Sir David Higgins, who is currently the chairman of High Speed 2 (HS2), has been appointed chairman of Gatwick airport. He takes up his post on January 1st. He replaces Sir Roy McNulty who will remain on the board at Gatwick as deputy chairman. Sir David Higgins has said the case for Gatwick to get a 2nd runway “remains strong” though “the challenge for Gatwick now is to continue to invest so it can maximise the use of its existing facilities and so can do even more for Britain in the coming years.” He has been chairman of the HS2 high speed rail project since March 2014. He is paid £240,000 for three days a week at HS2 and is understood to be remaining in post as chair for up to a year, until a replacement is found and as the search for a new chief executive continues.
Incoming Gatwick Airport chairman Sir David Higgins says case for future runway expansion remains strong
GATWICK Airport’s new chairman has told how the case for future expansion still remains strong.
Sir David Higgins, who is currently the chairman of High Speed 2 (HS2), has been appointed chairman and made the comments ahead of taking up his post on January 1.
He will replace Sir Roy McNulty who will remain on the board at the West Sussex airport as deputy chairman.
Gatwick’s bid to build a second runway was rejected by the Government in October in favour of Heathrow expansion.
Sir David said: “Whilst the case for Gatwick expansion in the future remains very strong, the challenge for Gatwick now is to continue to invest so it can maximise the use of its existing facilities and so can do even more for Britain in the coming years.”
He has been chairman of the HS2 high speed rail project since March 2014.
Prior to that he was chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority for London 2012 from 2005 to 2011, and held the same position at Network Rail between 2011 and 2014.
Sir David “combines a first class intellect with the ability to give clear strategic direction and make things happen”, Sir Roy said.
He added: “He is exactly the right person to lead Gatwick through the next chapter in its development.”
A spokesman for HS2 Ltd said: “David isn’t leaving. He’s with us for at least another year.”
Simon Kirby left his position as the rail firm’s chief executive this week to take a senior role at aerospace giant Rolls-Royce.
Sir David told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee on Monday that Mr Kirby’s successor could be paid a bonus to avoid them being bought off by the private sector.
Gatwick operates the world’s busiest single runway airport, with 42.7 million passengers in the 12 months to November.
HS2 chairman, Sir David Higgins, to become Chairman at Gatwick from 1st January 2017
Sir David Higgins becomes chairman at Gatwick as high-speed rail project continues to look for permanent chief executive. Higgins, who also spends time working in Australia as a director of the Commonwealth Bank, will take over from Sir Roy McNulty on 1 January. He is paid £240,000 for three days a week at HS2 and is understood to be remaining in post as chair for up to a year, until a replacement is found and as the search for a new chief executive continues. Gatwick is continuing to invest and remains poised to push its claim for a 2nd runway should Heathrow’s planned expansion be blocked by parliament next year. Higgins said Gatwick had made “remarkable progress” in recent years: “Whilst the case for Gatwick expansion in the future remains very strong, the challenge for Gatwick now is to continue to invest so it can maximise the use of its existing facilities and so can do even more for Britain in the coming years.” Sir Roy McNulty is thought to be continuing as deputy chairman.
New regular flights from Aberdeen and Edinburgh to Heathrow, starting on 26th March 2017, have been announced by Flybe. These will be Flybe’s first flights to Heathrow. There will be 4 flights from Edinburgh on weekdays, and 3 from Aberdeen, making a total of 40 weekly flights per week. They will be using slots made available to Flybe at the insistence of the European Commission, after the takeover of BMI. Airlines hope to get Scottish passengers to link into long haul flights from Heathrow, with all the usual claims about economic benefits etc. Simon Calder says Flybe will inherit the dormant Heathrow slots and will challenge British Airways on the Edinburgh and Aberdeen routes. The fares may fall due to the competition. But the BA flights will be faster. The air fares could be around £85 to £130 for a return ticket.
New regular flights from Aberdeen and Edinburgh to London Heathrow have been announced by Flybe.
The regional airline said it is the first time it will serve the largest London airport.
There will be four flights from Edinburgh on weekdays, and three from Aberdeen, starting on 26 March 2017.
The slots at Heathrow were made available to Flybe at the insistence of the European Commission, after the takeover of BMI.
Including weekend departures, there will be more than 40 scheduled flights from Edinburgh and Aberdeen to Heathrow each week.
Flybe Executive Chairman Simon Laffin said: “We are delighted to announce our first flights to London Heathrow, significantly enhancing our UK domestic route network and offering even better links between Scotland and London.
“The new routes to Heathrow complement the existing ones we operate to London City, and will benefit our business customers and customers in Scotland who want to connect with our long haul codeshare partners.”
Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye added: “Improving the connections into Heathrow from all around the UK will be vital in helping to secure the economic future of communities in every corner of the nation.
“Today’s announcement shows that the measures we’re introducing, such as the £10 reduction on domestic passenger charges, are already working to secure vital links.”
He went on: “With Flybe based at Terminal 2, it also means new, unique direct access from Heathrow to markets such Colombia, Taipei and Auckland.”
From 26 March 2017, Flybe will inherit the dormant slots at Heathrow for flights to and from Aberdeen and Edinburgh. The Exeter-based airline will challenge British Airways on those routes, and some test bookings suggest that fares are already falling as a result. But BA will have a distinct edge over the newcomer in terms of speed.
On the Edinburgh-Heathrow route, the quickest British Airways flight is 85 minutes, with the average journey scheduled for one-and-a-half hours. But all three daily Flybe services will take two hours. The fastest train between the Scottish and English capitals takes only four hours.
The distance between Edinburgh and Heathrow airports is 333 miles. The schedules published by airlines are “block times”, from pushing back at one airport to reaching the stand at the destination.
The actual flying time for a British Airways Airbus jet is less than an hour if no holding is required before landing at Heathrow, but slack is built in for queuing on the ground and “stacking” over the Home Counties waiting for a landing slot.
The aircraft that Flybe will use for the link is believed to be the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, a propellor plane with a maximum cruising speed of 414mph — which the maker calls a “jet-like” speed. The top cruising speed of BA’s Airbus A320 is 533mph, about 30 per cent higher. But on a relatively short hop, aircraft are in the cruise for a short spell.
On the 403-mile trip from Aberdeen to Heathrow, Flybe is allowing two hours and 15 minutes, compared with as little as 90 minutes on BA.
Analysis of fares suggests that travellers will benefit from the new competition. The Independent checked Sunday out/Monday back journeys from Aberdeen to Heathrow in March 2017. On the first three weekends, when British Airways has the route to itself, BA’s lowest return fare is £129. But on the final weekend, when Flybe starts up, the BA fare falls to £85 — just £1 more than Flybe.
