Heathrow news 2011

Heathrow Airport News  in 2012

 

Heathrow news in 2011:

Selling Heathrow won’t pay for a Thames airport

December 30, 2011   The advocates of an estuary airport hope that it could partly be funded by selling the land at Heathrow which they speculate might raise £12 billion. However, the reason that land round Heathrow is so valuable is because there’s an airport there: close it down and the value collapses. Freight in particular goes from Heathrow, and its location is key. Some 77,000 people work at Heathrow for 320 different companies and more than 200,000 have jobs that depend on it. Once the planes stop flying, it is just another brown-field site.   Click here to view full story…

 

Heathrow Resists Capacity Crunch as Noise Bar Favors Coastal Hub

December 14, 2011    Bloomberg says Heathrow is turning to bigger jets and glitzier shops to keep growing in the face of a campaign to build a rival hub on the Thames estuary. There will be more A380s – up to 35 per day. . Heathrow wants more transfer passengers. Colin Matthews said: ” …to give business people starting or ending their journey in London the frequencies and destinations they want you have to fill the rest of the plane.” BAA wants to convince lawmakers and officials that Heathrow can raise its capacity without disrupting people’s lives.   Click here to view full story…

 

Transition Heathrow. We’re not going anywhere !

November 18, 2011   Transition Heathrow’s “Grow Heathrow” project were due to be in court on 17th November, for a hearing about having them evicted from the site they are occupying at Sipson. The judge took into account the human rights arguments and adjourned the case to the higher authority of Central London County Court where a two day hearing will take place in a few months time. The owner of the site wants the land back, though it had been neglected for years, and Grow Heathrow has turned it into a thriving community venture.   Click here to view full story…

 

BAA refuses to sell homes it bought in Sipson

15th November 2011    BAA is being accused of “breaking the heart” of residents in Sipson, which is earmarked as the location for a 3rd Heathrow runway. Now Labour has joined the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in declaring that a 3rd runway is “off the agenda”, residents in Sipson say BAA still refuses to sell the homes it bought up in the area, as it has not yet ruled out the expansion. BAA offered to buy 300 homes and 75% of residents took up the offer, so BAA now rents the houses.   Click here to view full story…

 

Environmental Audit Committee publishes report on air quality, and says a 3rd runway at Heathrow would be impossible

14th November 2011      The EAC’s report says Ministers appear to be actively trying to dilute air quality safety standards to avoid EU fines. Business plans produced by the DfT and Defra do not even mention air quality. It says EU air quality limits for NO2 are not met at Heathrow and the surrounding area the forthcoming Sustainable Framework for UK Aviation and the forthcoming Aviation National Policy Statement must contain an explicit prohibition of a 3rd Heathrow runway.    Click here to view full story…

 

Passengers down – 1.3% in October, compared to October 2010, at BAA’s airports

13th November 2011      In October, the number of passengers at Heathrow was down 1.3% compared to October 2010; at Stansted down – 4.9%; at Edinburgh up + 1.8%; at Glasgow up + 0.3%. Over all BAA’s UK airports passengers were down – 1.3% and Air Transport movements down – 0.8%. Cargo was down – 7.5% for all BAA airports, down – 7.2% at Heathrow, and down – 11.4% at Stansted. Heathrow’s domestic passengers were down – 17% and BAA’s domestic passengers across their airports down 9.9%.
Click here to view full story…

 

BAA has decided not to submit a planning application for the taxiway works

12th November 2011    BAA has decided not to submit a planning application for the taxiway works necessary for aircraft to routinely take-off over the village of Cranford. Take-offs to the east from the northern runway have until now been prevented by the Cranford agreement. The government is committed to ending the Cranford agreement. The consultation will not take place during the ‘Operational Freedoms’ trial, as BAA believes this could lead to confusion between the two.   Click here to view full story…

 

New planning policy ‘completely omits aircraft noise issues’ – says Hounslow

October 28, 2011     Hounslow council has expressed concern that the new planning policy could see pressure from developers to build in areas most affected by noise from Heathrow Airport. They say the Draft NPPF has “completely omitted” the “inhumanity of living in areas most affected by aircraft noise”. The borough is classified as one of the noisiest places in Europe, due to Heathrow. Under the NPPF local authorities would lose clear guidance on siting new developments in noisy areas.  Click here to view full story…

 

BAA revenues rise on more Heathrow passengers this year

27th October 2011     Record summer traffic at Heathrow has helped to narrow the losses of BAA. Heathrow has had record monthly passenger numbers since April, up 6.1% to 52.6m in the 9 months to September 30. There was increased travel to and from the US, Germany, Switzerland, France and Brazil. This drove revenues up 10% to £1.7bn at BAA’s London airports – Heathrow and Stansted – and narrowed pre-tax losses from £193m to £147m.   Click here to view full story…

