New branch of CAGNE – CAGNE East – formed in Kent, joining the original in West Sussex

The threat of a 2nd Gatwick runway, and the “trials” of new flight paths by Gatwick airport, has caused considerable upset in areas across southern Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent.  The flight path routed over the Warnham area (Warnham, Rusper, Kingsfold, Winterfold, Rowhook, Slinfold and North Horsham) set in motion the formation of CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – to fight against the unwelcome noise intrusion into the lives of thousands.  CAGNE has now grown, as more and more people upset by the flight paths – and the threat of more – join forces.  There are now two other groups, working in East Sussex and in Kent, as well as the original CAGNE in Warnham, West Sussex. A group of residents, formerly the Bidborough Environmental Action Group, are becoming CAGNE East opposing planes, flying day and night – an aircraft “superhighway” – over historic areas of the High Weald ANOB, most of Tunbridge Wells and Southborough, Bidborough, Rusthall, Penshurst, Chiddingstone and Hever. CAGNE East strongly supports the High Weald Parish Councils HWPCAAG initiative, opposing Gatwick’s bid for a 2nd runway. 




  • For more on the flight path trials, and consultations on airspace and flight paths see

  • Flight path changes and trials

  • GACC has now produced a detailed and excellent document, deciphering the badly written consultation document, and setting out the important facts so people can respond to the consultation.                                                                                                     GACC notes on Airspace Consultation Phase 2  –  July 2014

CAGNE finds its Lacey

 30.6.2014 (CAGNE –  Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – in the Gartwick area)
CAGNE_and_CAGNE_East (1)
Image of GACC Jane Vogt with Simon Byerley and Kealey Castle of CAGNE EAST, Sally Pavey and Bill Sorrell of CAGNE
CAGNE – Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – has joined forces with the Kent protest group against Gatwick Airport’s new runway.
A group of residents, formerly the Bidborough Environmental Action Group, will become CAGNE East in an effort to stop new flight paths, The Gatwick Superhighway of planes will fly day and night over historic areas of the High Weald AONB  (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), most of Tunbridge Wells and Southborough, Bidborough, Rusthall, Penshurst, Chiddingstone and Hever..
 ‘Gatwick Airport plan to place a constant stream of low flying planes over historic sites and many homes that have not suffered aircraft noise before, and this is all before a second runway which would bring additional damage to these areas,’ said Simon Byerley of CAGNE East.
‘By working together we aim to raise community awareness of what is planned by Gatwick Airport, not only through the current changes to flight paths, but how a new runway will alter the Home Counties forever,’ said Sally Pavey, Chair of CAGNE.
CAGNE was formed this year by concerned residents after a trial route was instigated by Gatwick Airport over areas of West Sussex not previously overflown, affecting residents in Warnham, Rusper, Kingsfold, Winterfold, Rowhook, Slinfold and North Horsham.
CAGNE East strongly supports the HWPCAAG initiative, the alliance of the parish Councils across East Sussex and West Kent who oppose Gatwick’s bid for a second runway. Both CAGNE and CAGNE East are also working very closely with Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, a volunteer group that has opposed Gatwick expansion since 1968.
‘GACC is continuing to lead the battle to protect the environment around Gatwick, opposing the outrageous plans of Gatwick Airport for new flight paths and a second runway.  We are delighted to have two new protest groups from the West and East working with us as members of GACC but bringing new strength to the battle in their own areas,’ said GACC Chair Brendon Sewill.
Residents can find out additional information at and concerned residents of Kent should contact

Contact details for the local groups:

GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

GACC is the long-standing community campaign at Gatwick airport, and has been active for some 5 decades. It is principle group in the area, with long experience and an immense amount of expertise and experience. The other groups below are all members of GACC. They all work closely with GACC.
Enquiries: Brendon Sewill (Chairman); Peter Barclay and John Byng (Vice-Chairmen)

CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)

Twitter @cagne_gatwick
Enquiries –  Sally Pavey


Blog at
[The group has emerged from BEAG – the Bidborough Environment Action Group].
CAGNE East is the sister group of CAGNE.   CAGNE East is for all residents and local communities East of Gatwick Airport. Set up by concerned residents of Bidborough in Kent, it provides campaign support to a growing network of residents, communities, campaign groups, Parish Councils and NGOs who are all concerned about Gatwick expansion.
CAGNE East opposes a 2nd Gatwick runway, night flights and the proposed new ‘superhighway flightpaths’, which unchallenged, pose a grave threat to our way of life and our regional economy.
(The beagblog will continue to focus on aviation as well as other local environmental issues, and in the next month or so, (August 2014 perhaps) a new blog devoted entirely to aviation issues will be set up. Sadly these things have to be done, (in contrast to Gatwick airport with its massive budget and large number of staff) by volunteers, in their own time, fitted around work, family and other commitments. So, as they say ….. “Bear with ….” ! )
Enquiries –  Simon Byerley  and Kealey Castle

ESCCAN (East Susses Communities for Control of Air Noise).

There is also now a very active residents group in Crowborough, called ESCCAN  They want to keep a local focus for their concerns in the Crowborough area, and the protection of the Ashdown Forest.

WAGAN (Weald Action Group Against Noise) 

There is another local group,  WAGAN which is working very closely in support of HWAAG (High Weald Aviation Action Group). These groups are also working on blogs, and as with the case of CAGNE East, this depends on volunteers managing to fit in this work, unpaid, in already busy lives.


(High Weald Aviation Action Group) and the

HWPCAAG (High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group)

This has been formed to fight increasing noise and to oppose Gatwick’s bid for a 2nd runway. The group consists of eight parishes in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which are all adversely affected by Gatwick aircraft noise. The group consists of the Parish Councils of Chiddingstone, Hever, Leigh and Penshurst and 4 other parishes. Their chair is Richard Streatfield, who is the Chairman of Chiddingstone Parish Council.  Email:



Photo: CAGNE drop in events to help residents understand what Gatwick want to do in the skies above us and how we can object. #CAGNE #RUSPER #WARNHAM #SLINFOLD #ROWHOOK #HORSHAM


CAGNE East and the BEAG (Bidborough Environment Action Group)

BEAG was originally intended as a very local and general environmental interest group. However, with more and more planes flying overhead and with more and more people joining from all over the area – Southborough, Tonbridge, Langton Green Rusthall, central Tunbridge Wells – and most of whom only really wanting to know about the planes, it became increasingly apparent that the Bidborough group was misnamed: there was a real need for a contact point where people concerned about increasing noise and pollution levels  from planes over West Kent could find out more about how Gatwick’s plans translate into the changes we are noticing in our local environment.
Core members of BEAG formed a more active team focussed on the Gatwick issue, and when the lead members of BEAG, Simon Byerley and Kealey Castle, met Sally Pavey things just clicked into place.
BEAG were impressed by the unique fusion of creativity, passion and professionalism in Sally’s approach and found, despite some very fundamental differences between the noise problems faced by residents under departures vs arrivals, that they shared some key objectives. This aviation issue is a David and Goliath situation – it seemed that joining with the CAGNE movement would best serve the interests of  residents in Kent, in the greater scheme of things.
The beagblog is to continue with its more general focus (gradual switch likely to the fracking debate – we have a bore hole in Bidborough that will go active next year.)
Simon Byerley is getting the CAGNE East blog up and running but unfortunately he has a full time job, and as all volunteer activity, this has to be fitted into an already full life.
The beagblog is a temporary contact point for the aircraft flight paths issue. A new, more informative CAGNE East site specifically for the aviation issue is planned.  It should be up and running by August (fingers crossed!)


Kent parish councils fight Gatwick Airport runway plan

26 June 2014  (BBC)
The parish councils said an expanded Gatwick would threaten both local tourism and the environment

Campaigners fighting a second runway at Gatwick are writing to the Airports Commission to object to the level of noise an expansion could cause.

Four Kent parish councils claim an additional runway would also damage local tourism and the environment.

Mitzi Quirk, from Chiddingstone Parish Council, said the village currently saw 10 planes per 20 minutes but expansion would take that to 45 an hour.

Gatwick Airport said building a new runway was in the local interest.

‘Intolerable noise’

Ms Quirk said: “We are concerned not just with the future, but with the current situation. So we’ve grouped together to make a more powerful body with other parish councils who are going to be affected and who are affected currently.

“Currently we must have something like 10 planes in 20 minutes. I think what their projection is 45 planes an hour.

“And if they currently come in at the height they do, it will be really very difficult to live with and it will affect a lot of people. And I don’t think anybody’s sanity could stand that, quite frankly.”

David Barren, who lives in Hever, said the village used to be tranquil but now the noise had become “totally intolerable”.

‘Create jobs’

Richard Streatfield, chairman of the High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group, which covers Chiddingstone, Hever, Leigh and Penshurst councils, said he had seen Gatwick expand “vigorously” from what was a local airport and under the plans it would more than double in size.

He claimed tourism businesses in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty brought about 186,000 jobs to the industry and created £1.6bn over a year, which would be threatened by Gatwick expansion because of the impact on the environment and because tourists would not want to visit.

But Gatwick argue a second runway would create thousands of jobs, offer new opportunities to businesses and promote economic growth and prosperity across the region.

“Gatwick is continuously working to reduce the noise levels at the airport, including designing flight paths that avoid the majority of populated areas and providing the most innovative noise insulation scheme in Europe,” it said in a statement.

“Should Gatwick build a second runway, we will also pay annual compensation equivalent to Band A Council Tax (currently £1,000) to all households most affected.”



High Weald Parish Councils Aviation Action Group

Read more »

“Pas Question!” [“No Way!”] group in Brussels fights the hated Wathelet Plan flight path changes

On 6th February this year, Melchior Wathelet (Belgium’s secretary of state in charge of Environment, Energy and Mobility) introduced a plan that reorganizes the departure routes from Brussels airport in Zaventem. As a result of this “Wathelet Plan”, the majority of departing aircraft are routed over densely populated areas of central and southern Brussels. The changes are deeply controversial and deeply unpopular among the Brussels residents, who have not been intensively over-flown before. There is huge anger about the changes, and that the numbers over-flown are now far higher than before. On the plus side, some areas that were previously over-flown now have fewer flights. Now almost 18,000 residents have signed a petition to suspend the Wathelet Plan. Its opponents say it was introduced without any prior consultation with local residents, and that in other EU countries, such a consultation process is a regulatory requirement before any change to aircraft flight paths is made. An active group called “Pas Question!” – which means “No Way!” has formed, and they regard the new flight paths as nonsensical. They want the plan cancelled, and are convinced that an alternative policy is possible.