The advertising industry is salivating about the advertising opportunities it hopes will come from a new Heathrow terminal and runway. There are hopes for hugely more hoardings and outdoor adverts around the airport, as well as in terminals. By the time the expansion might take place, after 2026, “through vastly increased computing processing power and more easily accessible data sets, the opportunities available to airport advertisers will most likely be multi-sensory, integrated, ultra-targeted communications, far beyond what’s available today. Through this development, brands will find a way to be a seamless part of the traveller’s experience.” … “targeting will go beyond the airport as those travelling by coach to catch a flight could be served with ads for holiday insurance along the motorway.”…”advertisers must also consider the unique mind-set of the airport traveller. Consumers are both enjoying down time away from the daily routine, and simultaneously anticipating the excitement of a departure. This unique state of mind, combined with dwell time, opens up opportunities for brands to offer key life moment purchases, for example a new car or mortgage.” And yet more nauseating consumer stuff, generating more excess consumption in association with more air travel.
Why Heathrow’s third runway is a milestone for advertisers
13.12.2016 (Real Business)
Hailed as a “truly momentous decision” by transport secretary Chris Grayling, the government’s go-ahead of Heathrow’s third runway has delivered a succinct and clear message to global brands and advertisers – that the UK is open for business. [That is the standard sound bite patter that is put out about the Heathrow runway, as its advertising slogan, meaning about as much as “Brexit means Brexit” … AW comment]
After years of delays, set-backs and false starts, the government finally approved [they have not approved it – they said that is the scheme they hope to get built …. AW note] a third runway at Heathrow. The first full-length runway in the south-east since World War II will [it is is ever built] mean hundreds of thousands of extra flights in the West London airport and a huge impact on the UK economy.
The expansion won’t come cheap though – it’s expected to cost £17.6bn to build the additional runway. That aside, the third runway is predicted to be the catalyst for economic benefits worth up to £61bn, as well as creating up to 77,000 additional local jobs. [The actual figure, calculated by the DfT in October is more like 37,700 jobs by 2030 – the 77,000 figure is seen as too high, but the DfT persist in keeping that figure on their website, saying it is a “range” … AW note] The move will also create new and lucrative opportunities for other business sectors, not least the UK’s media and marketing industry.
In a time of nationwide economic uncertainty, the UK airport media landscape is in rude health.This year has seen a number of pivotal developments including the recent acquisition of Airport Media by OOH media operator Primesight, meaning that airport ad sales are now largely handled under two roofs (Primesight and JCDecaux), making media planners’ lives that bit easier.
OOH inventory has also seen something of an upgrade with new and improved screens being added alongside existing landmark sites, such as JCDecaux’s imposing digital towers, wowing passengers in departures at Terminal 5.
Heathrow’s third runway is set to eclipse all recent developments though and will create opportunities not just for West London, but all UK airports. With many UK-based passengers typically driving to Heathrow airport from afar, the third runway will see an improvement of British air-links, increasing advertising reach in regional airports.Media opportunities will improve, and offer a wider network of digital sites across all media owners.
But don’t expect that change to happen immediately. Given the opening of the new terminal and runway is likely to be at least ten years away, what’s important to consider is the advancement of technology and the likely implementation of ground-breaking hardware integrated into the architecture by that time. And by 2026, through vastly increased computing processing power and more easily accessible data sets, the opportunities available to airport advertisers will most likely be multi-sensory, integrated, ultra-targeted communications, far beyond what’s available today. Through this development, brands will find a way to be a seamless part of the traveller’s experience.
Brands that understand the customer’s new “active journey” will have an opportunity to reach airport passengers with the right message at the right time.
Outdoor advertising was long considered a passive medium, but this has changed. Consumers out-of-home are shopping, socialising and travelling – all while hooked up to a connected device, which is creating a plethora of new opportunities for advertisers.
For example, targeting will go beyond the airport as those travelling by coach to catch a flight could be served with ads for holiday insurance along the motorway.
Or arrivals to the UK could be targeted with ads for hotel booking sites as they exit the airport. Thanks to tech advancements, OOH advertising is becoming increasingly contextual, delivering messaging relevant to the advertising environment.
Within the airport space, advertisers need to be flexible and offer something new and enticing to consumers. This can be achieved in a number of ways; from contextual targeting to full-on experiential brand experiences. Advancements are also being facilitated by tech innovations such as bluetooth beacons, facial recognition and enhanced connectivity which are already changing the game, providing key data for airports and advertisers.
As well as relevant messaging and tech innovations, advertisers must also consider the unique mind-set of the airport traveller. Consumers are both enjoying down time away from the daily routine, and simultaneously anticipating the excitement of a departure. This unique state of mind, combined with dwell time, opens up opportunities for brands to offer key life moment purchases, for example a new car or mortgage.
Airports have long offered brands rare advertising opportunities, but landmark developments such as Heathrow’s third runway will ensure airports are a crucial environment for a growing myriad of brands. Advertisers that take advantage of OOH’s broadcast power, tech innovations and the unique mind-set of the traveller will see their campaigns take flight.
The lobby group funded and staffed by Heathrow, “Back Heathrow”, has had the (ill judged) nerve to criticise councils for spending money to oppose their expansion plans. Back Heathrow has attacked Hillingdon Council for spending more than £800,000 between 2007 and August 2016 on fighting the 3rd runway, while cutting public services. Back Heathrow say Hillingdon is having to make cuts of £309,000 in early support service and children’s centres, with the threat of £100,000 more cuts next year. And they complain that Richmond has spent nearly £109,000 opposing Heathrow expansion between 2007 and 2014 – and so on with other councils. Heathrow is trying to give the impression that residents in these boroughs want the runway, and councils are wasting money. They ignore the inconvenient fact that there is huge opposition to the runway within these councils, and the councils can see not only the effect of noise, air pollution and congestion the runway would cause, but also the social and infrastructure stresses – for example, on housing demand. Heathrow’s plans are costing, and could continue to cost, these councils a great deal of money. Heathrow is responsible for a lot of public money that taxpayers would have to fork out, to deal with the impact of its expansion.
London boroughs slammed for ‘wasting money on Heathrow third runway opposition while cutting services’
NICHOLAS CECIL (Evening Standard)
A London town hall came under fire today for spending more than £800,000 on fighting a third runway at Heathrow while cutting public services.
Pro-expansion group Back Heathrow criticised Hillingdon for the expenditure between 2007 and August this year to try to stop the west London airport expanding.
The group claimed Hillingdon is implementing £309,000 of cuts in early support service and children’s centres, with the threat of £100,000 more next year.
It added that Richmond spent nearly £109,000 opposing Heathrow expansion between 2007 and 2014, and a further £9,100 on lobbying against another runway in the past year.
It also claimed the town hall was proposing to cut £60,000 from a fund used to help vulnerable local children in care who are trying to start careers, though this was disputed.
Windsor and Maidenhead, where Theresa May is the local MP, spent £30,000 of taxpayers’ money on polling on Heathrow between January 2015 and August this year. Back Heathrow said the council had come under fire for proposals to cut a free school travel scheme which it claimed could cost some families £750 a year.
