Failure of Madrid climate talks to decide on carbon credits bad news for getting ICAO to use more ambitious ones

The failure of global climate talks in Madrid last week to decide the fate of billions of old carbon credits raises the stakes for ICAO which must choose in March which offsets can be used for its carbon market for aviation carbon emissions.  ICAO plans to launch a scheme to offset its net growth in emissions, called CORSIA, from 2021 and will decide in March which offsets to use. This would have been easier if the Madrid talks had agreed what carbon markets should be accepted under the Paris climate agreement. Probably in January  ICAO’s Technical Advisory Board will make final recommendations to its governing Council on which offset programs to use. An option is the UN’s CDM, set up under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which has issued more than 2 billion credits. These are very cheap – as little as €0.22. But the EU and smaller economies like Costa Rica are expected to push for limits on credits from those projects, which  would undermine the integrity of CORSIA. They would not work to curb CO2 emissions.  The EU says there has to be a higher level of ambition.   There is concern that ICAO will give in to the countries with the cheap credits, like Brazil, in order to keep them involved.
.

Madrid’s fight over carbon markets moves to Montreal aviation talks

19th December 2019
WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) –

The failure of global climate talks in Madrid last week to decide the fate of billions of old carbon credits raises the stakes for the U.N aviation body in Montreal, which must choose in March which offsets can be used for its carbon market.

The aviation industry accounts for over 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and if left unchecked emissions are expected to rise as passenger and flight numbers increase.

The sector plans to from 2021 launch a scheme to offset its net growth in emissions, called CORSIA. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is set to decide in March which offsets to use.

This task made has been made harder by the failure in Madrid to agree what carbon markets should be accepted under the Paris climate agreement, experts said.

“We don’t have any political signal from the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) on the credits,” said Gilles Dufrasne, Policy Officer at NGO Carbon Market Watch.

“If there had been a decision it is likely the outcome would have been followed by ICAO,” he said.

As soon as next month, ICAO’s Technical Advisory Board will make final recommendations to its 36-member governing Council on which offset programs to use.

Among the options are the world’s largest offset scheme, the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), set up under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which has issued more than 2 billion credits.

Countries such as Brazil, India and China that have a large number of CDM credits, called CERs, are expected to push for allowing most or all of these – some more than a decade old – in CORSIA the way they did in the Madrid talks.

(Graphic: CDM credits issued to date – here)

Reuters Graphic
Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) are a type of emissions unit (or carbon credits) issued by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board for emission reductions achieved by CDM projects and verified by a DOE (Designated Operational Entity) under the rules of the Kyoto Protocol.

“Having CORSIA around is good in that it might contribute to demand and therefore (increase) the price of carbon,” a Brazil-based source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

But the EU and smaller economies like Costa Rica are expected to push for limits on credits from those projects, which can cost as little as 0.22 euro, and which environmental groups say will flood the market and undermine the integrity of CORSIA.

Green groups said using old, cheap credits to meet new targets will undermine global efforts to curb emissions.

Costa Rica, an ICAO council member, fought in Madrid against the use of Kyoto-era carbon credits under the Paris agreement.

“It is very critical to apply these same principles to ICAO,” said Andrea Meza, Costa Rica’s environment ministry climate change director.

A spokesman for the EU Commission said it is committed to implementing CORSIA but said it also “preserved its policy space to pursue a higher climate ambition in the EU.”

Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at NGO Transport & Environment said ICAO’s council, which does not require unanimous consent like the UN climate talks, may be inclined to make concessions to countries like Brazil.

“The big fear is they just take a political decision to try to keep as many countries as possible involved,” he said.

 

Reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington, Susanna Twidale in London, additional reporting by Jake Spring in Brazil; editing by David Evans

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-accord-aviation/madrids-fight-over-carbon-markets-moves-to-montreal-aviation-talks-idUSKBN1YN16H

.


See earlier:

European Green Deal – measures aiming to make Europe carbon neutral by 2050 – now including increased costs and taxes for aviation

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has presented her European Green Deal, a comprehensive climate and nature package of measures to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. The package includes: a 50-55% emissions reduction target for 2030; a climate law to reach net zero emissions by 2050; a fund worth €100 billion to finance the transition; a carbon border tax; and a series of initiatives for sectors such as transport, agriculture, chemicals, buildings and more. NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) said the Deal, aiming to move to completely zero-emission cars and vans, is going in the right direction.  For airlines, Von der Leyen proposes to reduce free allowances in the European carbon market (the ETS) – increasing the cost of their pollution – and ending the kerosene tax exemption. The Commission also proposes to include shipping in the ETS, for the first time. T&E says it is reassuring that ICAO and IMO, the UN agencies that have been sabotaging climate progress in these two sectors for at least two decades, are only mentioned in passing.  But it is only a statement of intent, not something in law.

Click here to view full story…

Evan Davis “The Bottom Line” programme on aviation industry CO2 – basically “there is no plan”…

Evan Davis has done an edition of the BBC programme “The Bottom Line” on aviation and its claims about cutting its carbon emissions. His interview is revealing, in making clear how empty the industry’s claims of reducing its CO2 in future really are. Sector representatives admit it has broken its own pledges to grow carbon neutrally and lacks firm plans to achieve it by 2050. They talk about changing the sort of planes that fly, though ignoring that any new plane model that could fundamentally cut CO2 emissions per passenger is decades away, and all planes remain in service for perhaps 30 years. There is foolish over-optimism that electric planes might eventually transport enough passengers to make a difference – but it is decades away. All the current changes they are mentioning cut CO2 by far smaller amounts than the anticipated annual growth of the industry. As Evan says, “But this is sort of hot air…we’re used to from the aviation industry: ‘we’re all taking this very seriously, we’re signing up to these targets, by the way we missed it the last time we did it, but we’re ever more ambitions in the target we’re going to sign up to… there’s no plan.’ ”

Click here to view full story…

United Nations realising that carbon offsets do not work to genuinely reduce atmospheric CO2

The United Nations is aware that parts of the organisation are not convinced about carbon offsets, a strategy the UN and its ICAO has supported for two decades.  The UN has publicly struggled to reconcile its support for offsets with evidence that they are often ineffective. They encourage the misapprehension that people can continue to lead high carbon lifestyles, and get away with a clear conscience, as long as some effort is made to “offset” the carbon. Rules on global carbon offsets remain contentious and often debated at UN climate talks.  The organisation ProPublica published a study into how offsets related to forest preservation have not provided the promised carbon savings. They just permit “business as usual” and postpone the date when any real action might be taken. If trees are planted in poor, hot countries which are suffering unpredictable impacts of climate breakdown, they are likely not to survive. How can the intact forest provide income and livelihoods for local people, if trees are not cut down? Even if the trees do survive for decades, the carbon they have stored is later released back to the atmosphere. Perhaps in time of our grandchildren. Forests are not permanent removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

Boris Johnson unveils plan to increase number of flights, despite global climate emergency: ‘A total disregard for the planet’

As part of the Queen’s Speech on 20th December, there is to be an “Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill”. This will have the effect of squeezing more flights into same airspace and grow the airline sector.   The details in the Speech documents say the aim of the Bill  is to: “Maintain the UK’s position as a world-leader in aviation, ensuring that regulations keep pace with new technology to support sustainable growth in a sector which directly provides over 230,000 jobs and contributes at least £22 billion to the UK economy every year.”  Its alleged benefits would be:  “Making journeys quicker, quieter and cleaner through the modernisation of our airspace”. [Note greenwashing language].  The Bill will give government powers to “direct an airport or other relevant body to prepare and submit a proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority to modernise their airspace…” And “Modernising the licensing framework for air traffic control”. The government says the aim is to remove obstacles to growth in the number of flights airspace can accommodate. The CAA last year published an Airspace Modernisation Strategy, setting out general principles and methods.
.

