IATA director general, Alexandre de Juniac, has warned that Britain had no choice but to reach an air service deal with the rest of Europe, and fast. He said: “When the UK leaves the European Single Market, it will also leave the European Common Aviation Area. And when it breaks from the European Union, all traffic rights to the rest of the world associated with Europe will also be thrown into question. … The basis of international aviation is bilateral air services agreements. There is no World Trade Organisation agreement to fall back on. For that reason, I don’t see any alternative to a negotiated agreement. … Time is precious. The Brexit clock is ticking towards a deadline of March 2019. But the aviation deadline is earlier. … At a minimum, the flight schedules and seat and cargo inventories must be available at least six months in advance. So that puts the airlines’ deadline at October 2018—just 11 months from now … Get started. Don’t step backward—people will not accept anything that turns back the clock on the achievements of the EU Common Aviation Area. And, lastly, don’t underestimate the amount of work ahead as there are intense political and commercial interests at stake.” (He also wants Heathrow expanded fast …)
IATA warns deadline for post-Brexit aviation deal is just 11 months away
9.11.2017 (Travel Mole)
IATA has urged the UK Government to forge ahead with a ‘cost-effective’ expansion of Heathrow and negotiate an early post-Brexit aviation deal.
In an address to the UK Aviation Club, IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac warned that Britain had no choice but to reach an air service deal with the rest of Europe.
“When the UK leaves the European Single Market, it will also leave the European Common Aviation Area. And when it breaks from the European Union, all traffic rights to the rest of the world associated with Europe will also be thrown into question,” he said.
“The basis of international aviation is bilateral air services agreements. There is no World Trade Organisation agreement to fall back on. For that reason, I don’t see any alternative to a negotiated agreement.”
He urged an early resolution for aviation in the Brexit discussions. “Time is precious. The Brexit clock is ticking towards a deadline of March 2019. But the aviation deadline is earlier.
“Normally passengers can book travel about a year in advance. At a minimum, the flight schedules and seat and cargo inventories must be available at least six months in advance. So that puts the airlines’ deadline at October 2018—just 11 months from now,” said de Juniac.
“My message to all involved is threefold: Get started. Don’t step backward—people will not accept anything that turns back the clock on the achievements of the EU Common Aviation Area. And, lastly, don’t underestimate the amount of work ahead as there are intense political and commercial interests at stake.”
He said other issues facing the UK including finding enough staff and upgrading systems to cope with a potential explosion in customer transactions from 4.6 million a month to 21 million due to growth in air travel, irrespective of Brexit.
Also, the UK needs to develop immigrations solutions to deal with the millions of travellers between the UK and Europe should border control procedures become more cumbersome. It also needs to define the relationship between the UK to the European Aviation Safety Agency.
“The pressure is mounting, with passenger numbers predicted to grow irrespective of Brexit,” added de Juniac. “Solutions need to be found quickly to ensure a smooth transition. With the amount of work that needs to be done, there are good arguments to put transition agreements in place.”
He also urged the government to address ‘severe capacity constraints’ in the southeast by expanding Heathrow.
“Heathrow is where expansion should take place. I know the struggle to build a third runway has meant decades of frustration. But the UK will be left behind in the globally connected world if it does not come to a final decision and implement it,” he added.
“Expanding Heathrow is about building prosperity. It should be a priority for the UK. And facing the post-Brexit world makes it even more urgent,” said de Juniac.
However, he said Heathrow should not be expanded ‘at any cost’.
“The original estimates of £17 billion were completely unacceptable. Heathrow Airport’s recently announced intention to reduce that cost is a step in the right direction.
Heathrow is already the most expensive airport in the world from which to operate. It is essential that Heathrow’s charges do not rise from today’s levels. The construction of the third runway must enhance Heathrow’s competitiveness, not destroy it.”
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Claims by Stansted’s management that the airport’s growth potential over the next decade is being severely limited by the present cap on numbers at 35 mppa are being called into question by local campaign, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) following the publication of new Government figures. These numbers are in the DfT’s forecasts, published as part of the 2nd consultation on the Airports NPS (ie. Heathrow runway). Stansted’s owners, MAG, predict that it will be completely full by 2023 – and it therefore needs an increase in permitted numbers to be able to accommodate 43 million passengers in 2028. But SSE show that in the new DfT UK Aviation Forecasts, reveal this is wrong. The DfT central forecast for Stansted is that it should expect to handle just 31 million passengers annually by 2030, and 35 million by 2033. Not by 2023. Stansted airport has been talking up the need for further growth – in anticipation of its application for planning permission from Uttlesford District Council in early 2018. And if there was a 3rd Heathrow runway, the DfT projects a decline in the number of Stansted passengers – from 24mppa in 2016 to 22mppa in 2030, and just 32 mppa by 2040. SSE say: “MAG’s overstatement of potential demand to secure support for expansion is nothing more than an opportunistic ploy.” See full SSE analysis.
NEW GOVERNMENT FIGURES UNDERMINE STANSTED AIRPORT CLAIMS ON NEED FOR EXPANSION
Press release by Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE)
Claims by Stansted bosses that the airport’s growth potential over the next decade is being severely limited by the present cap on numbers at 35 million passengers per annum (mppa) are being called into question by Stop Stansted Expansion following the publication of new Government figures.
While the airport’s owners, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), predict that Stansted will be bursting at the seams by 2023 and needs an increase in permitted numbers to be able to accommodate 43 million passengers in 2028, the long-awaited UK Aviation Forecasts, published by the Government at the end of October, reveal this to be a gross misrepresentation of the reality.
The Government’s central forecast for Stansted is that it should expect to handle just 31 million passengers annually by 2030, and 35 million by 2033 [see Note 1 below], rather than the inflated figures touted by the airport this year as it talks up the need for further growth in anticipation of its application for planning permission from Uttlesford District Council in early 2018.
The lower expectations of demand at Stansted take full account of the fact that the Government expects Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and London City Airports all to be 100% full by 2030 (Table 33), based on no additional runways and current planning caps remaining in place.
Furthermore, if, as planned, a third runway is built at Heathrow in the next 10 years, the Government projects that demand at Stansted would actually decline, from 24mppa in 2016 to 22mppa in 2030, and that even by 2040 the airport would still only be handling 32mppa, i.e. less than the present cap, which would not be reached until 2043.
According to the new forecasts, therefore, it is clear that needless damage would be inflicted on the local environment by the building of additional aircraft stands and new taxiways at Stansted in coming years when these won’t be needed for at least another quarter of a century and, potentially, never needed: a second Gatwick runway, for example, would reduce the demand for more capacity at Stansted still further, while concerns about climate change, pressure from oil prices, and security concerns could also weaken demand.
Commenting on the findings, SSE Chairman Peter Sanders said: “MAG’s overstatement of potential demand to secure support for expansion is nothing more than an opportunistic ploy. It is designed to take advantage of a lull during Government consultations on the future of aviation and to try to rush through permissions that might otherwise be restricted once the new aviation policy emerges towards the end of 2018.”
Continuing, he added: “MAG has presented its case as if failure to concede a further tranche of expansion would somehow compromise the rights of the travelling public as well as the UK economy, when the Government’s own figures show this to be far from the truth.”
The new Government forecasts also show that Ryanair’s dominance at Stansted has further increased in recent years with the Irish airline carrying 82% of all passengers in 2016 compared to 64% in 2011. [see Note 2 below] Over the past five years all the other Stansted airlines have declined by a total of 1.4m passengers, shrinking from 5.8m in 2011 to 4.4m in 2016.
Note to Editors
Note 1: see Table 32 and Fig 7.4 in UK Aviation Forecasts, published on 24 October 2017 and available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-aviation-forecasts-2017.