Its campaign director Rob Gray said: “Many taxpayers will be furious that while vital local public services are being cut, their money is being wasted on expensive lawyers to challenge a government decision that will bring thousands of jobs and investment to west London.”
But the town halls rejected the criticism. Hillingdon council said: “Hillingdon residents have repeatedly voiced their opposition to any expansion at Heathrow, and our job is to represent their views and challenge this decision by the Government to back a third runway.”
It added that David Cameron’s “no ifs, no buts” promise of no third runway had been broken, and “we have been left with no choice but to fight this in the courts”.
Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead have launched legal proceedings against the Government which Back Heathrow said could cost £200,000.
Richmond council leader Lord True dismissed the group’s claims as “utter nonsense”, saying: “Richmond council has not cut funding for services enabling vulnerable children in care to get on the career ladder.”
Four Conservative-run local authorities have appointed a legal team, (Harrison Grant Solicitors) warning that if the Government did not rule out a 3rd Heathrow runway, then legal action will be launched. The four are the London Boroughs of Hillingdon, Richmond-upon-Thames, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. All are long-standing opponents of a 3rd runway. The solicitors have written to the Prime Minister on their behalf explaining how “insurmountable environmental problems” would make government backing for a new runway “irrational or otherwise unlawful”. Local campaign group in the Heathrow Villages, “Stop Heathrow Expansion” representing residents in the south of Hillingdon whose lives would be directly impacted by the runway, welcomed the letter. Christine Taylor, Harlington resident and Stop Heathrow Expansion supporter, said: “Residents of the Heathrow Villages have had enough – we’ve been fighting this for over 30 years. We want to draw an end to the repeated threat of Heathrow expansion on our communities.”
Rob Gray, the voice of the “Back Heathrow” group, complains residents will be furious that councils are spending money. He ignores the fact that residents could be equally furious that Heathrow has, yet again, put the councils in the position where they have little choice other than to defend themselves from the airport’s plans.
Councils and campaigners take first step towards legal challenge against government support for Heathrow runway
November 18, 2016
Solicitors Harrison Grant acting on behalf of Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead Councils, together with Greenpeace and a Hillingdon resident have (17th November) sent a letter, under the Judicial Review Pre-Action Protocol, to the Secretary of State for Transport. The letter gives the Government a period of 14 days in which to withdraw its decision, issued on the 25 October to support a 3rd runway at Heathrow. If it fails to do so, judicial review proceedings will be commenced in the High Court, without further notice to the Government, on the basis that the Government’s approach to air quality and noise is unlawful and also that it has failed to carry out a fair and lawful consultation exercise prior to issuing its decision. The 33 page pre-action letter sets out comprehensive grounds for legal challenge, drawing on a broad range of statute and legal precedent, as well as highlighting the many promises and statements made by senior politicians confirming that the third runway would not be built. The move comes shortly after the Government’s air quality plans were overturned in the High Court, putting ministers under greater pressure to reduce illegal levels of air pollution in places like Heathrow. The latest court ruling rejected the current government plans to tackle emissions as inadequate and based on over optimistic assumptions.
Greenpeace to join with 4 councils in legal challenge against Heathrow 3rd runway
October 17, 2016
Greenpeace UK has joined forces with Hillingdon, Richmond, Wandsworth and Windsor and Maidenhead councils to prepare grounds for a joint legal challenge against Heathrow expansion. More claimants could join the alliance in the coming days as media reports have suggested a final decision has now been delayed until 25th October. Greenpeace and the four local authorities say both Heathrow expansion schemes would be unlawful due to their unrivalled environmental impacts, which include exacerbating illegal levels of air pollution, increasing Europe’s worst aircraft noise footprint and stretching the local transport network beyond breaking point. The councils jointly instructed Harrison Grant Solicitors to prepare their legal strategy last year and Greenpeace will now share costs and bring new environmental expertise to the partnership. The campaigners also worked together back in 2010 to successfully overturn the Brown Government’s backing for a 3rd runway in the High Court. Later that year the scheme was emphatically ruled out by the incoming Cameron Government. Heathrow current expansion scheme is even bigger and has more severe environmental impacts than the 2010 proposal, and will fail the same legal tests. New evidence on the severe health impacts of air and noise pollution make the new scheme far less likely to pass judicial review.
In the Draft Scottish Budget announced by Derek Mackay, he confirmed that the Scottish government now has the power to legislate for a tax which will replace Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland. ” …we will introduce a Bill in the first year of the current Parliament to establish the tax which will replace APD in Scotland from 1 April 2018. We remain committed to delivering a 50% reduction in the overall tax burden of APD by the end of this Parliament.” He hopes this will “deliver sustainable growth for the Scottish economy by helping to generate new direct air routes, sustain existing routes and increase inbound tourism.” There is, naturally, no mention of the money lost to Scotland by more outbound tourism. The Scottish Government expects APD will raise £326 million in 2018-19 for them, and £342 million in 2019-20. Edinburgh Airport Watch commented that Mr Mackay did not mention how he will plug the resulting £150 million hole in Scotland’s public finances, or the generous tax incentives already enjoyed by aviation – no duty or VAT payable on aviation fuel, no VAT on purchases of aircraft, or on servicing of aircraft. Airports enjoy a huge tax break in the form of Duty Free Shopping – an enormous cash earner for Airport owners. APD is a fair and progressive tax on an exceptionally lightly taxed industry.
This is what the Draft Scottish Budget, 2017 -18 says on APD:
AIR PASSENGER DUTY
Following the commencement of section 17 of the Scotland Act 2016 on 23 May 2016, the Scottish Parliament now has the power to legislate for a tax which will replace Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland. As set out in the Programme for Government 2016-17, we will introduce a Bill in the first year of the current Parliament to establish the tax which will replace APD in Scotland from 1 April 2018. We remain committed to delivering a 50 per cent reduction in the overall tax burden of APD by the end of this Parliament. This will deliver sustainable growth for the Scottish economy by helping to generate new direct air routes, sustain existing routes and increase inbound tourism.
In the Table 1.01 on Page 3 they anticipate that APD will raise £326 million in 2018-19 and £342 million in 2019 – 20. Air Passenger Duty revenues are based on OBR forecasts of Scottish revenues in 2018-19 and 2019-20
Scottish Government announcement of Air Departure Tax Cut
In his Holyrood budget statement today, Derek Mackay was keen to announce a 50% reduction in the Air Departure Tax – the new name for Air Passenger Duty.
He did not mention how he will plug the resulting £150 million hole in our public finances.
He did not mention the generous tax incentives already enjoyed by aviation – no duty or VAT payable on aviation fuel, no VAT on purchases of aircraft, no VAT on the servicing of aircraft.
Airports enjoy a huge tax break in the form of Duty Free Shopping – an enormous cash earner for Airport owners.
