Gatwick Airport mulls response to Airports Commission Heathrow runway recommendation

Gatwick is considering its response to the Airports Commission’s recommendation of Heathrow for a runway, and questions some of the methodology used.  Gatwick is on record as having “deep concerns” about some of the modelling used by the Commission, and twice wrote to the Commission late last year highlighting these concerns. In October, Gatwick told Commission Secretariat Head Philip Graham it did not receive “a clear explanation of the Commission’s approach” or “a reasoned response” to points raised “repeatedly” with the Commission.  Gatwick took issue with the Commission on the DfT air traffic projections, which it believes are inaccurate and biased toward “allocating forecast traffic to Heathrow instead of Gatwick.” They complained that Gatwick is increasing its annual passenger number faster than the Commission predicted, and the traffic predictions feed into many of the Commission’s final conclusions, including the economic benefits generated by Gatwick.”  Gatwick complains that the Commission presumes long haul routes will go to Heathrow, while it is possible more will go to Gatwick in future – changing the economics. Gatwick is expected to make a decision shortly over what action it may take.  Legal action?

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Gatwick Airport mulls response to Heathrow third runway report

9.7.2015  (ATW online)

London’s Gatwick Airport is considering its response to the Airports Commission’s final report, which endorsed a third runway for Heathrow Airport. Gatwick takes issue with some of the methodology used and declined to participate in this week’s Runways UK conference in London.A Gatwick spokesperson said: “Gatwick requested the opportunity to speak on the opening day of the conference; Runways UK did not accommodate this. No senior Gatwick representative was available to speak on the following day.”The Gatwick proposal for a second runway was one of three proposals shortlisted by the Commission’s interim report in 2013. However, the Commission’s final recommendation, published last week, was for a third runway at Heathrow.

Gatwick is on record as having “deep concerns” about some of the modeling used by the Commission in reaching its final recommendation, and twice wrote to the Commission late last year highlighting these concerns.

In October, Gatwick told Commission Secretariat Head Philip Graham it did not receive “a clear explanation of the Commission’s approach” or “a reasoned response” to points raised “repeatedly” with the Commission.

Gatwick’s key concern was over the Commission’s use of Department for Transport’s (DfT) traffic projections, which it believes are not only inaccurate but also biased toward “allocating forecast traffic to Heathrow instead of Gatwick, without regard to any factors that could influence the allocation of such traffic in the future.”

The Gatwick spokesperson pointed out the DfT figures forecast traffic at Gatwick growing to 40 million passengers a year by 2024, whereas the reality is the airport will reach this milestone later this year—nearly 10 years earlier than forecast.

The spokesperson said Gatwick “pointed this issue out to the Commission right from the start of the process, and in numerous other correspondences over the course of the process. The traffic predictions feed into many of the Commission’s final conclusions, including the economic benefits generated by Gatwick—one of the key areas why the Commission chose Heathrow over Gatwick.”

Gatwick acknowledged that, when used as originally intended to model the existing UK-wide aviation market, the DfT’s modeling was fit-for-purpose. “However, the Airports Commission has taken the DfT’s modeling out of this intended context and has instead applied it to model the future growth forecasts of individual airports. When used in this context, the DfT’s model presents an inaccurate view,” the Gatwick spokesperson said.

Gatwick argues that, “since the DfT’s modeling is based on backwards-looking demand, it assumes that any new long-haul routes would automatically defer to those airports that already serve them. In the context used by the Airports Commission, this assumption is flawed as it assumes any new long-haul routes in the UK would automatically defer to Heathrow. In the last 12 months alone, Gatwick has attracted a series of long-haul routes [in North America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia] that disprove this assumption,” the spokesperson said.

In the October letter, Gatwick concluded: “We remain of the view that your forecasts do not present a realistic picture of how passenger traffic is likely to develop across the London system, and we are very concerned that this will prejudice the consultation exercise if they are seen as serving this purpose.”

The airport is expected to make a decision shortly over what action to take in response to the Airports Commission final report, but it could further delay the already lengthy process of adding runway capacity in the UK South East.

http://atwonline.com/airports-routes/gatwick-airport-mulls-response-heathrow-third-runway-report

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On 1st July, Gatwick’s press release said:

Gatwick expansion remains only deliverable option

1.7.2015

Responding to the Airports Commission Final Report today, Gatwick Airport said it remained confident that it will still be chosen for expansion as it is the only deliverable option.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said:

“Gatwick is still very much in the race. The Commission’s report makes clear that expansion at Gatwick is deliverable. 

“It is for the Commission to make a recommendation but it is of course for the Government to decide. So we now enter the most important stage of the process.

We are confident that when the Government makes their decision they will choose Gatwick as the only deliverable option. 

“The report underplays the massive environmental challenges of air quality and noise at Heathrow. They are huge.  For example it states ‘additional operations at an expanded Heathrow must be contingent on acceptable performance on air quality’ and must not ‘delay compliance with EU limits.’  

“Heathrow breaches these limits today. Air quality readings in Hillingdon at 6.00am this morning – and available on its website – showed NO2 at 87 micro grams, well over twice the annual legal limit.  It is hard to see how a third runway with all the additional road traffic will improve the position. It will simply make it worse. 

“It also cannot be right that effectively creating a monopoly at Heathrow will be better for competition than expansion at Gatwick. It goes against everything that we all know about the success of airport liberalisation in recent years. 

“Of course the UK needs the economic benefits of expansion. But the country cannot fly to new markets from a runway that can never be built. Expansion at Gatwick will be quicker simpler and quieter. It will promote greater competition benefitting all passengers whilst limiting the environmental impact. 

“The choice ahead is clear. Choose Gatwick and – after decades of delay – something can actually happen. Choose Heathrow and nothing will happen. It will simply be Groundhog Day.”

Gatwick footage can be downloaded here, which contains:

  • New Gatwick aerial footage showing the existing airport and the site of a second runway – a short one minute clip plus a longer five minute clip
  • CGI animation of Gatwick’s expansion plans, and
  • Timelapse footage of Gatwick’s existing runway and terminals.

The following images can also be downloaded here:

  • Three new CGI design images of Gatwick expansion by Sir Terry Farrell. and
  • A selection of images of the existing airport runway, terminals and airfield.

For more information about Gatwick’s case, please access the Gatwick website here.

Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

http://www.mediacentre.gatwickairport.com/press-releases/2015/15-07-01gatwick-expansion-remains-only-deliverable-option.aspx

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Richmond parties unite to fight “deeply flawed” Heathrow expansion report

Conservative Council leader of Richmond, Lord True, launched a scathing attack on the “wretchedly predictable” Davies Commission recommendation for Heathrow expansion. He called for a cross-party campaign against a 3rd runway.  Lord True cited failures to address noise pollution, air quality, security issues and a “questionable loading of the economic dice in favour of big Heathrow” in the “deeply flawed” report and said Richmond Council would never accept expansion in any form.  Lord True lambasted the “contemptible” attitude of Davies committee members and quoted from a section of the report that claimed the negative effect of aircraft noise on people’s happiness was less than the negative effect associated with living in social housing. He said that was a shameful comparison. He called for a “fighting fund” to be set up to legally challenge expansion. Leader of Richmond’s Liberal Democrats, Gareth Roberts, was delighted to second a motion calling for a special standing committee to fight expansion. The LibDems want to work together on this, and Richmond will also work with other, similarly opposed local authorities.
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Parties unite to fight “deeply flawed” Heathrow expansion report

United: Lord True and Gareth Roberts

By George Odling, (Richmond and Twickenham Local Guardian)
9.7.2015

Council leader Lord True launched a scathing attack on the “wretchedly predictable” Davies Commission recommendation for Heathrow expansion at Tuesday’s council meeting, and called for a cross-party campaign against a third runway.

The £20m commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, recommended the west London airport for expansion last week after three years of debate and research.

Jul 1: Davies Commission report “beggars belief”, say anti-expansion campaigners

Lord True cited failures to address noise pollution, air quality, security issues and a “questionable loading of the economic dice in favour of big Heathrow” in the “deeply flawed” report and said Richmond Council would never accept expansion in any form.