Table 32 (from page 101) is copied below: [The text above it in the document states:
Baseline airport forecasts
7.18 Table 32 shows the scenario forecasts under baseline capacity. As the airports become full, the forecast demand range narrows and the annual rates of growth reduce. By around 2040 this effect is evident even in the low growth scenario.
7.19 The range of the demand growth scenarios remains wider outside London. However airports which share some overlaps of catchment areas with the London airports (e.g. Birmingham and Bristol) experience ‘spill’ of passengers from London seeking alternatives to London airport and in time such airports also near or reach capacity. A full version of this table is in Table 63 in the data annexes.
And Figure 7.4 (Page ) is copied below:
Note 2: ibid, page 66. It states: “Ryanair continues to dominate at Stansted, carrying 68% of the passengers in 2011 and 82% in 2016. “
For further information and comment contact:
- Brian Ross, Deputy Chairman, SSE: M 07850 937143 or email@example.com
- Carol Barbone, Campaign Director, SSE: M 0777 552 3091 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sarah Cousins, SSE Campaign Office Manager: T 01279 814961 or email@example.com
Stop Stansted Expansion group claims Government forecasts cast doubt on case for raising passenger cap
6 November 2017
Campaigners opposed to an increase in the cap on passengers numbers at Stansted claim that new Government forecasts for growth in air travel undermine the case for expansion put forward by the airport’s owner.
The Stop Stansted Expansion group points to figures in the Department for Transport’s latest UK Aviation Forecasts document which include a “central forecast” of 31m for annual passengers numbers at Stansted in 2030 – within the current cap of 35m.
Stansted owner Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is seeing to have the cap lifted to 43m passengers a year, arguing that the increase is necessary so that spare runway capacity at Stansted can be used to meet growing demand for air travel in the decade or more before an additional runway can be completed at Heathrow.
But SSE says the Department for Transport (DfT) forecasts show that, if the new runway at Heathrow is completed in the next 10 years, passenger numbers at Stansted could actually decline, from around 24m in the past year to 22m in 2030, with the present 35m cap not being reached until 2043.
SSE chairman Peter Sanders said: “MAG’s overstatement of potential demand to secure support for expansion is nothing more than an opportunistic ploy. It is designed to take advantage of a lull during Government consultations on the future of aviation and to try to rush through permissions that might otherwise be restricted once the new aviation policy emerges towards the end of 2018.”
An aerial view of Stansted Airport. Picture: blueskyuav.co.uk
He added: “MAG has presented its case as if failure to concede a further tranche of expansion would somehow compromise the rights of the travelling public as well as the UK economy, when the Government’s own figures show this to be far from the truth.”
However, the DfT report states that the purpose of the forecasts “is primarily in informing longer term strategic policy rather than in providing detailed forecasts at each individual airport in the short term”.
It says the overall national forecast is subject to a level uncertainty, which is all the greater when applied to individual airports.
The report also says that the forecasts aim to reflect current planning restrictions and “should not be considered a cap on the development of individual airports”.
A spokesman for Stansted Airport said that its growth over the past five years had “significantly exceeded” previous projections from both the Government and the Airports Commission, effectively putting it 10 years ahead of where official forecasts said it would be.
“Unfortunately, the Government’s recently published forecasts suffer from the same fundamental flaws as their previous forecasts, in particular their failure to take account of commercial drivers that have delivered the exceptionally strong growth for Stansted Airport and its low cost carriers, such as highly competitive air fares and long term commercial agreements with airlines,” he added.
“For that reason we welcome the DfT’s acceptance that the purpose of its recently published forecasts is not to provide detailed projections for each individual airport, and the recognition that other forecasts may be more appropriate in informing local planning decisions.
“Looking to the future, our independently prepared traffic forecasts show continued strong growth at Stansted, with the airport serving 35m passengers in 2023. These forecasts provide the airport with the business case for the substantial investment in new passenger facilities that we will be making over the coming years.”
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ClientEarth is taking legal action against the UK Government for a 3rd time, over its persistent failure to deal with illegal air pollution across the country. This comes just a year after ClientEarth’s High Court victory forcing ministers to develop plans to tackle the problem. The environmental lawyers said the Defra plans still fell far short of what was needed to bring air pollution to within legal limits as soon as possible. ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said they had no choice but to take legal action, to get clarity from government. ClientEarth names the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Transport Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs in the Welsh Government as defendants. ClientEarth’s grounds for judicial review are: The latest plan backtracks on previous commitments to order 5 cities to introduce clean air zones by 2020; 2. The plan does not require any action in 45 local authorities in England, despite them having illegal levels of air pollution. 3. The plan does not require any action by Wales to bring down air pollution as quickly as possible. In order to avoid any further delay to ongoing work by Defra, DfT and local authorities, ClientEarth is not calling for the current plan to be overturned, but instead to be supplemented.
ClientEarth is taking legal action against the UK Government for a third time over its persistent failure to deal with illegal air pollution across the country.
The move comes just a year after ClientEarth’s High Court victory forcing ministers to develop plans to tackle the problem.
The environmental law organisation said the plans still fell far short of what was needed to bring air pollution to within legal limits as soon as possible.
ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “The UK Government’s stubborn failure to tackle illegal and harmful levels of pollution in this country means that we have no choice but to take legal action. We need clarity from the government and for that we’ve been forced to go back to court.”
ClientEarth’s grounds for judicial review are:
- The latest plan backtracks on previous commitments to order 5 cities to introduce clean air zones by 2020;
- The plan does not require any action in 45 local authorities in England, despite them having illegal levels of air pollution.
- The plan does not require any action by Wales to bring down air pollution as quickly as possible.
ClientEarth understands that Leicester City Council, as well as Oxford City Council have written to the government raising doubts about the plans. These include claims that the government has seriously underestimated pollution levels in their cities and excluded them from access to essential support to fight the problem.
Illegal air pollution
The UK has had illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide, which in towns and cities comes mostly from diesel vehicles, since legal limits came into effect in 2010. In order to avoid any further delay to ongoing work by Defra, DfT and local authorities, ClientEarth is not calling for the current plan to be overturned, but instead to be supplemented.
ClientEarth names the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Transport Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs in the Welsh Government as defendants.
Thornton added: “This is a national problem that requires a national solution. The government’s own evidence shows that we need a national network of charging clean air zones, which will keep the dirtiest vehicles out of the most polluted areas of our towns and cities, so why aren’t drivers being prepared for it? It’s time ministers came clean about the size of the problem and the difficult decisions needed to solve it.”
“The government should be helping people and small businesses move to cleaner forms of transport. We need fiscal policies to drive a shift away from dirty diesel, so November’s Budget will be a litmus test of the government’s resolve. The car industry helped get us into this mess so they should be helping get us out of it by contributing to a clean air fund, as they have done in Germany.”
In Germany, the government recently secured €250million from the car industry towards a fund to help German cities – where ClientEarth has been involved in a number of legal challenges – to reduce pollution. ClientEarth thinks the car industry must be part of the solution, having helped create the problem of illegal air pollution in our towns and cities in the first place.
As part of its Poisoned Playgrounds campaign, ClientEarth recently revealed that there are more than 950 schools in the UK on or near illegally polluted roads.
Latest legal challenge
ClientEarth has won two cases against the UK Government over illegal levels of air pollution in the UK.
In April 2015 the Supreme Court ordered the government to produce new air quality plans which demonstrated how it would bring air pollution down to legal levels as soon as possible.
In November 2016 the High Court declared the resulting plans illegal and ordered new ones, which were produced in July this year. It is these latest plans that ClientEarth is challenging with this latest legal action.