Retrait du Plan Wathelet. Plan Wathelet, Pas Question

Pas Question!  is on Twitter at   @NonPasQuestion

and on Facebook at Pas Question!

Website at

No Way !  [“Pas Question!”]

The Pas Question! group is  a movement of Brussels citizens, who say they are indignant about the Wathelet Plan, that they feel has been inflicted on them.
They say they are ordinary citizens, but they have discovered overnight, that their families were now over-flown daily by planes at a low altitude.

They now find the new dispersed flight path plan was adopted by the Federal Government, without consultation, despite its enduring damages to Brussels

The regard this Plan as not offering any long-term solution but instead transferred the problem of aircraft noisecloser to the heart of Brussels.

They are determined that Brussels citizens and inhabitants must combat this nonsensical plan with all their efforts and with all means at their disposal. They are convinced that an alternative policy is possible.


These are their Objectives

The immediate repeal of Plan Wathelet
This Plan is an absurdity , ignoring self-evident public health and safety precautions;We demand its immediate repeal!
A real democratic debate
We demand a consultation of all concerned parties, to be part of those decisions directly impacting our quality of life and the future of Brussels.
Sustainable long-term solutions
The health and security of hundred of thousands citizens has been plainly ignored. Our politicians must consider and adopt long-term solutions to the ill-located Brussels Airport.



On 6 February 2014 Melchior Wathelet – in his function as Belgium’s secretary of state in charge of Environment, Energy and Mobility – implemented a plan that reorganizes the departure routes from Brussels National Airport in Zaventem.

As a result of this plan, the majority of departing aircraft are routed over densely populated areas of Brussels. This plan – referred to by campaigners as the Plan Wathelet  [Wathelet Plan] – soon became the object of controversy and led to a wave of complaints by residents affected by aircraft noise.

As of 1 May 2014, more than 13,000 residents had signed a petition to suspend the Plan Wathelet.  [It now has over 17,700 signatures – 20.6.2014].

A revision of the plan was blocked by the government of Flanders in early May.

The main criticisms of the Wathelet Plan are that opponents say it was introduced without any prior consultation with local residents.

They say that in other European Countries, such a consultation process is a regulatory requirement before any change to aircraft flight paths is made (consultation is required in the UK, by the CAA).

Opponents also claim that no impact assessment was carried out prior to the publication of the new departure routes.  They say the flight paths should over-fly less densely populated areas, and avoid heavily populated areas.

There is some dispute between different areas, and communities, of Brussels about how many residents are being over-flown – and affected by high levels of aircraft noise. There have been different figures produced by Mr Wathelet and by the Brussels minister for Environment Evelyne Huytebroeck.



“Pas Question!” [which means “No Way”] – the campaign against the flight path changes

The opponents of the changes argue that the new flight paths must be removed, as the number of people now over-flown is not acceptable. They say on their campaign website

The Wathelet Plan: A SHORT SUMMARY

Since February 6 2014, The Wathelet Plan has modified certain flight paths from Brussels national airport:

On one hand, the  “left turn” flight path from [Brussels airport at] Zaventem has been enlarged. As a consequence, 35.000 planes now fly at low altitude over densely populated areas like SCHAERBEEK, ETTERBEEK, IXELLES, WOLUWE-Chant d’oiseau, AUDERGHEM and WATERMAEL-BOISTFORT

On the other hand, the so-called “route du canal” flight path goes over Brussels from one side to another, and is used by thousands of the heaviest carriers and night take-offs. This entails a strong and brutal deterioration of the quality of life in MOLENBEEK, BRUXELLES-VILLE, ANDERLECHT, FOREST, SAINT-GILLES et UCCLE.

All of this, in the name of a “fair” distribution of disturbances. In reality this plan saves certain neighbourhoods located east of the airport (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre/Stockel, Wezembeek et Kraainem) and move them over a capital city of  1.100.000 inhabitants !

This plan is absurd and must be immediately withdrawn.

The website contains interactive maps, showing where the flight paths are now going. Maps at

On the map below, the new flight paths are shown with some going across the centre of Brussels and the south of the city. Before the changes, flights were concentrated to the east and south east, with some to the north. There were none across central and southern Brussels.

Brussels new flight paths

The website of the opponents of the changes say on their website at that:


The Wathelet Plan which has been fully implemented on February 6th 2014 reorganizes flight paths from Zaventem airport and is composed of 3 main measures::

1. The use of the runway 19/01 is significantly reduced

Since ten years (the Anciaux Plan) WOLUWE-SAINT-PIERRE (Stockel), KRAAINEM and WEZEMBEEK areas located east of the airport are being impacted by planes at low altitude with approximately 7.000 takeoffs per year and 12.000 landing per year on the runway 19/01 (2012 traffic).

This situation had an undeniable impact on citizens living in these areas. The Wathelet Plan deliberately modifies the norms of wind used on this runway with the aim to reduce the use of this runway by 50 to 75%. This change has for consequence the intensive use of runway 25R where planes take off in the direction of Brussels city, inreasing nuisances for nearly all Brussels inhabitants. Furthermore these changes were heavily criticised by the pilots and air traffic-controllers.

2. Enlargement of the left turn

Before February 6, 44.000 planes per year were taking off from Zaventem on runway 25R which is facing Brussels, but planes used to take a sharp left turn in direction of Huldenberg avoiding flying over most of Brussels except areas such as WOLUWE-SAINT-LAMBERT, WOLUWE-SAINT-PIERRE (Stockel), KRAAINEM et  WEZEMBEEK.

With the Wathelet Plan, 80% of these flights (35.000 planes per year) are redirected over other flight paths which go deeper into the Brussels region and fly over densely populated areas which were spared before. Areas such as SCHAERBEEK, ETTERBEEK, IXELLES, WOLUWE-SAINT-PIERRE (CHANT D’OISEAU), AUDERGHEM et WATERMAEL-BOITSFORT are now badly impacted with a high frequency of planes flying at a low altitude!

Out of the blue, citizens living in areas known for not being flew over by planes, find themselves in a situation with flights over their head from 6am until 11pm characterized by a dense traffic early the morning and late at night with an unavoidable increase of traffic during the summer (charter flights, low cost companies).

The remaining 20% (9.000 planes per year) are still on the northern part of the older flight way, avoiding areas which used to be impacted.

3. Heavy traffic concentrated on the « canal way or route du canal »

THE WATHELET PLAN also regroups many old flight paths on the so-called « route du canal » which respectively go over MOLENBEEK, EVERE, BRUXELLES-VILLE, ANDERLECHT, FOREST, SAINT-GILLES, UCCLE, DROGENBOS and LINKEBEEK.

Because of the Wathelet Plan, this path is also used for the heavy carrier flights (747, A330, etc …) which cause more noise pollution and fly at night and during week-ends. Citizens who used to live in areas known as being moderately impacted by planes are now flown over intensively by heavy carriers and at the worse time of the day or at night.

They list all the areas of Brussels, and which have gained – and which have lost – in terms of peace and quiet, and consequently quality of life, since the flight path changes. They also give the population density of the suburbs now adversely affected, showing them to have higher densities than the areas which now have less over-flying.


The Pas Question! group also say:


Worldwide, flight paths are deviated away from city centres for obvious reasons: to limit consequences in case of accident, and to protect from air / noise pollution, stress and other health hazards,  populations already affected by urban nuisances (pollution from traffic, lack of green spaces, etc.)

Brussels International airport is ill-located, for historical reasons. The proximity of the airport has forever caused nuisances to the populations living nearby.

The very idea of solving airport neighbours’ problem by spreading flights Brussels’ city center is most absurd.

Politicians, who made airport neighbours believe that the Wathelet Plan was the solution to their nuisances problem, must be either irresponsible or incompetent.

Brussels map

The Pas Question!  campaign says a recent study, commissioned by the Minister himself [Mr Wethelet] points out that the new routes fly over 405 700 inhabitants compared to 130,500 before the 6th February.  The details of the study, in French, are at

Another study by the Brussels Region government points out that 244,543 people are newly affected by aircraft noise nuisance (63% of people affected by aircraft nuisance); 113,505 people see their situation unchanged (29.3% of dwellers affected by aircraft noise nuisance); 29,679 see their situation marginally improve (7,65% of people affected by aircraft nuisance) and 1,165 Brussels residents are no longer under a flight path.

This study was reported in the Belgian press:



Convoluted Brussels coalition and flightpath politics cause public furore

Thousands of people in Brussels are up in arms about a new overflight plan that started on 6th February, causing parts of the city subject to the thundering noise of planes using Brussels airport. The Belgian government has only a couple of weeks left to find a solution for a problem that dates back many, many years. As the airport is close to densely populated parts of the city, its flight paths would always over-fly a lot of people. The political choices of who should have to suffer the noise are complicated. Should the burden of the noise be shared between various areas? The flight path change is reported to be because, with the May elections this year, Melchior Wathelet (Sec of State for Environment, Energy, Mobility etc) of the Francophone Christian Democtrats (cdH) decided to do a political favour for the party’s vice prime minister, Joelle Milquet, by tweaking the flight paths over some municipalities, to help with votes. The Wathelet Plan decision can be blocked, under the constitution, for 60 days. That ends at the start of July. It is likely to be the out-going coalition that makes the decision. Lots of politics ….. parties will assess how the vote affects their political chances ….

Click here to view full story…



“The Plan Wathelet downgraded the status of Brussels”

  • 5.5.2014
The Brussels Region will sue for environmental cessation before the trial court to stop Wathelet Plan.

© Photo News

A new study by the Brussels Region shows that the number of Brussels residents affected by noise exploded. The Brussels Region will sue for environmental cessation before the trial court to stop the Wathelet Plan.

Melchior Wathelet is not the end of his sentences. A new study by the Brussels Region shows that the number of Brussels residents affected by aircraft noise has greatly increased. This is due to the dispersion of  aircraft taking off from Brussels Zaventem airport established by Melchior Wathelet (CDH), Secretary of State at the Federal.

Faced with this situation, the Brussels Region will sue for environmental cessation before the trial court to stop the Wathelet Plan.

The Environmental Action cessation seeks, initially the suspension of the plan for non-compliance with Brussels noise legislation, the Gosuin stopped from 1999 imposing increasingly stringent thresholds, more planes move away from the airport;and lack of assessment of environmental impacts of the plan, contrary to advocate European rules.

State Secretary for Mobility, Melchior Wathelet, has announced its evening he would come up with solutions in the coming days  to aircraft noise experienced by the people of Brussels.

What does the study say?

