York Aviation report says ending Heathrow runway alternation and other short term measures would financially benefit UK

It is rather quiet on the aviation news front at the moment, so time for some publicity for the airports trying to get their runway plans accepted.  Backers of Heathrow expansion (London First and the City of London Corporation and Let Britain Fly) have quoted from a report that they hope strengthens their case for a runway to be built as soon as possible. The report is by a firm called York Aviation – which has done a great many reports in the past, with dubious economics that exaggerates one case, while ignoring inconvenient facts that detract from their argument.  The York Aviation report says there would be £206 million of economic benefit to the British economy if runway alternation was ended at Heathrow, so both runways were  used in mixed mode. This would be deeply unpopular with tens of thousands (even hundreds of thousands perhaps as some 725,000 are overflown) and is why Heathrow airport itself is wary of advocating this. York Aviation also says reducing delays at Heathrow by an average of 2 minutes would result in further savings of £125m. [Really?? for 2 minutes for each person?] But – they say – these benefits are limited compared to the huge benefits of a new runway …. so better get on with it……


Airport measures could give £206m economic boost

Short-term measures considered by the Airports Commission could boost the economy by £206m a year from 2023, research shows

The Airports Commission published its interim report on boosting aviation capacity in December.
ben martin

By  (Telegraph)

10 Feb 2014

Using both of Heathrow’s runways for take-off and landing and other shorter-term measures examined by the Airports Commission could boost the British economy by £206m a year from 2023, according to new research.

Adopting so-called “mixed mode” operations at Heathrow “appears likely to deliver the most significant GDP benefits” and would lead to the direct and indirect creation of 3,400 jobs, a report commissioned by the City of London Corporation and London First has found.

Currently, one Heathrow runway is used solely for arrivals, and the other for departures. [At any one time – both are used early in the morning, and then they switch at 3pm, keeping the same runway used for morning landings for the week].

Improving rail links to Gatwick and Stansted airports could also lead to journey time savings of £75.6m and £53.4m respectively, according to the research, which was undertaken by York Aviation.

Reducing delays at Heathrow by an average of 2 minutes would result in further savings of £125m. [ Really?? for 2 minutes for each person?]

The commission, which was set up by the Government in 2012 and led by Sir Howard Davies, released its interim report in December.

As well as short-listing a second runway at Gatwick and two options to expand Heathrow, it also looked [as it was tasked to do] at short and medium-terms options to make “the best use of existing airport capacity”.

While the introduction of a “mixed-mode” system was not recommended as a short-term measure, in part because of the increase in noise it would entail, the commission did not rule-out its adoption “as part of a transition to the preferred longer-term option”.

York Aviation looked at all of the options initially considered by Sir Howard, including the use of Northolt as a reliever airport, a proposal that the commission said was not “a realistic option for managing capacity at Heathrow”.

Gavin Hayes, director of aviation, [he is  director of the Let Britain Fly campaign – which is dedicated to getting another runway built as soon as possible] said that while the research shows that short-term measures would be beneficial to the UK economy and increase airport capacity, they are nevertheless “quite limited”.

“What this demonstrates is that the Government really do need to get on with a long-term solution, because it’s the long-term solution that’s going to deliver the big economic benefits.”

The Department for Transport said: “The UK’s airport network is extremely well connected, both regionally and globally, but it is important that we look at the UK’s aviation needs both now and in the future. That is why that Airports Commission is looking at a long term solution for our airports. We are considering the Commission’s interim recommendations and expect to respond in the spring.”



[Heathrow airport is aware of the strength of feeling about retaining runway alternation. That is – in all probability – why  Colin Matthews said, at the recent Runways UK conference, that they were not considering the Heathrow Hub northern runway option, as it would not allow for runway alternation and thus respite for those over flown on the approach flight paths over London.  Videos from the Runways UK conference are at http://www.runwaysuk.com/postshow-resources/video ]



Only a 4-runway hub airport will do, says new study for Boris (done by York Aviation)

4.7.2013As their response to the Airports Commission discussion paper on airport operational models the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has had a report commissioned from York Aviation – a company that has produced many reports for the aviation industry over recent  years. This report, (not yet publicly available) not surprisingly bearing in mind Boris’s continuing support for a huge new hub airport for London, comes out saying London needs a new huge, 4 runway hub airport. The findings of the report were made public by City Hall  two weeks before the Mayor submits his proposals to the Airports Commission. Boris is against Heathrow expansion, so unsurprisingly, the York Aviation report says Heathrow is not the right site for a 4 runway hub, as it lacks the space to configure the facilities and its expansion would be a blight on local residents (ignoring the blight that would be caused for others elsewhere?).  York Aviation comes up with all the usual stuff about need for flights to emerging markets, need for the UK to retain its hub supremacy, and so on.  Nothing new.https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=3847This was reported in a press release by Boris as:”The detailed route-by-route analysis, compiled by well-respected aviation advisors, York Aviation,* confirms that a four runway hub airport is the best option for connectivity, providing a much wider range and greater frequency of flights than if the same number of runways were spread across the south east.”.

Criticisms by economists CE Delft of the exaggeration of benefits of the aviation industry by York Aviation:

* York Aviation have been criticised recently by economists, CE Delft,  (page 19 of The Economics of Airport Expansion, March 2013), who said: ..“Overestimation of positive effects
On the other hand, there is a tendency in the aviation industry to overestimate
the positive impacts of aviation. Many studies are based on the ACI-Europe
study kit which has been developed by York Aviation and is widely used by
airports and organisations like the Air Transport Action Group (York Aviation,
2004; ATAG, 2005).” .Also criticism of similar studies showing alleged airport expansion benefits on page 37.


York Aviation has repeatedly produced reports in favour of aviation expansion, which have been criticised as being very biased and unbalanced, excluding any inconvenient statistics and exaggerating others.  See below


Another of York Aviation’s reports:

Scottish airports and York Aviation lobbying, yet again, for a cut in APD

1.11.2012Scottish airports are, yet again, hoping to get a drop in Air Passenger  Duty, to try and keep flights under-taxed. Edinburgh, Glasgow and 
Aberdeen airports are calling on the UK government  to abolish APD or at least frozen and then reduced.  A new report by York Aviation (they produced one in February 2011 for BAA Scotland) says Scotland will lose 2 million passengers and £210 million a year in lost tourist spending because of APD. Strangely, this figure is massively higher than it was only a year and three quarters ago.  In February 2011 York Aviation only said that  ” …over the next three years, Scottish airports will lose around 1.2 million passengers, with the largest numeric losses on domestic services.” So a very sharp increase.  Dodgy assumptions and calculations? York Aviation and the airports, as they always do, only consider tourist income of visitors coming to Scotland, and completely ignore the money lost by Scots flying out to spend their holiday money abroad. And of course, completely ignores the tax breaks that air travel receives from paying no VAT and no fuel duty. https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=3491



Birmingham International airport runway study (by York Aviation) flawed, say opponents

20.2.2008   (Birmingham Post)A cost-benefit analysis claiming that harm to the environment caused by Birmingham
International Airport’s runway extension will be outweighed by economic benefits
to the West Midlands has been condemned as seriously flawed.Friends of the Earth and Birmingham Airport Anti-Noise Group (BANG) say the study by consultants York Aviation fails to take properly into account issues relating to climate change.https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1274.


there was also a study done for Manston airport, by York Aviation, claiming it was perfectly geographically placed to take surplus air freight from  Heathrow,


 and there was a York Aviation report (2011) claiming that London City Airport brought in £500 million to the local economy and was at the heart of East London regeneration