 

Hacan Clearskies says membership has risen ahead of controversial trials at Heathrow

24th October 2011   HACAN has seen a sharp surge in the number of residents wanting to join after BAA revealed plans for it to use both runways simultaneously if planes are running just 10 minutes late. The 4 month trial starts on November 1st and a second next summer from July 1st. Hacan and the Richmond Heathrow Campaign descended on stations during rush hour on October 18th, handing out leaflets to commuters across the borough. People are urged to complain if concerned.  Click here to view full story…

 

Heathrow now has 12 airside bedrooms so transit passengers can sleep comfortably

20th October 2011    Now passengers at Heathrow can enjoy their hours in transit in comfort under a duvet and away from the crowds in a soundproof cabin – complete with bed, shower, television and even a mini-bar. The rooms, which also have free wi-fi, are the first airside bedrooms in Britain. Airports like Schiphol have airside hotels available to passengers. But nothing before at Heathrow despite about three million transfer passengers passing through Terminal 3 alone every year.  Click here to view full story…

 

The Soundscape Project for children around Heathrow to experience peace and quiet

October 13, 2011    The Soundscape Project has been set up by Julia Welchman, after years of campaigning and researching the impact of high noise levels on young children’s education. The project aims to give children the chance to experience time in quiet environments, with the chance to hear each other well, and listen to the quiet sounds of nature, like grasshoppers, wind in the branches, and falling leaves – which they cannot experience in their noisy, overflown playgrounds.    Click here to view full story…

 

Willie Walsh attacks ‘Heathwick’ plan – high speed rail linking Heathrow and Gatwick

10th October 2011   The head of IAG has dismissed plans for a new super-airport covering Heathrow and Gatwick as lacking credibility. The DfT has revealed that they are looking at plans to create a linked hub, bringing Heathrow & Gatwick together. The airport’s Whitehall code name is Heathwick. Walsh says this would be difficult to deliver and more expensive than a 3rd runway at Heathrow. As part of an aviation review, the DfT is also considering joining Northolt with Heathrow.   Click here to view full story…

 

Heathrow and Gatwick airports: Ministers mull rail link to form a single hub from the two combined

8th October 2011    The DfT confirmed ministers will be studying the idea of a 180 mph rail link between Heathrow & Gatwick, while government reviews its aviation policy. BAA is opposed, saying it faced “seemingly insurmountable technical, operational, political financial challenges, and would take many years to deliver”. The aim would be to improve connectivity between the two, so both Heathrow could focus on profitable long haul, and low budget carriers would choose cheaper Stansted. BAA, British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair are opposed. Gatwick in favour.  Click here to view full story

 

Heathrow runway trial will relax noise limits and cause more noise for many

3.10.2011    People living under Heathrow flight paths face increased noise after the introduction of new runway rules. BAA is to trial a scheme allowing the use of both runways simultaneously from July to Sept 2012. Currently, those living under the flight path have a respite from noise when the runways alternate at 3pm. Under the trial, which will also run from November to February, the threshold for triggering emergency dual use of the runways will be lowered. Residents could face increased noise from losing some of their respite periods.  Click here to view full story…

 

BA buys 6 pairs of slots at Heathrow from bmi

27.9.2011    British Airways has bought the lots from bmi, which now gives it 45% of the slots at the country’s major airport. This has increased specualtion that the International Airline Group (IAG) of which BA is a part, could buy more slots from the loss making bmi or even take over the whole airline. The 6 pairs of slots,estimated to cost between €100m and €150m, will be used to expand both BA’s short and long haul services, possibly including new destinations.    Click here to view full story…

Aviation industry won’t take no for an answer on Heathrow expansion

19.9.2011    The government has made it quite clear that it will not support a 3rd runway at Heathrow. Despite this, BA recently in their LDF response, asked Hillingdon Council to block development, except airport-related development, around the airport to leaveroom for expansion. The council refused on 7th September. Also BAA is holding onto the houses that it purchased when it was expecting to build a 3rd runway, presumably because it too has not given up on expansion.   Click here to view full story…

BA ready to bid for BMI’s take off slots to expand at Heathrow

11.9.2011    BA is likely to bid for Lufthansa-owned BMI, the 2nd biggest operator at Heathrow airport. Lufthansa wants to sell or break up BMI, which is loss-making. IAG wants BMI, not for the whole airline, but for its valuable take off and landing slots at overcrowded Heathrow. BMI has 11%pc of Heathrow’scapacity – valued at £770m 3 years ago – while BA controls 42% and Iberia 2%. Any addition would raise regulatory and monopoly issues that need to be overcome.  Click here to view full story…