Presented on Monday evening by the Minister Evelyne Huytebroek (Ecolo), Minister of the Environment in the Brussels Region, the number of Brussels residents affected by aircraft noise has exploded. 

In reaching this conclusion, Evelyne Huytebroeck (Ecolo) asked his administration to increase the sound level on the area of the capital and to make accurate measurements of the level of aircraft noise, so you can quickly prepare a report on the noise nuisance to introduce where appropriate  an action for environmental injunction. The points of comparison are March 2013 compared with March 2014.

The study was conducted by Brussels environment using the new sound level meters of the Capital Region placed under the flight paths, and a tenth in theaths  and placed tenth in the neighbourhood of la Chasse, à Etterbeek.  
Brussels environment also observed an explosion of the number of complaints of residentss: 1056 between February 6 and April 16, against only nine for the same period in 2013.



Original in French:


“Le Plan Wathelet a dégradé la situation des Bruxellois”

  • 5.5.2014 (L’Echo)
Une nouvelle étude menée par la Région bruxelloise montre que le nombre de Bruxellois touchés par les nuisances sonores a explosé. La Région bruxelloise va intenter une action en cessation environnementale devant le tribunal de première instance pour faire stopper le Plan Wathelet.

Melchior Wathelet n’est pas au bout de ses peines. Une nouvelle étude menée par la Région bruxelloise montre que le nombre de Bruxellois touchés par les nuisances sonores a explosé.  En cause, le plan de dispersion des avions de l’aéroport de Zaventem mis en place par Melchior Wathelet (cdH), secrétaire d’état au Fédéral.

Face à cette situation, la Région bruxelloise va intenter une action en cessation environnementale devant le tribunal de première instance pour faire stopper le Plan Wathelet.

L’action en cessation environnementale vise à obtenir, dans un premier temps une suspension du plan, pour non-respect de la législation bruxelloise sur le bruit, l’arrêté Gosuin datant de 1999 imposant des seuils de plus en plus sévères, plus les avions s’éloignent de l’aéroport; et pour absence d’évaluation des incidences environnementales du plan, contrairement à ce que préconisent les règles européennes.

Le secrétaire d’Etat à la Mobilité, Melchior Wathelet, a de son côté annoncé en soirée qu’il viendrait dans les prochains jours avec des solutions aux nuisances sonores des avions que subissent les Bruxellois.

Que dit l’étude?

Présentée ce lundi soir par la ministre d’Evelyne Huytebroek (Ecolo), ministre de l’Environnement à la Région bruxelloise, le nombre de Bruxellois touchés par les nuisances sonores a explosé. Pour arriver à cette conclusion, Evelyne Huytebroeck (Ecolo) avait demandé à son administration de multiplier les sonomètres sur le territoire de la capitale et de procéder à des mesures serrées du niveau du bruit des avions, de façon à pouvoir très vite établir un rapport des nuisances pour le cas échéant introduire une action en cessation environnementale. Les points de comparaison sont mars2013 et mars 2014.

L’étude a été menée par Bruxelles Environnement à l’aide des neufs sonomètres de la Région-capitale placés sous les routes aériennes et d’un dixième placé dans le quartier de la Chasse, à Etterbeek. Bruxelles Environnement a par ailleurs observé une explosion du nombre de plaintes d’habitants: 1056 entre le 6 février et le 16 avril dernier, contre seulement neuf pour le même période en 2013.



Wathelet dans la tourmente: 8 Boeing survolent Bruxelles la nuit illégalement avec la permission du cabinet

Le cabinet Wathelet est à nouveau au coeur de la tourmente concernant le survol de Bruxelles. Selon le journal Le Soir, des Boeing 777-Aerologic peuvent survoler Bruxelles de nuit alors que c’est illégal, et le cabinet est au courant.

16 Juin 2014

Huit Boeing 777-Aerologic (une “joint-venture” appartenant à DHL et Lufthansa Cargo) ont la permission de survoler Bruxelles de nuit depuis cinq mois et ce, en infraction avec la législation européenne et les règles acoustiques de l’aéroport de Zaventem, rapporte lundi Le Soir.

Pas trop de bruit?
Ces avions-cargos ne disposent pas de certification acoustique officielle requise. Le cabinet Wathelet serait au courant depuis le début de l’entorse légale, d’après Le Soir. L’administration reconnaît les libertés prises avec la loi. “Le QC maximum (quota de bruit) de ces avions n’aurait pas dû leur permettre de voler de nuit, mais cette décision de la DGTA a permis de remplacer deux vols DHL de nuit par un seul vol du 777. On passe de 5 à 4 vols DHL par nuit, tout en respectant le quota de bruit par vol car le 777 n’est pas complètement chargé”, justifie Laurent Ledoux, président du SPF Mobilité. DHL n’a pas confirmé cette réduction de vols de nuit.


Wathelet in turmoil: 8 Boeing flying Brussels night illegally courtesy cabinet

The Wathelet cabinet is again at the heart of the turmoil on the over-flying of Brussels. According to the newspaper Le Soir, Boeing 777-Aerologic is being allowed to fly over Brussels at night, while it is illegal, and the firm is aware of this.
June 16, 2014

There is a short video on the story, but in French Link

Eight Boeing 777-Aerologic (a “joint venture” belonging to DHL and Lufthansa Cargo) are allowed to fly over Brussels at night for five months and, in breach of European legislation and noise rules of Brussels Zaventem airport, Le Soir reported on Monday.

Not too loud?
These freighters do not have the official noise certification required.  The Wathelet cabinet would have know since the beginning of the legal tussle, according to Le Soir. The administration recognizes the liberties being taken with t he law. “The maximum QC (noise quota) of these aircraft would not have been allowed to fly at night, but this decision DGTA has replaced two flights DHL night by a single flight of 777.  Were from 5 DHL 4 flights per night, while respecting the noise quota per flight for the 777 is not fully charged “justifies Laurent Ledoux, President of the FPS Mobility.  DHL has not confirmed this reduction of night flights.






Protest in Brussels as new flight paths over-fly new areas, giving some respite to those previously heavily over-flown

In Brussels there has, for a long time, been a problem because of the division between the French speaking south of the city, and the  Flemish speaking north. The airport is to the north east of the city, and traditionally the people living to the north have complained bitterly that they have had a disproportionate number of flights, while many affluent areas to the south have had no over-flying. From the 6th February the government has brought in new flight paths, which disperse take-offs towards the west, so more fly over the areas to the south of the city. Flights start at 6am and continue to 11pm, though the new routes are meant to not be used for Saturday evening and during Sunday, if there isn’t  a strong westerly wind. There has been huge protest in Brussels about this change, with furious citizens incensed that their peace, and their quality of life has been reduced. The changes have brought some relief to the other areas which previously took more than their fair share of the noise. Petitions and protests have been set up, and it is uncertain what will happen next.  The situation is complicated by Belgian politics, and the separate interests of Flemish and Walloon sections of society.….



Read more »

Over 4,000 take part in Frankfurt’s 100th protest evening – including supporters from Heathrow and Gatwick

The 4th runway at Frankfurt airport was opened in October 2011. The flightpaths for this runway overfly thousands of residents in the Frankfurt, many of whom had not  previously been overflown. They suddenly found the noise of aircraft overhead every few minutes, relentlessly (day after day, week after week) for most of the day intolerable. Other areas were also affected by changes to flight paths.  Ever since the opening, the people of Frankfurt have absolutely refused to accept this, and have campaigned continuously and relentlessly. They hold unique and remarkable protests, almost every Monday night, in the airport terminal. These are attended by well over 1,000 people, every time. On 19th May,  the 100th airport terminal protest was held, with around 4,000 (maybe more) protesters.  Some campaigners from the Heathrow and Gatwick campaigns went out (by train) to show solidarity and share this remarkable achievement with their German friends. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN and of AirportWatch, addressed the protest, saying they were making aviation history, and the tenacity, persistence and determination  of the opposition to Frankfurt flights is increasingly a matter of concern to the aviation industry.



Below are some photos of the protest, and links to videos.

YouTube film :    This is a video of part of the 2 hour protest, with the speeches. All in German, except John Stewart’s 2 minute address.  Mention of the British visitors to the protest is at about 10 minutes in, and John’s speech at about 11 – 13 minutes in.  

This flim is longer and shows more of the  protest

Also another Link to a video on the occasion of the 100th Monday Demonstration against aircraft noise at Frankfurt Airport


This is the Frankfurt theme song

The song the which the protesters sing – loudly – at their Monday evening airport terminal invasions. With a very catchy chorus  “Unsere Forderung wird immer lauter Die Landebahn muss weg” means “Our challenge is getting louder. The Runway Must Go”.

DSCF9513 John and Sally in need of earplugs

John Byng and Sally Pavey, from Gatwick, wishing they had bought earplugs against the din. Most of the Frankfurt participants, (banging drums, tooting whistles, blowing horns, singing ….) take the precaution of the earplugs.  The protests aim to attack noise with noise ….


James and Sally displaying our t-shirts – supporting the Frankfurt protest.

DSCF9507 John Byng with the witches

John Byng from Gatwick with ladies objecting to the aircraft noise, with tambourines, balloons and  wicked hats.

DSCF9511The UK banner sets off to march round the terminal

The Heathrow and  Gatwick banner sets off – with a thousand or so others  – on its not-so-sedate tour around the entire airport terminal complex, with drums, whistles, music and lively  chanting of “Die Landebahn muss  weg”, which means “The  [Frankfurt ] runway must go.”

DSCF9543 Tamsin and Sarah with the banner

Tamsin and Sarah on their turn to take the banner as it joined in the procession around the airport


The German version of the t-shirts of the British visitors.


The English version of the t- shirts of the British visitors


DSCF9528 some of the crowd

Part of the crowd.  Each of the areas affected by aircraft noise has its own placard, expressing their opposition to the noise. “Fluglarm” means aircraft noise.   “Fluglarm macht krank” on a lot of the banners and placards, means “aircraft noise makes you ill.

These ordinary, peaceful, law abiding Germans feel sufficiently furious about the noise that they have kept up these protests for about two and a half years. Many, or most, have turned out almost every Monday – with this the 100th time. They have absolutely no intention of stopping either.

Photo_of_John_S_speaking (3)

John Stewart addressing the protesters, after the presenter gave a warm welcome to the British and Dutch protesters, from Heathrow, Gatwick and Schiphol campaigns, who had come to join in the 100th protest. John said the Frankfurt protesters had made history by continuing to protest for so long. He added that the extent and the determination of the Frankfurt protests have bothered the aviation industry, especially as the opposition to the new runway and its flight paths shows no sign of diminishing.

