Gateway Associates produces report on UK hub airport capacity
A small organisation called Gateway Associates, set up by former MP Paul Clark, has today launched its report on future UK hub airport capacity, to the aviation interest group in Parliament . Gateway Associates sent out questions to an unknown number of organisations to assess their views, and have now produced their report compiling the responses. It does not come to any particular conclusions, and is collection of views of a potentially unrepresentative sample of respondents. 67 organisations replied, including some such as Hong Kong airports. There is no information in the report on those who did not respond – and no indication of whether any attempt was made to find a balanced mix of organisations to reflect a realistic mix of opinion. The main author, Paul Clark, has often in the past expressed his opposition to a Thames estuary airport. The report is strangely keen that Heathrow should not be overlooked (where the funding for the report came from is not disclosed).
The report was written last year and was to be launched in November, but for some reason was delayed until January. link
It says: “Regardless of what decisions are made about a Thames Estuary Airport, a phased plan for the long term future of Heathrow must be developed which meets the needs of business and the aviation sector in London and the South East.” It also recommends that a decision on airport capacity needs to be made quickly. It says: “If the Government decides that it is not in the best interests of the UK to have the Davies Commission’s final report and its response published before Summer 2015 then a justification of the agreed delivery timeline should be issued alongside the Commission’s terms of reference.”
Gateway Associates stress that climate and environmental issues need to be considered by the Davies Commission.
While report is billed as a “survey of key influencers and decision makers”, it goes beyond being a dispassionate analysis of responses. For example it says “The vast majority of respondents to the survey believe that more airport capacity is needed in the Greater London South East of England.” In fact only 67% said this!
The report is keen that Heathrow should not be overlooked: “Regardless of what decisions are made about a Thames Estuary Airport, a phased plan for the long term future of Heathrow must be developed which meets the needs of business and the aviation sector in London and the South East.”
Many respondents recognised that there are difficult climate and other environmental issues to address.
Although there was no question relating to the matter, the report recommends that a decision on airport capacity needs to be made quickly: “If the Government decides that it is not in the best interests of the UK to have the Davies Commission’s final report and its response published before Summer 2015 then a justification of the agreed delivery timeline should be issued alongside the Commission’s terms of reference.”
Paul Clark has previously expressed his opposition to an airport in the Thames estuary, as for example in this item from October 2012; and
Press release from Gateway Associates, a body set up by Paul Clark, a former Labour MP for Gillingham & Rainham.
The report is at TEA Report – from Gateway Associates Jan 2013
The findings of the Gateway Associates Key Influencer Survey on proposals for a hub airport in the Thames Estuary were published today at a Parliamentary event chaired by Brian Donohoe MP, the Chair of the Aviation All Party Parliamentary Group* [not an official Parliamentary committee].
The report consolidated the views of 67 of the most influential private, public, local, national and international stakeholders [their names are on page 29 of their report ] and concludes that the Coalition Government has to act quickly if it wishes to prevent the country’s aviation industry and UK Plc from being grounded by competitor markets in Europe.
Respondents to the survey believe that if Heathrow is not included in the Davies Commission’s analysis then the work will need to be redone in future to rectify the omission, by which time the UK will have lost its aviation advantage to newer and larger hub airports in Europe.
This frustration is further reflected with the call to ‘Get on with it’ since most believe the timescale for reaching a decision could be significantly reduced. In fact, the current plan to deliver the Davies Commission’s report and Government’s response after the 2015 general election is thought by some to be timed for political rather than economic or social advantage.
This unnecessary procrastination will have a significantly negative impact on communities in the Thames Estuary, and those around London and regional UK airports, while they are left waiting on tenterhooks.
Many also believe that the environment will be completely side-lined and ignored when it comes to making the eventual decision about future aviation development.
Paul Clark, Director of Gateway Associates and former Transport Minister, said: “I am grateful to everyone who gave their time and contributed so fully to this report. The key influencers have made it clear that they want the Davies Commission to act transparently looking at all options and for a speedy conclusion to this issue.
“Their real concern centres on the competitive position of UK Plc and the on-going uncertainty blighting households, the environment and business.
“All political parties need to recognise the genuine concerns expressed in this report and urge everyone involved to prepare the way for a decision to be made sooner rather than later,” added Clark.
WILL IT EVER BE TIME FOR TEA?
Thames Estuary Airport Key Influencer Survey published today in Parliament
London: 23 January 2013
The report was compiled jointly by Clark and two other Gateway Associates : business and government communications specialist Katrina Krishnan Doyle and aviation industry expert Rob Sibley [for more about him, see below]. . Together they have analysed the responses and set out six specific recommendations to politicians and policy officials detailing the steps that need to be taken to ensure a decision can be reached quickly and that money and time are not wasted as a result of delays:
– Do not ignore Heathrow
– Get to the decision sooner
– Align policies across Whitehall
– Find your customer in advance
– Publish a decision making criteria
– Be upfront about funding and compensation
NOTES to EDITORS
For further information, details and interviews please contact Paul Clark on 07733 260929 or 0871 662 9589.
firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.gatewayassociates.co.uk
or follow us on Twitter @GatewayAssocs
Gateway Associates was established in 2010 by former MP and Transport Minister Paul Clark and draws on the skills and experience of policy, government and communications experts to help organisations from a variety of industries and sectors communicate with Westminster and Whitehall and inform Central Government’s political decision making processes. With a focus on transport, regeneration and social enterprise policies and government strategies, Gateway Associates helps company and community leaders understand the unique culture and stakeholder landscapes that they are operating within.