Related ClientEarth articles:
Government set to face fresh legal challenge from ClientEarth for inaction in cutting air pollution
Environmental lawyers, ClientEarth, are set to take the government back to court over what they say are ministers’ repeated failings to deal with the UK’s air pollution crisis. ClientEarth has already won two court battles against the government. It has has written a legal letter demanding that the environment secretary Michael Gove sets out a range of new measures to address UK air pollution. If the government fails to comply with this “letter before action”, ClientEarth will issue new proceedings and ministers are likely to face a third judicial review. The courts forced the government to produce its latest air quality plan in July but the document was widely criticised as inadequate by environmentalists and clean air campaigners. The government’s proposal had “simply passed the buck to local authorities who will have little option but to impose charges on diesel vehicles”. Better action by the government itself is needed, such as changes to the tax system to favour less polluting vehicles; a targeted diesel scrappage scheme and a “clean air fund” to help local authorities tackle pollution. In 2016 some 278 of the 391 local authorities (71%) missed their air quality targets, up from 258 in 2010 even though measures to reduce pollution are meant to be taken “in the shortest possible time”.
Reports on new research have today suggested that Heathrow airport could build a new runway without breaking European pollution laws.
Reacting to the report ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said:
“When making the decision on Heathrow the government has a moral and legal duty to protect people’s health and ensure they have the right to breathe clean air.
“It shouldn’t base its decision on optimistic modelling at best and a naive view of the car industry that has proven time and time again it can’t be trusted to bring levels of air pollution down.
Heathrow air pollution must be cut drastically
“The government’s own report recently showed that diesel cars are emitting on average six times the legal limits when tested on the roads. They have even admitted one of the reasons we have toxic air is because car makers have failed to meet legal emissions limits.”
“Last year the UK Supreme Court ordered the government to draw up new plans that would bring air pollution in London within legal limits as soon as possible.
“Even without expansion, the area around Heathrow will continue to be in breach of legal pollution limits until 2025. Air pollution around the airport needs to be cut drastically before we can think about expansion.”
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Author Jack Miles, writing in the Washington Post, says we should cut down the amount we fly. He is writing as an American, and Americans fly a great deal – the country is huge, so many flights are domestic. Jack says: “According to … Christiana Figueres, we have only three years left in which to “bend the emissions curve downward” and forestall a terrifying cascade of climate-related catastrophes.” … “Staying home, in fact, is the essence of making a big difference in a big hurry. That’s because nothing that we do pumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere faster than air travel.” … “There are 7 billion people on our planet, but the billion with the largest carbon footprint includes the most frequent fliers. I belong to the top billion. So do many of you.” … “So for the love of the Earth, our common home, our only home, start conducting more remote work meetings and training sessions virtually. Inform those jet-setting friends that you won’t attend their destination wedding in the tropics — you’ll send a gift in the mail. Tell that conference organizer that while you’re honored to be invited, you would prefer to participate in live online sessions instead. Start taking vacations by train or car, rather than flying to Paris or beyond. Explain to your ecological public interest group that the Galápagos will be much better off without you. “
For the love of Earth, stop traveling
By Jack Miles (in Washington Post)
November 2nd 2017
Jack Miles, a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur “genius” award-winning author, was a contributor to the University of California’s “Bending the Curve” report on climate stability. His forthcoming book is “God in the Koran” (Alfred A. Knopf 2018).
According to former U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres, we have only three years left in which to “bend the emissions curve downward” and forestall a terrifying cascade of climate-related catastrophes, much worse than what we’re already experiencing. Realistically, is there anything that you or I can do as individuals to make a significant difference in the short time remaining?
The answer is yes, and the good news is it won’t cost us a penny. It will actually save us money, and we won’t have to leave home to do it. Staying home, in fact, is the essence of making a big difference in a big hurry. That’s because nothing that we do pumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere faster than air travel. Cancel a couple long flights, and you can halve your carbon footprint. Schedule a couple, and you can double or triple it.
Atmosfair is a German public interest group that recommends limiting your air travel to about 3,100 miles per year — if you live in Los Angeles, that’s one round-trip flight to Mexico City. If you must exceed that limit, Atmosfair invites you to compensate by sending conscience money on a prorated basis to support climate stabilization efforts around the world. Last fall, having accepted an invitation to speak in Morocco, I used this online calculator to determine the carbon cost of my trip. My seats alone on the round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Casablanca (with a layover in Paris) helped emit about 8,400 pounds of carbon dioxide, prorated, into the atmosphere. Double that because my wife accompanied me. In sum, our seats alone on the planes to and from Morocco helped unload about 16,800 pounds of carbon dioxide. And this, of course, was just a small fraction of the emissions cost of the flight as a whole.
To put this into perspective, my wife’s and my annual carbon footprint in Orange County, California — counting gas, electricity, transportation and waste disposal — is about 33,000 pounds, according to the carbon footprint calculator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (To put that total into further perspective, the average Indian’s annual carbon footprint is just 3,000 pounds.) By taking one optional international trip that helped emit about 16,800 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, my wife and I increased our 2016 carbon footprint by more than a third. The harm we did with one international trip surely neutralized any good that we did all year as recyclers, eco-consumers and financial contributors to environmental organizations.
To put our flights’ 16,800 pounds of carbon dioxide further into perspective, the average American generates about 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year through beef consumption. Minute by minute, mile by mile, nothing that we do causes greater or more easily avoidable harm to the environment than flying, which more often than not is optional or merely recreational.
The delegates meeting in Bonn, Germany next week for the U.N. climate conference recognize this. “The lion’s share of greenhouse gas emissions” from the COP23 conference, the organizers note, “is from long-distance air travel.” After the conference, a COP23 sustainability task force will tally up the overall carbon footprint and seek to offset as much as possible by buying certified emission reduction credits, many of which will go to green development projects in small island states in recognition of Fiji holding the presidency of this conference.
There are 7 billion people on our planet, but the billion with the largest carbon footprint includes the most frequent fliers. I belong to the top billion. So do many of you. If all 7 billion had a carbon footprint as large as ours, global carbon dioxide emissions would increase from the current 38 billion tons per year to 150 billion tons — a trillion tons every seven years, according to “Bending the Curve,” a 2015 University of California report. That trillion would translate into a catastrophic spike in global warming — an increase of 33 degrees Fahrenheit every seven years.
So for the love of the Earth, our common home, our only home, start conducting more remote work meetings and training sessions virtually. Inform those jet-setting friends that you won’t attend their destination wedding in the tropics — you’ll send a gift in the mail. Tell that conference organizer that while you’re honored to be invited, you would prefer to participate in live online sessions instead. Start taking vacations by train or car, rather than flying to Paris or beyond. Explain to your ecological public interest group that the Galápagos will be much better off without you. And please, all you professionals bouncing between New York City and Washington D.C., take a train, not a plane.
The 17th-century poet Andrew Marvell warned his “coy mistress” and himself that life was brief and youth briefer. They could wish it otherwise, but:
…at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
In our day, the winged chariot that is hurrying near is species extinction. The deserts of vast eternity that lie before us are the wastelands of the planet itself as we send it to its death. But there is something you can do about all that — something big, something easily within reach, something that won’t cost you time or money.
Take a deep, slow breath, and throw away that bucket list for good. You are needed at home, my friend, urgently needed. For the love of the Earth and of those who will inherit it when you are gone, stay right where you are.
This was produced by The WorldPost, a partnership of the Berggruen Institute and The Washington Post.
