London First getting businesses to fund campaign “Let Britain Fly” to press for airport expansion
Date added: October 11, 2013
London businesses are to fund a major campaign for airport expansion after Sir Howard Davies said the Airports Commission provisionally is backing new runways in the South-East. Business group London First will put pressure on the main political parties to heed the Commissions’s recommendations when published after the 2015 election. The “Let Britain Fly” campaign will cost £250,000 and London First is seeking £25,000 each from businesses, trade unions and London boroughs. The cash will be used to fund academic studies and advertising. The lobby group insists it will not campaign in favour of one particular airport. It believes extra flights can be put on at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick in the next five years regardless of the outcome of a decision on runways. The City of London Corporation is set to contribute to the campaign, with Canary Wharf Group, Sir Robert McAlpine, the Berkeley Group, John Lewis and Segro also committed. “London First” is an aggressively pro-growth lobby organisation, whose stated mission is to “make London the best city in the world in which to do business.”
London businesses are to fund a major campaign for airport expansion after the Government’s aviation supremo Sir Howard Davies backed new runways in the South-East.
Business group London First will put pressure on the main political parties to heed the recommendations of the Davies commission when its report is published after the 2015 election.
The “Let Britain Fly” campaign will cost £250,000 and London First is seeking £25,000 each from businesses, trade unions and London boroughs. [The “Let Britain Fly” campaign has no website and there is no other mention of it anywhere online, other than this story. Not even on the London First website.
The cash will be used to fund academic studies and advertising. The lobby group insists it will not campaign in favour of one particular airport.
It believes extra flights can be put on at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick in the next five years regardless of the outcome of a decision on runways.
London First’s Rob McIvor said: “We are bringing together various businesses and other organisations that want politicians to commit to being guided by the Airports Commission’s recommendations and acting swiftly once they have been made. We cannot afford to see this kicked into the long grass yet again.”
He said that, in the short term, the group would be calling for more flights at the major London airports, improved transport links and the lifting of price caps.
He added: “Long term, we believe we will need to build new runways in the South-East but we are open minded about where they will be. The important thing is for all the main parties to commit to tackling the capacity crunch after the 2015 election.”
The City of London Corporation is set to contribute to the campaign, with Canary Wharf Group, Sir Robert McAlpine, the Berkeley Group, John Lewis and Segro also committed.
Earlier this week, airports chief Sir Howard ruled there was no alternative to building extra runways in the South -East to cope with rising passenger demand.
In December, he will announce a shortlist of potential runway sites from 58 submissions.
His commission will then whittle this down to make a recommendation in 2015, which could involve new runways at more than one airport.
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. 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.
Business lobby group, “London First” calling for airport action – including better rail/road links to Gatwick and Stansted
2 September 2013
Chief executives of 25 of London’s leading businesses will tomorrow confront Sir Howard Davies to demand immediate action to fix Britain’s (alleged) “airports capacity crisis.” Members of lobby group London First say that British business will fall behind without three fixes for its airports: an immediate rise in the number of flights operating at Heathrow, an independent “noise regulator” to protect residents, and investment to improve road and rail links to Stansted and Gatwick. Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, said: “Debating the pros and cons of new airports and runways is all very well. But the more pressing concern is what we are going to do right now to increase our connectivity with emerging markets and grow our economy.” Among those attending the meeting will be bosses of CitiGroup, CLS Group, Nomura, Linklaters, Ernst & Young and 3i Group. “London First” is an aggressively pro-growth lobby organisation, whose stated mission is to “make London the best city in the world in which to do business.” It has consistently pushed for Heathrow growth, with more aircraft noise for London residents, over recent years.https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=17255 .and
“London First” calls for more intensive use of Heathrow runways with mixed mode in submission to Airports Commission
“London First” is an aggressively pro-growth, pro London business lobby organisation, whose stated mission is to “make London the best city in the world in which to do business.” It has sent in a submission to the Airports Commission, calling for expansion of Heathrow and the ending of runway alternation. This would mean both runways being used for much of the day, in “mixed mode”. London First believes that fitting some 10% more fights into Heathrow will solve the UK’s economic ills, and takes a dashingly cavalier attitude to the impact of the extra noise on the quality of life of Londoners overflown. They appear to either not understand how aircraft noise impinges on the lives of those under flight paths, or deliberately seek to underplay the problems, and exaggerate the small reductions in noise that aircraft manufacturers have achieved. They use noise figures from the time of Concorde to give the impression there has been a huge noise reduction. London First also recommend that Gatwick and Stansted be allowed to compete more effectively, and have better rail services, to take some business from Heathrow. https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1258
This is a bit like Groundhog day.
Article from January 2009 …….. along much the same lines ………
Unions and business leaders have joined the airline industry in urging the government to approve the construction of a third runway at Heathrow.
The Future Heathrow Group warns in newspaper adverts “Heathrow’s status as a global hub is at stake”. The union Unite says 172,000 jobs may be at risk.
But opponents of the runway plan to demonstrate at Heathrow later.
Gordon Brown is expected to give the plans the go-ahead this week, despite the opposition of some 50 Labour MPs.
‘Gateway to world’
The Future Heathrow group has taken out newspaper adverts which say the expansion is vital for the British economy’s long-term competiveness.
It argues other major European airports have already expanded and are ready to take advantage when the market starts to recover.
CBI director-general Richard Lambert said: “Heathrow is our gateway to the world and we need to ensure that it remains a world-class airport capable of serving the needs of a global economy.”
Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of business group London First, said: “Business needs to fly and will do so long after the current economic turmoil.”
The union Unite said Heathrow’s modernisation would not only safeguard jobs but create an additional 50,000 in construction and services.
Joint general secretary Derek Simpson said: “We sincerely believe that Heathrow’s modernisation is the only way to reduce aircraft emissions and cut disruption.”
Airport operator BAA says it needs to build a new runway to meet passenger demand.
But the Institute of Public Policy Research think-tank said conditions for meeting noise and emissions targets must be attached to any approval of the third runway.
Opponents, including residents living near the airport and environmentalists, are continuing to fight the expansion plans.
Environment protesters will gather at Heathrow’s Terminal 1 on Monday evening to demonstrate against the plans in a protest organised by the action group Climate Rush.
Fight to go on
And some protesters have vowed to continue their fight even if it does get the go-ahead.
John Stewart, chairman of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN) and [member of, not chairman of] No Third Runway Action Group (NoTRAG) said they would consult their lawyers and mount a legal challenge.People will fight the government in the courts, in their communities, in the town halls and, if necessary, on the tarmac of Heathrow Airport.”
More than 50 Labour MPs are opposed to the proposal and Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has voiced reservations about any development’s environmental impact.
There were calls for a high-speed rail link between UK cities instead of the third runway, which the Conservatives supported.
But government has said the short runway at Heathrow was still needed.