 

Boris Johnson unveils plan to increase number of flights, despite global climate emergency: ‘A total disregard for the planet’

New aviation bill promises to squeeze more flights into same airspace and growth for sector

By Jon Stone @joncstone  (Independent)
20.12.2019

New government plans to ramp up the number of flights will make it “all but impossible” for the UK to cut its carbon emissions to the required levels, environmentalists have warned.

Downing Street was accused of “a total disregard for the planet” after it unveiled a new air traffic management bill on Thursday to lift practical limits on the number of planes British airspace can accommodate.

The bill was included in Thursday’s Queen’s Speech and forms part of the government’s legislative programme for the coming years – despite pledges in the Tory manifesto to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Around 15% of the UK’s climate impact come from aviation and environmentalists say that even more flights would be incompatible with the UK’s contribution to stopping global disaster.

But the Government says the aviation sector also contributes £22 billion to the UK economy each year and provides over 200,000 jobs, and says its new laws will grow the aviation sector.

Ministers say growth will be “sustainable” and that supposedly outdated practices “limit the number of flights the airspace can safely accommodate”.

But campaigners have said the approach will accelerate “climate breakdown” and says that claims aviation be expanded without increased emissions are not realistic.

“At a time when the government should be focussing on drastically cutting the country’s carbon emissions, this illustrates the absurdity of the government’s ability to meet its own net zero carbon emission targets, which at 2050 is already too weak. The government has shown a total disregard for the planet,” said Alannah Travers, an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson.

Ms Travers added that the government’s separate environment bill “barely touches the surface of the action we require our government to take if it is to tackle the climate and ecological crisis”.

Jenny Bates, campaigner at Friends of the Earth said: “Aviation is a highly polluting sector, responsible for huge amounts of climate wrecking emissions,”

“You can’t have so-called sustainable growth in a sector like this and stop the climate crisis. And while some may believe developing technologies like electric planes will deliver a green travel future these are nowhere near being a reality.

“The real solution, as part of the fight against climate breakdown, is far fewer planes in our skies. Instead, the opposite is being encouraged with airport expansion projects, including the planned third runway at Heathrow.

“These damaging schemes would make emissions ever higher, making it all but impossible for the UK to meet its targets for cutting emissions.”

Molly Scott Cato, a Green Party MEP, told The Independent: “As the fastest growing source of carbon emissions, the aviation sector must be restricted not expanded.

“This reckless policy of encouraging airport expansion confirms our worst suspicions that the Conservative government is prepared to sacrifice our climate on the altar of profit.”

The Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill, to give it its full name, will also reform the rules for unmanned aircraft and give police more powers to tackle unlawful use of drones.

But the most controversial provisions objected to by environmentalists are a plan to “modernise” Britain’s airspace to remove barriers that “limit the number of flights the airspace can safely accommodate”.

The Government says the primary purpose of the Bill is to “maintain the UK’s position as a world-leader in aviation, ensuring that regulations keep pace with new technology to support sustainable growth in a sector which directly provides 230,000 jobs and contributes at least £22 billion to the UK economy every year”.

The year 2019 saw the development of the flygskam or ‘flight-shame’ movement that discourages people from flying to try and reduce their environmental impact.

But in the UK the winning Conservative party’s manifesto appeared to give the green light to Heathrow expansion, describing it as a “private sector project” and saying parliament had in principle backed it. The manifesto policy came despite Boris Johnson’s longstanding opposition to expanding the airport.

The Conservatives pledged to take the UK to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while the losing Labour manifesto pledged to make progress towards the aim by 2030 with a “green new deal”.

But scientists have most recently warned that net zero must be reached worldwide well before 2040 to avert serious climate change.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-climate-change-flights-carbon-emissions-net-zero-queens-speech-a9253516.html#r3z-addoor

.

.


The Queen’s Speech full text:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/853886/Queen_s_Speech_December_2019_-_background_briefing_notes.pdf

 

This is the part about aviation: 

Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill

The purpose of the Bill is to:

● Maintain the UK’s position as a world-leader in aviation, ensuring that regulations keep pace with new technology to support sustainable growth in a sector which directly provides over 230,000 jobs and contributes at least £22 billion to the UK economy every year.

● Ensure that the police are able to tackle effectively the unlawful use of unmanned aircraft, including drones and model aircraft.

The main benefits of the Bill would be:

● Making journeys quicker, quieter and cleaner through the modernisation of our airspace.

● Improving public safety through greater police enforcement powers, deterring the unlawful use of unmanned aircraft and ensuring that offenders are quickly dealt with in the appropriate manner.

The main elements of the Bill are:

● New government powers to direct an airport or other relevant body to prepare and submit a proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority to modernise their airspace, enabling more efficient, quieter and greener flights.

● Modernising the licensing framework for air traffic control.

● New police powers to tackle the unlawful use of unmanned aircraft. These include the ability to require a person to land an unmanned aircraft and enhanced stop and search powers where particular unmanned aircraft related offences have taken place.

Territorial extent and application

● The Bill’s provisions would extend and apply to the whole of the UK. Civil aviation and airspace are reserved matters.

Key facts

● Many of the UK’s air routes and air traffic management practices were designed when commercial flight first became widespread in the 1950s, and for lower- 96 powered, less efficient aircraft with far poorer safety, surveillance and control systems than now.

● These 1950s flightpaths often constrain aircraft climb performance (by, for instance, requiring them to climb in stages rather than fly straight up) meaning that more time is taken to reach their optimum cruising altitude, more fuel is burned, more emissions and noise are created. Other practices include stacking, where aircraft circle in an airborne ‘queue’ to enter busy airports such as Heathrow. Such practices limit the number of flights the airspace can safely accommodate.

● The Department for Transport’s Strategic Case for Airspace Modernisation, published in February 2017, set out that if nothing is done there could be a delay of 30 minutes for 1 in 3 flights by 2030, which would be 72 times higher than in 2015. This would cost the UK around £250 million per year. Modernisation can also deliver major noise and carbon reduction benefits.

● The Civil Aviation Authority last year published an Airspace Modernisation Strategy, setting out general principles and methods. The next step is individual airports drawing up their own airspace modernisation plans.

● The Bill will give the Secretary of State, or Civil Aviation Authority, a power to direct those involved in airspace change, for example airport operators, to progress an airspace change proposal, failing which they could be fined.

● It will also hand the police powers to tackle the unlawful use of unmanned aircraft, including requiring a person to land an unmanned craft, and new stop and search powers.

 

.

.

.

 

Read more »

Heathrow runway completion date now 2029, NOT 2026. That means maximum economic benefit cut from +£3.3 bn to a loss of -£13 bn to the UK

Heathrow’s timetable for its 3rd runway faces further delay after CAA said it would only approve £1.6 billion of spending before the DCO is approved. Not the £3 billion Heathrow wants.  In a new CAA consultation document released on Thursday, they say  this would mean a delay of about a year to the 2026 scheduled opening of Heathrow’s runway, based on Heathrow’s estimates. However, Heathrow said the CAA’s proposal would delay the completion of the runway by up to 3 years. ie. it would not open till 2029 (Heathrow says “between early 2028 and late 2029….).  The delayed opening date means the alleged economic benefit to the UK is far lower than currently estimated. The Transport Select Cttee report in March 2018 on the Airports NPS said the maximum benefit of the runway to the whole of the UK over 60 years would be +£3.3 billion. They said that a delay of two years, from opening in 2026 to 2028 would mean a loss of £16.3 in economic benefit to the uK. That means the runway would now cause a considerable economic loss to the country.  On this basis alone there should be a review of the Airports NPS, and rethink by government on Heathrow.
.