He said: “They will have to abolish this council first.”

The leader lambasted the “contemptible” attitude of Davies committee members and quoted from a section of the report that claimed the negative effect of aircraft noise on people’s happiness was less than the negative effect associated with living in social housing.

He said: “I am not sure whether that shameful comparison actually says more about the commission’s disregard for the impact of noise or the snobbish people who must be in and around the commission.”

Lord True called for a “fighting fund” to be set up to legally challenge expansion and, referring to the incident in June that saw a stowaway fall from a plane on to a Richmond office block, he highlighted security issues that would be exacerbated should the number of flights over London be increased.

He said: “Let’s pray that person or successful trespasser on a far away airport is never a bomb-placer or suicide bomber.

“I am going to pick up on that case to try and highlight the security point to send a strong message to the airlines and aviation authorities we are exploring precisely how to take legal action against those who fail to protect the borough.”

Leader of Richmond’s Liberal Democrats, Gareth Roberts, said he was delighted to second a motion calling for a special standing committee to fight expansion.

He said: “On this issue which poses a genuine threat not only to the health of local residents but also to their quality of life it is only proper that the two parties on the council set aside their differences and unite in the face of a common threat.

“Furthermore the opportunity to work with other, similarly opposed local authorities will ensure that we are not a lone voice fighting against the power and influence of the money men lurking in the shadow of the pro-expansion camp.”

http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/13380134.Parties_unite_to_fight__deeply_flawed__Heathrow_expansion_report/?ref=twtrec

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See also:

Councils call for swift decision on airports report

1st July 2015 (Wandsworth Council)

Councils around Heathrow and across West London have called on the Government to rule out a third runway at the airport and dismiss the UK Airport Commission’s final report.

The local authorities say the legal, political and environmental barriers to expansion are insurmountable and that communities around the airport should be spared the anxiety of a long drawn out process.

The report was published today and ministers have promised to respond ‘by the end of the year’.

The councils have also criticised the commission for suggesting a ban on night flights should follow the delivery of a new runway, instead of being imposed straight away. They argue that the airport and airlines have to prove they can actually deliver a night flying curfew before it’s used as a bargaining chip.

Other key weaknesses highlighted by the councils include:

  • Air pollution – the report says new runway capacity would only be ‘released’ if air pollution targets are met. This means a runway could be built at a huge cost to taxpayers but with no guarantee it can be used. This is a ludicrous gamble.
  • New flight paths – the commission has ducked the politically toxic issue of new flight paths which it says will be decided after a further review of airspace. The councils say it is unacceptable that after £20million and three years of work the commission cannot confirm which communities will be affected by its preferred option.

Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said:

“The Airports Commission has spent three years and £20million to come up with a list of “ifs and buts” required before a third runway at Heathrow could be considered.

“Whilst I appreciate that they have tried to make the best of a poor job, it is very disappointing that the pursuit of economic growth and profit for the foreign owners of Heathrow, whilst accepted as important, is given priority over the effects on the environment and the lives and health and wellbeing of residents of the West of London.

“It will take some time to read through the report in detail but from the headlines it is clear to me that expansion at Heathrow will never happen – no ifs or buts.”

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said:

“A third runway would inevitably push Heathrow’s world leading noise and pollution impacts to new highs and severely damage the quality of life across the UK’s most densely populated region. The environmental controls Davies suggests are inadequate would inevitably be watered down leaving millions of people unprotected. Already Heathrow’s leadership has refused to endorse them.

“Of course Londoners want to see night flights abolished but not in exchange for new flight paths across our city and thousands more planes flying over our homes every day. If the commission was serious about this it would have banned them now.  

“Expecting passengers to pay a new noise levy is another major disappointment which would push up ticket prices and penalise the travelling public. This cost should clearly be met by the airport and airlines but the commission is letting them off the hook.”

Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“This report is bad news for West Londoners – disastrous news at every level, the result of a deeply cynical manoeuvre to delay a decision for five years to enable a promise everyone in West London believed to be dropped.

“This report is a cunning trade-off, which is aimed to appease local residents, as it is well known that we are bitterly opposed to night flights. We have long maintained that there should be a night ban, yet we also realise that there is a catch. The easy bit is for the commission to say “there should be a ban” – yet it is not in the gift of the  government to stop them; at least not without a severe penalty.  If it tries to stop them it may well have to pay the airlines many millions in compensation for their ‘grandfather rights’ – which has not been priced in the financial calculations. 

“If the government accept this recommendation there would be a major issue of personal credibility. I believe the Prime Minister will stand by his word. Together with our partner local authorities, we will fight this recommendation with every means at our disposal.”

Cllr Carwyn Cox, cabinet member for environmental services at Windsor and Maidenhead Council, said:

“I’m extremely disappointed that the Airports Commission has backed proposals to expand Heathrow despite all the evidence that this is not the best option.  

“A final decision has not yet been made and we will continue to make the strongest case possible against the Heathrow expansion plans.”

Leader of Kingston Council Cllr Kevin Davis said:

“We are obviously disappointed with the recommendation of the Davies commission to expand Heathrow – we think that is the wrong option.

“However we also believe that there are so many caveats tied to this recommendation, especially around the stopping of night flights, the noise levy and particularly my grave concerns on air quality, that it effectively renders a Heathrow option as unworkable.

“Davies talks about ‘Heathrow being a good neighbour’.  But we believe that the cost of doing that, even if it could be done, would saddle Heathrow with a massive competitive disadvantage and would be a step backwards for UK aviation – not a step forward.

“I will now redouble our efforts to convince the government of that case.”

http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/article/12909/councils_call_for_swift_decision_on_airports_report

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Airports Commission failed to understand barriers to Heathrow expansion

1st July 2015 (Wandsworth Council)

Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia has expressed his disappointment at the Airport Commission’s final report.

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said:

“This commission has cost taxpayers more than £20 million but has failed to understand the legal, political and environmental barriers that ensure Heathrow expansion will never happen.

“A third runway would inevitably push Heathrow’s world leading noise and pollution impacts to new highs and severely damage the quality of life across the UK’s most densely populated region. The environmental controls Davies suggests are inadequate, untested and in some cases undeliverable. They would inevitably be watered down and fail to protect millions of people from severe blight. Already Heathrow’s leadership has  refused to endorse them.

“Of course Londoners want to see night flights abolished but not in exchange for new flight paths across our city and thousands more planes flying over our homes every day. If the Commission really thinks this is an acceptable solution it shows how wilfully blind it is to the true impacts of this airport.

“Expecting passengers to pay a new noise levy is another major disappointment which would push up ticket prices and penalise the travelling public. This cost should clearly be met by the industry.”

http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/article/12905/airports_commission_failed_to_understand_barriers_to_heathrow_expansion

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Elderly couple in Harmondsworth vow to fight Heathrow 3rd runway, which would see their home bulldozed

Armelle Thomas, wife of a 93-year-old WW2 veteran and Harmondsworth resident, is “incensed” after a Heathrow letter was delivered to her door 90 minutes after the Airport Commission’s recommendation. The letter was a reminder about the compulsory purchase order on her home – just 90 minutes after the Davies recommendation for a 3rd Heathrow (destroying most of Harmondsworth) was announced. The couple face their home being bulldozed if the north-west runway goes ahead. Arnelle says there is “no way” they’d consider leaving the village her husband “fell in love with” when he first moved there in 1964.  She was shocked that Heathrow had those letters out within just 90 minutes of the announcement.  Armelle said: “If they actually try to bulldoze, my husband – who by then will be 97 – will be standing outside and we’ll see what happens. We have no intention of moving. My husband has the right to die in this house and I promised him as much.” A promise made is a promise kept.” Tommy fought in World War 2 with distinction, and now in his twilight years, he is going to be turned out of his home. This plays on his mind all the time, and the stress is not helping his health. All Heathrow is offering is 125% of the price of the homes to be demolished. Their house prices have been blighted for years by Heathrow.
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Hayes & Harlington MP John McDonnell says the Davies Commission has “absolutely failed” to take account of the “heartbreak” caused by its recommendations.

He said: “So many local families are now in the appalling situation of facing the loss of their homes and community.