DSCF9556 Crowd listening to speeches

A small section of the crowd, listening to the speeches. Generally a different area affected by noise help organise the weekly protests in turn, sharing the responsibility and work.

The strength of feeling about the hated aircraft noise is made plain by the sheer scale of the protests. This number of responsible, mild mannered citizens do not take up weekly  protests unless they feel very strongly, and very passionately indeed, about the cause.

DSCF9550 John Stewart with the singing air hostesses

John Stewart with two of the singing air hostesses, who sang lively anti-runway songs.

Plane_hat smaller

Example of creative Frankfurt anti-runway head gear.


DSCF9559_all_the_UK_group_with_friends_at_the_end (1)

The UK group with German friends at the end of the 100th Frankfurt protest

DSCF9565_group_photo_in_restaurant_with_banner_added   1

After supper, with good German beer, and some German-English t-shirt swapping – Heathrow, Gatwick and Frankfurt campaigners  …. celebrating the 100th protest.



Links to videos on the occasion of the 100th Monday Demonstration against aircraft noise at Frankfurt Airport: 2014-05-19 Frankfurt Airport: 100 Monday demonstration against the expansion, speeches I 2014-05-19 Frankfurt Airport: 100 Monday demonstration against the expansion, speeches II 2014-05 -19 Frankfurt Airport: 100 Monday demonstration against the expansion, Terminal Demo I 2014-05-19 Frankfurt Airport: 100 Monday demonstration against the expansion, Terminal II Demo 

https:// 2014-05-19 Frankfurt Airport: 100 Monday demonstration against the expansion, demo in front of Terminal I




More news about Frankfurt and the protests at    Frankfurt Airport







Read more »

“Gatwick Obviously” adverts on the tube not merely subvertised but now substituted

 Gatwick airport has produced a huge number of adverts, on bill boards, on underground stations, and on underground trains. The campaign must have cost a vast amount of money. The theme of the adverts has been “Gatwick Obviously” in their attempt to influence first the thinking of the Airports Commission, and then also the next Government – which will have to decide what to do with the Commission’s report after summer/autumn 2015. The Gatwick adverts have suffered from being subvertised, but on Monday 19th around 200 on the underground were replaced with substitutes – by Plane Stupid. The temptation must just have  been too strong ….  Earlier the ad canpaign had the misfortune to have plastered the walls of Bank and Westminster stations, on the two days of the tube strike in April.



Gatwick Obviously  1


This is one of the Gatwick adverts.









and here is another:

Gatwick advert













And here is another:

Gatwick advert about M25










Below is one of the Plane Stupid substitutes that were put up across the underground, with a total of 200 of the adverts being changed over.













The Gatwick adverts have also been subvertised in various ways.

Such as:

Gatwick Seriously












Gatwick fine the size it is














Gatwick and the Heathrow M25












“Gatwick Obviously” poster subvertised into ” Gatwick Seriously?”

29.4.2014   “ A new runway at Gatwick could be ready by 2025, bringing huge economic benefits to its owners, while you get more traffic, more noise and a new town the size of Crawley. And they say it’s the obvious choice.”  Gatwick Obviously  1  Spot the differences.  Gatwick Seriously (Box 4 refers to the only way, on the Gatwick consultation form, it is possible to express opposition to any of the airport’s runway schemes).





Read more »

Anti-third runway campaigners “put the boot in” at Westminster with a protest football game

Protesters – from the villages of Harmondsworth and Longford (to be destroyed by Heathrow’s 3rd runway plan) played a protest football game on the green outside the Houses of Parliament. This was to highlight the “broken promises” of David Cameron over his “No ifs, no buts, no third runway” commitment to no expansion at Heathrow at the last election. The residents of the 2 villages feel they have been “kicked into the long grass” over new Heathrow expansion plans.  The villagers travelled from west London too Westminster with Channel 5 TV cameras in tow, to set up their jumpers for goalposts on the green overlooked by Parliament. The team wore England shirts, with past quotes from senior politicians affirming cross-party opposition to a third runway emblazoned on their backs.The football organiser said “We will practice our kicking into the long grass, and our U-turns. The Conservative Government made promises that there would be no third runway before they were elected, and now it looks like they are going back on their word. If we can’t believe them on this issue, how can we believe them about anything?”


Anti-third runway campaigners put the boot in at Westminster

Protestors played a football game on the green outside the Houses of Parliament, to highlight the “broken promises” of David Cameron over his ‘no ifs, no buts’ commitment to no expansion at Heathrow

Anti third runway going to protest at House of Commons photographed at High Street, Harmondsworth. L-R: Justine Bayley, Stan Woods, Neil Keveren, and David Durston.

HEATHROW villagers who feel they have been “kicked into the long grass” over new Heathrow expansion plans had a protest football game outside the House of Commons.

The group travelled to Westminster this morning (Friday), with Channel 5 TV cameras in tow, to set up their jumpers for goalposts on the green overlooked by Parliament, and take a stand against the government’s changing stance on a third runway.

The team wore England shirts, with past quotes from senior politicians affirming cross-party opposition to a third runway emblazoned on their backs.

Amongst them is David Cameron’s now-infamous pledge in 2009 that a third runway would not go ahead, “no ifs, no buts.”

Two Heathrow expansion options – a third runway to the north west of the existing airport, over Harmondsworth and Longford, and the extension of the northern runway to the west – are being considered by the Airports Commission, set up by the government to assess and recommend the best way to increase hub airport capacity in the south east.

The Commission is due to advise on their preferred option next summer, after the general election.

A second runway at Gatwick is a third option on the table.

The protest was organised by Harmondsworth resident Neil Keveren, who said: “We brought with us people from all the villages that would be affected. We will practice our kicking into the long grass, and our u-turns.

“The Conservative Government made promises that there would be no third runway before they were elected, and now it looks like they are going back on their word.

“If we can’t believe them on this issue, how can we believe them about anything? We have been ignored for too long, and we just want to exercise our free speech and let our political leaders know that they should stand by their word.

“Sipson has been reprieved this time, but Harmondsworth and Longford would be destroyed.”




No ifs No buts


Actual text from Conservative election leaflet for the May 2010 election.                                   Full leaflet at





Read more »

Aviation lobby form new pressure group, “Runways UK” with large conference in January

The aviation industry must be a bit alarmed about its prospects of getting another runway, or more than one, in the south east of England.  It has formed a new lobbying organisation, this one being called Runways UK, in order to fight its case and put pressure on government and political  parties to get building, after 2015. They plan to hold a large conference (“an entirely impartial event”) in London, on 16th January 2014, which they are calling the inaugural Runways UK. This will be shortly after the Airports Commission makes its interim report, in December, on whether new runway capacity is actually needed, and which schemes to short list for further detailed consideration. The conference will be very pricey, if the cost of sponsoring part of it is anything to go by. Tickets are not yet on sale. They intend to hold a similar conference annually. The lobby group says of its advisory board that it  “comprises a combination of luminaries, appropriate institutions and associations and commercial partners” including its Chair, Baroness Brenda Dean (trade unionist), Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, and Michèle Dix, Managing Director of Planning at TfL. Plus many aviation lobby executives.



Runways UK: Airport Infrastructure for a Future Britain

the information below is from their website at

Runways UK is centred around the aviation capacity issues currently facing the United Kingdom

On 2nd November 2012 the Government launched an Airports Commission chaired by Sir Howard Davies, an eminent British economist. The role of the Commission is to examine the need for additional UK airport capacity and to recommend to government how this can be met in the short, medium and long term. It is due to submit its final report to government mid-2015, however an interim report is due by the end of 2013, which will deal with the following:

  • making an assessment of the scale, nature and timing of the UK’s airport capacity needs
  • producing recommendations on making the best use of existing capacity within the next 5 years
  • identifying those proposals for the medium term and for providing new capacity in the long term which merit further exploration by the commission, in advance of its final 2015 report

The inaugural Runways UK will take place shortly after the release of this Interim Report. This one-day event is about reconciling government, infrastructure and the transport industries together under one roof, in a neutral environment, to debate its output and help catalyse the solutions. Specifically it will provide a platform for the short-listed concepts to present their schemes publically in a structured and comparable format which will enable delegates to assess each one against the Commission’s own sift criteria. Each scheme owner will be rigorously challenged against these criteria by both a panel of independent experts and the audience.

Going forward Runways UK will become an annual event which will evolve with the progress of the Commission initially and thereafter with the development and delivery of the solutions it identifies as viable options for meeting the UK’s international connectivity needs in the short, medium and long term.


Runways UK

This inaugural event is timed to be the first public forum for discussion and debate following the release of the Airport Commission’s interim report due to be published in December 2013. In excess of 50 potential long term solutions were submitted to the Commission by the July deadline. In the report that number will be whittled down substantially to a short list of those options which are considered to merit further development into 2014. The format of Runways UK is to line up, on a neutral stage, the owners of these short-listed schemes. Accordingly we have agreement from a number of these scheme-owners to be on standby to speak at the event.

The event will attract a uniquely large and inclusive gathering of key stakeholders and interested parties. It will be an opportunity for a serious and rigorous debate of the options on a level playing field and its overarching aim is to improve delegate understanding of key issues and thus help to move the debate forward towards a consensus.

Runways UK is being advised by a high level advisory board of individuals representing all interested parties.  This is being Chaired by The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Dean of Thornton-le Fylde.

Advisory Board

The Runways UK advisory board is designed to be a microcosm of the event itself.  It comprises a combination of luminaries. It comprises a combination of luminaries,[sic]  appropriate institutions and associations and commercial partners. Its role is to help shape the content and personality of the event as well as to ensure fair representation of the interests of all parties. The membership of the Runways UK Advisory Board is currently:

  • Chair, The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Dean of Thornton-le Fylde  (formerly Chair of Freedom to Fly!  – see article by her in 2002 below)
  • The Baroness Valentine, London First,
  • Michèle Dix, Managing Director Planning at TfL
  • LGA Representative
  • Jason Prior, Chief Executive of Planning, Design and Development at AECOM
  • Paul Harwood, Principal Strategic Planner for London and the South East at Network Rail
  • Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, Chief Executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering
  • Paul Wait, CEO Guild of Travel Management Companies
  • Dr. Andy Jefferson, Programme Director Sustainable Aviation
  • Philippe Forest, Country Manager UK & Ireland, International Air Transport Association
  • Michael McGhee, Founding Partner of Global Infrastructure Partners
  • Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of The Airport Operators Association
  • Dale Keller, Chief Executive of Board of Airline Representatives UK
  • John Green, Chairman of The British Aviation Group
  • Barry Humphreys, Chairman of British Air Transport Association
  • Hugh Boulter, Aviation Consultant (ex-BA Commercial and Operational Planning),
  • Paul Le Blond, President International Air Rail Organisation





Freedom to Fly, which no longer exists, was set up to lobby for an expansion of airports in the aviation white paper, which set out a framework for the development of airports in the UK.