Air Passenger Duty is a fair and progressive tax on an exceptionally lightly taxed industry. The majority of responders to the SG consultation on APD earlier this year agreed, and told the Government that this tax should not be reduced.
Mr Mackay’s announcement cuts across the Scottish Government aspirations for equality – 70% of flights are taken by the wealthiest 15%.
Designed to “improve Scotland’s connectivity”, the proposed 50% tax cut on a short haul flight (up to 2,000 miles – so all of the UK and most of Europe) will be an almost invisible £6.50, so won’t really make a lot of difference to whether people choose to fly or not.
On longer haul flights the tax cut is less than £40, again, a relatively tiny amount within the overall cost of the trip and one that will make little difference to most passengers.
This is a windfall for the wealthy in a time of austerity – and we urge our Government to think again.
A Worsening Tourism Deficit
Scottish Government figures show that our Overseas Tourism Deficit (ie the difference between the amount of revenue foreign visitors bring to Scotland vs the amount that departing Scots take out of our economy) is £1.6 billion.
On average a Scottish Resident spends £600 when they go abroad. This adds up to £1.6 billion, or the cash equivalent of losing over 50,000 jobs in Scotland.
Much needed cash that is being sucked out of our economy. Reducing aviation tax to encourage more flying will simply make the problem worse.
Edinburgh Airport’s planned expansion of routes for 2016/17 is dominated by tourist destinations such as Heraklion, Almeria, Paphos, Kefalonia and Ibiza. The planes will not be full of high spending visitors to Scotland – they will be taking Scots abroad to spend their cash elsewhere, and boosting overseas economies at the expense of our own. A plane to Ibiza with 200 Scots each spending £600 takes £120,000 out of Scotland and creates 6 jobs in Ibiza and loses 6 jobs in Scotland.
80% of all Scotland’s visitors arrive from other parts of the UK and only 9% of them by air – a more sustainable solution for Scotland’s tourism industry would be to encourage better and more affordable surface transport to and from other parts of the UK.
The real winner here will be the shareholders in the aviation industry, much of which is owned offshore.
What cost the failure to meet our legally binding CO2 Emissions targets?
In Scotland, our legally binding carbon emissions targets also include aviation emissions; these targets will soar ever further out of reach if we allow aviation to expand inexorably.
Aviation expansion can only mean more unwanted disturbance for some 300,000 local people and their families – most of whom do not fly regularly.
It will add to the burden on our already stretched surface transport infrastructure, making our air pollution and congestion problems even worse.
What cost the health of people who find themselves living in the increasing noise and pollution shadows of Scotland’s airports?
In our view, this scheme heralds unsubstantiated and unsustainable aspiration where the only true beneficiaries will be those with a vested and/or shareholding interest in the aviation industry.
Edinburgh Airport Watch said: “We do not support this cut in tax for a vastly polluting form of transport – it simply makes no sense for Scotland on fiscal, economic or environmental grounds.
“While the aviation industry will be delighted at the potential increase in their shareholder incomes, those Scots who suffer the consequences of airport operations on a daily basis will greet this news with great dismay and will not continue to vote for politicians who blindly support a self-promoting industry perpetuating economic myths.
“Our experience of the aviation industry has taught us to treat any promises of job creation with great scepticism.
“The cost of unfettered aviation expansion is poorer air quality, traffic chaos on the roads around airports, more noise misery for neighbours – some of them many miles from the runway – and a worsening of Scotland’s already enormous tourism deficit.
“We urge the Scottish Government to do the right thing for Scotland and rethink this tax cut for the sake of our environment, our health and our economy.
“Choices need to be made – is Scotland to be a low carbon economy that leads the world in tackling climate change, or are we prepared to tolerate unfettered expansion of a vastly polluting industry at enormous cost to Scotland’s health, environment and economy?”
In their blog, the Teddington Action Group (TAG) say the intention of the aviation industry to vastly increase the numbers of flights, while miraculously reducing the number of people affected by noise, is nonsense. TAG says the Government needs to stop, take stock and remember that aviation demand must be managed rather than increased. Recently the ‘Sky’s the Limit’ campaign was launched by NATS (the partly privatised air navigation service) with airlines and airports. It hopes people will believe that the UK airspace is facing gridlock because the projected number of flights per year could be 3 million by 2030. But, don’t worry folks, the problem can be solved by airspace modernisation or the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS). By designing new routes with steeper climbs and descents, and aircraft flying routes with greater accuracy (i.e. concentrated flight paths), NATS will be able to pack in more and more flights (= more profit) – with fewer people impacted by noise. NATS keeps very quiet about the impact on those unfortunate enough to live under the concentrated routes whose lives and communities will be blighted. Do we really want children in schools round Heathrow having to shelter in earthquake huts in their playgrounds, to avoid the deafening roar of aircraft? The demand of frequent flyers for more choice and cheaper flights cannot justify the burden of noise inflicted on affected communities along Heathrow flight paths.
Sky’s the Limit or Pie in the Sky?
Teddington Action Group (TAG) blog
For the benefit of anyone who missed the ‘Sky’s the Limit’ campaign launched last week by NATS (the partly privatised air navigation service), we are led to believe that the UK airspace is facing gridlock because the projected number of flights per year could be 3 million by 2030.
But don’t worry folks, the problem can be solved by airspace modernisation or the Future Airspace Strategy (FAS). By designing new routes with steeper climbs and descents, and aircraft flying routes with greater accuracy (i.e. concentrated flight paths), NATS will be able to pack in more and more flights with a miraculous reduction in the number of people impacted by noise. There will also be the possibility of multiple routes to distribute noise.
The solution to the problems of noise and air pollution is to cram more and more planes into streamlined superhighways and, of course, NATS gets paid by airlines for air traffic services… kerching! Under this divide and rule approach, NATS keeps very quiet about the impact on those unfortunate enough to live under the concentrated routes whose lives and communities will be blighted.
So, how’s it going elsewhere?
In 2014, changes to flight paths were made as part of airspace modernisation. Some residents were so unhappy they took the Government to court over the changes and Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) wrote to MPs asking for a change in the law, to provide compensation to residents where they have been adversely affected by new flight paths. The Land Compensation Act 1973 provides compensation for people whose houses are devalued (according to a surveyor’s report) by the building of a new runway but not by new flight paths based on existing runways.
In 2011, a 4th runway was opened adding new flightpaths and making changes to existing ones. Immediately people began protesting as the noise stopped them sleeping, prevented them enjoying their gardens, and their homes lost value – some by up to 40%. Every Monday evening for the last four years, between 600 and 3000 residents march through Terminal 1, banging and chanting.
Airspace modernisation and concentrated flight paths introduced at Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC have resulted in lower, louder planes and many unhappy residents.
Boston – red lines show concentrated flight paths
The FAS has now been delayed while a new airspace and noise policy is developed. Aviation companies are trying to panic the Government by insisting time is running out. This is nonsense. The Government needs to stop, take stock and remember that its legally binding emissions commitments mean that aviation demand must be managed rather than increased.
