Intellectual Property Office says Heathrow Hub runway plan is not infringing an existing patent
Heathrow Hub, dreamt up by former British Airways pilot Jock Lowe, is the plan to extend the Heathrow northern runway, to the east. It is one of the 3 runway plans short listed by the Airports Commission. Heathrow Hub is backed by Ian Hannam, a former JP Morgan Cazenove banker. They hope to sell their scheme to Heathrow airport, potentially for tens of millions of pounds. Heathrow Hub submitted a patent application in October 2012, but British regulators alerted it to an existing patent. A retired American airline captain, Daniel Gellert, says the Hub infringes a patent first lodged in America in 2008. Gellert’s “safe runway aircraft arrival and departure system using split runway design” was granted a European patent in October 2011. He said he hopes to “negotiate an agreement” with Heathrow Hub if its plan is chosen. Heathrow Hub has sought a declaration of non-infringement. They say a ruling from the Intellectual Property Office has stated that Heathrow Hub’s proposal would not infringe Mr Gellert’s patent. Separately Heathrow Hub has received commitments of additional financial backing from a consortium of City investors in recent days. The government is understood to have had discussions with all three of the short listed plans, on the deliverability and possible mitigations of their schemes. Some form of government announcement is expected before Christmas.
Heathrow Hub wins decisive legal victory and secures new financial backing
11.11.2015 (Heathrow Hub press release)
Heathrow Hub, the independent proposal to expand Heathrow by extending the northern
runway, has received a significant double boost in its campaign to be selected by the UK
government as the best solution to the UK’s aviation capacity challenge.
In the last two weeks Heathrow Hub scored a decisive legal victory regarding a patent first
lodged in the US by Daniel Gellert.
Mr Gellert, a retired American airline captain, alleged that the UK patent originating from his
US patent would be infringed by Heathrow Hub’s proposal. Heathrow Hub sought a
declaration of non-infringement.
A ruling from the Intellectual Property Office has stated that Heathrow Hub’s proposal would
not infringe Mr Gellert’s patent.
Separately Heathrow Hub has received commitments of additional financial backing from a
consortium of City investors in recent days.
Jock Lowe, Director of Heathrow Hub, commented:
“Heathrow Hub is my concept, based on decades of aviation experience. We are very pleased that the Intellectual Property Office has recognised the originality of our proposal over Mr Gellert’s patent. Separately we welcome the clear vote of confidence that this additional investment indicates in our proposal and our prospects of success.
“We are still very much involved in the process: The UK Government has yet to complete its
assessment and it will deliver its own verdict by the end of this year. We continue to liaise with ministers and civil servants to ensure our proposal is properly understood as the superior and more politically deliverable option.”
Of the three concepts shortlisted by the Airports Commission, the northern runway extension is the only one which has been designed from the beginning to be a pragmatic and politically realistic solution. It was awarded a “silver medal” by Sir Howard Davies when he announced the Commission’s findings in July.
Our proposal has five key advantages over the 3rd runway: […durr… theirs is a 3rd runway …]
Quicker, and easier to construct. The first phase, costing £4.8bn and providing
approximately 70,000 additional movements, could actually be completed as soon as
Cheaper. We estimate our entire scheme costs £6bn less and the Commission
estimates £3bn less. This leaves financial headroom to pay for surface access
upgrades, potentially saving the taxpayer some £5bn.
Less disruption. We take less land, would destroy fewer buildings (242 homes as
opposed to 783 for the 3rd runway) and do not need to move the Lakeside Waste to
Noise mitigation. Our proposed enhanced operating techniques and flight paths
would reduce the noise footprint and so remove 130,000 people from the current
Phasing and conditionality. A unique opportunity of our scheme is that it can be
constructed in phases, so new capacity need only be released when noise and air
quality targets are met, thereby reducing environmental and financial risks.
We have also submitted a significantly revised surface access and roads plan to the
Department for Transport, quite different to our original submission. We are confident this
allows air quality targets to be met. The Airports Commission assessed our runways plan with a surface access plan of their own devising, rather than one proposed by us. That has now been corrected.
Heathrow Hub has other news stories, about its attempt to make a lot of money, through its runway plan at http://www.heathrowhub.com/press-media.aspx
Heathrow plan flies into patent battle
Heathrow Hub plans to stretch the runway have hit turbulence
A PLAN by a former Concorde pilot to stretch and split a Heathrow runway to increase flights has become entangled in a patent row.
Heathrow Hub, dreamt up by former British Airways pilot Jock Lowe, is one of three proposals being considered by Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission to boost runway capacity in southeast England. Davies surprised the aviation industry when he shortlisted the little-known scheme, alongside a third Heathrow runway and a second at Gatwick.
Heathrow Hub’s £12bn plan proposes stretching the northern runway to 6,800 metres and dividing it with a 650 metre buffer zone to allow simultaneous take-off and landing on both stretches. It hopes to sell its blueprint to Heathrow airport, potentially for tens of millions of pounds.
However, Heathrow Hub’s scheme is being challenged by a retired American airline captain, Daniel Gellert, who claims it infringes a patent first lodged in America in 2008.
Gellert’s “safe runway aircraft arrival and departure system using split runway design” was granted a European patent in October 2011. He said he hopes to “negotiate an agreement” with Heathrow Hub if its plan is chosen. “I’m not trying to dislodge the use of this process. But nobody in their right mind is going to pour concrete for a £12bn project when there’s a patent that says you can stop them.”
Lowe says he dreamt up the concept more than 25 years ago in a Dubai restaurant, when he sketched it on a napkin.
Heathrow Hub is backed by Ian Hannam, a former JP Morgan Cazenove banker and SAS soldier. It submitted a patent application in October 2012, but British regulators alerted it to Gellert’s and two even older patent applications. It has submitted a fresh application, which has yet to be granted.
Heathrow Hub claims to have been unaware of Gellert’s plan before submitting its patent. Lowe insisted its plans, which would increase capacity at the congested airport to 700,000 flights a year, are original.
The Airports Commission said: “We are currently evaluating more than 50,000 responses to our consultation process. Our remit is to identify the most viable option.”