As well as providing strategic and implementation support, Gateway Associates has also developed a clean question survey that presents all sides of a policy debate in a balanced and neutral way. enquiries@gatewayassociates. co.uk
07733 260 929
Gateway Associates is powered by The Eye of the Storm, a new community initiative that helps people and business activate their redundant resources, skills, talents and time for social good at the same time as improving their employability. For more information visit: www.TheEyeoftheStorm.co.uk
“All Party Parliamentary Aviation Group”
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/aviation.htm This includes its membership (Chair is Brian Donohoe; Vice Chair is Anne McIntosh; Secretary is Mark Pritchard). It is an All Party Parliamentary Subject Group (APPG) – it is not an official committee. Its purpose is stated as: ”To encourage interest in aviation and to arrange meetings and briefings on aviation issues with airlines, airports, the Civil Aviation Authority, trade unions and other relevant organisations and individuals.” MHP Communications (a consultancy) acts as the group’s secretariat.
APPGs have no formal place in the legislature, but are an effective way of bringing together parliamentarians and interested parties. APPGs allow campaign groups, charities, and other non-governmental organisations active in the field to become involved in discussions and influence politicians. Details on APPGs
Panel Member: Rob Sibley CEng MICE
Rob is a specialist in Transport with considerable knowledge of the aviation sector.
For more than 25 years he worked on the development of London’s main airports including new rail links, terminals, runways and supporting infrastructure.
In addition Rob has worked in the Asia-Pacific region (including Hong Kong) and in Europe exploring opportunities for the investment in and the operation of foreign airports. He has worked closely with the European Investment Bank as airport advisor.
Most recently he has worked as Head of Strategic Planning and Policy at Gatwick Airport for the new owners. Throughout his work, Rob has been passionate about understanding local community concerns, developing mitigation proposals and balancing these with the economic benefit to the nation of new transport infrastructure.
Air transport report calls for Thames Estuary airport decision to be made sooner
A section of the Thames Estuary airport. Designed by Lord Foster
The government needs to act swiftly if the country’s aviation industry and ‘UK plc’ isn’t to be grounded by competitor markets.
That is the key finding of a survey into aviation, including the various options for a multi-billion pounds Thames Estuary airport.
The findings of the Gateway Associates Key Influencer Survey on plans for the hub airport were published today in front of the aviation all-party parliamentary group.
The report sought the views of nearly 70 of the “most influential” private, public, national and international stakeholders, including the coalition government.
Respondents pressed for Heathrow to be included in the equation when airport strategy is considered.
It continued: “This frustration is further reflected with the call to ‘Get on with it’ since most believe the timescale for reaching a decision could be significantly reduced.”
It said the plan to deliver the Davies Commission’s report into air transport after the 2015 general election was thought to be timed for political, rather than economic or social reasons.
It continued: “This unnecessary procrastination will have a significantly negative impact on communities in the Thames Estuary, and those around London and regional UK airports, while they are left waiting on tenterhooks.
“Many also believe that the environment will be completely side-lined and ignored when it comes to making the eventual decision about future aviation development.”
Ex-Kent MP Paul Clark, director of Gateway Associates and former Transport Minister, said: “All political parties need to recognise the genuine concerns expressed in this report and urge everyone involved to prepare the way for a decision to be made sooner rather than later.”
The report set out six recommendations to politicians and officals, which include not ignoring Heathrow and being upfront about funding and compensation.
Kent is at the heart of plans for the future of aviation, with key schemes put forward by architect Lord Foster for Grain; London Mayor Boris Johnson for an island in the Thames Estuary; John Olsen for Cliffe; a tethered island off Sheppey put forward by London Britannia and a scheme for Goodwin Sands by architects Beckett Rankine.
Wednesday, January 23 2013
Back in 2009 (which appears to be the date of the comment below, Paul Clark was very keen on the expansion of Heathrow airport:
There have been a lot of questions about Heathrow and the future of aviation in the UK recently, particularly as a result of the Government’s decision to press ahead with a third runway.
The Government decision to expand Heathrow is the right one. Heathrow needs to be able to expand if the UK is to remain competitive as an aviation hub.
The Tories don’t agree.
Instead, they want to build an airport somewhere else. That ’somewhere’ is looking increasingly like it’s going to be the Thames Estuary, a scheme that was scrapped some years ago because of the untold environmental damage that would be caused. Experts used everything from ‘catastrophe’ to ‘disaster’ to describe the idea.
But the Tories want to press ahead. Take this recent quote from their Shadow Transport Secretary, Theresa Villiers:
“It is vital we stop this runway at Heathrow… but we support aviation in general. Of course we should look at all the options.”
Or Boris Johnson, if you want a firmer line:
What we don’t want to do is entrench a planning error of the 1960s by further expansion at Heathrow. We should look at whether there’s a solution to the east, in the Thames estuary.
It’s this simple: the Tories want to build an airport in the Thames Estuary. They want to bring pollution and jet noise to an area that has never experienced it before. We don’t want it. It’s the wrong decision. It’s bad for the environment. Join my facebook group stop this harebrained scheme.