“Teachers and children at our village primary schools are at risk of losing their jobs and their school places. The threat of this upheaval is devastating.”

Mr McDonnell has convened a public meeting for residents at 7.30pm on Thursday (July 9) at Heathrow Primary School, Sipson.

 

 

Elderly couple vow to fight Heathrow third runway which would see their home bulldozed

9.7.2015  (Get West London)

By KATHERINE CLEMENTINE

Armelle Thomas, wife of a 93-year-old WW2 veteran, is “incensed” after a Heathrow letter was delivered to her door 90 minutes after the Airport Commission’s recommendation

Mrs Thomas with the letter delivered 90 minutes after the Davies recommendation, and her husband’s war medals

A Harmondsworth resident was “incensed” after receiving a letter reminding her of a compulsory purchase order on her home – just 90 minutes after the Davies recommendation was announced.

Armelle Thomas, of Cambridge Close, is in a “fighting mood” after the news that the Airport Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, has recommended a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Mrs Thomas and her husband Tommy, a 93-year old WW2 veteran, face their homes being bulldozed if the north-west runway goes ahead.

She says there is “no way” they’d consider leaving the village her husband “fell in love with” when he first moved there in 1964.

Speaking to getwestlondon, Mrs Thomas said: “It’s not so much the letter which I found shocking, it’s that they delivered it in 90 minutes to our door. The letter has probably gone worldwide now because I was so incensed it was all over the media.

“If they actually try to bulldoze, my husband – who by then will be 97 – will be standing outside and we’ll see what happens. We have no intention of moving.

“My husband has the right to die in this house and I promised him as much as I can he will die in this house. A promise made is a promise kept.”

French-born Mr Thomas volunteered at RAF Uxbridge aged 17 and renounced his dual nationality to fight for Great Britain during WWII in the 161 Special Duties Squadron based at Tempsford.

He was awarded the Légion D’honneur for courage by the French government in 1991.

Armelle with her husband Tommy, pictured in 2012
Mrs Thomas said: “It’s very easy to remember the dead but not the living. My husband is a veteran who fought for this country and now he’s going to lose his home.

“It’s on his mind all the time. He’s already had a heart attack and two strokes due to pollution, noise and stress and it’s destroying the quality of life that he deserves – there isn’t one day when we don’t mention it.”

A spokesman for Heathrow said they were pleased following the announcement by the commission, and said it was a “significant milestone” for the airport.

He added that the report recognises the benefits such as 80,000 new jobs as well as the downsides.

Matt Gorman, sustainability and environment director, said: “The point of writing [the letter] was to acknowledge the uncertainty around the announcement and reassure residents potentially directly impacted that we will stay in touch – as we have done throughout this process.

“For those living close to the area who face losing their homes, we take this very seriously and have offered a very generous compensation package.

“We have offered to buy properties at 25% above market value and many local people have welcomed this.”

But Mrs Thomas says Heathrow’s claim is “rubbish” with each house being independently assessed and feels the people of Harmondsworth have been blighted by noise and pollution.

She said: “We’ve never gained from the market because we’ve always been blighted and that’s never been recognised by Heathrow Airport. So when they say that they’ve been very generous it is a lie.”

‘Insensitive’

In the letter to residents losing their home, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye, said: “The Government must now decide whether to act on this recommendation, and give policy support for a new runway to the north-west of Heathrow.

“Heathrow would then have to apply for and obtain planning consent before any new runway could be built.”

John Stewart, chair of HACAN, said: “It was very insensitive to send letters to residents within hours of the recommendation. Particularly when the Government has still to make a final decision.”

Hayes & Harlington MP John McDonnell says the Davies Commission has “absolutely failed” to take account of the “heartbreak” caused by its recommendations.

He said: “So many local families are now in the appalling situation of facing the loss of their homes and community.

“Teachers and children at our village primary schools are at risk of losing their jobs and their school places. The threat of this upheaval is devastating.”

Mr McDonnell has convened a public meeting for residents at 7.30pm on Thursday (July 9) at Heathrow Primary School, Sipson.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/elderly-couple-vow-fight-heathrow-9604234

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Leeds Bradford airport expansion plans need 36.2 hectares of green belt land owned by Leeds Council

Expansion plans have been unveiled for Leeds Bradford Airport to enable it to bring in double the amount of passengers over the next 15 years.  The proposals would see Leeds Council releasing 36.2 hectares of greenbelt land in and near to the airport. It would be used to increase the passenger terminal building and develop an airport village, including a hotel, restaurant and shops. The plans would also result in new flight destinations being introduced.  Leeds Bradford airport currently handles around 3.3 million passengers per year but its forecasts show a potential to increase that to 7.1 million by 2030. The plans include an air innovation park to attract research and development companies and an air freight park for improved cargo handling.  Leeds Council said releasing the council-owned land would help businesses grow and bring in new jobs and skills. Better transport connections including a new link road are also being looked at. The proposals were discussed at a meeting of the council’s executive board on 15 July. They will go out to public consultation later in the year. The airport was bought from local councils in 2007 for £145.5 million.  Although Bridgepoint Capital own the airport 100% financially, the councils hold a “special share” in the airport, to protect its name and continued operation as an air transport gateway for the Yorkshire region.

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Leeds Bradford Green Belt area to be lostArea of farmland to be lost (From Rose Bridger)

Protest outside Leeds Council on Weds 15th July

Leeds_protest (2)

Leeds City Council Executive Board discussed measures to support growth of Leeds Bradford Airport – allocating 36.2 hectares of greenbelt land adjacent to the airport for commercial development (shops, hotel, restaurant, freight park) and increasing capacity aiming to double passenger numbers to 7.1 million by 2030.

There was a small protest outside Leeds Civic Hall with banner etc.

 


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Land release plan to aid Leeds Bradford Airport gets green light amid protest

16.7.2015 (Yorkshire Evening Post)

Proposals to aid the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport have been given the backing of Leeds City Council leaders despite opposition from local campaigners.

Around a dozen protestors and north Leeds residents from the Global Anti-Aerotropolis Movement voiced their concerns over the council’s plans to release 36.2 hectares of land in and around the airport’s Yeadon site to support its growth.

Placards stating ‘Save Greenbelt, No Airport Growth’ were waved outside Leeds Civic Hall before councillors backed the land release today.

It is thought that the land could be used to expand the terminal, develop possible new transport links and create an “airport village” boasting a hotel, restaurants and shops.

Coun Richard Lewis, the council’s executive member for transport, said: “We’ve made a huge commitment as a council to the expansion of the airport, it’s now the job of the airport to realise quite the commitment we’ve made and act in support.”

He said allocating the land for future development will “bolster the airport’s continued success” and ensure a major employment site in north west Leeds continues to thrive.

Coun Andrew Carter, Conservative leader, backed the idea but sought reassurance on the level of contact with residents over future plans. He said: “We are all aware improved access is imperative but there needs to be thorough consultation.”

Council leader Coun Judith Blake, said connectivity is “absolutely key”, though it is thought a link road is years away.

Leeds raked in nearly £60million from the £145m sale of the airport to private firm Bridgepoint in 2007. It aims to host 7.1m passengers a year by 2030.

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/land-release-plan-to-aid-leeds-bradford-airport-gets-green-light-amid-protest-1-7360792

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Expansion plan unveiled for Leeds Bradford Airport

8.7.2015 (BBC)

Better transport links to the airport are being looked at as part of the plans

Expansion plans have been unveiled for Leeds Bradford Airport to enable it to bring in double the amount of passengers over the next 15 years.

The proposals would see Leeds Council releasing 36.2 hectares of greenbelt land in and near to the airport.

It would be used to increase the passenger terminal building and develop an airport village, including a hotel, restaurant and shops.

The plans would also result in new flight destinations being introduced.

Bring new jobs

The airport, in Yeadon, is currently used by 3.3m passengers a year but forecasts show a potential to increase that to 7.1m by 2030.

The council said the airport needed to expand in order to accommodate the predicted rise.

Also included in the expansion plan is an air innovation park to attract research and development companies and an air freight park for improved cargo handling.

The authority said releasing the council-owned land would help businesses grow and bring in new jobs and skills.