 

The Transport Select Committee’s report, in March 2018, on the Airports NPS and the Heathrow runway, said: 

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmtrans/548/548.pdf

27. The economic case of the NWR scheme is grounded on it being delivered by 2026 and at capacity by 2028. These are essential considerations. If the NWR cannot be delivered to the capacity and timeline assumed, because of, say, airfield design pinch points or planning issues, there will be considerable knock on effects to the economic business case of the scheme. 63  A two-year delay to the scheme’s delivery would result in £16.3 billion of benefits being removed from the economic case. 64  Similarly, there are significant economic costs from not proceeding at this point with the NWR scheme. In making its decision, Parliament needs to consider these opportunity costs, such as additional demand moving to competitor airports in other countries.

.

and

 

Economic case

23. The DfT’s appraisal shows little separates the economic cases of the three schemes. The economic benefits over the appraisal period are now marginally in Gatwick’s favour, which is forecast to deliver £74.1 billion in gross benefits; compared with a Heathrow NWR at £72.8 billion and £61.7 billion with a ENR. 50   Once costs are considered, the net economic benefits for the NWR scheme are relatively small at a maximum of £3.3 billion over 60 years and in fact, may be negative if future demand falls. 51 The net economic benefits for the other schemes are also relatively small. The draft NPS does not reflect the DfT’s appraisal stating simply that “ … overall the Heathrow NWR scheme is considered to deliver the greatest net benefits to the UK.”52

 

Heathrow’s third runway plans face further delay

UK aviation regulator concerned about level of spending ahead of final approval

By Tanya Powley and Peggy Hollinger in London  (Financial Times)

19.12.2019

Heathrow’s timetable for its third runway faces further delay after the UK aviation regulator said it was minded to approve only just over half the amount London’s busiest airport wants to spend on its project ahead of final approval.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday rejected Heathrow airport’s proposal to more than quadruple certain early construction-related spending to £2.8bn because of the risk the costs would be passed on to passengers if the project is eventually cancelled.

In a consultation document released on Thursday, the regulator instead said its preference was for spending to increase to £1.6bn. It added that the move would mean a delay of about a year to the 2026 scheduled opening of Heathrow’s third runway, based on Heathrow’s estimates.

However, Heathrow said the CAA’s proposal would delay the completion of the runway by up to three years.

The CAA’s move comes after management at the airport proposed in the summer to speed up certain spending on the £14bn project to meet its 2026 completion target date for the runway.

Paul Smith, group director of consumers and markets at the CAA, said: “We believe that more runway capacity at Heathrow will benefit air passengers and cargo owners . . . However, we have also been clear that timeliness is not the only factor that is important to consumers.

“Passengers cannot be expected to bear the risk of Heathrow Airport Limited spending too much in the early phases of development, should planning permission not be granted.”

Heathrow had proposed increasing early so-called Category C spending, relating to acquiring and relocating buildings and compensating local communities, from £650m to £2.4bn, based on 2014 prices. The CAA said that in 2018 prices proposed early Category C expenditure was subsequently increased to £2.8bn.

The CAA has approved Heathrow’s plan to raise early Category B expenditure, associated with seeking planning permission, such as the public consultation and master plan development, from £265m to more than £500m.

Heathrow said Thursday’s announcement was an “important milestone” in expanding the airport.

“We will now review the detail to ensure it will unlock the initial £1.5bn to £2bn of private investment over the next two years at no cost to the taxpayer,” a spokesperson said. “Whilst this is a step forward, the CAA has delayed the project timetable by at least 12 months.

“We now expect to complete the third runway between early 2028 and late 2029.”

However, there is still uncertainty over whether the expansion will go ahead, following opposition from politicians, local residents and environmentalists. A judgment on five judicial reviews by campaigners against the expansion is expected early next year.

Heathrow is likely to submit its application for a development consent order (DCO), the permit required by all nationally significant infrastructure projects, next year. The airport hopes the transport secretary will approve it in 2021.

While the CAA has rejected the highest early spending plan, approval to spend more money ahead of getting a DCO is still likely to attract criticism, such as from IAG, British Airways’ parent company and Heathrow’s biggest customer.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, has long criticised plans to spend significantly on early construction costs before planning permission is granted or the scheme’s final costs are known. On Wednesday, he called on the government to commission an independent assessment of Heathrow’s expansion costs.

In its master plan, revealed in June, Heathrow said it would stagger expansion to manage costs and appease residents’ concerns about noise and pollution. Dividing the project into four phases is part of the airport’s efforts to keep the passenger service charge close to 2016 levels. Heathrow’s fee of £22 per person is already one of the most expensive in the world.

Construction of the new runway is in the first phase of the project, which was scheduled for completion in 2026. The fourth phase, which includes car parks, road systems and hangars, is set to be finished in 2050.

However, an independent report commissioned by the CAA suggested that Heathrow’s target date of 2026 for the runway opening was “optimistic” even under the airport’s preferred approach to early spending. It noted that a more likely opening date would be between early 2027 and late 2028 under Heathrow’s previous proposal.

The CAA’s consultation will be open for responses until February 28, with a final decision expected in the spring.   Its title is:  “Economic regulation of Heathrow Airport Limited: policy update and consultation on the early costs of capacity expansion”

https://consultations.caa.co.uk/cmg/early-costs-of-capacity-expansion/

FT article at

https://www.ft.com/content/13c97730-226d-11ea-92da-f0c92e957a96


 

Willie Walsh calls on Boris Johnson to review cost of Heathrow expansion

By Oliver Gill  (Telegraph)

18 DECEMBER 2019

A row has intensified between IAG airline boss Willie Walsh and Heathrow Airport as the pair traded fresh blows over controversial plans for a third runway.

Mr Walsh, whose firm owns British Airways, called on Boris Johnson to launch an independent probe into the cost of Heathrow’s expansion scheme.

Costs for the project have previously been estimated at £14bn, but it is feared that bills could snowball.

He said: “We need a fresh look at the environmental viability and total cost of expanding Heathrow. The airport has a history of spending recklessly to gold-plate projects and paying guaranteed dividends to shareholders.”

But Heathrow hit back, claiming Mr Walsh was seeking delays so he could protect his firm’s dominant position at the airport. An expansion will give rival airlines more space.

The future growth of Britain’s busiest airport remains in the balance. While parliament gave the third runway the green light last year, Mr Johnson has historically been a staunch opponent and once even threatened to lie down in front of the bulldozers to stop construction.

He is yet to give a firm opinion on the matter since becoming prime minster.

Mr Walsh said: “Boris Johnson wants to make Britain more competitive. Allowing an expanded airport that is considerably more expensive than our European neighbours would be an own goal.”

A Heathrow spokesman said: “Our costs have not changed, and the Government already has an independent regulator who, alongside all of our airlines, closely scrutinises and approves all investment at Heathrow. Pushing this project back now only serves IAG.”

Heathrow is owned by a consortium led by Spanish infrastructure titan Ferrovial and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

IAG’s biggest shareholder is state-owned carrier Qatar Airways, which owns more than a fifth of the FTSE 100 airlines group.