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Hounslow residents are being reminded they have just 6 weeks left to submit their views on the expansion of Heathrow to the DfT, through the government’s revised draft Airports National Policy Statement which includes information on long-term aviation forecasts. The 2nd consultation on the draft NPS also provides some information on the impact of changes arising from updated noise analysis, a new air quality plan, government policy changes and responses to the first consultation. The deadline for the consultation is December 19th. A 3rd Heathrow runway, with up to 50% more flights, would have a huge impact on Hounslow – and not only by the noise of flight paths over the borough. The Leader of Hounslow Council, Councillor Steve Curran, said: “Our position on Heathrow Airport remains, as it has always been, that we’d like to see a better not bigger airport. The government’s recommended expansion at Heathrow will have a huge impact on the residents and businesses of Hounslow. The council wants to ensure that issues of noise, pollution and additional congestion are properly addressed. … I strongly urge all Hounslow residents and businesses to make sure they have their say online.”
Heathrow Airport expansion: Hounslow residents encouraged to have their say on third runway proposals
The revised draft statement includes information on long-term aviation forecasts
By Lois Swinnerton (Get West London)
6th NOV 2017
Hounslow residents are being reminded they have just over six weeks left to share their views on the expansion of Heathrow Airport .
Locals can put forward their opinions to new evidence in the government’s revised draft Airports National Policy Statement which includes information on long-term aviation forecasts.
The statement also sets out the impact of changes arising from updated noise analysis, a new air quality plan, government policy changes and responses to the first consulation.
The consultation is open until December 19, so residents will have to ensure their views are submitted online before that date.
The Department for Transport has said it is still on track to submit its final proposals to Parliament in the first half of next year, after which MPs will vote on the proposals.
If approved, work on the expansion is expected to begin at the beginning of 2021.
‘Huge impact on Hounslow’
Leader of Hounslow Council, Councillor Steve Curran, said: “Our position on Heathrow Airport remains, as it has always been, that we’d like to see a better not bigger airport.
“The government’s recommended expansion at Heathrow will have a huge impact on the residents and businesses of Hounslow.
“The council wants to ensure that issues of noise, pollution and additional congestion are properly addressed.
“This Department of Transport consultation is an important step towards a final decision and I strongly urge all Hounslow residents and businesses to make sure they have their say online.
“Have a look at all the information and put your views across.
“The consultation is open to everyone and we want to ensure voices from our borough are heard.”
.[….. then there are comments by Heathrow airport …. the usual stuff ….]
More information about the planned expansion can be found on the government’s website .
To have your say, click here .
DfT publishes another 8 week consultation on the Heathrow NPS, showing further weaknesses
As stated in September, the Government has now published a second part of its consultation on the “Airports NPS”, on building a 3rd Heathrow runway. The 8 week consultation ends on 19th December. This consultation contains updated air passenger forecasts which were not produced for the earlier NPS consultation (which ended in May). It also looks at air pollution issues, which were not covered properly before, and also noise. This consultation comes exactly one year since the Government announced it favoured a 3rd Heathrow runway. The DfT is very aware of the problem Heathrow has with air pollution saying the runway means “there remains, however, a risk that the options could delay or worsen compliance with limit values, albeit decreasing over time.” Since the report by the Airports Commission, in July 2015, the arguments it put forward for the 3rd Heathrow runway have been seriously undermined – on economics, air pollution, carbon emission, noise, cost to the taxpayer etc. Yet Government tries to push on with it. Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, commented: “It is as if our politicians have been collectively hypnotised, but sooner or later reality will click and the project will be shelved once again.” Consultation link
Click here to view full story…
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Some comments by Andy McDonnell, to the AOA conference: “None of the Brexit policy papers covered transport – which doesn’t reflect well on the government’s priorities. … Labour’s view is that any new agreements for aviation following Brexit should replicate the status quo as far as possible including retention of access to the Single European Skies system and full membership of the European Aviation Safety Agency. … Last month’s revised public consultation into proposals for a third runway at Heathrow once again highlighted the urgent need for clarity on the future of airport capacity. … Labour supports expansion provided our tests on capacity, emissions and regional benefits are met. In addition, expansion must be premised upon making better use of our existing capacity and developing a strategy to support smaller airports. … we regret that aviation is not more prominent in either the air quality plan or clean growth strategy. Labour believes the Department for Transport needs to set out in more detail how it will deliver the provisions of the Climate Change Act within aviation. … We believe that any changes [to airspace] should be made on the basis of noise impact and in full consultation with affected communities.”
Aviation industry needs urgent clarity from the government on expansion and Brexit
3 November 2017 (Transport Times)
By Andy McDonald MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
A strong aviation industry is crucial to the UK’s status as a global, outward looking nation; it is particularly important following our decision to leave the European Union.
The British aviation industry is the largest in the EU and the third largest in the world after the United States and China. It provides £50 billion of economic benefits to the UK as well as sustaining nearly a million jobs. Getting the right Brexit deal for aviation is therefore vital.
That’s why Labour has called on the government to prioritise securing an agreement on aviation as we leave the EU. None of the Brexit policy papers covered transport – which doesn’t reflect well on the government’s priorities. Airlines plan a year in advance, so working back from March 2019 means the deadline is four months away. This uncertainty is highly damaging for the industry although some companies evidently seem to be less concerned than others.
Labour’s view is that any new agreements for aviation following Brexit should replicate the status quo as far as possible including retention of access to the Single European Skies system and full membership of the European Aviation Safety Agency. Anything less will make life harder for the industry.
Last month’s revised public consultation into proposals for a third runway at Heathrow once again highlighted the urgent need for clarity on the future of airport capacity.
Labour supports expansion provided our tests on capacity, emissions and regional benefits are met. In addition, expansion must be premised upon making better use of our existing capacity and developing a strategy to support smaller airports.
The government’s consultation on its aviation strategy up to 2050 is welcome but we regret that aviation is not more prominent in either the air quality plan or clean growth strategy. Labour believes the Department for Transport needs to set out in more detail how it will deliver the provisions of the Climate Change Act within aviation.
We support the government’s proposals to modernise our airspace which were finally published last month. Modernisation can improve safety and increase efficiency while helping to constrain the environmental impact. We believe that any changes should be made on the basis of noise impact and in full consultation with affected communities.
There is a strong case for examining the overall effectiveness of air passenger duty. Is there a more effective way to drive behavioural change across the industry in terms of pollution and noise? At the very least there is a compelling case for one rate of air passenger duty across the United Kingdom.
We need to get more passengers to airports by public transport. I accept progress has been made on this but we need to go further, which is why Labour would instruct the National Infrastructure Commission to assess the surface access needs to our airports to inform future road building and investment into our rail network.
For example, the links between rail and airports for the 16 million people in the north of England are not good enough and the government’s plans for the region’s transport networks are unambitious. I know Manchester airport is investing £1 billion in a transformation programme. Labour supports a Crossrail for the North to boost connectivity between the region’s cities and drive economic growth across the north of England and into north Wales.
I don’t want to see air passengers short-changed by Brexit. UK air passenger rights following Brexit should not be less than they currently are.
The industry’s workforce is one of its greatest assets and, in consultation with the trade unions, the driving force for much of its success. Many UK airports have extensive investment plans totalling many billions of pounds. These plans are a great opportunity to boost the skills of the workforce and deliver apprenticeships, training and opportunities to local supply chains.
Three quarters of visitors to the UK come by air. Outside of the EU, we are going to need an entirely new framework for customs and border controls. The government must therefore commit to providing additional resources to Border Forces to ensure they can process the increased passenger numbers. It must also work closely with industry to adapt border arrangements following Brexit.
I am determined that new technology must not endanger the excellent safety record we have in the UK aviation industry. The government must consider bringing forward new and stronger regulations and, indeed, legislation to ensure that drones and lasers to not compromise air safety.
The Conservatives say that they are the champions of business. In fact, they are the first government in recent memory for whom the economy is not their number one priority. Labour will continue to support business and industry, including the aviation industry, through the many challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.