New report shows Heathrow has better business connectivity than any European rivals and is “In a Class of its Own”

27th August 2011     A new report from AirportWatch shows Heathrow’s links to the world’s main business centres dwarf those of its European rivals.  “International Air Connectivity for Business,” shows that Heathrow has 990 departures each week to key business destinations in Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe, more than the combined total of its closest rivals, Charles de Gaulle, Paris and Frankfurt airports. Taking Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted together, they have more than double the number of flights to key business destinations each week compared with Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam’s. The report concludes that it is not a question of lack of capacity for UK airports but how best that capacity can be used, making the most of our already superior business connectivity while capping CO2 emissions from aviation.  Click here to view full story…

Proposed changes to Heathrow noise management benefit only a few

13th August 2011    AEF has responded to a BAA consultation on noise at Heathrow. While it refers specifically to Heathrow, it raises issues of wider relevance. The proposals see, to make some improvements when compared with the existing scheme, some get a better deal than others. The number of households offered any help is still only a small proportion of those affected. BAA consultation only proposes help to people exposed to more than 63dB which is too high.     Click here to view full story…

 

Heathrow named Olympics host airport and may build temporary terminal for it

13th August 2011    Heathrow is considering building a temporary terminal – deconstructed afterwards – to cope with the additional volumes of passengers and bags during the Olympics. Perhaps about 80% of all Olympics passengers will travel through the airport. BAA expects August 13, the day after the Olympics closing ceremony, to be its busiest day next year. On that day, the airport will need to handle some 218,000 bags, 58,000 more than the day before.     Click here to view full story…

 

BAA Heathrow faces huge freight bill for athletes’ luggage going by courier jets

6th August 2011     Heathrow plans to send Olympic athletes’ luggage by courier jets to avoid a meltdown in its baggage handling systems after the Games.  BAA will “probably” have to foot the bill for Olympians’ luggage and are in talks with private freight firms. The cost is likely to reach ££s millions. DHL quotes £2000 to send one single scull boat from the UK to Athens. Experts fear travel disruption at London’s airports and the Eurostar terminal at the end of the Games.     Click here to view full story…

Wandsworth residents worried over possible Heathrow emergency flight measures abuses

24th July 2011    Campaigners have warned they will be “up in arms” if BAA abuses new emergency measures at Heathrow to introduce more flights.  John Stewart said the Government’s task force has proposed granting BAA more flexibility to land planes on both runways to avoid disruption at critical times, such as severe weather and the Olympic Games. But it is vital that there are safeguards which to ensure BAA does not abuse its new-found freedom.    Click here to view full story…

 

Heathrow to be given more freedom to use both runways in emergencies or periods of serious disruption

 14th July 2011     Heathrow is to be given more freedom to land aircraft on both runways at the same time to recover from periods of serious disruption (quite how that is defined is not clear).  The plan is included in the report of the South East Airports Task Force, chaired by aviation minister Theresa Villiers.  It was set up by the current government last year to look at ways of improving the efficiency of Heathrow and other south east airports. The new practice will be trialled for a period.  If it is decided to continue with it, there would be public consultation.   Click here to view full story…

Fight the Flights (London City) and HACAN to merge with FtF becoming HACAN East Lodon

10th July 2011   HACAN, the organisation which represents residents under the Heathrow flight paths, and Fight the Flights, which fought the expansion of London City Airport, are to merge.  Fight the Flights will become HACAN East London. The move makes a lot of sense as both airports affect London in a growing way.  These days hundreds of thousands of residents are affected by flights to and from both airports. The merger will happen during July.    Click here to view full story…

Heathrow charge row – BMI says landing charges are unfair

8th July 2011   Heathrow is to face a probe into its charges following complaints from domestic airline BMI that changes made earlier this year were unfair.  The CAA said it would formally investigate complaints that BAA had “unreasonably discriminated” against UK-focused airlines by ­making domestic and EU passenger charges equal. BMI also complained landing charges were now being based solely on how noisy planes are.   Click here to view full story…

The UK economy does not need another Heathrow runway or other new runways in the south east

28th June 2011     Responding to a long article in the Times, John Stewart (Chair of HACAN and of AirportWatch) writes that the Government was right to scrap plans for expansion at Heathrow.   If a third runway had been built, Heathrow would have become the largest single emitter of greenhouse gases in the UK. In 2009 more people used London’s airports than those of any other city.  London is a pre-eminent financial centre, and Heathrow already has sufficient business passengers and key business destinations to make these flights profitable. The UK economy is not dependent on airport expansion in the South East.   Click here to view full story…