Better transport connections including a new link road are also being looked at.

The proposals will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s executive board on 15 July.

If approved, they will go out to public consultation later in the year.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-33444447

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Council planning document

Here is the full proposal for the land allocation for Leeds Bradford Airport, a mini aerotropolis ‘airport village’ with the typical commercial development – shops, hotels, restaurant, freight park etc – on 36.2 hectares of greenbelt land.

Map of greenbelt land at risk is on page 163   Link

The council says: 

“Conclusion 5.1. The 36.23ha of General Employment land in the employment hub is necessary to meet the district wide need of 493ha. It is considered that the City Council should be supportive of the employment hub in order to boost the economic offer of the city and region, attracting new inward investment. But this is providing that the land release is carefully controlled to ensure that the employment hub is brought forward for the intended purpose of general employment land as part of a comprehensive strategy for airport growth. Therefore, Members are urged to support the allocation of 36.23ha of land with Policy EG3 which sets a requirement for a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to be prepared which will control the delivery and phased release of employment land in tandem with Airport growth and provision of transport and other infrastructure. The SPD preparation will seek involvement of LBIA, landowners and other relevant interests. The SPD will safeguard the employment land for general employment and ancillary uses rather than commercial airport services such as car parking, hotels and food and drink outlets.”

 

The owner of the airport is Bridgepoint Capital and the operator is Leeds Bradford International Airport Limited.

Wikipedia says, of Leeds Bradford Airport:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeds_Bradford_International_Airport

Ownership

Leeds and Bradford councils jointly bought the airport site at Yeadon in 1930,[15] which opened as Yeadon Aerodrome in 1931. The airport became a limited company in 1987, and was shared between the five surrounding boroughs of Leeds (40%), Bradford (40%) and Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees (together sharing the remaining 20%).

In October 2006 plans to privatise the airport were confirmed when Bradford Council became the last of the five controlling councils to agree to sell off the airport to the private sector. On 4 April 2007 the five controlling councils announced that Bridgepoint Capital had been selected as the preferred bidder.[16] On 3 May 2007 Bridgepoint was confirmed as the buyer.[17]

On 4 May 2007 Bridgepoint Capital acquired the airport from Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees councils for £145.5 million. Although Bridgepoint Capital own the airport 100% financially, the councils hold a “special share” in the airport, to protect its name and continued operation as an air transport gateway for the Yorkshire region. The new owners said they were to implement a £70 million capital expenditure plan, to focus on improving passenger and retail infrastructure in order to increase passenger capacity to 7 million per annum by 2015.[4]

The Masterplan

In 2004 the airport published a master plan in line with government recommendations. The master plan set out the following proposals for future development:[7][8][9]

  • Expansion of the terminal buildings, with new gates added including airbridge boarding tunnels.
  • New aircraft parking areas (there are currently 24 stands, this would increase to 31).
  • A change to the runway configuration (part of which has already been carried out). This includes building a taxiway parallel to the main runway. This would allow aircraft movements to increase from 26 to 34 per hour.
  • New airfield equipment and buildings (including aircraft hangars, new flight catering facilities and a new fuel farm).
  • Hotel and office space (the first phase of which is now complete).
  • A railway station from a spur near Horsforth.
  • New car parking areas.
  • A new link road from the A65, to the airport and then to the A658.

The master plan sets out the stages of development for Leeds Bradford Airport over the next 10 years and outlines general proposals for the period from 2016 to 2030. It is estimated that by 2016 the airport will handle in excess of 5.1 million passengers per year as well as seeing a significant increase in freight traffic. Both Flybe and Ryanair have expressed an interest in expanding their routes at the airport, with Ryanair announcing intentions to base aircraft there.[10] By 2010 Ryanair had made good this pledge and hadBoeing 737-800 aircraft based at the airport operating new routes.

Bridgepoint Capital and Leeds City Council hope that by redeveloping the airport, it will attract even more companies, jobs and people to the area which already has a population of 2.9 million.[7]

Bridgepoint Capital development plan of 2008

On 5 November 2008, Bridgepoint Capital announced their £28 million plans to redevelop the airport terminal.[11] Planning permission was submitted to Leeds City Council in late November 2008. The plans involve building in front of the current terminal building, effectively turning the current crescent-shaped building into a semicircle. As the current terminal buildings are the product of 40 years of extensions, there is no continuity to the layout and the buildings can become very congested. The extension would be set over two stories and would facilitate new departure and arrival facilities. The ground floor will house new check-in halls, while on the first floor there will be a large departure lounge, featuring a glass roof.[12] Both arrival and departure facilities will benefit from new retail facilities as the management claimed that current facilities were ‘inadequate and unenticing’. It is estimated that with the completion of the airport extension and the forecast new flights, an extra 2,000 jobs will be generated at the airport.[13] Since 2008 the redevelopment plans have remained largely unchanged, however the proposed external appearance of the building has changed, being clad in black instead of the white cladding that had initially been proposed.[14]

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MEPs demand end to aviation tax breaks, but fudge investor protection in trade deal

MEPs have called for EU-US cooperation to end commercial aviation fuel tax exemptions,  in line with the G-20 commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.  MEPs want clear guarantees that TTIP won’t undermine EU environmental standards and climate goals.  The clear statement by the MEPS was in sharp contrast to the European Parliament’s ambiguity on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), where it called for an ‘alternative system’ but with the same purpose as ISDS – leaving EU negotiators none the wiser on a final agreement that would be acceptable to MEPs.  While in the EU consumers, small businesses and hauliers pay an average of €0.48  in tax per litre for fuel, commercial airlines in the EU don’t pay any tax on jet fuel. This subsidy is fuelling air traffic growth, with aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions expected to increase 300% by 2050. The continuation of the  €20 billion outdated fuel tax exemptions for aviation is an anachronism. The annual fossil fuel subsidy is being given for the most carbon-intensive form of transport. “With air passenger numbers set to grow 4% a year for the next 20 years, the aviation sector can well afford to pay its way.” The 10th negotiation round of TTIP negotiations will take place next week. 

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MEPs demand end to aviation tax breaks, but fudge investor protection in trade deal

8.7.2015 (T&E – Transport and Environment)

MEPs today called for EU-US cooperation to end aviation fuel tax exemptions as part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The clear statement was in sharp contrast to the Parliament’s ambiguity on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), where it called for an ‘alternative system’ but with the same purpose as ISDS – leaving EU negotiators none the wiser on a final agreement that would be acceptable to MEPs.
Transport & Environment, which is a member of the European Commission’s TTIP advisory group, welcomed MEPs’ call for clear guarantees that TTIP won’t undermine EU environmental standards and climate goals and, crucially, for cooperation to end fuel tax exemptions for commercial aviation in line with the G-20 commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.
Consumers, small businesses and hauliers pay an average of 48 cent in tax per litre [1] while commercial airlines in the EU don’t pay a cent in tax to fuel their planes. This subsidising is fuelling air traffic growth, with aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions expected to increase 300% by 2050. [2]
Cécile Toubeau, senior policy officer at T&E, said: “It is great that Parliament wants TTIP to end the outdated fuel tax exemptions for aviation – a €20 billion fossil fuel subsidy for the most carbon-intensive form of transport. With air passenger numbers set to grow 4% a year for the next 20 years, the aviation sector can well afford to pay its way.”
But MEPs from the European People’s Party and Socialist groups also voted through a compromise to replace ISDS with a ‘new system for resolving disputes between investors and states’, which is itself the purpose of ISDS. Critics said the ambiguity would keep both groups happy while offering the European Commission zero guidance on what form of investor protection could be passed by Parliament in a final deal.
ISDS clauses allow businesses to bypass national court systems and sue governments directly, in special private arbitration panels, over measures that can jeopardise future profits – typically laws designed to protect the public. ISDS cases have trebled in the last decade.
Cécile Toubeau concluded: “Centre-left MEPs claim this is a No to the inclusion of investor protection in TTIP, yet the centre-right insists this vote supports the Commission’s reformed investor-protection proposal. That ambiguity means the European Commission can feel in no way certain its version of investor protection will be acceptable to the Parliament.”
The 10th negotiation round of TTIP negotiations will take place next week. The Commission intends to publish its new text on investor protection after the summer, but before publication it will consult with EU governments, the Parliament, and the members of its advisory group.
ENDS
Notes to editor:
[2]   ICAO, Global Aviation CO2 Emissions Projections to 2050 (2012), slide 8. Based on ICAO’s most optimistic projection. http://www.icao.int/environmental-protection/GIACC/Giacc-4/CENV_GIACC4_IP1_IP2%20IP3.pdf
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Also from T&E:  (23..6.2015)
“International aviation emissions have grown 90 per cent since 1990, and are expected to grow by up to 270 per cent by 2050. CO2 and greenhouse gases (GHGs) from aviation account for some five per cent of the overall climate problem – its CO2 emissions alone are on a par with Germany’s.
“These figures are hardly surprising; international aviation fuel is tax exempt, air tickets are hardly taxed, there are no emission reduction targets for the sector under current international climate agreements, and no fuel efficiency standards for aircraft. Also unsurprising is the fact that developed countries are the main source of emissions. US domestic and international emissions make up 29 per cent of all aviation emissions. Together, the EU and North American markets account for half of total global aviation emissions. Action from these two markets to lead in reducing emissions is essential.”
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and it continues …………