Edited version of a speech to the Airport Operators Association conference on 30th October.
Neil’s 400 mile walk to Scotland: Day 14 – Easter Monday meeting with Andy McDonald MP
On his 400 mile walk from Harmondsworth to Edinburgh, Neil missed spending Easter with his family – but he has his Uncle Ray, his sup[port driver. And powerful determination to save his village from a 3rd Heathrow runway. He has been walking at least 20 miles per day, getting ahead of schedule. On Bank Holiday Monday, Neil met up with Andy McDonald, MP for Middlesborough and Labour Shadow Transport Secretary. Andy was interested in the scrapbook of the Harmondsworth community that Neil is taking to Scotland, showing some of the people who would be affected by the runway. Neil and Andy talked about the amount of taxpayer money (including from people in all the regions) that would be necessary to support the runway – effectively helping fund a foreign company’s infrastructure in the south. They also talked about the tax evasion loop hole that Heathrow has exploited over the past ten years, paying high dividends but very low corporation tax. And the failure of Heathrow to live up to jobs promises in the past. Mr McDonald did say that he was looking at the government’s recommendation to see if it passed Labour’s “four tests” and that assessment is “underway.” Neil was impressed that Andy understood many of the issues well, and placed emphasis on ensuring a high quality of life for all.
Net Present Value etc NF October 2017
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The independent paper, the “Ferret” in Scotland reports that the Scottish government agency Scottish Enterprise gave more than £650,000 to Ryanair, the airline at the centre of a staffing dispute that has resulted in thousands of flights from Scottish airports being cancelled this winter. The grants were given to Ryanair in three parts, over the past 5 years. All three grants were to support Ryanair’s work at Prestwick, which is a struggling airport bought for almost nothing by the Scottish government. Environmental groups have questioned whether the grants were compatible with the Scottish Government’s “world leading” climate change targets. Despite the subsidy Ryanair is choosing to cut many routes this winter until March 2018. Neil Bibby MSP, Scottish Labour’s transport spokesperson, said: “As Ryanair is also in receipt of taxpayer support from the Scottish Government, the SNP has a particular responsibility to ensure that basic legal requirements are met and that the airline is held to the right standards. John Finnie MSP said: “Apart from lifeline routes to the islands, it’s hard to see how subsidising the aviation sector is compatible with the need to reduce CO2 emissions.”
Revealed: Ryanair’s £650,000 Scottish Government subsidy
By Jamie Mann (The Ferret)
October 1, 2017
Government agency Scottish Enterprise gave more than £650,000 to Ryanair, the airline at the centre of a staffing dispute that has resulted in thousands of flights from Scottish airports being cancelled this winter, The Ferret can reveal.
Figures obtained by The Ferret show that Scottish Enterprise (SE) – the Scottish Government’s economic development agency – gave a total of £653,523 in three grants to the firm over the last five years.
All three grants were to support Ryanair’s work at Prestwick, a company that announced a £1.1bn profit in May.
The extent of the subsidies prompted criticism from Scottish Labour who said the airline needs to “clean-up its act” over claims of poor treatment of its workers.
Environmental groups have questioned whether the government grants were compatible with the Scottish Government’s “world leading” climate change targets.
Despite the Scottish Government subsidy, a number of routes connecting with Scottish airports – including Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as Edinburgh to Szczecin, Glasgow to Las Palmas, and Hamburg to Edinburgh – will be suspended until March 2018.
Ryanair – Europe’s biggest airline – has narrowly avoided prosecution by the UK’s aviation watchdog after controversially scrapping these Scottish routes this winter.
Following the cancellations, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced it would consider taking enforcement action against the airline for not being clear with its customers over the compensation they were allowed to claim.
On Friday September 21, Ryanair notified its 715,000 passengers of their rights to compensation, just an hour before the CCA’s given deadline.
“Where we find that an airline is systematically flouting these rules, we will not hesitate to take action, to minimise the harm and detriment caused to passengers, as we have done with Ryanair in recent days”, CCA’s Chief Executive, Andrew Haines said in a statement.
“It appears that Ryanair has now capitulated. We will review their position in detail and monitor this situation to ensure that passengers get what they are entitled to in practice.”
The controversy along with news of Scottish taxpayer subsidies has prompted Scottish Labour to call on the SNP to hold Ryanair to account, and for the airline to “clean up its act.”
Neil Bibby MSP, Scottish Labour’s transport spokesperson, said: “As far as [the CCA] are concerned the company has not complied with the law and reports of cancellations and the exploitation of workers are greatly concerning.”
“Scottish Labour has previously raised concerns over SNP giveaways to companies like Amazon, which received taxpayer-funded grants while being criticised for poor workplace standards.
“As Ryanair is also in receipt of taxpayer support from the Scottish Government, the SNP has a particular responsibility to ensure that basic legal requirements are met and that the airline is held to the right standards.
“It is vital that money funnelled to private companies in grants is properly accounted for. And Ryanair needs to clean up its act.”
Aviation and huge public subsidies
News of the budget airline’s Scottish Enterprise grants comes just days after a report from the independent climate change advisory body called on the Scottish Government to do more to reduce transport emissions.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report said that the Scottish Government required “firmer policies” if it were to meet the ambitious emissions reduction targets set out in the latest Draft Climate Change Plan.
“The balance of effort in the draft Climate Change Plan between the transport and buildings sectors is unrealistic”, read one of the CCC report’s key findings.
However, the Scottish Government told The Ferret that reducing emissions and subsidising airlines like Ryanair could be done “simultaneously”.
“Scotland is a global leader in tackling climate change, while also investing in jobs and economic development,” said a Scottish Government spokesperson.
“It is not only possible to do both simultaneously, it is imperative that we do. Scotland is well on track to meet our world-leading statutory emission target for 2020.”
The spokesperson added: “We are currently considering the responses to the public consultation on our proposed Climate Change Bill that will set even more ambitious targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that we meet our obligations under the Paris Accord.”
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has long claimed – despite scientific evidence to the contrary – that man-made climate change is “complete and utter rubbish.”
But John Finnie MSP, transport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, questioned the compatibility of grants to Ryanair with the Scottish Government’s pledge to reduce emissions.
He said: “Shovelling public money into the pockets of an airline with such a bad reputation, not to mention the ignorant views of its owner, will enrage the vast majority of Scots who face poor bus services, overcrowded railways and under investment in cycling infrastructure.”
Instead, he argued that the Scottish Government should use tax payers cash to support other forms of transport. “It’s everyday transport that should be the focus of the government and its agencies, rather than expansion of the most polluting form of travel,” he stated.
“Apart from lifeline routes to the islands, it’s hard to see how subsidising the aviation sector is compatible with the need to reduce emissions.”
Environmental campaign groups also lined up to criticise the subsidies.
More about the Ferret: https://theferret.scot/subscribe/
Prestwick airport costs escalating
By Jeremy Watson (Times)
October 9 2017
Prestwick airport sucked in an additional £9.6 million of public money last year to keep it afloat, according to new figures. The total amount of taxpayers’ money given to the Ayrshire airport rose by more than 45%cent in that period from £21.3 million to £30.9 million. The Scottish government’s latest consolidated accounts reveal the amounts, which coincided with a financial year in which the business posted further losses of £9 million. Total losses for the airport in the past three financial years amount to £27.6 million. Bought for a nominal sum by the SNP government in November 2013, it is costing taxpayers almost £800,000 a month.
The most recent business plan expects total loans to reach £39.6 million by 2021 — almost double the initial estimate of £21.3 million — but most industry observers believe that additional funding will be required to keep the airport open until that date.
Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative finance spokesman, condemned the losses and increased cost to taxpayers. “Prestwick airport should not be a black hole into which the SNP government continues to plough taxpayers’ money,” he said.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “The funding given to Glasgow Prestwick airport is supporting employment that is vital to the local economy. As we made very clear at the start of the acquisition process, our investment in the airport is on a commercial basis in the form of loan funding. This attracts a market rate of interest in line with state aid rules.”
Prestwick hopes of becoming a “spaceport” boosted by deal with US company
The Scottish Government bought the loss-making airport for £1 in 2013, and is trying to find ways for it to make money. Prestwick now has hopes of becoming a “space hub” delivering small satellites and tourists into low-level orbit. The Scottish Government will provide a funding package, for 2 years, of £240,000 from South Ayrshire Council and Scottish Enterprise. This will cover “infrastructure, business development, energy reduction and supply chain development.” The Queen’s Speech in May confirmed aims to drive through the complex legislation needed to certify the safe operation of space vehicles through the Modern Transport Bill. The DfT is setting up a regulatory framework to license individual sites, with Prestwick and two other Scottish locations – Campbeltown on the west coast and Stornoway in the Western Isles – among those short-listed last year. There are hopes of jobs, if the project goes ahead. Prestwick has now signed a memorandum of understanding with California-based space launch vehicle designer XCOR Aerospace, and space plane design and operating company Orbital Access Limited, setting out an action plan. This would be a competitor to the Virgin Galactic sub-orbital passenger flights, taking 2 passengers at a time into an orbit of 350,000 feet for a short time, at immense cost
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Prestwick Airport taxpayer bailout doubles to £40 million by 2021/22
Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of covering up the true cost to the taxpayer of buying Prestwick Airport after she kept secret the existence of a new estimate predicting it would almost double to £40 million. An Audit Scotland investigation into the purchase found that a revised business plan produced in May last year forecast that public loans to loss-making Prestwick would reach £39.6 million by 2021/22. Ms Sturgeon did not tell MSPs that the predicted cost had increased from the original estimate of £21.3 million when she gave evidence to a Holyrood inquiry the following month. She also did not reveal that the passenger forecasts for the first 5 years had been dramatically cut. Labour are complaining about the handling of the airport problem by the SNP. Prestwick was losing £800,000 per month, and passenger numbers had more than halved to 1.1 million between 2007 and 2013. It was on the market for 18 months but no private buyer emerged. The Scottish government bought it for £1 hoping to protect 3,200 jobs and safeguard a “strategic” asset. So far the government has handed over £9 million and have committed to provide a further £16.2 million by the end of March 2016.
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Heathrow’s 3rd runway could harm efforts to stay under EU air pollution limits, a report published by the government has warned. An assessment by engineering consultancy WSP of the government’s 2017 Air Quality Plan, which was published in July following several legal battles with lawyers ClientEarth, said the proposed runway affect UK compliance with the EU’s Ambient Air Quality Directive. If the runway opened between 2026 and 2030 it is unlikely that concentrations of NO2 in central London would have fallen sufficiently to remove the risk of Heathrow negatively impacting EU limit value compliance. With government forecasts on air passenger numbers, and a lot of new evidence on air pollution, the DfT had to publish a fresh consultation on the revised Airports National Policy Statement on the 3rd runway scheme. The government said it was on track to publish final proposals for expansion at Heathrow in the first half of 2018, before they are voted on in Parliament. Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat Leader, said the fact the NPS consultation has had to be reopened shows the Government’s case remains deeply flawed. “It is difficult to see how a third runway can be delivered without breaching legal air pollution limits.
This is the government document on air quality, as part of the 2nd NPS consultation
This report assesses the implications of the government’s new air quality plan
Heathrow expansion ‘could delay’ air quality compliance
25 OCTOBER, 2017
BY GREG PITCHER (New Civil Engineer)
Heathrow’s third runway could harm efforts to stay under European Union air pollution limits, a report published by the government has warned.
An assessment by engineering consultancy WSP of the government’s 2017 Air Quality Plan, which was published in July following several legal battles with an environmental law group, said the proposed north-west runway at the west London airport could impact on compliance with the EU’s Ambient Air Quality Directive.
“With proposed opening of the scheme between 2026 and 2030 it is unlikely that concentrations in central London will have fallen sufficiently to remove the risk of the airport expansion impacting on EU limit value compliance,” said the study.
The document was published amid a raft of information as ministers launched a fresh consultation on revised airports policy ahead of a vote on the controversial project next year.
It comes almost exactly a year after transport secretary Chris Grayling confirmed that a third runway at Heathrow was the government’s preferred way of boosting capacity in the South East.
An initial consultation on the draft Airports National Policy Statement concluded in May this year but the government has revised the policy in light of responses and fresh evidence, particularly about how the third runway could impact air quality. This week it launched a new consultation on the revised statement.
Amid the flurry of publications, a framework for balanced decisions on design and use of airspace signalled a U-turn on previous proposals to transfer noise control responsibility to certain airports.
And a forecasts document showed predictions that Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and City airports would be at full capacity by 2030, with Stansted reaching full capacity by 2040 along with Bristol and Southampton.
The government said it was on track to publish final proposals for expansion at Heathrow in the first half of 2018 before a vote in Parliament.
Grayling said: “The case for expanding Heathrow is as strong as ever and we want to hear your views on it. This is an important consultation and I encourage everybody to get involved across the UK.”
Heathrow described the latest consultation as a “key milestone”.
“The forecasts show expanding Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, is even more important than previously realised,” said a spokesperson for the airport.
“A third runway will ensure Britain’s place in the world as an outward looking trading nation. That’s why the government has committed to a final vote on expansion in the first half of 2018.
“Today’s consultation will be welcomed by business groups, trade unions and the majority of MPs who all recognise that expanding Heathrow is the only option to connect all of Britain to global growth.”
DfT publishes another 8 week consultation on the Heathrow NPS, showing further weaknesses
As stated in September, the Government has now published a second part of its consultation on the “Airports NPS”, on building a 3rd Heathrow runway. The 8 week consultation ends on 19th December. This consultation contains updated air passenger forecasts which were not produced for the earlier NPS consultation (which ended in May). It also looks at air pollution issues, which were not covered properly before, and also noise. This consultation comes exactly one year since the Government announced it favoured a 3rd Heathrow runway. The DfT is very aware of the problem Heathrow has with air pollution saying the runway means “there remains, however, a risk that the options could delay or worsen compliance with limit values, albeit decreasing over time.” Since the report by the Airports Commission, in July 2015, the arguments it put forward for the 3rd Heathrow runway have been seriously undermined – on economics, air pollution, carbon emission, noise, cost to the taxpayer etc. Yet Government tries to push on with it. Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, commented: “It is as if our politicians have been collectively hypnotised, but sooner or later reality will click and the project will be shelved once again.”
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Heathrow expansion: consultation reopened to examine new evidence
By Adam Shaw (Harrow Times)
Heathrow opposition welcome second consultation on expansion scheme
Politicians have voiced their opposition to the proposed expansion at Heathrow Airport, as a new public consultation opened.
The Government believes that building a third runway at the UK’s busiest airport is preferable to expanding Gatwick.
However, a second consultation was announced by transport minister Chris Grayling to examine new evidence and those opposed to the move have urged the public to voice their opinions.
The decision is considered particularly relevant to Harrow, a region which is likely to be affected by any growth at Heathrow.
Harrow Liberal Democrats said new flight paths would mean an increase in noise for people living in the borough.
They also cited the short-sightedness in not including it in the original consultation “despite it being closer than other areas that were consulted”.
Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat Leader, said: “I urge all those concerned about the environmental and social impact of Heathrow expansion to make their voice heard through this consultation.