 

Telegraph says: “Heathrow data shows capacity crisis costing thousands”

28th June 2011   NATS figures show 60% of arrivals into Heathrow are caught up in holding patterns above the capital, at a massive cost to the economy and great frustration to passengers.  This shows jets circling for a cumulative 55 hours a day are burning 190 tonnes of fuel and discharging 600 tonnes of CO2 into the skies above London, costing £119,000 in wasted fuel every day.  Heathrow currently operates at 98% capacity and accommodates more flights on 2 runways than any other airport.   Click here to view full story…

 

BA gives up on new runway at Heathrow

22nd June 2011    BA chief executive Willie Walsh has said that a 3rd runway at Heathrow “will never be built.”  He told a Times CEO Summit yesterday that “It’s dead” and that British Airways were looking for expansion at Madrid Airport after their recent link-up with Iberian Airways. BA had been the loudest and most powerful advocate for an extra runway. The BA chief’s remarks came as Mr Johnson detailed his vision for a new airport that could be sited in the Thames Estuary. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN said, “It now looks as if finally the third runway has been killed off….  BAA should now sell off the houses they have bought in Sipson to allow life in the villages to get back to normal.”     Click here to view full story…

 

Aviation Minister, Theresa Villiers, to consider launching Heathrow noise study

10th June 2011    Heathrow’s impact on the health of neighbouring residents could be the subject of a government study. Theresa Villiers promised to consider launching a full assessment when she met leading politicians from Hounslow, who are trying to improve life for people living under the flightpath. They are demanded better noise insulation for schools and a total ban on night flights. Also improved public transport links to the airport and the retention of runway alternation.   Click here to view full story…

 

Heathrow reveals disappointing performance on waste and water

10.6.2011   Heathrow has released its sustainability performance report 2010 showing mixed performance on the environment. While targets were achieved for CO2 emissions and air quality, the targets for waste, water consumption and quality were not reached. Air quality as targets were again exceeded. The aim was to meet 85% APU compliance. Water consumption targets seem somewhat low in ambition with a long term mains water reduction targets not being set and baseline data unavailable.  Click here to view full story …..

Heathrow Greenwash: BAA marks World Environment Day with its Sustainability Performance Plan for 2010

7th June 2011    BAA has marked Environment Day (5th June) by producing its Sustainability Performance Summary for 2010.  It contains all sorts of good things like improving the passenger experience, reducing contruction accidents, and investing £7.5 million in local community projects. They say they reduced the airport’s total carbon footprint by almost 150,000 tonnes CO2e compared to 2008. That is just a bit less than 0.5% of total emissions by planes using Heathrow. Not a lot !    Click here to view full story…

 

Minister announces consultation on Heathrow Night Flights in spring 2012

24th May 2011    Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers has just announced that the Government will issue a detailed consultation on the current night flight regime at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick “next spring.”  Speaking in as an adjournment debate in Parliament, initiated by Brentford and Isleworth MP Mary Macleod, Villiers said the night flight decision would be “one of the most importance issues I will face as a Minister.” The current night flight regime comes to an end in October 2012.     Click here to view full story…

Have your say on new Heathrow airport consultation on noise mitigation

10th May 2011     On 9th May BAA launched a consultation on Heathrow’s noise mitigation scheme. Hounslow Council is asking its community to mobilise to seek major improvements to the company’s proposals. It appears that BAA’s proposals leave not just affected residents with a noise mitigation scheme that is seriously inferior to those which apply around many comparable airports in the UK and the rest of the world. This is part of BAA’s Noise Action Plan.    Click here to view full story…

Heathrow Airport villages ‘dying due to buy-up scheme’

5th May 2011     Villages around Heathrow are “dying” because of a home buy-up scheme run by the airport operator BAA, according to local MP, John McDonnell.  BAA stepped in to buy 266 “unsellable” houses when  planning for a 3rd runway 8 more going through).  John said despite the plans being scrapped many of these homes were standing empty leading to the “death of village life”.  Others are let to short term tenants. There is still a constant fear of runway plans returning.    Click here to view full story…

BAA allocates £210m to new capital projects at Heathrow in 2013/14

28th April 2011     BAA will allocate £90 million to Crossrail and £210m to new projects under its £735m capital works programme in 2013/14. The remainder of the budget will be spent on projects already underway including on the construction of Terminal 2 and upgrades at Terminal 3. The CAA extended Heathrow’s current regulatory period by one year to 31 March 2014 in response to upcoming government reforms to the framework for the economic regulation of UK airports.     Click here to view full story…