By Brenda Dean, in 2002:

We all benefit from more air travel

The chairman of the Freedom to Fly Coalition says that the government must push ahead with expansion plans if Britain is not to lose the economic and social benefits of more air travel

Airport debate: Observer special

The number of people using UK airports has tripled in the past 20 years. Though the rate of growth is slowing, the Government forecasts that demand will double within the next 20 years. But our major airports are quickly getting full. Experts suggest we will need three new runways in the south east and more capacity elsewhere in the country to cope with rising demand and keep the economy on course. That is why the Government has launched a major consultation on where new capacity could be located.

The freedom to fly is something which we have grown to value. Air travel has opened up new horizons, both for business and holidaymakers. In 1977 we took 7 million holidays abroad. Now we take 38 million holidays abroad each year. Today ordinary people can contemplate taking the family to the Med, have a romantic weekend in Venice or even visiting grandchildren in Sydney. Flying is no longer the preserve of the wealthy.

Air travel also makes Britain accessible to tourists from overseas. Foot and Mouth Disease and September 11 brought home how valuable tourism is to Britain, to our major cities, to rural areas and a range of activities from hotels to theatres. 15% of young people flying to the UK are coming here to study, benefiting our universities and widening the exchange of views.

But air transport is also vital for the UK economy. Time is money. Modern businesses rely on fast, reliable transport both of people and high value, time sensitive goods. The UK’s highest growth industries especially, such as pharmaceuticals, communication services, finance, insurance and consultancy, depend heavily on good international transport links.

Business leaders have ranked external transport links in the top three factors in deciding company location. The wide range of destinations and frequency of flights from the UK have helped the UK become the number one European destination for inward investment.

These benefits cannot be taken for granted however. Today, many of the UK’s airports are straining to cope with this rising demand and lots of us have felt the consequences: it is harder to avoid delays, overcrowding and inconvenience. Congestion causes longer flying times, adds to pollution and prevents growth. Meanwhile Charles de Gaulle in Paris now serves more destinations than Heathrow. In fact while we were labouring through the cumbersome inquiry about a fifth terminal for passengers at two-runway Heathrow airport, the French, Germans and Dutch were busy building the fourth or fifth runways at Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt and Schipol.

The challenge for the Government is to maximise the economic and social benefits of air travel while mitigating harmful effects and environmental costs.

Of course growth must be responsible and sustainable. All human activity affects the environment. There is general agreement that aviation like all industries should meet the environmental costs it imposes, on a fair and equitable basis. Unfortunately there is a wide and sometimes wild range of estimates of what these costs amount to. The costs can be dealt with through cutting out problems at source, mitigation (e.g. noise insulation) and compensation. That is why we must encourage the aviation industry to be greener by design. And many believe that a system of tradable permits would be the best way to reduce global emissions for aircraft while permitting people to enjoy the benefits of air travel.

Britain’s air quality has vastly improved since the days of ‘pea-souper’ smog. But new tougher limits are being set by Europe. There is no argument these have to be met and everyone must be signed up to meeting them.

The system of compensation in Britain has fallen behind other countries leading to blight, worry and delay. Whatever option for new runways are chosen, there will need to be detailed discussions with the local community to minimise problems and recompense people fairly and promptly.

What will happen if capacity is not increased? The price of tickets would rise. Indeed anti-air travel campaigners want to impose £6 billion of extra taxes on air passengers – that’s about £60 on a return ticket, £340 on for family of four flying to Majorca. That would price many lower income people out of flying.

Choice would be restricted. Delays would increase. And the economy would suffer. Inward investment would be deterred. And jobs would be at risk.

The Government should be congratulated for thinking about the long term future and grasping this nettle, when so many of its predecessors dithered and delayed. It will be tough to decide where to put new capacity. As consumers, business people and workers we benefit from the freedom to fly and a strong economy. But we must also look after the environment.

Whatever the Government decides it will not be able to please everyone. But at least people will be able to plan ahead, knowing what the future holds. And let’s hope the Government strikes the right balance between the economic, social and environmental issues, the national interest and the local concerns which will be best for Britain in future decades

· Brenda Dean chairs the Freedom to Fly Coalition which is [was]  a broad-based campaign bringing together air users, business, tourism, trade unions, airports and airlines. Its goal is to support sustainable growth in air travel.

See for more information.

….. so she hasn’t changed much over the intervening 11 years …………..


Read more »

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: 1,000 kites “occupy” the sky – symbolic of opponents’ determination to keep it free of planes

On Sunday 4th August, as many as 8,000 people gathered at Notre Dame des Landes as part of a weekend of protest against the planned new airport for Nantes.  People have again come from all over France to show their support for the airport opposition. In the morning, they flew some 1,000 or so kites, many that had been made in preceding weeks and many with slogans on them. The aim of the kite flying was symbolically to occupy the skies and show that the skies above the Notre Dame des Landes bocage countryside (the site chosen for the kite flying is due to be an airport terminal) are free; the campaigners intend these skies to remain free from planes. Some of the kites read, in French,  “Pour que nos libertés occupent le ciel” and “Le ciel libre aux hommes libres” (“For our freedom occupy the sky”, “Free sky to free men” ). The two day gathering had a festival atmosphere, with music (musicians playing under a sign that read “Un aéroport à NDDL, jamais !”) and also lectures and speeches.  ACIPA has been organized a summer gathering for 13 years on the same site, but this was the largest yet.  



And there is a short video clip (2 minutes) of the kites, the gathering and the music at

Un millier de cerf-volants ont été lâchés dans le ciel

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: Opponents’ “occupy the sky “

4.8.2013  (

ECOLOGY – Thousands of people gathered Sunday to say no to airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes in a festive atmosphere …

An armada of kites against Airbus and Boeing:  opponents of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project, which gathered thousands of supporters this weekend north of Nantes, chose to occupy the skies too, to influence the government.

Keep the air space

On a vast field of freshly harvested wheat there are concerts and conferences until Sunday evening, with the organizers working to make a thousand kites designed to symbolically keep the airspace above the Nantes countryside.

On the ground, two young women squatting write a message on a large red and white triangular kite “so that our freedoms occupy the sky.” “The open sky to free men,” reads one of these messages.

The ACIPA, the leading association of historical opponents of the airport project in the 1960s, claimed more than 8,000 participants in festive gathering Saturday from 20:00, while the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique were counted between 3500 -4 000 three hours earlier.

The ACIPA, which has organized this summer gathering for 13 years on the site which is planned for the future airport terminal, have never done things on such a large scale, with a bloated security service, capitals, and a giant scene which musicians parading under a sign proclaiming “An airport NDDL, never! “.  (“Un aéroport à NDDL, jamais !”)

Tryo and Sanseverino

Other festival-goers were expected  to attend the concerts of musicians known as Tryo and Sanseverino until late Sunday night.  Many artists have rallied since the police attempted to evacuate the site in October to make way for excavators, observes Julien Durand, spokesman for the ACIPA.

This initiative has boosted the fight against the project entrusted construction group Vinci, and which should have been ready in 2017. At that point the government requested additional studies on the project and the police withdrew in April.

“Another model of society”

“The symbolism of this place is the resistance,” told AFP jazzman Lubat Bernard, a former musician Claude Nougaro happened Saturday. The mindset that prevails in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, “I knew the Larzac,” recalls the musician, who made the connection with jazz “music revolt of people who are released of slavery. ”

The rally saw as a separate society, where money does not reign. “It’s good to be with people who have the same desires, the same ideas, the same visions of society,” says Nicolas Dhervaux, 33, came from nearby Morbihan with his girlfriend Marie-Cécile, Assistant to education like him in a vocational school.

Access to the festival is free, but spectators are strongly encouraged on their arrival to contribute towards expenses. “People give an average of between 5 and 20 euros,” says Miriam, cashier installed in a trailer at the entrance. “It sometimes goes up to 50 euros, people are very generous,” she said.

Ayrault in the crosshairs

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault , Mayor of Nantes and former strong supporter of the airport project, is in the crosshairs. “It would be better to recognize that he lost on that shot,” slice Maria Theresa, a native of the nearby village of retired Bouvron, which carries a sticker with the words “Not to the airport and to the world” .

“We came here to defend our farmers colleagues. But the fundamental issue is calling for another model of society, “says the old farmer, who said he campaigned for the first time against the airport project” 43 years ago. ”

But nobody dares to comment on the government’s intentions. “Mystery,” says Marie-Therese.


.Original article in French:

ECOLOGIE – Des milliers de personnes se rassemblent ce dimanche pour dire non à l’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes dans une ambiance festive…

Une armada de cerfs-volants contre des Airbus et des Boeing: les opposants au projet d’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, qui ont rassemblé des milliers de sympathisants ce week-end au nord de Nantes, ont choisi d’occuper aussi le ciel pour faire plier le gouvernement.

Garder l’espace aérien

Sur l’immense champ de blé fraîchement moissonné où sont organisés concerts et conférences jusqu’à dimanche soir, les organisateurs s’activent à confectionner un millier de cerfs-volants destinés à garder symboliquement l’espace aérien au dessus du bocage nantais.

A même le sol, deux jeunes femmes accroupies écrivent un message sur un grand cerf-volant triangulaire rouge et blanc «pour que nos libertés occupent le ciel». «Le ciel libre aux hommes libres», peut-on lire sur un de ces messages.

L’Acipa, la principale association d’opposants historiques au projet d’aéroport qui remonte aux années 1960, a revendiqué plus de 8.000 participants au rassemblement festif à compter de samedi 20h00, tandis que la préfecture de Loire-Atlantique en avait dénombré entre 3.500 et 4.000 trois heures plus tôt.

L’Acipa, qui organise ce rassemblement estival depuis 13 ans sur le site prévu pour la future aérogare, n’avait jamais fait les choses en aussi grand, avec un service d’ordre pléthorique, des chapiteaux, des secouristes et une scène géante sur laquelle défilent les musiciens sous un panneau proclamant «Un aéroport à NDDL, jamais !»