There is considerable evidence that aircraft noise affects cardiovascular health, mental health and impacts children’s learning. What sort of world do we live in when children in schools round Heathrow must shelter in earthquake huts in their playgrounds, to avoid the deafening roar of aircraft?
The demand of frequent flyers for more choice and cheaper flights cannot be justified at the expense of our right to breathe clean air and to sleep undisturbed by aircraft noise.
NATS, airports, airlines etc form new campaign “The Sky’s The Limit” to lobby for “modernised” UK airspace (ie. for 50% more planes)
Date added: December 7, 2016
NATS has the job of getting as many planes safely using UK skies as possible, and that is how it makes money. NATS gets extra payments if delays to flights are reduced, and if there are slight savings in fuel (=cost) to the airlines who pay them, for more direct routing etc. The industry fears that, with growing numbers of flights as air travel keeps growing, the amount of delays will rise, as the airspace is already crowded over the south east of the UK. Delays cost airlines (and NATS) money, and so NATS is keen to “modernise” our airspace. This means redesigning it “to make use of modern aircraft technology”. The aim is to increase the current 600 dedicated flight paths in operation at present – 300 for departures and 300 for arrivals – to allow for about 50% more aircraft. They anticipate 3.1 million passenger aircraft per year using UK airports by 2030, compared to 2.1 million now. NATS knows this will mean “more households would be affected by “some” noise under the plans.” NATS and the government have no idea how to make this fair to those overflown. What NATS wants is the “efficiency” of narrow routes, where intense aircraft noise causes significant disturbance and even distress to those below. There is no way noise can be limited without reducing the number of flights, which the industry would not contemplate. There is now a new campaign by the industry called “The Sky’s The Limit” to lobby for airspace changes, to fit in 50% more planes. The DfT will hold a consultation early next year on airspace change.
HACAN and Heathrow have set out their support for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority (IANA). The Government has said it would support the introduction of the IANA and will consult on its role and scope in 2017. Before that, Hacan and Heathrow have put out a “summary of common ground” on a joint position on the role and structure of the IANA, at first looking only at Heathrow. They have together written to Chris Grayling, backing the concept of an IANA. They hope it will “oversee efforts to reduce aircraft noise in communities around Heathrow,” and that it will “provide an impartial source of expert advice on noise, coordinate independent research, adjudicate on noise complaints that can’t be managed locally and ensure that communities have access to information…” They say IANA should have no enforcement powers, or be part of the CAA or DfT. Hacan and Heathrow say the main role of the IANA should be to provide an impartial source of expert advice, and then take on additional tasks such as to “establish a framework for noise management which is rooted in best practice”. It could also take on ombudsman functions, such as to investigate “complaints that have not been resolved locally.” John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, hopes an IANA could “bring reassurance to local communities but can also encourage airports to take their noise responsibilities seriously.”
Unlikely Allies Unite To Back Independent Aviation Noise Authority
Heathrow press release
• HACAN and Heathrow set out their support for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority (IANA), one of the recommendations made by the Airports Commission.
• The Government has said it would support the introduction of the IANA and will consult on its role and scope in the new year. Ahead of that, the two organisations have agreed a joint position on the role and structure of the Authority.
• The IANA’s primary role should be to provide an impartial source of expert advice on noise, acting independently of industry, government or local groups.
In a letter to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling Heathrow Airport and HACAN set out their joint support for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority (IANA) to oversee efforts to reduce aircraft noise in communities around Heathrow.
The establishment of a noise authority was first proposed by the Airports Commission in its final report and the Government has since said it supports the introduction of the IANA with a consultation on its role and scope to follow in the new year.
The two organisations share the view that the IANA’s main roles should be to provide an impartial source of expert advice on noise, coordinate independent research, adjudicate on noise complaints that can’t be managed locally and ensure that communities have access to information about noise and how airports are managing issues.
John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, said: “It is well-known we don’t agree with Heathrow on everything but on this issue we are speaking with one voice. A strong, independent noise authority can bring reassurance to local communities but can also encourage airports to take their noise responsibilities seriously.”
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s Chief Executive, said: “We want to be a good neighbour, and reduce the impact of aircraft noise on our local communities – something on which we agree with HACAN. An independent aviation noise authority has an important role to play in building trust that we are meeting our commitments.”
Notes to editors:
1. The joint position document on an independent aviation noise authority is at
@HACAN1 Good Idea on Paper, but how many teeth will it have & Statutory Legislation is required to stop its powers being watered down.
The letter sent to Chris Grayling:
14 December 2016
Dear Secretary of State
Independent Aviation Noise Authority
Following the recommendation of the Airports Commission in its final report published in July 2015 that an independent aviation noise authority should be established, HACAN and Heathrow Airport have been working together to produce a discussion paper outlining our shared view of the purpose and structure of such a body.
We are pleased to enclose our Discussion Paper on an Independent Aviation Noise Authority, which sets out our joint position on the principles, roles and structure of the Authority, ahead of a Government consultation.
The two organisations support the concept of an independent aviation noise authority, recognising that noise-exposed communities would value an independent assessment of whether aircraft noise is being managed as effectively and fairly as possible. We believe that the Authority’s main role should be to provide an impartial source of expert advice and sit independently of the Government, industry, NGOs and the Civil Aviation Authority.
We also believe that policy-making should continue to be a Government responsibility and the Authority should instead focus on making recommendations to ensure that airports meet their obligations around noise and undertake measures to mitigate the impact of noise on local communities.
Our two organisations collaborated on the enclosed paper, and we hope it is a useful document in order to progress the development of an independent aviation noise authority. We would be happy to continue the dialogue and engage either together or individually.
John Stewart, Chair, HACAN
John Holland-Kaye Chief Executive Officer, Heathrow Airport
This short briefing provides information on the Independent Aviation Noise Authority as proposed by the Airports Commission, what it might do and whether it is going to happen.
What is it?
An Independent Aviation Noise Authority (IANA) with a statutory right to be consulted on flight paths and other operating procedures was one of the recommendations of the Davies Commission into airport capacity, which reported in July 2015.
The Final Report said that an IANA “should be established with a statutory right to be consulted on flight paths and other operating procedures. The authority should be given statutory consultee status and a formal role in monitoring and quality assuring all processes and functions which have an impact on aircraft noise, and in advising central and local Government and the CAA on such issues”. [p32]
Further, the Commission recommended that the Government introduce a noise charge or levy to “incentivise airports to reduce noise and ensure that they make an appropriate contribution to local communities”. [p292] IANA should “advise on the exact design and weighting of a charge and provide guidance or direction on how funds raised are most fairly allocated with regard to noise impacts. This may include an assessment of pre-existing arrangements at different airports. Local people should be able to see clearly how funds are used in their local areas and should have real influence over how money is spent”. [p293]
The Commission listed a number of activities which it believed IANA could undertake:
Provide statutory advice to the Secretary of State for Transport regarding proposed changes to Noise Preferential Routes.