Heathrow is also fending off criticism from billionaire hotel tycoon Surinder Arora, a major landowner in the area. He hailed a “breakthrough” earlier this month after regulators hired consultants to consider whether he could build the third runway at the site, instead of Heathrow Airport Limited.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/12/18/willie-walsh-calls-boris-johnson-review-cost-heathrow-expansion/

 

Read more »

Aviation regulator, the CAA, losing patience with Heathrow expansion – approve only £1.6bn before DCO granted

The CAA has rejected Heathrow’s desire to spend nearly £3bn on its new runway despite the plans not having received final approval, in a sign that it is losing confidence in Heathrow’s ability to fund the project on budget.  The CAA has a new consultation on this. The CAA approved just under half Heathrow’s request; £1.6bn (at 2018 prices) before the DCO is granted, saying that “passengers cannot be expected to bear the risk” of Heathrow “spending too much in the early phase of development, should planning permission not be granted”. This is yet another hurdle for Heathrow.  Heathrow now says that instead of opening its new runway in 2026, that has now been put back to 2028/ 2029. That delay makes a large difference to the supposed economic benefit to the UK, which was at best marginal even with a 2026 opening date.  Both Heathrow and the Government claim that the project will be privately financed yet there are concerns about Heathrow’s ability to afford expansion as costs continue to rise and the markets begin to question the viability of the investment. Standard and Poor said there is significant concern about the design, funding and construction costs of a 3rd runway which would make it unviable.

.

 

AVIATION REGULATOR LOSING CONFIDENCE IN HEATHROW EXPANSION

19 December 2019

From the No 3rd Runway Coalition

The Civil Aviation Authority has rejected Heathrow Airport’s desire to spend nearly £3bn on its new runway despite the plans not having received final approval, in a sign that it is losing confidence in Heathrow’s ability to fund the project on budget (1).

The aviation regulator cited the risk that the costs would be passed on to passengers were the runway not to go ahead. The CAA approved just under half Heathrow’s request; £1.6bn (1), saying that “passengers cannot be expected to bear the risk of Heathrow Airport Limited spending too much in the early phase of development, should planning permission not be granted”, in a clear sign of the many hurdles Heathrow has to clear before receiving final permission to expand (2).

2028/29, the new target date Heathrow has now set for it to open the new runway, is also reducing what potential small economic benefits it would bring to the UK by 2030 – a key criteria the government previously assessed when choosing Heathrow’s expansion scheme, compared to Gatwick’s or the extended runway proposed by Heathrow Hub Ltd (3).

Both Heathrow and the Government claim that the project will be privately financed yet there are concerns about Heathrow’s ability to afford expansion as costs continue to rise and the markets begin to question the viability of the investment.

In its latest analysis of Heathrow’s business case, Standard and Poor revealed that there is significant concern about the design, funding and construction costs of a third runway (4). The report raises specific concerns about the availability of relevant information which could result in a downgrading of Heathrow’s investment grade credit rating which would make the 3rd runway unviable.

Analysis of the consolidated accounts of Heathrow Airport Limited and its holding group FGP Topco shows the airport to be losing money. Despite claiming some £22bn in reserves, once you consider dividends, interest payments on debt, and financial instruments the airport is not making a profit (5).

The political issue with approval of this level of spending in advance of planning consent is the ‘poison pill’ agreement between Heathrow and the Government which could result in taxpayers picking up the bill for Heathrow’s costs should the Government cancel the 3rd runway (6).

Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: 

“Even the regulator is losing confidence in Heathrow’s ability to finance this runway. Heathrow previously declared their 3rd runway would cost £14bn. But now, just 18 months later, they tell us that they’ll have to spend one and a half billion of this before they even apply for planning permission!

“As financial experts have advised us, Heathrow seems to be flying by the seat of their pants on this expansion – unable to determine how much they’ll need to invest, let alone the source of that investment capital.

 “Government should immediately halt this project, before taxpayers inevitably find themselves underwriting the irresponsible and vain aspirations of this foreign owned private company.”

 ENDS.

[Heathrow had proposed increasing early so-called Category C spending, relating to acquiring and relocating buildings and compensating local communities, from £650m to £2.4bn, based on 2014 prices. The CAA said that in 2018 prices proposed early Category C expenditure was subsequently increased to £2.8bn.]

NOTES

1).  https://www.ft.com/content/13c97730-226d-11ea-92da-f0c92e957a96

2). Court of Appeal Verdict on Heathrow expansion expected from 13 January 2020

3) Airports National Policy Statement, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/714106/airports-nps-new-runway-capacity-and-infrastructure-at-airports-in-the-south-east-of-england-web-version.pdf

4) S&P Global Ratings: Heathrow Funding Limited, 9 August 2019 https://www.heathrow.com/content/dam/heathrow/web/common/documents/company/investor/credit-ratings/sp/2019-Heathrow-Funding-Ltd.pdf

5) Heathrow Consolidated Accounts, John Busby, 27 September 2019, Figure 4. http://www.after-oil.co.uk/HeathrowConsolidatedAccounts.htm

6) Heathrow Airport Limited Statement of Principles, 2016, Page 4. para. 2.1.6. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/562175/heathrow-airport-limited-statement-of-principles.pdf

No 3rd Runway Coalition representatives available for further comment,

contact Rob Barnstone on 07806 947050

or rob@no3rdrunwaycoalition.co.uk


.

See also

Heathrow’s third runway plans face further delay

UK aviation regulator concerned about level of spending ahead of final approval

By Tanya Powley and Peggy Hollinger in London  (Financial Times)

19.12.2019

Heathrow’s timetable for its third runway faces further delay after the UK aviation regulator said it was minded to approve only just over half the amount London’s busiest airport wants to spend on its project ahead of final approval.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday rejected Heathrow airport’s proposal to more than quadruple certain early construction-related spending to £2.8bn because of the risk the costs would be passed on to passengers if the project is eventually cancelled.

In a consultation document released on Thursday, the regulator instead said its preference was for spending to increase to £1.6bn. It added that the move would mean a delay of about a year to the 2026 scheduled opening of Heathrow’s third runway, based on Heathrow’s estimates.

However, Heathrow said the CAA’s proposal would delay the completion of the runway by up to three years.

The CAA’s move comes after management at the airport proposed in the summer to speed up certain spending on the £14bn project to meet its 2026 completion target date for the runway.

Paul Smith, group director of consumers and markets at the CAA, said: “We believe that more runway capacity at Heathrow will benefit air passengers and cargo owners . . . However, we have also been clear that timeliness is not the only factor that is important to consumers.

“Passengers cannot be expected to bear the risk of Heathrow Airport Limited spending too much in the early phases of development, should planning permission not be granted.”

Heathrow had proposed increasing early so-called Category C spending, relating to acquiring and relocating buildings and compensating local communities, from £650m to £2.4bn, based on 2014 prices. The CAA said that in 2018 prices proposed early Category C expenditure was subsequently increased to £2.8bn.

The CAA has approved Heathrow’s plan to raise early Category B expenditure, associated with seeking planning permission, such as the public consultation and master plan development, from £265m to more than £500m.

Heathrow said Thursday’s announcement was an “important milestone” in expanding the airport.

“We will now review the detail to ensure it will unlock the initial £1.5bn to £2bn of private investment over the next two years at no cost to the taxpayer,” a spokesperson said. “Whilst this is a step forward, the CAA has delayed the project timetable by at least 12 months.

“We now expect to complete the third runway between early 2028 and late 2029.”