“The fact this consultation has had to be reopened shows the Government’s case remains deeply flawed.
“It is difficult to see how a third runway can be delivered without breaching legal air pollution limits.
“We will continue to work with other parties in Parliament to stop Heathrow expansion in its tracks.”
His opinion was echoed by Harrow East MP Bob Blackman who once again expressed his support for the rival expansion plan at Gatwick.
He said: “I remain steadfast in my opposition to the addition of another runway at Heathrow, since concerns continue to be raised about the environmental impact and the resultant noise and pollution would be extremely detrimental to Harrow.
“The case for a second runway at Gatwick is, in my opinion, far stronger, with less impact on the environment and residents living in the vicinity.”
Harrow residents have until December 17 to put forward their opinion about the third runway scheme.
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Stansted Airport is to host three community feedback events, about its revised proposals for future growth over the next decade. There was an earlier consultation in July about growth plans. The 3 events will provide people with a further opportunity to raise questions about how Stansted intends to grow, the impacts of that growth, and how it could make best use of its existing capacity. Currently Stansted has a planning cap on the annual number of passengers, of 35 million. It initially proposed this being raised to 44.5 million (just under the 10 million rise, that would require it to be dealt with an Nationally Significant Infrastructure project, but a different process) and has now reduced this to 43 million. Stansted claims this could be achieved without increasing the number of aircraft movements (= flights) that are currently permitted to operate each year or the size of the airport’s approved noise ‘footprint’. A key issue for local people who would be affected by the expansion is noise, and just how much that would get, if an extra 8 million passengers per year were permitted. That would require planes being fuller, and also larger planes – which inevitably are noisier than smaller ones, even with new technologies to reduce noise. Stansted will next submit the final planning application to Uttlesford District Council in early 2018.
Stansted Airport to host series of feedback events for revised growth proposals
By Catherine Johnson (Braintree and Witham Times)
Stansted Airport is to host community feedback events to update residents about its revised proposals for future growth over the next decade.
Airport staff will be at three locations to report back on the extensive consultation with communities over the summer, during which residents’ views were gathered on plans to raise the cap on the number of passengers that can be served each year.
The latest events will provide people with a further opportunity to raise questions about how Stansted intends to grow responsibly and make best use of its existing capacity.
Around 26 million passengers use the airport each year, an increase of nearly 10 million passengers over the past five years, but Stansted’s growth potential is limited by a planning cap which would prevent the airport handling more than 35 million passengers per annum (mppa).
Following feedback at the consultation events, Stansted is now hoping to raise the cap to 43mppa to enable it to meet growth in passengers over the next decade, down from the original proposal of 44.5mppa.
This reduction will enable growth to be met without increasing the number of aircraft movements that are currently permitted to operate each year or the size of the airport’s approved noise ‘footprint’.
Paul Willis, London Stansted Airport’s transformation director, said: “Our consultation events over the summer were attended by over 700 people and provided us with invaluable feedback on our responsible growth and investment plans, and our aim to further increase the choice of destinations served at Stansted.
“While there was wide community support for the benefits that growth would bring, local residents were concerned about the proposal to increase the number of flights that the airport is permitted to operate each year.
“We’ve listened carefully to those concerns and made changes to our plans so growth can be met within the current flight and environmental limits.
“We believe this is good news for local residents but feel it’s right and appropriate that we continue to engage and provide our neighbours with the opportunity to find out more information and raise any further questions they may have.
“We have chosen locations where residents showed the most interest in our plans and would urge as many people as possible to come along so we can listen to their views and share more details before we submit the final planning application to Uttlesford District Council in early 2018.”
November 21, 4pm to 8pm at Radisson Blu Hotel, Waltham Close, Stansted Airport, CM24 1PP (free parking is provided at the hotel)
November 23, 4pm to 8pm at St Michael’s Church, 1 Windhill, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 2ND
December 1, 4pm to 8m at Talberd Room, Foakes Hall, Stortford Road, Great Dunmow, CM6 1DG
Stansted Airport lowers growth target from 44.5 million to 43 million per year
Stansted Airport has scaled-back its expansion plans, saying it will achieve is growth ambitions without seeking any increase in the number of flights it is allowed to handle. Stansted current has permission for 35 million passengers per year, while it currently has about 25 million. But the airport said in June that it ‘urgently’ needs the cap to be raised to 44.5 million. Stansted is now saying it wants the cap raised to 43 million, not 44.5 million – and they can accommodate that growth by use of larger planes. They say they can get to 43 million passengers without increasing the noise “footprint” that is already authorised under the current capping arrangements. Stansted is hoping to get a lot of growth in passenger numbers, in the time before (if it ever happens) a 3rd Heathrow runway is built. Stansted hoped to get the growth to 44.5 million passengers, about 9 million more than now, through on a regular planning application – rather than having to go through the more rigorous National Infrastructure process, that would be needed for a 10 million passenger increase. Local campaign Stop Stansted Expansion said: “People shouldn’t be hoodwinked by Stansted Airport’s spin doctors. The new planning application would still mean an extra 1,800 flights a week compared to today’s levels.” There will now be more feedback sessions by Stansted during November, before a final planning application to Uttlesford Council early in 2018.
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Stansted had 25m passengers this year – finally well above levels in 2007 after years of declines
Stansted airport had 25 million passengers in the past year, its highest number ever. Numbers of passengers using Stansted have been growing rapidly in recent years following its acquisition in 2013 from the former BAA group by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) – and the end of the recession that started in 2008. There are now some new operators, as well as increased activity by established airlines, including Ryanair. Stansted says it now has 190 destinations, and a growing route network. They are now having their busiest summer ever, and hope to get to 26.5 million passengers by the end of 2017. Ryanair said that since its first Stansted flight in 1989, it has carried over 230 million passengers through Stansted with over 140 Stansted routes. The airport has recently given formal notification of its intention to submit a planning application later this year to seek permission to grow to an annual throughput of 44.5 million passengers and 285,000 flights. This compares to last year’s throughput of 24 million passengers and 180,000 flights. Stansted only got back the number of passengers it had in 2007 by 2016 – after years of declines.
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Stop Stansted Expansion warn people not to be hoodwinked by deceptive displays about airport’s growth plans
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has issued a warning to residents across the region not to be hoodwinked by Stansted Airport’s smoke-and-mirror exhibition and biased consultation survey on its further expansion plans. Both appear designed to trick people into thinking that further Stansted expansion in passenger number will be painless and sustainable. They make these claims, even before the environmental impacts have been assessed. The displays are deliberately misleading, and SSE says people should be very sceptical. Brian Ross, SSE’s deputy chairman, said the displays are all about spinning the positives and saying nothing about the negatives.” People attending the exhibitions need to ask searching questions, like explanations about the proposed increase in flight lights compared to today. And and passenger movements compared to the position today. This, say SSE, reveals a very different picture from the one being put forward by Stansted’s bosses who have been making the false claim that the extra passenger numbers will only lead to “approximately two extra flights an hour”. In reality the proposal would mean an extra 2,000 flights a week compared to today’s levels – 285 per day. That means an increase from on average of a plane every 2¼ minutes, to a plane every 85 seconds. Stansted current has permission for 35 million passengers per year, while it currently has about 25 million. But the airport says it ‘urgently’ needs the cap to be raised to 44.5 million. And see this link too.