Provide statutory advice to the Secretary of State for Transport and the CAA in respect of the proper structure for noise compensation schemes.
Provide statutory input to planning inquiries relating to airport infrastructure in respect of the appropriate controls that should apply in respect of aircraft noise.
Work with the developers and operators of any new airport capacity as well as communities affected by the development to define a noise envelope to create a balance between aviation growth and noise control.
Conduct research into the best means of monitoring and reporting aircraft noise, as well as its association with annoyance and impacts upon human health and their possible mitigation.
Publish comparative assessments of airlines’ performance in reducing their noise impacts.
Act as a statutory consultee in planning applications with respect to airport infrastructure or housing developments which would have an effect upon the population affected by airport noise.
Mediate by request between airports and their local communities in disputes relating to noise monitoring, the functioning of airports’ advisory committees, and airports’ compliance with their noise action plans and, where appropriate, advise the CAA in respect of potential breaches of noise regulations. [p304]
What did the Environmental Audit Committee say about it?
In December 2015 the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) published a report into the environmental aspects of the Commission’s Final Report. On noise, it recommended that:
If the Government decides in favour of expansion it should put in place a framework to ensure that mitigating measures are introduced promptly. As part of efforts to restore trust and effective community engagement, IANA should be introduced in 2016“even if the Government decides against Heathrow expansion”; and
IANA would “need a more up to date understanding of people’s attitudes to noise if it is to be credible. One of the first tasks of such a body should be to undertake a survey of people’s attitudes to aviation noise. The results of this survey should underpin both its own work and future Government policy on managing noise. In particular, they should form part of a piece of work to develop a set of metrics to assess noise impact”. [Paras 73 & 88]
An influential Tory MP has questioned the evidence behind Heathrow expansion, suggesting the Government may have gone to exceptional lengths to find a methodology that made the case. In a letter to chancellor Philip Hammond and transport secretary Chris Grayling, the chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie, said the Treasury has specifically requested the rarely used ‘net public value’ investment measure be included in its assessment. Mr Tyrie pointed out that of the 4 investment measures used to evaluate the 3 runway proposals, only this seldom-used “net public value” measure presents a clear case for a 3rd runway at Heathrow. He asked the ministers where this measure has been used before on major infrastructure. Mr Tyrie also said that the DfT document published on 25th October acknowledged that ‘the Net Present Values (NPVs) for some of the options could potentially be negative under some demand scenarios… ” but the DfT is only considering one scenario. And he asks that figures are produced for all the scenarios [but does not say if he wants carbon capped as well as carbon traded], not just one. He also says assessing demand growth for a period of over 20 years, or even 30 years, is ‘not in line with the guidance issued by the Department for Transport’. He asks that figures with demand capped at 20 and 30 years should be produced.
Senior Tory questions Government over Heathrow assessment
By Chris Ames (Transport Network)
13th December 2016
An influential Tory MP has questioned the evidence behind Heathrow expansion, suggesting the Government may have gone to exceptional lengths to find a methodology that made the case.
In a letter to chancellor Philip Hammond and transport secretary Chris Grayling, the chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie, said the Treasury has specifically requested the rarely used ‘net public value’ investment measure be included in its assessment.
Of the four investment measures used to evaluate the proposals, only this seldom-used net public value measure presents a clear case for a third runway at Heathrow, Mr Tyrie said.
He asked the ministers: ‘Can you provide any examples where net public value has previously been used as a measure to assess the cost-benefit case for major infrastructure projects?’
Mr Tyrie also pointed out in his letter that although the Government document acknowledged that ‘the Net Present Values (NPVs) for some of the options could potentially be negative under some demand scenarios… in its reassessment of the commission’s economic case… the Government has only considered one scenario’.
Mr Tyrie argued that the way the Airports Commission had assessed demand growth was ‘not in line with the guidance issued by the Department for Transport’ in that it did not cap projections of demand growth after 20 years.
He asked Mr Hammond to produce new calculations and provide ‘an assessment of the likely effect on the overall economic case’ of doing so.
Mr Tyrie also noted that the Government had made changes to the cost-benefit analysis to make the Airports Commission’s assessment of costs and wider economic impacts more consistent with its WebTAG appraisal guidance.
He pointed out: ‘This has had the effect of reducing the difference in NPV between the three shortlisted schemes that the Airports Commission argued clearly favoured the economic case for expansion of a third runway at Heathrow.’
Thank you for your letter of 12 October regarding the economic case for airport expansion. Twelve months ago I tabled questions in Parliament, asking for information crucial to an assessment of the relative merits of each proposal in the Davies report to be re-produced. Some of these questions have been addressed in a document intended to inform the announcement of the Government’s decision to endorse expansion of Heathrow – published on 25 October. 1 [1 The background and rationale for the Government’s support of Heathrow’s north-west runway as the preferred option for south-east airport expansion can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/heathrow-airport-expansion. ‘Further Review and Sensitivities Report: Airport Capacity in the South East’ addresses some of the points previously raised by the Committee. ] These include an assessment of the extent to which the cost of each scheme would be passed to passengers in higher fares, and the percentage changes required for the net present values of each of the three shortlisted schemes to equal zero. This is not before time.
The Government’s decision to endorse Heathrow initiates consultation, prior to a vote to approve it by Parliament. It is crucial that this process is transparent and accountable. The cost benefit analysis presented in the Davies Report has been restructured by the Government in several ways. This leaves some of the questions in my letter to you unanswered. It also raises a new one. Accordingly, the Committee would welcome your response to the following:
The economic case under ‘different scenarios’
In a document intended to inform. the announcement of the Government’s decision to endorse expansion of Heathrow – ‘Further Review and Sensitivities Report’ – it is stated that ‘the direct passenger benefits are particularly sensitive to the different global demand scenarios’, and that ‘the Net Present Values (NPVs) for some of the options could potentially be negative under some demand scenarios’.2 [2 ‘Further Review and Sensitivities Report: Airport Capacity in the South East’, Department for Transport, p.41 ]However, in its reassessment of the commission’s economic case, summarised in Table ES.2 of this document, the Government has only considered one scenario: ‘assessment of need, carbon traded’.
I would be grateful if you could reproduce Table ES.2 of the ‘Further Review and Sensitivities Report’ under the four alternative growth scenarios determined by the Airports Commission: (a) global growth, b) relative decline of Europe, c) low-cost is king and d) global fragmentation.
