternatives – and the basic question of whether a runway should be built at all.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/06/spending-for-ads-just-on-the-tfl-network-1-7-million-by-heathrow-1-6-million-by-gatwick/

.


Complaint to Airports Commission that ££ multi-million Gatwick & Heathrow ads & PR blitz is ‘subverting democracy’

Campaigners against a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, have attacked the multi-million ££ advertising and PR campaigns being mounted by both airports for their expansion plans. They say this huge expenditure is “subverting democracy” and drowning out discussion of alternatives – and the basic question of whether a runway should be built at all. A coalition of environmentalists and senior MPs has written to Sir Howard Davies, the head of the Airports Commission, to say the two airports are exerting “unfair influence” because of their marketing power and huge budgets for advertising and PR. There has been a blitz of large adverts in the national press and billboards or posters in prominent places, including Westminster Tube station and also close to the offices of Airports Commission.  Heathrow has placed billboards as far afield as Newcastle and Manchester.  One media buying agency told The Independent that the cost of both campaigns was likely to have exceeded £7m.  Heathrow has also funded an astroturfing campaign called “Back Heathrow”, and repeatedly refused to say how much it has spent – and continues to spend – on this.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/12/complaint-to-airports-commission-that-multi-million-gatwick-heathrow-ads-pr-blitz-is-subverting-democracy/

.


.

 

Read more »