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Stop Stansted Expansion brands airport expansion plans as premature and opportunistic
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has condemned Stansted Airport for insulting the intelligence of Uttlesford District Council (UDC) and the community at large by claiming that its latest expansion proposals will have “no significant adverse environmental effects”. SSE’s Chairman Peter Sanders has further stressed the need for the council not to be hoodwinked by the airport’s spurious claim and to ensure a comprehensive, honest and thorough assessment of all the environmental impacts that would result from major expansion. The statement comes following the airport’s formal notification of its intention to submit a planning application later this year to seek permission to grow to an annual throughput of 44.5 million passengers and 285,000 flights. This compares to last year’s throughput of 24 million passengers and 180,000 flights. If approved, this would mean an extra 20 million passengers and an extra 104,000 flights every year blighting the lives of thousands across the region. Stansted hasn’t even started to make use of its 2008 permission to grow from 25mppa to 35mppa. Even by its own projections, the airport doesn’t expect to reach 35mppa until 2024 although the credibility of its forecasts is questionable given its wildly inaccurate record on this front.
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The Transport Committee is to carry out an inquiry into the DfT’s revised proposal for an Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) – tabled by the Government on 24 October. The DfT consultation is to end on 19th December, after just 8 weeks. The NPS must receive Parliamentary approval before Heathrow Airport can submit a development consent application to the Planning Inspectorate, which then makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State on whether planning consent should be granted. The Transport Committee (Chair is Lilian Greenwood) will run this second inquiry, as the work of the previous committee was cut short by the general election in June. Some members of the committee have changed since before the election – and the previous Chair was Louise Ellman. This inquiry will specifically look at, and want submissions on, “whether the DfT’s revised passenger demand forecasts and air quality assessments have been satisfactorily completed and are represented accurately in the final version of the NPS and Appraisal of Sustainability” – and on “whether any other changes to the NPS based on clarity intention and/or Government policy since February 2017 are suitable.” The deadline for submissions to the Transport committee is Thursday 30 November 2017.
Airports National Policy Statement inquiry launched by Parliament’s Transport Committee
01 November 2017
The Transport Committee is to carry out an inquiry into the revised proposal for an Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) tabled by the Government on 24 October.
The final report from the Airports Commission (July 2015) (PDF 6.8MB) concluded that the proposal for a northwest runway at Heathrow Airport provided the best option for runway expansion in South East England. In October 2016, the Government announced that the runway was its preferred scheme.
The plans have been included in the draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS), subject to consultation in accordance with the wider procedures laid down in the Planning Act 2008.
The NPS must receive Parliamentary approval before Heathrow Airport can submit a development consent application to the Planning Inspectorate, which then makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State on whether planning consent should be granted.
Draft NPS and previous Committee work
The draft Airports National Policy Statement (NPS) was published by the Department for Transport in February 2017, setting out:
- The need for additional airport capacity in the south-east of England
- Why Government believes that need is best met by a north-west runway at Heathrow Airport
- The specific requirements that the applicant for a new north-west runway will need to meet to gain development consent
The Committee’s predecessor in the last Parliament started an inquiry into the proposal for an NPS. It called for submissions on:
- The clarity of the NPS in terms of scope and its applicability to other airport expansion applications in the South East, outside of a Northwest Runway at Heathrow
- How well the proposal reflects Government policy on airports and aviation more generally
- The suitability of the Government’s evidence and rationale for the need for a Northwest Runway at Heathrow
- How well the proposal takes account of other aspects of the Government’s transport strategy
- How comprehensive the proposal is in terms of the supporting measures for those communities who will be impacted by expansion
- How well the proposal takes account of sustainability and environmental considerations and the adequacy of relevant documentation and information published alongside the draft proposal
- The extent to which the NPS provides clear guidance to the Secretary of State about how to assess the proposed scheme
- The effectiveness of the Government’s consultation on the proposal
Our predecessor’s inquiry was terminated by the dissolution of Parliament ahead of the general election on 8 June 2017.
Submit your views
We are launching an inquiry into the revised proposal for an NPS tabled by the Government on 24 October. We will draw on the evidence submitted during the previous Transport Select Committee inquiry and there is no need for anyone to resubmit evidence previously submitted to our predecessors. However, the Committee welcomes further submissions from those that have previously submitted evidence or new submissions addressing the points set out above.
The Committee would like to receive additional submissions from stakeholders based on the latest round of consultation launched by the Government on the 24 October 2017. The Committee is particularly interested in receiving submissions on:
- Whether the revised passenger demand forecasts and air quality assessments have been satisfactorily completed and are represented accurately in the final version of the NPS and Appraisal of Sustainability
- Whether any other changes to the NPS based on clarity intention and/or Government policy since February 2017 are suitable
Submit your view through our Airports NPS inquiry page.
Deadline for written submissions is Thursday, 30 November 2017.
Chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said:
“The Committee has a vital role in scrutiny when it comes to the important issue of expanding runway capacity in the South East. The Department for Transport has launched consultation on the revised version of the draft Airports National Policy Statement. Our inquiry will examine, in detail, the Government’s plans for delivering the new runway, including the economic benefits, mitigating the environmental impact and the action proposed to support affected communities. The Committee will report back with findings, making sure that the evidence base and supporting measures are sufficient for the third runway at Heathrow to gain Parliamentary approval.”
Members – Transport Committee
Lilian Greenwood MP was elected as Chair of the Transport Committee on Wednesday 12 July 2017.
The remaining members of the Committee were formally appointed on Monday 11 September 2017.
The members of the Transport Committee, before Parliament was dissolved for the June 2017 election, were:
Transport Committee – members
Mrs Louise Ellman was elected as Chair of the Transport Committee on 17 June 2015.
The remaining members of the Committee were formally appointed on 8 July 2015.
so while many MPs remain on the committee now, many are new. They did not assess the evidence from their earlier inquiry.
Transport Committee announces start of its inquiry into (Heathrow) Airports NPS (24th March deadline for evidence)
When he was Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin told the Transport Select Committee that there would be a 3 month inquiry, by a select committee, into the draft National Policy Statement for a Heathrow runway. He said in February 2015 that the inquiry would take place after the end of the NPS consultation. Now the Transport Select Committee has announced, just 20 days after the publication by the DfT of the draft NPS consultation, the start of their own inquiry into the NPS. They are only taking written evidence until the deadline of 24th March. The committee’s website does not say what happens next, if or when witnesses would be called, etc. The Committee says they are interested to hear more about a variety of issues including: “How well the proposal reflects government policy on airports and aviation more generally” … “The suitability of the Government’s evidence and rationale in support of a north-west runway at Heathrow” … “How well the proposal takes account of other aspects of the Government’s transport strategy.” … “How comprehensive the proposal is in terms of the supporting measures for affected communities” … “How well the proposal takes account of sustainability and environmental considerations and the adequacy of relevant documentation and information published alongside the draft proposal.” And so on.
Surprise! None of the Transport Select Committee members, wanting rapid Heathrow decision, live anywhere affected by a vast airport
“Colnbrook Views” has pointed out that, while the Commons Transport Select Committee is very eager to get a new runway built at Heathrow as soon as possible, none of its members live anywhere at all near London. The Committee have asked the government to make a rapid decision, to back a Heathrow runway, apparently not having much grasp of the extent of the environmental (or social, or even economic) problems involved. Their attitude is that: “We accept that the package of measures to mitigate environmental impacts needs careful consideration and further work. We do not accept that all of this needs to be done before a decision is taken on location. In fact a decision on location would give more focus and impetus to this work.” ie. decide first. – see if the problems can be sorted out afterwards. None of the MPs on the Committee themselves experience the problems of living near an airport of the scale of Heathrow. The Chair is Louise Ellman, the MP for Liverpool. The constituencies of the others are: Stoke on Trent South; North Tyneside; Lincoln; Glasgow South; Fylde; Bexhill and Battle; Colchester; Milton Keynes South; Blackley and Broughton; Cleethorpes. Perhaps if the problems facing the Heathrow Villages were in any of these constituencies, they might not be so gung-ho?
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