Tryo et Sanseverino

D’autres festivaliers étaient attendus dimanche jusque tard dans la nuit pour assister aux concerts de musiciens connus comme Tryo et Sanseverino. Beaucoup d’artistes se sont mobilisés depuis que les forces de l’ordre ont tenté d’évacuer le site en octobre pour laisser la place aux pelleteuses, observe Julien Durand, porte-parole de l’Acipa.

Cette initiative a relancé la lutte contre le projet confié au groupe de BTP Vinci et qui doit voir le jour en 2017. Au point que le gouvernement a demandé des études complémentaires sur le projet et retiré les gendarmes en avril.

«Un autre modèle de société»

«La symbolique de ce lieu, c’est la résistance», confie à l’AFP le jazzman Bernard Lubat, un ancien musicien de Claude Nougaro qui s’est produit samedi. L’état d’esprit qui règne à Notre-Dame-des-Landes, «je l’ai connu au Larzac», se souvient le musicien, qui fait le lien avec le jazz, «musique de révolte de gens qui se sont libérés de l’esclavage».

Le rassemblement se vit comme une société à part, où l’argent ne règne pas. «Ca fait du bien de se retrouver avec des gens qui ont les mêmes envies, les mêmes idées, les mêmes visions de la société», confie Nicolas Dhervaux, 33 ans, venu du Morbihan voisin avec sa copine Marie-Cécile, assistante d’éducation comme lui dans un lycée professionnel.

L’accès au festival est gratuit, mais les spectateurs sont fortement incités à participer aux frais à leur arrivée. «Les gens donnent en moyenne entre cinq et 20 euros», témoigne Myriam, caissière installée dans une caravane à l’entrée. «Ca va parfois jusqu’à 50 euros, les gens sont très généreux», dit-elle.

Ayrault dans le collimateur

Le Premier ministre Jean-Marc Ayrault, ancien maire de Nantes et fervent partisan du projet d’aéroport, est dans le collimateur. «Il ferait mieux de reconnaître qu’il a perdu sur ce coup-là», tranche Marie-Thérèse, une retraitée originaire du proche village de Bouvron, qui porte un autocollant avec la mention «Non à l’aéroport et à son monde».

«On est venus défendre nos copains paysans. Mais la question de fond, c’est qu’on réclame un autre modèle de société», explique cette ancienne agricultrice, qui dit avoir milité pour la première fois contre le projet d’aéroport «il y a 43 ans».

Mais personne ne se risque à se prononcer sur les intentions du gouvernement. «Mystère», résume Marie-Thérèse.



And a slightly longer version in Liberation at



Notre-Dame-des-Landes: opponents occupy the sky

Opponents of the proposed airport in western France have chosen to release a thousand kites in the sky of Notre-Dame-des-Landes this morning .

  • Fabienne Beranger
  • Posted on 04/08/2013  (Pays de la Loire)
© Christine Vilvoisin - France 3 Pays de la Loire
© Christine Vilvoisin – France 3 Pays de la Loire

This gesture is listed as one of the highlights of the now traditional summer gathering organized by the anti-airport. A way for them to occupy the sky to make the government of this airport project, “Thousand Kites, to assert that the sky at Notre Dame will remain free!”  announces ACIPA.

See the video

NDDL: release of kites

The kites were made ​​throughout the week by volunteers.  “For our freedom occupy the sky”, “Free sky to free men” are some of the messages that can be read on these kites. The summer anti-airport gathering today continues on Sunday with debates and concerts. Tryo Lo’Jo or Sanseverino share including the scene today. 5,000 people attended the event on the site yesterday.

On the site of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, Saturday, Aug. 3 © JEAN-SEBASTIEN Evrard / AFP
© JEAN-SEBASTIEN Evrard / AFP On the site of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, Saturday, Aug. 3









Some earlier news about the Nantes airport campaign:

Nearly 40,000 people form a 25km human chain surrounding site of proposed new Nantes airport

May 12, 2013 Mission accomplished for the opponents of Notre-Dame-des-Landes: from France entirely, they could circle the contested site.

A huge number of protesters from across France organised themselves into a human chain in the early afternoon on Saturday. There are likely to have been almost 40,000 though the authorities give a lower attendance figure. The human chain surrounded the site of the proposed new Nantes airport, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, with its two planned runways and new passenger terminal. The airport has been intended as a replacement for the current Nantes airport. Large numbers of people had come long distances to be there, many travelling overnight by bus, and then shared their picnics in a good natured event with a festive, but determined, spirit. The opponents of the new airport say that it is not needed, the economic arguments don’t stack up, it will increase carbon emissions, and will destroy valuable farmland and biodiversity. At the moment, the project is considerably delayed, but it is still going ahead. Its opponents want it stopped, and they show no sign of reducing their intense opposition.    Click here to view full story…  with many more photos …

Dialogue Commission on Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport reports: project delayed but confirmed

April 10, 2013    The dialogue commission looking into the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project at Nantes has produced its report. There were also two reports on the impact on water and wetland and impact on local agriculture. The commission has said that substantial adjustments are needed to the original draft of new airport designed to replace the existing Nantes Atlantique airport. This means there is an indefinite postponement. It had been planned to open in 2017. The dialogue commission has had to decide on the usefulness of the project , and also on changes and improvements needed ​​to the project, to which is strongly opposed locally – and also by many across France. There now needs to be a new assessment of redevelopment costs of the existing Nantes Atlantique airport, and whether it could be adapted to take larger planes. Also the impact of a new airport on other airports nearby. The commission has questionned the way in which wetland would be dealt with, and the impact of loss of farms and farmland. Opponents now believe their concerns and opposition has been vindicated, but they will continue to occupy the land and fight the plans.     Click here to view full story…



More at  




Read more »

Munich conference – airport residents’ campaigns across Europe connect their fight against the aviation lobby

Over 250 people from across Europe attended the European Aviation Campaigners Conference in Munich at the weekend, where they heard accounts of campaigners against expansion in many different countries. The conference produced a manifesto which included a call for an end to night flights and an end to tax-breaks for the aviation industry.  They also called for no more runways to be  built in Europe, and a shift from short-haul flights to rail,  the abolition of subsidies for the aviation sector  and active control of noiseThe conference also had sessions on effective campaigning, including direct action.   Those who attended the conference came away inspired. They were in no doubt that the conference will stimulate collective across Europe to campaign for change. The united call is to ‘tame the aviation industry’.  They say health, independent living, and an intact environment must have higher priority than economic interests. An English version of the Manifesto.



John Stewart and Florian Sperk addressing the European Aviation Campaigners’ Conference.

European Conference Manifesto in English


Link to videos

Link to the key speeches at the Munich Aviation Campaigners’ Conference.  Apart from
those from John Stewart, they are in German but, if you do understand German, the one from Alexander Mahler, the young man talking about tax subsidies to aviation, is
well worth listening to.–jorSCOpE65lvxF8c1_w?feature=watch



Forging Links: European Aviation Campaigners’ Conference

Blog by John Stewart, Chair of HACAN and of AirportWatch


Last weekend’s conference in Munich showed just how vibrant the European movement against airport expansion has become.  On Saturday (22nd June) over 250 campaigners from across Europe packed the sports centre in the small town of Attaching, just outside Munich, sharing ideas and plan Europe-wide campaigns.

Ten years ago this sort of conference would not have taken place.  There was little Europe-wide contact between grassroots campaigners.

But all that has changed over the past decade.  Campaigners have been in regular contact with each other, building up a European network.

And success has followed.  A third runway has been stopped at Heathrow.  Plans for new airports in Siena and Viterbo in Italy have been abandoned. The residents of Munich voted against a third runway in a referendum last March.  There is huge opposition to the proposed new airport for Nantes in Western France.  Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Berlin to protest against airport expansion.  And, of course, every Monday night for the last 18 months thousands of people have occupied the airport terminal at Frankfurt to protest against the impact of the fourth runway.

People at the conference shared campaigning techniques, including an excellent session on the role of direct action, led by Plane Stupid.

But Saturday’s conference didn’t just hear stories of protest.  There were experts talking about the climate change, noise and air pollution impacts of aviation.  And a powerful talk from Alexander Mahler of the think-tank Green Budget Germany outlining the billions lost to the economy as a result of the tax-free fuel that airlines enjoy.

The conference issued a manifesto.  Key demands included an end to night flights and an end to the tax-free fuel from which aviation benefits.  These demands will form the basis of Europe-wide campaigns over the coming year.

Campaigners across Europe are forging links like never before.  They are determined to see the aviation industry tamed.

Freising Aufgemuckt Gegen den Flughafen-Ausbau

No Third Runway badges, at Munich


Attachinger Manifest
Everybody has the right to sleep at night

(In German)

Europa braucht eine gesellschaftliche Diskussion über Luftverkehr.
Ungeplant und unkoordiniert werden europaweit Flughäfen auf
Kosten der Bevölkerung ausgebaut. Dabei ist der wirtschaftliche
Nutzen nicht darstellbar.

Überall regt sich regionaler Widerstand der Bevölkerung. Dabei geht
es um gesellschaftliche Fragen wie Klimaschutz, die Finanzierbarkeit
von Großprojekten, aber auch persönliche Betroffenheiten bei der
Frage des Rechts auf körperliche Unversehrtheit, Schutz des
Eigentums und Bewahrung der Heimat.

Wir stellen fest: Die Probleme sind überall die gleichen – daher muss
die Diskussion von der regionalen Ebene auf die europäische Ebene
gehoben werden. Die Anwohner der unterschiedlichen Flughäfen
dürfen nicht weiter gegen einander ausgespielt werden.

Überall haben wir ein Recht auf Gesundheit, ein Recht auf Heimat
und Schutz des Eigentums und die Pflicht, unseren Kinder eine
lebenswerte, intakte Welt zu hinterlassen.

Daher organisieren wir uns in der Ersten Internationalen
Flughafenanwohnerkonferenz und stellen an unsere nationalen
Parlamente und des EU-Parlament folgende Forderungen:
• Achtstündiges Nachtflugverbot
• Abschaffung der Steuerprivilegien bei Umsatz- und
• Abbau der Subventionen im Luftverkehr
• Aktiver Schallschutz vor passivem Schallschutz
• Kein Kapazitätsausbau des Luftverkehrs
• Verlagerung der Kurzstreckenflüge auf die Schiene

Die Gesundheit, ein selbstbestimmtes Leben und eine intakte Umwelt
müssen höhere Priorität genießen als wirtschaftliche Interessen.
Gemeinsam kämpfen wir für unsere Rechte und ein Europa der
Bürgerinnen und Bürger.