The Government’s guidance on demand and revenue forecasting states:
When forecasting demand, it is important that, to ensure consistency between appraisals, a demand cap is used. In the majority of cases, demand growth should be capped after a 20 year period from the year the appraisal is undertaken ( e.g. an appraisal carried out in 2013/14 would be on the basis of demand capped in 2033/34). Sensitivities of 10 and 30 years of growth should be presented. Under exceptional circumstances, such as with long-term infrastructure projects, it may be appropriate to use a different demand cap. In these cases advice should be sought from DfT. (TAG Unit A5.3) 3 [3 TAG UNIT A5.3 .3 Rail Appraisal, Department for Transport, December 2015, p.2 ]
The Airports Commission has not capped demand growth after 20 years, instead allowing it to continue but at a slower rate other than in a single sensitivity test. This is not in line with the guidance issued by the Department for Transport. I would be grateful if you could:
• reproduce ES.2 of the ‘Further Review and Sensitivities Report’, capping demand after a period of a) 10 b) 20 and c) 30 years; and
• reproduce ES.2 of the ‘Further Review and Sensitivities Report’ using an appraisal period of a) 10 b) 20 and c) 30 years.
I would also be grateful for an assessment of the likely effect on the overall economic case of the changes made above.
I would be grateful if you could make an assessment of the effect on the conclusions of the Airports Commission’s Final Report of the Commission’s decision not to take account of high value-added international sectors in measuring the agglomeration benefits of the three shortlisted projects.
Choice of investment measure
The Government has made a number of changes to the cost-benefit analysis to make the Airports Commission’s assessment of costs and wider economic impacts more consistent with its appraisal guidance for transport projects, WebTAG. This has had the effect of reducing the difference in NPV between the three shortlisted schemes that the Airports Commission argued clearly favoured the economic case for expansion of a third runway at Heathrow.
The results illustrate the difficulty of reaching a clear decision on the basis of the economic case alone. As the ‘Further Review and Sensitivities Report’ states, ‘there is little difference in the NPV s of the schemes when considered over a 60 year appraisal period’ and ‘the net differences are small, with LGW Second Runway delivering the highest NPV at the lower end of the range, and LHR Northwest Runway delivering the highest NPV at the upper end of the range in the central case’.4 [4 ‘Further Review and Sensitivities Report: Airport Capacity in the South East’, Department for Transport, p.40 ]
I would be grateful for your response to the following questions:
• When considering the economic case, what interpretation and weight is put on each of the investment measures – net present value, net public value, net social benefit and total benefits – presented in Table ES.2 of the ‘Further Review and Sensitivities Report’ in informing your decision about the value for money represented by each proposal?
• The report indicates that the net public value investment measure was included as a result of a request from the Treasury. Why did the Treasury propose net public value as a measure for consideration in this review? Can you provide any examples where net public value has previously been used as a measure to assess the cost-benefit case for major infrastructure projects?
I will be putting this letter, and your response, in the public domain.
Treasury Select Committee Chairman writes to Chris Grayling and Philip Hammond to question economic benefits of runway
September 18, 2016
Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, wrote to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, on 14th September, questioning the economic case for HS2 and airport expansion. Andrew Tyrie says in his letter: “The economic case to support the conclusions of the Davies report lacks crucial information.” On 27th November 2015, he tabled 15 parliamentary questions on details of the economic justification [all copied below]. These have yet to be answered 10 months later (they just had a standard holding reply from Robert Goodwill). Andrew Tyrie says: “For the fifth time I am attaching these questions. Failure to answer them will lead people either to conclude that this work has not been done – in which case it would be unacceptable for a decision to be made without the evidence to support it – or that it has been done, and gives answers that do not necessarily support the conclusions of the Davies report. I do not suggest that either of these are the case. The best way to answer these concerns is to public the information immediately. As we discussed, I have written in similar terms to the Chancellor.” “Without this information, the evidence in support of any decision that the Government takes on airport capacity will be incomplete.” His Parliamentary Questions focus, in particular, on Table 7.1 in the Airport Commission’s Final Report, of July 2015. (Table copied below). Mr Tyrie spoke to Chris Grayling on 15 August 2016.
Andrew Tyrie says economic case for a new runway unclear and based on “opaque” information
February 2, 2016
Andrew Tyrie is the chairman of the influential Commons Treasury Select Committee. He has now said parliament and the public had been left partly in the dark on the case for a new runway, because the Airports Commission’s analysis is not good enough. He said the decision on airport expansion is being taken on the basis of information that was “opaque in a number of important respects.” Mr Tyrie said the robustness of the Airports commission’s conclusions could not be determined from the information in its report. “Parliament has demanded more transparency over the environmental case. At least as important is the economic case.” Mr Tyrie said it was impossible to tell if the potential economic benefits for the UK of the proposals by Heathrow or Gatwick differed significantly from one another, or even if the benefits of building either are significantly different from not building any new runways. “A decision as controversial as this — one that has bedevilled past governments for decades — requires as much transparency as reasonably possible.” Andrew Tyrie has written to George Osborne calling for more details of the calculations that led to the Commission recommending a Heathrow runway. He also called for the process to be moved from the DfT to the Treasury.
In a fascinating article in “The Conversation” a Psychology lecturer from the University of Brighton puts forward the concept of “hyper-normalisation” as an explanation for decisions made by society and government. Instead of government accepting the reality, and dangers, of our global climate change predicament, it carries on apparently oblivious of the dangers with policies that can only worsen the problems. The decision to build a Heathrow runway is only “truly momentous”, as Chris Grayling described it, because it shows just how far government etc “are willing to go in denying that climate change and related ecological crises require us to significantly change the way we live.” Those in power seem to be “increasingly incapable of dealing with a sequence of global issues with any meaningful plan. They are devoid of any vision beyond the maintenance of the status quo.” Hyper-normalisation as a way of dealing with the issues facing humanity provided a “simplified, reassuring and fake version of the world in the face of unprecedented global challenges”. We know that practices and pastimes such as frequent and long-haul flying, are unsustainable. But the new hyper-normalisation view of the world may allow societies to re-interpret reality, to avoid uncomfortable and inconvenient actions. Read the blog.
#Hypernormalisation – and why Heathrow plan is proof we exist in a catastrophic fantasyland
By Matthew Adams (Principal Lecturer in Psychology, University of Brighton)
Disclosure statement: Matthew Adams does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.
The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, referred to the decision as “truly momentous” while for the prime minister, Theresa May, the planned expansion is “vital for the economic future of the whole of the UK”.
The decision to approve airport expansion is indeed “truly momentous” – because it shows just how far governments, but also trade unions, businesses and many individuals, are willing to go in denying that climate change and related ecological crises require us to significantly change the way we live. In fact, as a policy move, it arguably epitomises the phenomena of “hyper-normalisation”, as described in Adam Curtis’s new documentary of the same name.
HyperNormalisation was commissioned by the BBC and released as an iplayer exclusive on October 16 2016 – you can watch it here. Curtis is a fascinating filmmaker. He weaves archive footage of events over the past half-century into provocative historical narratives. His commentary is informed by sociological theory, political economy and much more besides.
Are we living in the real world?
HyperNormalisation is no exception. It clocks in at just under three hours and takes in numerous people, places and events.