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Treasury opens consultation on protecting regional airports from impact of devolving APD

In the Summer 2015 Budget, the Chancellor has announced a short consultation (ends of 8th September) on options for supporting English regional airports from the impacts of Air Passenger Duty (APD) devolution. Sootland may remove APD, and so may Wales. Airports in the north of England are concerned they could lose passengers, to cheaper Scottish flights. The consultation sets out three options for changes to APD. The first is devolving APD within the UK, with powers over APD devolved fully or partially to local authorities within England.  The second is varying APD rates within England, so central government would retain powers over APD for the English regions. The rates of UK APD would be varied according to specific criteria, resulting in different rates in different parts of the country. The third is to provide aid to regional airports within England, which have been adversely affected by the devolution of APD. This could be through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, mainly for the smallest airports and those with up to 3 million passengers per year may be permitted investment aid only in ‘case specific circumstances’.  Many airports likely to be affected could be too large to be eligible for aid.
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The Treasury reiterates:In the absence of any tax on flying, aviation would be relatively under-taxed compared with other goods and services. APD recognises this fact and ensures that the aviation sector contributes toward general taxation.”

 

Mentions of Air Passenger Duty in the Summer 2015 Budget:

The devolution of Air Passenger Duty (APD) to the Welsh Assembly will continue to be considered alongside the review of options to mitigate the impacts of APD devolution on regional airports. The government is publishing a discussion paper on regional airports alongside the Budget, setting out how some of the options could work.

Air Passenger Duty (APD) devolution – The government is today publishing a discussion paper on options for supporting English regional airports with the impacts of APD devolution.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summer-budget-2015/summer-budget-2015#the-uk-economy-and-public-finances

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The Treasury’s discussion document is entitled 

“Discussion paper on options for supporting English regional airports from the impacts of air passenger duty devolution”

(9 pages of text)

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/442960/Discussion_paper_on_impacts_of_air_passenger_duty_on_regional_airports.pdf

The consultation lasts till the 8th September 2015.

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The introduction:

1.1 The government has a long term economic plan to rebalance growth across the regions and nations of the UK, closing the long term gaps between the north and south, London and the rest of the country, and strengthening the UK economy as a whole. This includes the commitment to a major transfer of power to our great cities and counties and nations so that local people can take more control of the decisions that affect them.

1.2 As part of this plan, the government is delivering the Smith Agreement for Scotland and the St David’s Day Agreement for Wales, as well as further devolution to cities, towns and counties in England. In England, the government is creating a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ by pushing ahead to deliver a package of devolved powers to major northern cities, following the Greater Manchester Deal, and investing in transport and infrastructure.

1.3 In July 2012, the government devolved powers over rates of Air Passenger duty (APD) for direct long haul flights to the Northern Ireland Assembly. In September 2014, the cross-party Smith Commission recommended the devolution of APD to the Scottish Parliament. The government introduced legislation to enable this in May 2015, as part of the Scotland Bill. In February 2015, as part of the St David’s Day Agreement on the future of devolution in Wales, the government announced it will consider the case for devolving APD to the Welsh Assembly.

1.4 Regional airports in England have expressed concern about the impacts of APD devolution to Scotland and Wales on their business. Specifically, they are concerned that a decision to lower APD rates in Scotland or Wales could draw passengers and airlines away from their airports.

1.5 The government appreciates these concerns. Regional airports play an important role as local employers and enable the transport of people and products nationally and internationally. This improves connectivity, increases trade and helps to create new jobs.

1.6 The government is therefore reviewing potential options to help mitigate the impacts of the devolution of APD on regional airports. As part of this review, the government would like to explore the following three options in more detail: 1 Devolving APD within England 2 Varying APD rates within England 3 Providing aid to regional airports within England

1.7 This discussion paper sets out how these options could work, and highlights key points for consideration.

The government welcomes views on the options, together with any further evidence on the likely impact of the options on airlines, airports, passenger numbers and growth – both in specific regions and across the UK as a whole.

The government will also welcome the opportunity to meet with interested parties to explore their views further. Interested parties are invited to submit their comments on the paper to HM Treasury by 8 September 2015, by emailing ETTanswers@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk or writing to:

APD Discussion Paper Energy and Transport Tax Team HM Treasury 1 Horse Guards Road London, SW1A 2HQ


Part 2

Devolving APD within England

2.1 This option would see powers over APD devolved fully or partially to local authorities or Combined Authorities (including mayoral city-regions) within England.

2.2 Full devolution would entail UK APD being “switched off” in an area, and local authorities given the power to raise their own APD on passengers leaving airports within their geographic boundaries.

2.3 Partial devolution would entail UK APD continuing to apply within a local authority’s boundaries, but with the authority being given the power over one or more rates of APD. One option for the partial devolution of APD would be to devolve power over long haul rates only. For example, powers over APD rates for direct long haul flights are devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

 

…..  then there is more detail  …

Impact

2.13 This option would enable areas within England to lower APD rates for travel from their airports, to match or undercut APD levels in other parts of the country. However, authorities would need to bear the fiscal consequences of these decisions, so would need to weigh the economic or social benefits for a region of lower APD against the impact on a local authority’s budget.

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Part 3

Varying APD rates within England

3.1 Under this option, central government would retain powers over APD, except where these had been devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The rates of UK APD would be varied according to specific criteria, resulting in different rates in different parts of the country.

Selectivity

3.2 As noted above, under EU State aid rules, Member States must not vary national tax rates in a way that is more favourable to individual regions.

3.3 It has been suggested that setting rates of UK APD according to criteria related to levels of airport congestion may be compliant with the EU requirement of non-selectivity. However, the government would need to seek the view of the European Commission to confirm the legality of this approach.

Rates set according to congestion levels

3.4 Varying rates of APD according to congestion levels would involve setting higher rates on flights from more congested airports and lower rates on flights from less congested airports.

3.5 The Final Report of the Airports Commission, published in July 2015, assessed the impact of increasing APD at capacity constrained airports. It found that rather than driving more effective usage of existing capacity and delivering enhanced connectivity, the effect was a reduction in flights from Gatwick – but not from Heathrow – and an overall reduction in the UK’s international connectivity.

3.6 Modelling published by HMRC in 2012 suggests that if prices at Heathrow and Gatwick increased by the equivalent of 50 per cent of APD the number of passengers would decline by 15 per cent at Heathrow and by 30 per cent at Gatwick, within a 5 year period. Moreover, the modelling suggests that the subsequent redistribution of passengers would benefit certain regional airports but have a negative impact on others.

Tax administration

3.7 Varying APD rates regionally would lead to a more complicated tax collection environment. This would increase administrative burdens on airlines and HMRC, and increase the scope for error and fraud.

Impact

3.8 This option would result in redistribution of passengers between airports, with some airports gaining passengers and flights and some losing out. Modelling the exact impacts of a change to determine likely winners and losers is complex, and it is unclear if this option would be effective in supporting those airports most likely to be affected by lower APD rates in Scotland or Wales.