However, there is still uncertainty over whether the expansion will go ahead, following opposition from politicians, local residents and environmentalists. A judgment on five judicial reviews by campaigners against the expansion is expected early next year.

Heathrow is likely to submit its application for a development consent order (DCO), the permit required by all nationally significant infrastructure projects, next year. The airport hopes the transport secretary will approve it in 2021.

While the CAA has rejected the highest early spending plan, approval to spend more money ahead of getting a DCO is still likely to attract criticism, such as from IAG, British Airways’ parent company and Heathrow’s biggest customer.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, has long criticised plans to spend significantly on early construction costs before planning permission is granted or the scheme’s final costs are known. On Wednesday, he called on the government to commission an independent assessment of Heathrow’s expansion costs.

In its master plan, revealed in June, Heathrow said it would stagger expansion to manage costs and appease residents’ concerns about noise and pollution. Dividing the project into four phases is part of the airport’s efforts to keep the passenger service charge close to 2016 levels. Heathrow’s fee of £22 per person is already one of the most expensive in the world.

Construction of the new runway is in the first phase of the project, which was scheduled for completion in 2026. The fourth phase, which includes car parks, road systems and hangars, is set to be finished in 2050.

However, an independent report commissioned by the CAA suggested that Heathrow’s target date of 2026 for the runway opening was “optimistic” even under the airport’s preferred approach to early spending. It noted that a more likely opening date would be between early 2027 and late 2028 under Heathrow’s previous proposal.

The CAA’s consultation will be open for responses until February 28, with a final decision expected in the spring.   Its title is:  “Economic regulation of Heathrow Airport Limited: policy update and consultation on the early costs of capacity expansion”

https://consultations.caa.co.uk/cmg/early-costs-of-capacity-expansion/

FT article at

https://www.ft.com/content/13c97730-226d-11ea-92da-f0c92e957a96

.


The CAA consultation:

“Economic regulation of Heathrow Airport Limited: policy update and consultation on the early costs of capacity expansion”

Closes 28 Feb 2020

Opened 19 Dec 2019

Overview

This consultation document provides further information on costs Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) expects to incur in advance of obtaining a Development Consent Order under the Planning Act 2008 for the expansion of Heathrow airport.

It outlines the approach to spending on these early costs that we consider is in the best interest of consumers and the regulatory arrangements that should apply to this spending.

It follows on from our July 2019 consultation on early costs and our previous policy documents on these matters.

Views invited

We welcome views on all the issues raised in this document including the issues set out in the executive summary and highlighted in chapters 1 to 3.

Please e-mail responses to economicregulation@caa.co.uk by 28 February 2020. 

We expect to publish the responses we receive on our website as soon as practicable after the period for representations expires. Any material that is regarded as confidential should be clearly marked as such and included in a separate annex. Please note that we have powers and duties with respect to information under section 59 of the Civil Aviation Act 2012 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this document, please contact
Robert.Toal@caa.co.uk.

https://consultations.caa.co.uk/cmg/early-costs-of-capacity-expansion/

.

The consultation document is at https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP1871%20Early%20expansion%20costs%20condoc%20v1.6.pdf

 

This says;

 

At the time of publishing our April 2018 consultation, HAL’s initial estimate was that it would spend approximately £650 million (2014 prices) on early Category C costs. HAL then provided further information in autumn 2018 as part of its business plan information for the iH7 price control period (2020-2021) which suggested total spending might reach £1.6 billion. See www.caa.co.uk/CAP1819, chapter 2.

 

and

 

Following the analysis in chapter 1, this draft condition refers to a runway opening date of 2029 and construction spending of not more than £1.6 billion before the grant of a DCO. The condition does not attempt to define the activities that the licensee should concentrate on and the scenario on which it is based is not a detailed project plan. The underlying activities are not sufficiently certain to form part of the licence condition and are more appropriately dealt with through appropriate governance processes.73

 

and

 

Taking this approach allows the condition to set out a fairly simple obligation that in the circumstances where the licensee is carrying out expansion, it should do so in a manner consistent with a runway opening date not later than 2029 and not incurring more than £1.6 billion of construction costs prior to the determination of its DCO application.

 

[The aim of the CAA is not to increase the costs of flying for passengers, so they can continue to fly, in huge numbers, cheaply ….  AW comment ]


See earlier:

 

Heathrow ordered by CAA to rein in 3rd runway costs – to ensure it is built economically and efficiently

The CAA has inserted a significant new clause into Heathrow’s licence, starting in January 2020, amid concerns that costs on the vast 3rd runway project will spiral out of control. Heathrow will be penalised if it fails to build its £14bn expansion scheme efficiently — the first time such a condition has been imposed on the airport. Airlines, especially British Airways, are nervous that Heathrow will try to get them to pay up-front for construction costs, which would put up the price of air tickets, deterring passengers. The CAA polices the fees the airport charges passengers. It said the new licence clause was needed to “set clear expectations for Heathrow to conduct its business economically and efficiently”. Heathrow says this is disproportionate and could put off investors. IAG boss Willie Walsh has repeatedly complained that Heathrow’s runway scheme is a “gold-plated”, and that there is little incentive for Heathrow to keep costs down. Under a complex incentive system, the more Heathrow spends, the more its owners can earn. Heathrow has already spent £3.3 billion on its plans, which have not even yet passed through legal challenges, let alone the DCO process.

Click here to view full story…

 

Who will pay for Heathrow’s 3rd runway? There is no simple answer. Can Heathrow afford it?

Both the airport and Government claim that the project will be privately financed yet there are concerns about Heathrow’s ability to afford expansion as costs continue to rise and the markets begin to question the viability of the investment. Heathrow is already spending over £3 billion on enabling work, before even starting to build. The total cost could be £31 billion, not the alleged £14 billion.  In its latest analysis of Heathrow’s business case, Standard and Poor revealed that there is significant concern about construction costs of a 3rd runway. This raises specific concerns – which could result in a downgrading of Heathrow’s investment grade credit rating which would make the 3rd runway unviable. The airport and its holding company, FGP Topco, are losing money.  A huge sum is needed for the planned development, especially if more passengers are to travel to/from the airport on public transport.  The Conservative Election Manifesto said “no new public money” will be available to support the third runway and that the onus is on Heathrow to demonstrate that the business case is viable. The CAA has decided that Heathrow will be penalised if costs spiral out of control, amid concerns that the project will not be built on budget.

Click here to view full story…

.

 

Read more »

IATA figures show expect global airline pax growth to 4.58 billion in 2019, with 97 billion gallons of jet fuel burned

IATA produces Fact Sheets, for a range of measures, once per month. Looking at the sheet for June 2019, it compare the figures from 2013 to forecast figures for 2019.  

  • The number of scheduled air passengers rose from 3,145,000,000 in 2013 to 4,579,000,000 anticipated in 2019. ie. a rise of 46%.
  • The number of tonnes of air cargo rose from 51,700,000 in 2013 to 63.1 tonnes anticipated for 2019.
  • The amount of jet fuel consumed was 74 billion gallons in 2013 and 97 billion gallons anticipated in 2019.  ie. it rose by 31%.
  • The CO2 emissions were were 710 million tonnes in 2013, and 927 million tonnes anticipated in 2019.  ie. they rose by 30.6%. 
  • The net profit per departing passenger was $3.4 in 2013 and $6.1 anticipated in 2019.
  • Global revenues for the airline industry were $720 billion in 2013, and anticipated to be $865 billion in 2019.

.