European Conference Manifesto in English


Attachinger Manifesto

Everybody has the right to sleep at night

(In English)

Europe needs to have a proper debate about air travel.

The current policy of growth and expansion is causing climate change, air pollution and noise problems.  And its economic benefits are uncertain.  The policy is being resisted by as growing number of people across Europe.

It needs a Europe-wide solution.  Residents around one airport must not be played of against residents at other airports.

Everybody has the right to health, to live in a home free of constant noise and a duty to leave the planet in a fit state for their children.

We therefore organized an International Aviation Campaigners’ Conference in Attaching, just outside Munich.

We are calling on the European Parliament and our national parliaments to support:

  • an end to night flights, so that each airport has 8 hours free of planes;
  • an end to the tax-free fuel for airlines and an end to exemptions from sales taxes, such as Value Added Tax (VAT);
  • a reduction in all subsidies received by the aviation industry;
  • active measures to reduce the impact of noise on residents;
  • no additional airport capacity in Europe;
  • transfer of short-distance flights to rail.

The health and well-being of people and the planet must be given priority over economic interests.

Together, as citizens of Europe, we pledge to fight for our rights.


Relaxing Bavarian style

  1. Campaigners relaxing Bavarian-style

Airport residents connect their fight against the European lobby

  • 24 June 2013

“Attacking Hinger Manifesto” adopted

The first airport- residents-conference in Attaching near Munich ended at  23.06. with the group “Plane Stupid” campaigns carrying out training.  The conference was organised by , and other groups invited by, the Coalition for Action  “Aufgemuckt” ” which is fighting the construction of a third runway  at Munich Airport. The invitation was accepted by representatives of airport residents initiatives from the UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and several German cities. Attaching (Freising) was chosen as the venue for the conference because the intention of the Bavarian state government and the local airport operator is for the planned runway to go through the middle of the location.

The highlight of the conference was the day before the adoption of the ” Attac Hinger Manifesto “. Accompanied by “standing ovation”, participants called for under the slogan “Everybody has the right to sleep at night” a night flight ban at least eight hours at all European airports, the abolition of privileges for air transport in revenue and energy tax, the removal of all subsidies for the air transport industry, the primacy of active from passive noise protection, the waiver of the further expansion of airport capacity and the consequent shift from short-haul flights to rail.

The manifesto will be handed over to the national parliaments and governments and the European institutions.

Prior informed speakers including the dramatic consequences of nocturnal aircraft noise on the health of neighboring residents. So after Bremer epidemiologists would face affected with an increased risk for high blood pressure and heart attack and subsequently with a higher mortality Prof. Dr. Greiser.

Thoughtful participants also agreed to the remarks on the effects of aircraft noise on the health of children and adolescents.

In the ensuing discussions, the attendees were in agreement that a good night’s sleep at least eight hours was an undivided human right that it applies also continues to urge demand. In this context, criticism of the decision of the Federal Administrative Court was loud, which seems to display a five-hour night’s sleep than adequate in a number of decisions.

The London Anti-aircraft noise activists John Stewart appealed to all participants that the fight against the aviation lobby and inhuman politicians is to win through absolute unity.

It was agreed that the conference would be repeated in future on a regular basis at different locations.

The German delegates from Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Leipzig and Cologne / Bonn were in agreement with the representatives from neighboring countries, that this conference was an important first step to oppose the lobbying interests of networked aviation industry by an effective networked European counter-power.

Also that in future the aviation industry’s arguments can be effectively rebuffed, and the industry or politicians cannot play off affected populationd against each other.


Original version of this article in German at




Also article in German at




Stay connected and vigilant – Airport residents from six countries adopt the “Attac Hinger Manifesto”

23.6.2013  (

(Look in the hall): About 250 citizens groups from six European countries participated in the conference in the Attac Hinger sports hall on weekends.  (Photos: ara)

(In the hall): About 250 citizens groups from six European countries participated in the conference in the Attac Hinger sports hall  at the weekend.(Photos: ara)

Around 250 representatives of citizens’ groups from six European countries have met at the weekend in Attaching [ a village just north of Munich, and close to where a 3rd runway was planned]  at the first international airport residents’ conference. 
Better connected, they intend to fight for stricter night flight rules, stricter rules on aircraft noise and against the expansion of airports. The agreed goals for the aviation industry are summarized in the Attac Hinger Manifesto that should go to the national parliaments and the European Parliament.
The idea for closer cooperation between local initiatives emerged during a visit by John Stewart to Munich about a year ago. Stewart, best known activist in the successful fight against a third runway at London Heathrow, was also one of the speakers in the Attac Hinger gym – just a few hundred meters away from the fence of Munich airport. He looked back at the resistance to the expansion of the UK’s largest airport and made ​​it clear how important it is to forge a broad alliance of stakeholders, politicians and associations.

"One must always remain vigilant," warned John Stewart, best known activist against the third Stratbahn at London Heathrow.

“One must always remain vigilant,” warned John Stewart, best known activist against the third runway at London Heathrow.

 Stiegl Helga Meier,  spokesperson for the Coalition for Action,  hopes a message will go out from the conference,  “We want to signal that we are here, we adapt,” she says.In addition, the campaigners are agreed that they will not be part of attempts to play the various airports off against each other.  It was important to formulate common goals.







Read more »

Huge rally against Heathrow expansion – if allowed it would face opposition on a truly massive scale

Over a thousand people attended a rally in Barnes, against the possible expansion of Heathrow. The rally was organised by Zac Goldsmith, and attended by Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Boris said he thought the Conservatives “would be utterly nuts to go into the next election with the possibility of a Heathrow third runway on the table.”  [However, unfortunately Boris thinks the alternatives offered by Gatwick, Stansted and two sites in the Thames Estuary should be concentrated on.  Worryingly, he seems to favour expansion at Stansted, and have little concern about aviation’s carbon emissions].   Boris told the rally that a 3rd runway at Heathrow was “just too difficult to deliver – 15 years at least it would take to bring about. “Above all you would be inflicting noise pollution not just on west London but on huge parts of London that don’t even know they are going to be affected. That is not the right way forward for the greatest city on earth.” Zac said the opponents of a 3rd runway will continue to make clear their opposition to further expansion, and he wants “ministers to be left in no doubt that if they give expansion a green light, they will face a campaign on a truly massive scale.”



John Stewart’s blog on how expansion at Heathrow would be politically toxic below


27 April 2013

Heathrow expansion protesters hold Barnes rally

Mayor Boris Johnson speaks at the rally
The mayor said the runway would give rise to ‘flying fleets of fortissimo flatulence’

Hundreds [about two thousand in fact]  of people have gathered to demonstrate against the possible expansion of Heathrow Airport.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston have spoken at the rally in Barnes, south-west London.

Last September, the government launched a review of how the UK might expand its airport capacity in the South East.

One long-standing option has been to add a third runway at Heathrow.

‘Massive scale’

Crowds building in Barnes ahead of anti-expansion rally
Residents gathered to show their opposition

Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports, handling more than 69 million passengers a year.

Mr Johnson said the expansion of Heathrow would be a “giant step backwards for London”, giving rise to “great flying fleets of fortissimo flatulence”.

He told BBC London the alternatives offered by Gatwick, Stansted and two sites in the Thames Estuary should be concentrated on, and the idea of Heathrow expansion “closed down”.

He said Prime Minister David Cameron was keeping his cards close to his chest.

He added: “I think my party, the Conservatives, would be utterly nuts to go into the next election with the possibility of a Heathrow third runway on the table.”

Conservative MPs Mr Goldsmith and Justine Greening, MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields. also spoke to protesters.

Sean McKee, director of policy at London Chamber of Commerce, said London is a “global city in an island economy”.

He said there was a race between European capitals to see who could connect and trade with Asia, Africa and South America, and Heathrow provided the best opportunity.

Mr McKee said: “I think it’s quite simplistic for those local politicians in west London to claim that everybody inside their boundary opposes Heathrow expansion.

“Overwhelmingly, our members say they want to continue flying from Heathrow because it gives them the connections they need.”

‘Health issue’

But one resident, who has lived in Kew for 10 years, told BBC London the noise from flights already affects people’s health.

“With an extra runway the respite we get either in the morning or the afternoon could disappear,” he said.

“Night flights are the biggest bane of my life. The 04:30 flight comes in, wakes us up and we’re all up for the day so there’s a health issue here as much as anything else.”

A commission chaired by ex-Financial Services Authority boss Sir Howard Davies, is to consider a number of options to expand capacity, including a new airport to the east of London.

The commission will report after 2015.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said: “Previous attempts to tackle the question of airport capacity have failed, often due to a lack of consensus on the evidence.

“Our approach is to build a strong political consensus so we can plan for the future. A rushed decision is not an option.”



Mega Rally re-enforces view Heathrow expansion would be politically toxic

Blog by John Stewart

 27th April 2013

Today’s impressive rally against Heathrow expansion, organized by Zac Goldsmith MP, demonstrated the formidable forces that are massing once again to prevent expansion of the airport.  It will have given Heathrow Airport and their allies who want a third runway considerable pause for thought.  In the space of 40 minutes 15 leading politicians from right across the political spectrum lined up to speak.  They included the Mayor of London and two cabinet ministers, Justine Greening and Ed Davey.  And many more politicians wanted to speak but had to be turned away.

Airport expansion – like every major decision – will be a political one.  And the politics are moving away from Heathrow.  Politicians of all parties are putting Heathrow expansion in the “too difficult” box.  The Liberal Democrats are firmly opposed.  The Labour Party, under Ed Miliband and shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle, has made it clear it no longer supports expansion.  There is a powerful lobby within the Conservative Party which is urging the Party to rule out expansion for good.  The London Assembly and the Mayor are united in their opposition to it.

Look around the cabinet table:  the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Business Secretary Vince Cable, Home Secretary Theresa May, the Secretaries of State for the Environment, International Development andNorthern Ireland, Ed Davey, Justine Greening and Theresa Villiers and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond are all known opponents.

This is a far cry from the opposition being confined to local authorities, local residents and environmental groups.  Heathrow has become a London-wide, indeed a national issue, a national issue where politicians know there are votes and seats to be won and lost, where they are so aware of what happened to the last Labour Government’s attempt to expand Heathrow.

Astute people within the aviation industry like Willie Walsh, in charge of British Airways, have made their view clear that the tide has turned against Heathrow expansion.  Today’s rally re-enforced that message.