Part 4

Providing aid to regional airports within England

4.1 This option would involve the provision of aid to those airports or regions particularly affected by the devolution of APD.

Regional Air Connectivity Fund

4.2 The Regional Air Connectivity Fund was launched in June 2013 to help ensure that all regions of the country are well served by air transport links.

4.3 Initially the Fund has been used to provide support – known as a Public Service Obligation (PSO) – for existing air routes from another region to London that are in danger of being withdrawn. This reflects the importance of attracting investment and tourism to peripheral regions and ensuring that no area is cut off from the economic and cultural centres of the capital. So far, two routes have been protected with PSO funding totalling over £5 million – from Dundee to London Stansted and Newquay to London Gatwick.

 

…… and it continues …….

Impact

4.7 While this option might provide support for the smallest regional airports potentially impacted by APD devolution to Scotland and Wales, many airports likely to be affected could be too large to be eligible for aid.


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APD Background Note

A.1 APD is a tax levied on the carriage of passengers on aircraft taking off from UK airports. It becomes due when a flight departs, and is payable by the operator of the aircraft. The amount due is dependent on the final destination and class of travel of the chargeable passengers on board the flight.

 A.2 In line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules, the UK does not tax fuel used for international flights. Whilst many other countries levy VAT on domestic flights, there is also no VAT on flights from the UK.

A.3 In the absence of any tax on flying, aviation would be relatively under-taxed compared with other goods and services. APD recognises this fact and ensures that the aviation sector contributes toward general taxation.

Reform

A.4 Budget 2014 reduced the cost of flying to countries over 4,000 miles from London by reforming APD from a 4-band system to a 2-band system (essentially Europe and non-Europe) from 1 April 2015. This scrapped the two highest band rates for APD and cut the cost of flying to the furthest long haul destinations.

A.5 Autumn Statement 2014 exempted children from the reduced rate of APD. Since 1 May 2015, children under 12 have been exempted. This will be extended to include children under 16 from 1 March 2016.

Devolution

A.6 In response to the uniquely challenging situation faced by Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK to share a land border with another EU member state, the government took the decision, in line with the wishes of the Northern Ireland Executive, to devolve powers over APD rates for direct long haul flights to the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA). This was provided for in Finance Bill 2012 and in November 2012 the NIA passed the Air Passenger Duty Bill. This Bill sets the APD rates on direct long haul flights departing from Northern Ireland airports to zero.

A.7 In September 2014, the cross-party Smith Commission recommended the devolution of APD to the Scottish Parliament. The government introduced legislation to enable this in May 2015, as part of the Scotland Bill. This will give the Scottish Parliament the power to introduce its own APD, with rates at the levels it chooses.

A.8 The government is currently considering the case for devolving APD to the Welsh Assembly, as agreed in the February 2015 St David’s Day Agreement on the future of devolution in Wales.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/442960/Discussion_paper_on_impacts_of_air_passenger_duty_on_regional_airports.pdf

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NEF shows how 3rd Heathrow runway might improve well-being for a minority now, at the price of reduced well-being for future generations

The Commission’s report justified a new runway for the extra feelings of well-being that leisure flying brings people, stating: “Leisure flights have a high social value. Empirical analysis focused on passengers travelling on holiday or to visit friends and family has shown how the access to leisure travel affects mental health and wellbeing. The findings demonstrate these patterns of travel are associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, general and mental health, and happiness.” The research for the Commission was looking at trips for holidays or VFR.  NEF suggests this was the wrong question, and the Commission should have considered how to achieve sustainable, equitable well-being for the whole population, and decreasing inequalities in well-being.  As 70% of the total number of flights are taken by only 15% of the population, unsurprisingly, those who do fly are also, on average, richer.  So increasing air travel for the affluent has the potential to maintain or even increase existing well-being inequalities. This means a trade-off between the well-being of a minority of wealthier-than-average people now, against both the well-being of poorer people – as well as the future generations who stand to lose the most from unsustainable policies now.
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A third runway is no way to sustainable, equitable wellbeing

by Annie Quick (NEF – New Economics Foundation)

Wellbeing hit the headlines this week, featuring in the final report of Sir Howard Davies’ Airport Commission. Simon Jenkins, writing for The Guardian accuses Davies of claiming “blandly” that a bigger Heathrow means “higher levels of life satisfaction, mental health and happiness”.

The Davies report was actually a bit more specific than that, stating:

“Leisure flights have a high social value. Empirical analysis focused on passengers travelling on holiday or to visit friends and family has shown how the access to leisure travel affects mental health and wellbeing. The findings demonstrate these patterns of travel are associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, general and mental health, and happiness.”

This finding comes from a separate evidence review conduced by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) published alongside the main report. There have been some, mostly valid criticisms of how robust these findings are. No surprises there: most evidence is imperfect, and while we need to constantly be exploring these imperfections and, where necessary pursuing more and better studies, this shouldn’t stop us from acting on the best available evidence in the meantime.

But there is a wider lesson here about the questions that were asked to elicit these answers. The aim of the evidence review was:

“[T]o enable the Commission to better understand the links between leisure and quality of life. It is designed to help the Commission assess the impacts that a change in aviation capacity could have on those passengers travelling for leisure purposes, including those travelling for a holiday or visiting friends & relatives (VFR).”

This was the wrong question to have asked. Rather than exploring the immediate wellbeing impacts on those passengers who already fly, the Commission should have devoted its attention to exploring how aviation policy could achieve sustainable, equitable wellbeing for the whole population. This means not only improving average wellbeing, but also decreasing inequalities in wellbeing, and doing so in a way that safeguards wellbeing in the future.

What might such a study look like?

First, the question of who is taking leisure flights would be properly examined. Encouragingly, PwC does try to examine the effects of leisure holidays on different socio-economic groups, but runs up against a lack of evidence. A broader perspective could have come to some important conclusions about the equity effect on the whole population. As NEF’s own newly published work on securing a fairer way to fly reveals “it is estimated that 70% of the total number of flights are taken by only 15% of the population. Unsurprisingly, those who do fly are also, on average, richer. For example, the average income for leisure passengers at Edinburgh Airport in 2013 was more than twice the average Scottish income.”

We know that higher income is also associated with higher wellbeing. So protecting air travel for the minority who already enjoy leisure flights has the potential to maintain or even increase and exacerbate existing wellbeing inequalities. A policy framework focussed on increasing mean wellbeing while also reducing wellbeing inequalities would have given less priority to leisure fights for this population segment, compared to other considerations.

Second, in pursuit of sustainable wellbeing, we would look much more closely at the environmental efficiency of such wellbeing gains. So, a new runway could increase the wellbeing of a minority. But what if people could enjoy that wellbeing gain by travelling somewhere by train – in the UK or abroad? You’d get much more wellbeing bang for your environmental buck. The PwC report makes no attempt to compare holidays in the UK with holidays abroad, or trips taken by train with those taken by other modes of transport.

Much as proponents of a third runway would like to paint this choice as being between more misery or more flights, such a problematic trade-off between wellbeing and environmental impact stems from a false dichotomy.

The real trade off at stake here is quite different: the wellbeing of a minority of wealthier-than-average people now, against both the wellbeing of poorer and more vulnerable people already suffering from climate change – as well as the future generations who stand to lose the most from unsustainable policies.

The use of wellbeing evidence in the third runway debate shows why those of us who advocate greater use of its insights also need to be clearer and louder about the outcomes we care about. This means looking beyond crude wellbeing and requires a renewed focus on wellbeing that is both sustainable and equitable.

http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/why-a-third-runway-is-no-way-to-sustainable-and-equitable-wellbeing

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See earlier:

Forget “vital business connectivity” – Air travel makes you happy, says the Airports Commission. That’s why we need another runway

The Airport Commission (AC) changed its arguments sharply between its 2013 interim report and the final document. Initially the idea was that there was a need for a runway because of a rising need for business air travel, and vital business routes. Interestingly, in its final report, the AC – realising that the demand for business flights is not growing – has switched to saying it is good for leisure travellers. At Heathrow only at most 30% of passengers are on business, the majority are on holiday, and the rest visiting friends and relatives (VFR). The AC says because air travel and holidays make people happy, put them in a better of mind and give a feeling of well-being, a runway is needed so we can fly even more than we already do. This runway if ever built would, unavoidably, be mainly used for ever more leisure trips. Nothing to do with emerging economies or connectivity, unless the business people help make fares cheaper for the tourists, and vice versa. Having an annual holiday is associated with greater happiness. Whether taken by plane or other modes of travel. Nobody will be surprised. People who are able to take holidays tend to be happier than those that do not. (People involuntarily living with the adverse impacts of an airport may have lower well-being and be less happy).