[EPA says 1 gallon of jet fuel emits 9.75 kg of CO2.   Link   ]

From

IATA Industry Statistics – Fact Sheet

June 2019

https://www.iata.org/en/iata-repository/publications/economic-reports/airline-industry-economic-performance—june-2019—data-tables/

Other months’ data can be found on the IATA website at  https://www.iata.org/en/publications/economics

See IATA June 2019 figures at

https://www.iata.org/en/iata-repository/publications/economic-reports/airline-industry-economic-performance—june-2019—data-tables/

and IATA December 2019 figures at

https://www.iata.org/en/iata-repository/publications/economic-reports/airline-industry-economic-performance—december-2019—data-tables/ 

And

https://www.iata.org/en/iata-repository/publications/economic-reports/airline-industry-economic-performance—june-2019—report/

.

The ICCT says:

CO2 emissions from all commercial operations in 2018 totalled 918 million metric tons—2.4% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use.

https://theicct.org/publications/co2-emissions-commercial-aviation-2018

.


See earlier:

 

IATA World Air Transport Statistics Released

6th September 2018

Montreal – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced industry performance statistics for 2017. Worldwide annual air passenger numbers exceeded four billion for the first time, supported by a broad-based improvement in global economic conditions and lower average airfares. At the same time, airlines connected a record number of cities worldwide, providing regular services to over 20,000 city pairs* in 2017, more than double the level of 1995. Such increases in direct services improve the industry’s efficiency by cutting costs and saving time for both travelers and shippers alike.

This information is included in the recently released 62nd Edition of the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), the yearbook of the airline industry’s performance.

“In 2000, the average citizen flew just once every 43 months. In 2017, the figure was once every 22 months. Flying has never been more accessible. And this is liberating people to explore more of our planet for work, leisure and education. Aviation is the business of freedom,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Highlights of the 2017 airline industry performance:

Passenger

  • System-wide, airlines carried 4.1 billion passengers on scheduled services, an increase of 7.3% over 2016, representing an additional 280 million trips by air.
  • Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region once again carried the largest number of passengers. The regional rankings (based on total passengers carried on scheduled services by airlines registered in that region) are:
    1. Asia-Pacific 36.3% market share (1.5 billion passengers, an increase of 10.6% compared to the region’s passengers in 2016)
    2. Europe 26.3% market share (1.1 billion passengers, up 8.2% over 2016)
    3. North America 23% market share (941.8 million, up 3.2% over 2016)
    4. Latin America 7% market share (286.1 million, up 4.1% over 2016)
    5. Middle East 5.3% market share (216.1 million, an increase of 4.6% over 2016)
    6. Africa 2.2% market share (88.5 million, up 6.6% over 2016).
  • The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passenger kilometers flown, were:
    1. American Airlines (324 billion)
    2. Delta Air Lines (316.3 billion)
    3. United Airlines (311 billion)
    4. Emirates Airline (289 billion)
    5. Southwest Airlines (207.7 billion)
  • The top five international/regional passenger airport-pairs** were all within the Asia-Pacific region, again this year:
    1. Hong Kong-Taipei Taoyuan (5.4 million, up 1.8% from 2016)
    2. Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta-Singapore (3.3 million, up 0.8% from 2016)
    3. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Hong Kong (3.1 million, increase of 3.5% from 2016)
    4. Kuala Lumpur–Singapore (2.8 million, down. 0.3% from 2016)
    5. Hong Kong-Seoul Incheon (2.7 million, down 2.2% from 2016)
  • The top five domestic passenger airport-pairs** were also all in the Asia-Pacific region:
    1. Jeju-Seoul Gimpo (13.5 million, up 14.8% over 2016)
    2. Melbourne Tullamarine-Sydney (7.8 million, up 0.4% from 2016)
    3. Fukuoka-Tokyo Haneda (7.6 million, an increase of 6.1% from 2016)
    4. Sapporo-Tokyo Haneda (7.4 million, up 4.6% from 2016)
    5. Beijing Capital-Shanghai Hongqiao (6.4 million, up 1.9% from 2016)
  • One of the interesting recent additions to the WATS report is the ranking of passenger traffic by nationality, for international and domestic travel. (Nationality refers to the passenger’s citizenship as opposed to the country of residence.)
    1. United States of America (632 million, representing 18.6% of all passengers)
    2. People’s Republic of China (555 million or 16.3% of all passengers)
    3. India (161.5 million or 4.7% of all passengers)
    4. United Kingdom (147 million or 4.3% of all passengers)
    5. Germany (114.4 million or 3.4% of all passengers)

Cargo

  • Globally, cargo markets showed a 9.9% expansion in freight and mail tonne kilometers (FTKs). This outstripped a capacity increase of 5.3% increasing freight load factor by 2.1%.
  • The top five airlines ranked by scheduled freight tonne kilometers flown were:
    1. Federal Express (16.9 billion)
    2. Emirates (12.7 billion)
    3. United Parcel Service (11.9 billion)
    4. Qatar Airways (11 billion)
    5. Cathay Pacific Airways (10.8 billion)

https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/pr/2018-09-06-01

.

.

.

 

Read more »

German domestic air travel slump points to increase in “flight shame” and carbon awareness

Mounting concern about carbon emissions may be altering travel habits in Germany, as figures from German airports show a steady decline in passengers taking domestic flights. The number was down 12% in November from a year earlier, according to the ADV industry group. That was a fourth straight monthly drop and mirroring a pattern emerging in Sweden, where teenage activist Greta Thunberg has spearheaded a campaign against air transport. Rail firm Deutsche Bahn AG has meanwhile reported record passenger numbers. More people are aware of the carbon impact of their flying behaviour, and have a sense of so-called flying shame — flygskam in Swedish. This may have increased this year in Germany, as they experienced very unusually extreme weather with thunderstorms and the River Rhine almost running dry. The figures come as Germany’s parliament votes on a climate package including a tax cut aimed at reducing train ticket prices by around 10%, Unfortunately there has not yet been a fall in the number of inter-continental air journeys. IATA is concerned that “anti-flying sentiment” will “grow and spread.”

.

German Air Travel Slump Points to Spread of Flight Shame

By William Wilkes and Richard Weiss (Bloomberg)
19 December 2019,

– Passenger numbers are steadily dropping on domestic routes
– Slide mirrors Swedish trend as rail operators reap surge

Mounting concern about carbon emissions may be altering travel habits in Europe’s largest economy as figures from German airports show a steady decline in passengers taking domestic flights.

The number of people flying between German cities fell 12% in November from a year earlier, according to the ADV industry group, marking a fourth straight monthly drop and mirroring a pattern emerging in Sweden, where teenage activist Greta Thunberg has spearheaded a campaign against air transport. Rail firm Deutsche Bahn AG has meanwhile reported record passenger numbers.

Greta Effect?
Short-haul flying in Germany has decoupled from longer trips  (See graphic)

Source: ADV airports association, Fraport AG

.

The data adds to signs that climate change is fostering a sense of so-called flying shame — flygskam in Swedish — that’s causing some people to avoid one of the most polluting forms of travel. The phenomenon may be more advanced in Germany after the country suffered a series of extreme weather events that saw it buffeted by thunderstorms and the River Rhine running dry.

“To me, this is evidence of heightened awareness of climate change turning to consumer action,” said Stefan Goessling, professor of transport economics at Linnaeus University business school, Sweden, who analyzed the data and found a slowing economy, strikes and airline failures didn’t fully explain the slump.

The figures come as Germany’s parliament votes on a climate package including a tax cut aimed at reducing train ticket prices by around 10%, while Deutsche Bahn is targeting 100% renewable electricity to power trains on inter-city routes. UBS last month said Europe may be set for a “high-speed rail renaissance” as deregulation aids better services and cheaper fares.