Curtis’s overarching claim is that those in power have been increasingly incapable of dealing with a sequence of global issues with any meaningful plan. They are devoid of any vision beyond the maintenance of the status quo. He uses the term hyper-normalisation to explain the prevailing response of politicians to this state of affairs, and the effect it has on the wider population.
This manically heightened state of fake normality – and collective investment in it – is “hyper-normalisation”.Curtis uses the term more loosely. He argues that it can be used to make sense of the maintenance of a simplified, reassuring and fake version of the world in the face of unprecedented global challenges that incumbent governments and power alliances do not have the competence or inclination to address.
Climate change and environmental disasters do not loom large in the HyperNormalisation film, but they are, for me, an extension of the phenomenon – precisely the kind of challenge we might expect to be “hyper-normalised”.
The decision to approve Heathrow’s third runway is a government policy manifestation of hyper-normalisation. Those in power simply do not have the capacity or willingness for leadership on climate change as an issue that demands societal transformation.
The alternative, if we apply Curtis’s logic, is to strive to maintain a narrative in which these issues do not appear to really matter. Everything, we are told instead, is going to be fine.
Instead of dealing with the real issues at hand, we will instead be admitted to the fantasy land of accelerated mobility and consumption. In this alternate reality, the “environmental future” must not impinge on May’s “economic future”.
The dangers beyond the fantasy
But of course events are unfolding in the world outside the hyper-normal narrative of business as usual: the well-documented forces unleashed by the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, the ongoing extinction and displacement of countless species, warming and acidifying oceans, deforestation and arctic melting.
These forces are the product of industrial society and capitalism, now exacerbated by the demands of a globalised consumerism. We know that the practices and pastimes that make up these societies, including frequent and long-haul flying, are unsustainable.
Every government leader in the world knows this. But the psychological and social processes we engage in to avoid confronting the implications of climate change are now well documented in the social sciences – as individual and collective forms of denial.
These dynamics of denial and displacement are precisely those that reflect and maintain a state of hyper-normalisation. So airport expansion can be heralded unequivocally as “momentous”, “correct” and “bold” in the same week that global concentrations of CO2 pass 400 parts per million. It is a policy move which simply does not make sense … unless we are operating in an atmosphere of hyper-normalisation.
Defending it on behalf of our “economic future” is a grotesquely comic perpetuation of that fakery. If it goes ahead, it is likely that history will judge the expansion of Heathrow as an act of collusive madness, a desperate attempt to add another coat to the painted theatre set of the hypernormal.
The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.
Greenwich and Lewisham residents are urged to contact London City airport and local politicians with their concerns about the NATS (National Air Traffic Services) programme to ‘modernise’ the airspace. Changes to London City Airport’s flight paths might have resulted for increased noise pollution for Greenwich and Lewisham residents. London City has implemented changes by NATS that result in narrower flight paths in the hope of improving “efficiency.” This has means more concentrated plane noise over areas like Catford, Lee and Eltham. Campaign group Hacan East has opposed the changes and is trying to get the decision reversed. Greenwich and Lewisham London Assembly member Len Duvall said: “It is vital that residents who are suffering from increased noise pollution make their voices heard on this important issue …. There is technology available on the airport’s website which can help people track which flights are making noise near them.” Len Duvall said: “I would urge anybody effected not only to contact the airport but to also get in touch with me, their local council or their MP.” The airport will be reviewing the flight paths in early 2017 and will be taking feedback from residents.
Changes to London City Airport flight paths increase noise pollution, say campaigners
Greenwich and Lewisham residents are urged to contact the airport and local politicians with their concerns about the National Air Traffic Services programme to ‘modernise’ the airspace
BY ALEX MCINTYRE (The Wharf)
13 DEC 2016
Changes to London City Airport’s flight paths might have resulted for increased noise pollution for Greenwich and Lewisham residents.
The airport became one of the first to implement parts of the National Air Traffic Services programme that brings in narrower flight paths in the hope of reducing carbon emissions.
But as a result, plane activity has become more concentrated over parts of London, including Catford, Lee and Eltham and protesters believe it’s led to an increase in noise.
Campaign group Hacan East has opposed the changes and is trying to get the decision reversed.
Greenwich and Lewisham London Assembly member Len Duvall said: “It is vital that residents who are suffering from increased noise pollution make their voices heard on this important issue.
“Any steps to reduce the environmental impact of flying should be welcomed, but this should be balanced with the needs of residents. There is technology available on the airport’s website which can help people track which flights are making noise near them.
“I would urge anybody affected not only to contact the airport but to also get in touch with me, their local council or their MP.”
The airport will be reviewing the flight paths in early 2017 and will be taking feedback from residents.
LCY can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phone on 0207 646 0200.
Flood of complaints from people upset by newly concentrated flight paths at London City airport
August 30, 2016
London City Airport’s decision to concentrate all its flights paths earlier this year, with changes from 4th February, has resulted in a flood of complaints. HACAN East, which speaks for residents under the flight paths, has launched a short report outlining some of the complaints they received in just one month. With hot summer weather and people being outdoors more, or opening their windows more, the problem of aircraft noise is at its worst as people are most aware of it. HACAN East said the newly concentrated flight paths have brought complaints from many areas for the first time. The complaints have come from vast swathes of east and south east London. Hundreds of people have said they did not have flights in the past, but now get them sometimes as often as every 3 minutes. People who moved to the area are now subjected to a level of noise they could not have expected, and they are affected by Heathrow arrivals as well as London City flights. People are especially upset if they moved from a noisy area, hoping they had moved to a quieter one. John Stewart said that HACAN East has met airport representatives who said they “have not closed their mind” to looking again at the concentrated flight paths but will not do so until next year after the Government (DfT) has issued its forthcoming consultation on national airspace policy.
HACAN East meets CAA to thrash out noise problems caused by newly concentrated routes
June 18, 2016
John Stewart and Rob Barnstone from HACAN East at London City Airport had a 2 hour meeting with the five members of the CAA, to discuss the new concentrated flight paths-causing intensified noise. The CAA is aware of the unhappiness amongst communities and local authorities at their decision to allow flight path changes in February 2016. One of the most unpopular changes is concentration of the departures route, in westerly winds, that takes off towards the west and turns north and east. The other change is for arrivals, in easterly winds, when planes approach from east, south of the airport. Most of these communities are also overflown by Heathrow planes on the days there is a westerly wind. Both these have led to intensified noise for thousands of people. London City Airport had argued that they could get away with minimal consultation on these changes because the changes were “not significant.” However, there has been a definite change since February. HACAN East pointed out that the CAA that there was no mechanism to look at changes over time. There were many many changes made in 2008 when the flight paths were changed to accommodate the larger planes which needed to make a much wider turn. HACAN East stressed that respite was important to local communities. People are encouraged to contact the CAA and the airport, to express their views on the noise issue.