Click here to view full story…

 

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Teddington Action Group continue towards Judicial Review of Airports Commission decision

Campaigners against expansion of Heathrow are calling for a judicial review of the Airports Commission’s decision to back a 3rd runway. The Teddington Action Group argues that there was a potential conflict of interest over Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies accepting the chairmanship of Royal Bank of Scotland, banker for companies that own Heathrow and Gatwick, and that the Commission’s 3 week May consultation on air quality was “rushed and insufficiently publicised”. The Airports Commission rejected both assertions in a response from the Treasury Solicitor. But Teddington Action Group spokesman, Paul McGuinness, said: “We are advised that the Treasury Solicitor’s response, on behalf of the Airports Commission, is inadequate and that we should be able to see this Judicial Review through to a successful conclusion”. So work on this continues …
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Action group calls for Airports Commission judicial review

by Phil Davies

6.7.2015

Campaigners against expansion of Heathrow are calling for a judicial review of the Airports Commission’s decision to back a third runway at the west London hub.

The Teddington Action Group argues that there was a potential conflict of interest over Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies accepting the chairmanship of Royal Bank of Scotland, banker for companies that own Heathrow and Gatwick, and that the Commission’s May consultation on air quality was “rushed and insufficiently publicised”.

The Airports Commission rejected both assertions in a response from the Treasury Solicitor.

But Teddington Action Group spokesman, Paul McGuinness, said: “We are advised that the Treasury Solicitor’s response, on behalf of the Airports Commission, is inadequate and that we should be able to see this Judicial Review through to a successful conclusion”.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry warned that the UK could lose up to £31 billion in trade to fast-growing economies by 2030 because of the wait to build a new runway.

The cost relates to the failure to increase flights to Brazil, Russia, India and China, according to the business group, meaning the true impact on trade of delaying the expansion of the UK’s airport capacity could be far higher.

The CBI said it was crucial for work on a new runway to begin by 2020, the Times reported.

A decision from government on the Airport Commission’s recommendations is due by the end of the year.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/Details/55820

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Earlier:

 

Teddington Action Group prepare to sue Airports Commission over lack of fair consultation on air quality

The Airports Commission and the Department of Transport have been notified by Neil Spurrier and Teddington Action Group (TAG) of their intent to apply for a Judicial Review of the Commission’s work. TAG is a group of residents affected by environmental nuisance in terms of emissions and noise from Heathrow flights. They have taken advice from leading counsel, and allege that the Airports Commission’s 3 week consultation on air quality, in May, was rushed and insufficiently publicised. This meant they (and many others) did not had a fair chance to respond. The consultation document was a highly technical 200 page report, containing a large amount of technical data. TAG say the lack of proper engagement by the Commission in relation to the latest air quality consultation is unacceptable and local people should be consulted in a meaningful way on an issue that directly impacts their health and well-being. TAG say the 3 week consultation is far shorter than the Cabinet Office guidelines which recommend three months for controversial or technical consultations. The length and nature of the air quality consultation was widely criticised, as being inadequate and unfair. TAG also questions the continuation of Sir Howard Davies in the role of chair of the Commission in the light of potential conflicts of interest, as he has been appointed to RBS.

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/06/teddington-action-group-prepare-to-sue-airports-commission-over-lack-of-fair-consultation-on-air-quality/

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John Holland-Kaye reluctant to accept conditions on Heathrow runway set by Airports Commission

The Airports Commission, in recommending a 3rd runway at Heathrow, set out a short set of conditions Heathrow would have to meet, to be allowed to build the runway. These conditions are not very onerous.  These included a ban on all flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am, better air quality, a legally-enforced “noise envelope”, and that Heathrow should be held to its pledge to spend over £1bn on community compensation.  And no 4th runway ever. But now, just days after the Commission’s report, John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, says the airport is “still assessing” the conditions, and “We’ll have to see how it fits into all the other things we’re doing,” and “I’m sure there is a package in there that we can agree with our local communities, with the airlines and with Government.”  Quite why conditions to be imposed on a runway to protect the public need to be agreed by the airport itself, not just imposed on it,  is a mystery.  Lord Adonis said the noise envelope, which the commission said might stipulate that there should be “no overall increase above current levels”, was one of the “weaknesses” of the Commission’s report.  It is not even clear what it even means – “total incidence of noise, high levels of noise, noise in particular communities”.   Manifestly adding another 50% more planes will increase the overall amount of noise.

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These are the conditions (in brief) set by the Commission on the Heathrow 3rd runway:

– A ban on all scheduled night flights from 11.30pm to 6am.
– No fourth runway – the government should make a firm commitment in parliament not to expand further. Davies states: “There is no sound operational or environmental case for a fourth runway.”
– A legally binding “noise envelope”.
– A noise levy on airport users to compensate local communities.
– A legal commitment on air quality (details to be announced, compliant with EU limits).
– A community engagement board to let local people have a say.
– An independent aviation noise authority to be consulted on flightpaths and operating procedures at airports.
– Training and apprenticeships for local people.

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Heathrow boss: Airports Commission does not understand our environmental measures

John Holland-Kaye said the airport was “still assessing” environmental measures the commission said should be a requisite for a third runway

Last week, the Sir Howard Davies-led commission concluded that while the “best answer” to solving Britain’s looming aviation capacity crisis is a third runway at the West London airport, it should only be built if accompanied bystrict measures on noise and air pollution.

These included a ban on all flights between 11.30pm and 6.00am, a legally-enforced “noise envelope”, and that Heathrow should be held to its pledge to spend over £1bn on community compensation.

Asked whether the airport would commit to the recommendations, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said on Monday it was “still assessing” Sir Howard’s conclusions.

“We’ll have to see how it fits into all the other things we’re doing, I’m not sure that the commission understood everything that we do today, but I’m sure there is a package in there that we can agree with our local communities, with the airlines and with Government,” he said.

David Cameron, the prime minister, has said a decision will be made by the end of the year on whether to implement Sir Howard’s politically divisive recommendations.

Previous attempts to expand Heathrow have been scuppered by environmental concerns, particularly about the impact of air pollution and noise on communities around the airport, which Sir Howard has attempted to address with his proposals.

The commission also recommended last week that a congestion charge at Heathrow “should” be considered as part of the mitigating measures accompanying a third runway.

While Heathrow has also proposed a charge in the past, Mr Holland-Kaye, who was speaking at the Runways UK conference, all but ruled out the measure on Monday.

“It’s something we did say we may need to use in extreme circumstances, we don’t think that we’re going to need it because we are going to have enough other mitigating factors,” the airport boss said. A spokesman for the airport added that it did not “currently envision the need for a congestion charge, but there may be a case for one after 2030”.

Lord Adonis, the former transport secretary, said on Monday that the noise envelope, which the commission said might stipulate that there should be “no overall increase above current levels”, was one of the “weaknesses” of Sir Howard’s report.

“There’s a huge debate about what ‘overall increase’ means,” Lord Adonis said, adding that it could mean “total incidence of noise, high levels of noise, noise in particular communities”. He warned that it was the type of issue the Government could spend years investigating before giving the Heathrow runway the greenlight.

It came as Mr Holland-Kaye announce plans for a new “Heathrow Garden City” that would see about 9,000 homes built in Hounslow. It is understood that the development would be funded by Hounslow Council, although the masterplan has been developed in partnership with Heathrow.

The council said the plan was not dependent on a third runway and that it is “is extremely conceptual”.