Not Exactly the Orient Express, But Europe’s Sleepers Are Back

The ADV numbers show that flights from Germany to other European countries have also declined to a lesser degree, something that might be accounted for by the relative uncompetitiveness of rail on trips much beyond four hours.

The tally for inter-continental journeys, where surface transport isn’t practical and which are often less discretionary than shorter ones, involving family visits and key business events, is still increasing.

The German trends replicate those seen in Sweden, where airport operator Swedavia AB reported in April that passenger numbers had dropped for seven consecutive months, just as state rail operator SJ posted record figures.

In Germany, which has suffered record-breaking heatwaves and a drop in Rhine water levels that halted barge shipments, caused fuel shortages and disrupted power production, the environment has become the most pressing issue among voters, according to pollster Matthias Jung. Support for the country’s Greens is above 20%, trailing only Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

ADV has suggested other issues may be at play in the slump, including strikes at Deutsche Lufthansa AG and the cancellation of routes between Berlin and three other cities. Goessling said that explanation doesn’t stack up given that air-passenger numbers have declined across the country.

Neither is the economy likely to have been a major factor, with household spending up 1.8% in the third quarter and consumer confidence rated “exceptionally high.”

Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Ruxandra Haradau-Doeser said it’s too early to be sure what’s prompting the slide in domestic flying, though tax regimes aimed at cutting train fares will inevitably weigh on airline volumes and put carriers spanning Lufthansa to discount specialist EasyJet Plc under extra pressure.

Deutsche Bahn reckons annual passenger numbers on long-distance trains will reach 260 million by 2040, almost double the 2015 total, while Austrian’s state railway operator is adding night-train capacity in expectation of rising demand.

Guilt About That Flight to Mallorca Is a Problem for Airlines
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-26/flight-shaming-puts-a-dent-in-european-travel

The European Union plans to impose a jet-fuel levy as part of its new Green Deal. Carriers including Ryanair Holdings Plc oppose the move and say nations could more effectively lower carbon emissions by investing in sustainable fuels and electric planes and simplifying air traffic control networks.  [What utter nonsense …..] 

Alexandre de Juniac, head of the International Air Transport Association, last month urged carriers to better communicate what they’re doing to reduce emissions, warning: “We expect anti-flying sentiment to grow and spread.”

— With assistance by Hanna Hoikkala

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-19/german-air-travel-slump-points-to-spread-of-flight-shame

.


See earlier:

IAG now rattled by growing awareness of carbon emissions from flying, and possibly lower passenger numbers

The airline industry is feeling under threat, from growing awareness across society – and it many other countries – that its carbon emissions are a problem. It fears there will be a drop in passenger numbers, if the concept of “flying shame” catches on, and if more people decide to fly less. So the industry is fighting back, with claims about how it is a “force for good” in the world, and how it is working really, really hard to reduce its emissions. Doing everything it can, other than actually not trying to keep growing. Willie Walsh admits aviation will keep on burning huge amounts of fossil fuel for decades, as there are no real alternatives (other than very tiny amounts of alternative fuels). He admits that the only solution is carbon offsets, as the emissions from aviation rise, and so at best emissions are net, not gross.  Increases in aviation carbon just wipe out the cuts made elsewhere.  The industry like to keep emphasising that the cost of flying must not be raised, putting it out of reach of the poor – but ignores the solution, that a frequent flyer levy could be imposed, giving each person a free flight per year, with escalating tax on subsequent flights. Most flights are taken by people who fly several (or many) times per year.  IAG wants to give the impression of being a leader in carbon responsibility …while continuing with “business as usual” flying as much as it can. 

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2019/10/iag-now-rattled-by-growing-awareness-of-carbon-emissions-from-flying-and-possibly-lower-passenger-numbers/

.


Airlines increasingly worried about polluter stigma as “flygskam” -“flight shame” – movement grows

A Swedish-born anti-flying movement is creating a new vocabulary, from “flygskam” which translates as “flight shame” to “tågskryt,” or “train brag.”  Many Swedes have stopped flying. There are similar movements in some other European countries.  An activist in this movement, Susanna Elfors in Stockholm says membership on her Facebook group Tagsemester, or “Train Holiday,” has reached some 90,000 members – up from around 3,000 around the end of 2017.  She said: “Before, it was rather taboo to discuss train travel due to climate concerns. Now it’s possible to talk about this on a lunch break … and everybody understands.” People who do not fly are no longer seen as so odd. It is not seen as such a peculiar sacrifice. But the “Flygskam” movement is worrying the aviation industry. At the ATA conference in Seoul, the head of IATA said:  “Unchallenged, this sentiment will grow and spread.”  That would seriously damage profits. It must be stopped (obviously). The sector wants to get the public to believe it is not a major polluter, and it doing everything possible to emit less carbon. Trouble is, there are no magic fuels on the horizon, and though efficiency gains of 1-2% per year can be made, the sector entirely cancels these out by expansion of 4-5% per year. 

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2019/06/airlines-increasingly-worried-about-polluter-stigma-as-flygskam-flight-shame-movement-grows/

.


The concept of “flying shame” is growing in Sweden – shame if you fly too much – due to the CO2 emissions

Many Northern Europeans have “flying shame” because of the climate: they stay on the ground while traveling. Rail travel is becoming increasingly popular. Some people in Sweden are cutting down on flying, and believe the carbon emissions are a matter of shame. The word for it is “flugsham” or “flygskam” and this is becoming a common concept, akin to ‘flying less” in English. A celebrity athlete is well know for only travelling to sporting events if he can get there by train. The Swedes are among the frequent flyers. They fly 7 times more than average global citizens.  While Sweden’s total CO2 emissions have fallen by 24% since 1990, air traffic grew by 61% in that time. A prominent writer in a popular newspaper  denounced the “idiotic lifestyle” of frequent flying as the “most expensive suicide in world history”. Researchers and artists responded: “Flying is no longer an alternative for them”.  People realise that we cannot go on with expanding aviation. A Facebook page on travelling by long-distance rail, rather than flying, had 30,000 followers in a few months. As well as the hashtag #flyingless there is the Swedish counterpart in #jagstannarpåmarken: “I’ll stay on the ground”. 

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/11/the-concept-of-flying-shame-is-growing-in-sweden-shame-if-you-fly-too-much-due-to-the-co2-emissions/

.

.

.

.

 

.

 

Read more »

New research shows no safe limit for PM2.5 which would hugely increase with expansion of airports, like Stansted

New research published in the British Medical Journal on 30 November has shown that airborne emissions of fine carbon particles – known as PM2.5 – can have serious health impacts even when the level of concentration is below the World Health Organisation’s guideline limits for air pollution. PM2.5 emanates especially from fuel combustion and transport sources and is one of the major issues associated with airport expansion, not only because of the additional air pollution caused by the increased number of flights but also from the additional road traffic generated by the increase in passenger numbers travelling to and from the airport.  There are links between PM2.5 and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as Parkinson’s and diabetes, and there are now others. The expansion of Stansted Airport is expected to hugely increase air pollution. Its own figures indicate the expansion to 43 mppa would lead to perhaps an extra 25% – 13.6 tonnes – of PM2.5 into the air that local residents, have to breathe.  That is wholly unacceptable, knowing the severe health impacts upon the local population.
.