Also article in the Evening Standard  and ITV video clips 



Hundreds turn out for anti-Heathrow expansion rally

Boris Johnson speaks at a rally in Barnes against the expansion of Heathrow Airport. Picture: Veredorexport/Twitter

Boris Johnson speaks at a rally in Barnes against the expansion of Heathrow Airport. Picture: Veredorexport/Twitter

by Sarah Shaffi  ( London 24)

April 27, 2013
Hundreds of people turned out for a rally today against proposals to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

The crowd at the anti-Heathrow expansion demonstration in Barnes. Picture: Nate Sibley/Twitter

The crowd at the anti-Heathrow expansion demonstration in Barnes. Picture: Nate Sibley/Twitter

The rally was organised by Conservative MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston Zac Goldsmith, and among those who attended this morning’s event in Barn Elms playing field in Barnes was Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The Mayor has previously accused David Cameron of kicking the matter “into the long grass” by delaying an independent report on the future of aviation until after the next election.

He favours a new “Boris island” airport in the Thames Estuary or possible expansion at Stansted.

Mr Johnson urged the government to resist the “great Moloch of aviation capacity” and rule out a third runway at Heathrow before the next election. He said it would be “totally nuts” for the Conservatives to go to the polls without having buried the idea.

The Mayor told the gathered crowd: “It is just too difficult to deliver – 15 years at least it would take to bring about.

“Above all you would be inflicting noise pollution not just on west London but on huge parts of London that don’t even know they are going to be affected.

“That is not the right way forward for the greatest city on earth.”

Twitter user Veredorexport posted a picture of Mr Johnson at the rally and wrote: “Thank you @MayorofLondon and @ZacGoldsmith for standing up for the people of SW London!”

Nate Sibley, who helped Mr Goldsmith organise the rally, posted a picture of the crowd gathered at the rally, and wrote on Twitter: “Epic crowd at @zacgoldsmith and @mayoroflondon rally against Heathrow expansion!”

Former transport secretary Justine Greening made her first speech on Heathrow since she was moved to international development in September’s Cabinet reshuffle amid speculation that it was due to her stance on the issue.

Business Secretary Vince Cable, who has previously stated that expansion “will not happen”, was also at the rally.

Speaking about the event Mr Goldsmith said: “This rally is an opportunity for everyone living under the Heathrow flight path to come together and make clear their opposition to further expansion.

“We have done so in previous campaigns, and we will keep doing it until this government gets the message.

“I want ministers to be left in no doubt that if they give expansion a green light, they will face a campaign on a truly massive scale.”







Saturday 27th April – Heathrow ‘Mega Rally’ organised by Zac Goldsmith

At the Barn Elms Playing Fields, Queen Elizabeth Walk, London, SW13 9SA between 09:30 and 10:30 

Zac Goldsmith MP joined by the Mayor of London, the former Transport Secretary Justine Greening, and other local MPs from all parties, and Council Leaders at a ‘mega rally’ to demonstrate the strength of feeling against possible expansion at Heathrow Airport, and to promote the Council’s referendum on the third runway.   After a series of short speeches Boris cast the first ‘vote’ in a giant ballot box constructed by pupils and teachers at Richmond Park Academy.

This was an opportunity for everyone living under the Heathrow flight path to come together and make clear their opposition to further expansion. It demonstrated to Ministers that if they give expansion a green light, they will face a campaign against it, on a truly massive scale.

MPs addressing the rally include former Transport Secretary of State Justine Greening (Putney), Vince Cable (Twickenham), Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith), John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington), Mary McLeod (Brentford and Isleworth), Angie Bray(Ealing Central and Acton), and Viendra Sharma (Ealing Southall).







Read more »

Bed protest. Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire residents call for a cut in Luton airport night flights

A group of protesters arrived at Luton Borough Council on 15th February to deliver a bed signed by people who are fed up with night noise from Luton Airport. The BANN (Beds Against Night Noise) protest was given good media coverage and made the point that it’s not only Hertfordshire which suffers noise and disturbance – plenty of residents in Bedfordshire are also woken up by late night arrivals, cargo planes and early morning departures. One of the protesters said the PR spin in Luton airport’s Master Plan claimed they would ”consult” the public, and they were taking noise seriously by adding 6 new noise mitigations. However, those so-called mitigations would only affect a fraction of 1% of the total flights – and Luton plans to double night flights between 10pm and midnight and start the morning departure rush at 5am, which is utterly unacceptable. Local people are now  demanding that there is legislation to control night flights at Luton in the same way as at other London airports. There is currently a petition to significantly reduce night flights at Luton, not increase them.


Beds as in Bedfordshire !   (where Luton airport is located)

Beds Against Night Noise !

Posted on 

A group of protestors arrived at Luton Borough Council yesterday to deliver a bed signed by people who are fed up with night noise from Luton Airport. The BANN protest was given good media coverage and made the point that it’s not only Hertfordshire which suffers noise and disturbance – plenty of residents in Bedfordshire are also woken up by late night arrivals, cargo planes and early morning departures.


One of the protestors, Chris Nickolay, said “When the Airport stops listening and just rides roughshod over local communities, we have to make our point loud and clear. The PR spin in their Master Plan claimed they would ”consult” the public, and said they were taking noise seriously by adding 6 new noise mitigations. Well now we know the truth. Those so-called mitigations would only affect a fraction of a percent of the total flights – and they plan to double night flights between 10pm and midnight and start the morning departure rush at 5am. That’s utterly unacceptable, and hundreds of local people are now demanding that there is legislation to control night flights at Luton in the same way as at other London airports. Just letting market greed cause sleep disruption to thousands of people is simply not an adequate control: we want a night noise curfew backed up by strict planning restrictions.”

The petition launched by local campaign groups calling for a significant reduction in night flights from Luton Airport can be accessed by clicking here >> Night flights



The petition to the Managing Director of Luton Airport, Eric Pickles, and the Luton Borough Council Planning officer states:

Luton Airport: Significantly reduce night flights 

Petition by HALE, LADACAN, LANAG, SoS 

Night flights at Luton Airport are currently unregulated and affect far more people than at London City Airport, which has a night movements curfew. Planes from Luton Airport are much bigger, and there are plans to almost double the existing 8,500 night flights per annum. There are more night movements at Luton than at Heathrow. The World Health Organisation links noise disturbance at night to serious health problems. We are calling for a significant reduction in night flights at Luton Airport instead of the further increase which is being proposed.


Glyn Jones, Managing Director, Luton Airport
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State
Planning Officer 12/01400/FUL, Luton Borough Council


Luton Airport: Significantly reduce night flights



Noise mitigations “affect less than 1% of flights”

Posted on 

An official response by Terence O’Rourke [Terence O’Rourke is a planning, design and environmental practice, which prepared the application summary for Luton Airport] to questions raised by the Hitchin Forum proves that the so-called noise mitigations proposed by Luton Airport are so feeble as to be almost worthless. The much-vaunted commitments to take seriously the noise concerns of local people have been exposed as hollow by the Airport’s own planning consultants.

Just look at what the Airport said in its September 2012 Master Plan – we have added emphasis to show the commitments which the Airport told us it would be making:

“10.13 The current national aviation policy is the Future of Air Transport White Paper 2003 (FATWP). In this White Paper, the government supports development at
the Airport which makes full use of its single runway on condition that the overall environmental impacts of such development will be carefully controlled and adequate mitigation provided.” (Master Plan Sep 2012)

“10.17 Regarding land use planning and management, paragraph 4.34 states that ‘planning policies and decisions should aim to avoid noise from giving rise to significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life as a result of new development, and mitigate and reduce to a minimum other adverse impacts … including through the use of conditions’. As demonstrated in section 9, we are incorporating a robust package of noise mitigation as part of the proposed development, which aligns fully with the APF.”

Now look at Terence O’Rourke’s responses to the questions raised by Hitchin Forum:

Q: How many flights would have been affected in 2011 by the Chapter 2 ban?
A: Less than 1% of night flights would have been banned in 2012.

Q: How many aircraft in 2012 exceeded the 82dB(A) night noise violation limit and would have exceeded the proposed 80bd(A) night noise violation limit?
A: In 2012, less than 1% of aircraft (3) exceeded the 82 dB(A) night time noise limit.
In 2012, less than 1% of aircraft (14) would have exceeded an 80 dB(A) night time noise limit.

Q: How many aircraft in 2012 were vectored out of the NPR swathes below 4,000ft?
A: LLAOL estimates that less than 1% of flights are currently vectored off NPR swathes between 3,000 and 4,000 ft.

Q: How many flights in 2012 would have exceeded the proposed daytime noise limits?
A: The total number and percentage of aircraft that would have exceeded each of the three proposed daytime noise limits in 2012 is summarised below. • 85 dB(A): 29 (less than 1%) • 82 dB(A): 62 (less than 1%) • 80 dB(A): 138 (less than 1%)

And in case you’re wondering, “less than 1%” is developer-speak for miniscule fractions of a percent: for example 138 aircraft per year in 2012 is about 0.1% of the total. And as a further insult to our intelligence, they describe the above as “a robust response”…

You can read the full set of questions and answers by clicking here >> Hitchin Forum Q&A





Luton local residents say “Enough is Enough” on aircraft noise – and do not accept the planned expansion

February 15, 2013 Luton airport has a consultation – that ends on 18th February – into their planning application, to almost double the number of passenger, from around 10 mppa now to 18mppa before 2030. The extra flights would mean a lot more noise for those living locally under flight paths. One of the local residents’ groups, LANAG, has now submitted its response to the consultation, and say that while local residents support the desire for Luton to have a top quality airport, the airport already has twice the number of people affected by noise than there were in 2002 and 4 times the number of aircraft movements at night. They therefore say, “Enough is Enough” and do not accept the increases in aircraft movements and noise that would result from expansion. LANAG wants no more people affected by noise than currently , and say there must be a plan to take 2,800 people out of an environment that, according to the WHO is deleterious to health – due to noise levels. Click here to view full story…




Luton airport planning application would increase night flights (11pm to 7am) by 50%

January 29, 2013    Local campaign group HALE (Hertfordshire Against Luton Expansion) says that Luton Airport’s expansion plans are based on projections to increase flights at night by 50%. This is based on information in the airport’s planning application which shows that the number of take-offs and landings between 11pm and 7am is projected to rise to 52 by 2028, compared to 34 in 2011. HALE points out that this is just the average figure – during the summer peak there could be as many as 80 flights each night. There is a public consultation on the application until 18th February. HALE is urging people to respond to this planning application by demanding that Luton Borough Council forces its Airport to reduce, not increase, night flights; to monitor and fine night arrivals as well as night departures; and to install a noise monitor on the approach to runway 08 for the purpose.    Click here to view full story…

Read more »