Noise has driven distrust of airports, says CAA boss

A perception of “broken promises” over aircraft noise has driven the break-down of relations between Heathrow and local residents, according to Andrew Haines, the chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Speaking at the Runways UK conference, Mr Haines said that Britain was behind other countries in tackling the issue.

“It could be argued that the UK historically has been far less innovative than international counterparts in developing ways to reduce aviation noise,” he said.

“We haven’t pushed the boundaries of what is possible for a whole variety of reasons, and not all of those rest with the airport or indeed the airline industry. As a consequence relations with some communities have broken down.”

He added: “There is a perception the industry has broken promises in the past.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/11721603/Heathrow-boss-Airports-Commission-does-not-understand-our-environmental-measures.html

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Airports Commission recommends a 3rd Heathrow runway, but leaving door open for Gatwick runway if Government find Heathrow too difficult to force through

The Commission has recommended the Heathrow north-west runway proposal, and is adamant that option has the most benefits for the UK. It has left the option of Gatwick open, but says the arguments are very, very much stronger for Heathrow. Having delivered its report, the Commission is now standing down.

Airports Commission’s Final Report

Airports Commission’s “Business Case and Sustainability Assessment – Heathrow Airport Northwest Runway”

Sir Howard Davies’ letter to Patrick McLoughlin 

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Heathrow hopes to make a monster 3-runway airport acceptable by building a 9,000 home “garden city”

At the RunwaysUK conference, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye spoke of his plans to create a 3-runway “aerotropolis” around the airport, with a 9,000-home Heathrow Garden City.  He said: “When you are relocating hotels and offices, why not put them next to the rail interchange, so that we can have fewer cars on the road — an aerotropolis, if you like …. If you are re-landscaping the airport boundary, why not link up the open spaces to create a green ribbon round the airport, with better local amenities …. and …. improve local flood defences? Why not improve the local road network and cycle paths?”  He said west London needs regeneration just as much as east London, and the airport would do that. The development is understood to be planned for the Hounslow area. Heathrow hopes to get public transport up by over 10% in 4 years, to try and get the air pollution problem  down low enough to be allowed a runway. And then: “We should get shovels in the ground by 2020 and the benefits of an expanded Heathrow in 2025.” Work was starting on gaining the planning consents needed for the development.  Holland-Kaye said the airport may not agree to all the conditions for expansion proposed by the Airports Commission, but believes “an agreement could be struck on them.”  
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Heathrow plans for 9,000-home new garden city

By Nicholas Cecil

6.7.2015 (Evening Standard)

Heathrow chiefs today unveiled plans to create a three-runway “aerotropolis” in west London with a 9,000-home new garden city.

In his first speech since the Airports Commission recommended a new runway at Heathrow, the airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye told how it would be reshaped to better fit into the local environment and economy.

“When you are relocating hotels and offices, why not put them next to the rail interchange, so that we can have fewer cars on the road — an aerotropolis, if you like,” he told a Runways UK conference in central London.

“If you are re-landscaping the airport boundary, why not link up the open spaces to create a green ribbon round the airport, with better local amenities. And while you are at it, why not improve local flood defences? Why not improve the local road network and cycle paths?”

The Heathrow boss stressed that west London needs regeneration just as much as the east of the city.

“Our neighbours in Southall and Feltham are aspirational,” he added. “Expansion will support the regeneration of west London, and tomorrow you will see an example of a regeneration plan, with the new Heathrow Garden City, including 9,000 homes.” The development is understood to be planned for the Hounslow area.

Mr Holland-Kaye also published plans to increase public transport use by more than 10 per cent over the next four years as it seeks to cut air pollution to ensure this is not a hurdle to expansion.

Calling for an early decision by the Government to back a third runway, he said: “We should get shovels in the ground by 2020 and the benefits of an expanded Heathrow in 2025.”

Work was starting on gaining the planning consents needed for the development.

He signalled that the airport may not agree to all the conditions for expansion proposed by the Airports Commission, but believes an agreement could be struck on them.

He admitted that 800 homes having to be demolished for the third runway would be “very painful” for the owners but stressed they were being offered 25 per cent above the unblighted market value for their properties.

John Stewart, chairman of anti-Heathrow expansion group HACAN who also spoke at the conference, stressed a final decision had not been made as this would be down to the Government, with the Cabinet deeply split.

While some residents would be attracted to the expansion plans by the pledge to stop night flights, others would still oppose them, he was due to add.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/heathrow-plans-for-9000home-new-garden-city-10368603.html
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Mr Holland-Kaye announced plans for a new “Heathrow Garden City” that would see about 9,000 homes built in Hounslow. It is understood that the development would be funded by Hounslow Council, although the masterplan has been developed in partnership with Heathrow.

The council said the plan was not dependent on a third runway and that it is “is extremely conceptual”.

 


Comment from a local resident:

Let’s Pretend. ……with Jolly Jonny.   [John Holland-Kaye]

“Today Jonny is going to build a magic AIRTOPIA  in Hounslow.

Every home will have a Magic Money Tree on their balcony to make up their low wages.
Everyone will ride around on a Unicorn to reduce traffic congestion.
Pixies will flap their wings to disperse dangerous pollution.
Leprechauns will sing merrily to drown out the intollerable aircraft noise.

A spokesperson for Hounslow Council said;
” Stop it ! My sides are splitting. That John Holland-Kaye is hilarious.”

Before adding; “You are joking ? He hasn’t said anything to us.”


Andrew Neather: Heathrow runway would see our air pollution take off

3.7.2015 (Evening Standard)

Following the Airports Commission’s backing for a third runway at Heathrow, the battle lines are drawn.

Among would-be 2016 mayoral candidates, Tory Zac Goldsmith is against. On the Labour side, Sadiq Khan is against, David Lammy in favour and Tessa Jowell presumed to be pro. Heathrow isn’t, in fact, a decision over which the Mayor has control. But a new runway would have a major impact on one area where the next mayor will be under real pressure: air quality.

In April the Supreme Court threw out as inadequate the Government’s plans to cut air pollution, demanding that ministers present new ones by the end of the year. The Mayor’s figures show that more than 4,200 Londoners die prematurely each year from dirty air. Our air breaks EU legal maximums for nitrogen dioxide, and as the Airports Commission report this week concedes, even without airport expansion, it is forecast to do so still in 2030.
With a new runway, Heathrow’s air traffic would rise by more than half, with an increase almost as large in the NO2 and particulate matter — tiny specks of soot — from jet engines. The commission ignores pollution from planes flying at over 1,000 feet. But even more NO2 would be added by increased ground traffic.

Today’s 73 million passengers a year would rise to more than 100 million by 2030, and 130 million by 2050. Taking out transfers, more than 50 million people now start or finish their journeys at Heathrow; in 2050 the commission says it would be 100 million.

Around 60 per cent of them now go by car or cab, another 12 per cent by bus or coach. Meanwhile more than 84,000 people work at the airport or in businesses directly related to it; nearly two-thirds of airport staff get to work by private transport, and more than 85 per cent by road. A 2009 study also estimated that Heathrow generated around 1.9 million one-way freight and service-related trips a year.

Not all of those road journeys pass through London, though much of their pollution, borne by prevailing winds, does. But the commission looked at air quality only within a 2km radius.

The report breezily forecasts that 53 per cent of passengers will get there by public transport in 2030 — up from 41 per cent now — without explaining how London’s transport system will cope. Crossrail will make some difference but not a lot, since it replaces Heathrow Connect. And all the capacity on the upgraded Piccadilly line will by then have been taken up by the capital’s growth.

The commission concludes that this vast increase in air and road traffic will have only a negligible impact. It asserts that air quality is “a manageable part of a wider problem that Government is now obligated to address”. Ministers need to come up with a new plan, and “expansion at Heathrow should be capable of being incorporated into that plan without delaying compliance” with the Supreme Court’s ruling. In other words: your problem, minister, not Heathrow’s.

Even with the Mayor’s modest plans, we will struggle to bring air pollution within legal limits. With a new runway at Heathrow, we can forget it. It’s hard to see how any mayoral candidate who supports expansion can really be serious about cleaning up London’s filthy air.

http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/heathrow-runway-would-see-our-air-pollution-take-off-10363931.html

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