 

Higher fares as Heathrow growth slows

27th April 2011     BAA has downgraded Heathrow’s passenger growth expectations over the next decade and admitted that will push up fares.  As the CAA begins to assess Heathrow’s regulatory settlement – how much it is allowed to charge airlines for take-offs and landings- for 2014, Colin Matthews said: “Although passenger traffic will continue growing at Heathrow, it will do so at a more modest pace than previously assumed.”  Airlines were flying more premium passengers, with fewer people on board.    Click here to view full story…

 

 Sipson “hollow victory” – today blight, damaged community, families moved out

7th April 2011     A long article in the Independent reports on how Sipson is today, a pale shadow of its former self. Blight has done its work, and the community has been greatly weakened. This was not helped by the generous sale packages from BAA, encouraging those who could to sell up smf start lives elsewhere. Mow the pub, the shops and the tradespeople struggle on with less customers. There are lessons for any other area blighted by large infrastructure development.    Click here to view full story…

 

Labour close to ditching support for Heathrow 3rd runway

21st March 2011    Reports are emerging that the Labour Party is close to ditching its long-standing support for a 3rd runway. Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle is quoted in today’s Times as saying: “Ed Miliband has always been clear that he is sceptical about a third runway at Heathrow.  So I do not start our policy review with any preference.”  She added the party does not give unequivocal support for the runway, as it is off  the agenda for the length of this parliament.     Click here to view full story…

 

Boris’s airport arguments don’t stand up to scrutiny

19th March 2011     Boris Johnson’s attacks on the government’s aviation policy are becoming increasingly strident. He has said the government’s refusal to discuss new runways at London’s airports was “crazy” and its air passenger taxes were an “absolute disgrace”, and hindering London’s long-term competitiveness. John Stewart argues that this is just plain wrong, and research shows a 3rd Heathrow runway is not critical to the London economy because, for business as a whole, other factors were of greater importance than the size of Heathrow.     Click here to view full story…

 

Hammond lends an ear to jet din protest in Egham and Thorpe

18th February 2011     A public meeting to discuss the growing frustration at aircraft noise over Egham, Egham Hythe and Thorpe has been called by Transport Sec and Runnymede & Weybridge MP Philip Hammond.  Research carried out by residents attributes the increased noise to Heathrow’s policy of using fewer take-off flight paths and restricting the aircraft to a narrower band of space. Aircraft flying lower and the increase in flights at Heathrow are also blamed.      Click here to view full story…

 

New video from Transition Heathrow to mark the group’s first birthday

1st March 2011    There is a wonderfully positive and uplifting video from Transition Heathrow, celebrating the first anniversary of their presence on the site.  Before the activists arrived the derelict greenhouses were used by the owners to illegally dump cars and other waste. Grow Heathrow gardeners and local residents cleared the refuse with council help and carefully restored the greenhouses – turning the land back into a market garden and community.   It is a very positive aftermath of the battle to defeat the third runway at Heathrow.   Click here to view full story…

 

Heathrow airport targeted by VAT protests

13th February 2011     A protest group calling itself ‘TakeVAT’ were chased by police around Heathrow as they attempted to get inside terminal 3. The protest was because the aviation industry pays no VAT on fuel or aircraft, avoiding £9 billion in VAT per year. The protests come after a similar group called UK Uncut protested against Vodafone and Topshop, among others, because if big businesses paid more tax then there would be less need for proposed cuts to public services.    Click here to view full story…

 

BAA airports January traffic up +3.8% over weather-affected January 2009 with underlying growth of 1.5% – 2.0%

13th February 2011     BAA’s airports handled 7.5 million passengers in January, an increase of 3.8% over (weather affected) Jan 2010. Heathrow had its highest Jan passenger figures since 2006 – with an increase of 4.6% to 5.05 million passengers. About half the increase is due to the 2009 snow effect. Heathrow had its highest ever January long-haul figures, due to growth on Chinese and Indian routes. The underlying increase in BAA airports was 1.5% -2.0%.   Click here to view full story…

 

Report finds ban on Heathrow night flights could benefit the economy by £860 million per year

27th January 2011    A new report has been launched by HACAN, showing that a ban on night flights arriving at Heathrow before 6am would have a positive effect on the economy. This would amount to some £860 million per year, from the monetary costs of sleep disturbance to thousands under flight paths. The report’s launch marks the start of a campaign by HACAN to get a ban on night flights between 11pm and 6am when the new night flight regime is introduced in 2012.      Click here to view full story…