 

NEW RESEARCH SHOWS NO SAFE LIMIT FOR AIR POLLUTION

16.12.2019   (Stop Stansted Expansion)

New research published in the British Medical Journal on 30 November has shown that airborne emissions of fine carbon particles – known as PM2.5 – can have serious health impacts even when the level of concentration is below the World Health Organisation’s guideline limits for air pollution. [Note 1]

PM2.5 emanates especially from fuel combustion and transport sources and is one of the major issues associated with airport expansion, not only because of the additional air pollution caused by the increased number of flights but also from the additional road traffic generated by the increase in passenger numbers travelling to and from the airport.

The results of the research confirm previously established associations between PM2.5 and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as Parkinson’s and diabetes. [Note 2]  In addition, the study found evidence of health impacts not previously associated with PM2.5 including septicaemia, fluid and electrolyte disorders, skin infections and infections of the urinary tract.

Stansted Airport is already a major source of PM2.5 air pollution and, in connection with its current planning application to increase its permitted throughput from 35 to 43 million passengers per annum (mppa), the airport was required to provide a report on the projected PM2.5 pollution levels.  In summary this report showed as follows: [Note 3]

 

Emissions of PM2.5  (tonnes)

Actual 2016

Projected for 2028

If limited to current cap of 35mppa

If expansion to 43mppa approved

Aircraft

5.5

6.2

6.7

Other airport sources

1.6

2.3

2.5

Airport related road  traffic

3.8

3.7

4.4

Total

10.9

12.2

13.6

 

SSE health adviser, Professor Jangu Banatvala, commented: “Stansted Airport’s own figures show that if its current planning application were to be approved, the airport would be responsible for putting an annual total of 13.6 tonnes of PM2.5 into the air that we all, as local residents, have to breathe.  That’s 25% more than today, which is wholly unacceptable when this new research removes all doubt as to the connection between airborne pollution from fine carbon particles and severe health impacts upon the local population.”   

Professor Jangu Banatvala concluded:  “The paramount duty of Uttlesford District Council is to do all that it can to safeguard the health of its local residents.  In view of this new research it is inconceivable that our local council could permit any further airport expansion until such time as this can be achieved without increasing the risks to the health of the local population.”

ENDS

 

NOTES

Note 1‘The cost of air pollution to Health’, Wei Y, Wang Y, Di Q et al – BMJ, 30 November 2019.  Professor Banatvala adds: “Exposure to noise and air pollution are among environmental factors inducing a broader spectrum of disease than has hitherto been recognised.  Recent research is now unravelling the molecular mechanisms by which tissue damage is induced by such environmental factors”. The WHO guideline limits for PM2.5 are a concentration level of no more than 10 micrograms per cubic metre (annual mean) and 25 micrograms per cubic metre (24-hour mean).

Note 2: A 2016 report from the Royal College of Physicians [‘Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution’] highlighted the links between air pollution and cancer, asthma, stroke, heart disease and diabetes.  The report estimated that around 40,000 deaths a year in the UK are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution, describing it as one of the major health challenges of our day.

Note 3: Stansted Airport Environmental Statement, February 2018, Volume 1, Chapter 10, Table 10.10.

FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT

 


.

Experts raise new fears about killer air pollution in UK

Tougher limits on pollutants could cut dangers of heart disease, cancers and poor brain development in children

The UK’s failure to meet World Health Organisation standards limiting the amount of ultra-fine particles in the air represents a major danger to health that is only now being recognised, experts claim.

Studies published this year link the particles to cancers, lung and heart disease, adverse effects on foetal development, and poor lung and brain development in children. They are considered a key threat to health because they go deep into the lungs and then reach other organs, including the brain. But European standards allow the levels of particles in the air to be 2.5 times higher than those stipulated by the WHO.

Professor Annette Peters, director of the Institute of Epidemiology at the Helmholtz Zentrum, Munich, said Europe – and the UK – urgently needs to introduce tougher standards. She said: “Particles are a major and invisible danger to our health, especially in London and our big cities.

The US has a standard of 12 micrograms of ultra-fine particles per cubic metre, while the WHO standard is 10 micrograms.

“We [the UK and EU’s limits] are currently at 25 micrograms per cubic metre – double the US standards,” said Peters, who warned that scientific evidence confirming the threat they pose to human health “has really strengthened this year”.

“We initially had evidence of the effect on the lungs and heart, but now we also have evidence that it alters the metabolism as well as impacting the brain.”

“Colleagues of mine have been able to show that ultra-fine particles are able to reactivate the herpes virus which lies dormant among carriers.” She said urgent studies were needed to look at the impact of fine particles on cognitive development, especially in children. Studies have documented that adverse health effects are observed even at concentrations well below the recommended WHO levels.

According to a paper, written by Peters and published in the Lancet, ambient air pollution now ranks among the top 10 major risk factors for attributable death worldwide and leads to an average loss of life expectancy of approximately one year in Europe.

Peters said ultra-fine particles could carry several thousand kilometres. “In most times you don’t see or smell it, the pollution, so it’s clear, if you look to India or the far east, the pollution is very visible. Here, we have blue skies but that doesn’t mean we have truly clean air.”

Studies in London confirm wide geographical variations in the amount of fine particles in the air. While Oxford Street suffers major concentrations, nearby Hyde Park is considered far cleaner.

Professor Jon Bennett, consultant respiratory physician and chair of the British Thoracic Society’s Board, described the particles as “a real and present health danger to society”.

“It is really concerning that babies and children are particularly susceptible as air pollution can impair immune-system development in the womb and adversely affect children’s cognitive development,” he said.

A WHO report estimated that in 2016 air pollution contributed to more than half a million deaths from respiratory tract infections in children under five years of age.

“Everyone should have the right to breathe clean air,” Bennett said. “We must have a harder-hitting and better-funded national strategy that really tackles this issue across the board – including fast-tracking the delivery of more clean air zones in our most polluted cities and areas.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/14/uk-must-limit-killer-ultra-fine-air-pollutants?

.

.

.

 

 

Read more »

Effective anti Bristol Airport Expansion Jamboree held in Weston-super-Mare, by Extinction Rebellion and other groups

On 7th December, a protest Jamboree was organised by a number of groups oppose to the expansion of Bristol Airport – including several local Extinction Rebellion groups. The protest took place in the busiest part of the High Street shopping area of Weston-super-Mare, where thousands of local people pass through. There were a number of gazebos decorated with banners, flags and other XR branding. There were three large boards containing factual information about the airport’s plans, a table of flyers, pre-addressed postcards for objections and posters galore. There was also a questionnaire. Ninety-six postcards of objection were completed on the spot with many more taken away to be completed later. Approximately 3,000  leaflets giving ‘Reasons to say No to airport expansion’ were given out. The town had been chosen because it is the largest town council in North Somerset and has 11 councillors on the planning committee, considering whether the airport should expand or not. It is therefore a place of considerable influence in this vitally important decision. Talking to people, it emerged that too few were aware of the problems, and the likely local impacts of the planned airport expansion, showing how local engagement on the issue had been inadequate.
.

Weston-super-Mare and the Airport Expansion Jamboree

7th Dec 2019
Below is a report from activists in the groups (including XR) that organised the Jamboree
image2.png
The Evergreen Affinity Group based in Bristol XR & co-ordinated the Action in Weston-super-Mare (WSM).
Members of Extinction Rebellion came from XR Bristol, XR WSM, XR Chew, XR Nailsea, XR Taunton, XR Bath & other local groups.  They are all volunteers.
They chose Weston-super-Mare as it is the largest town council in North Somerset and has 11 councillors on the planning committee considering whether the airport should expand or not, and is therefore a place of considerable influence in this vitally important decision.
The anti-airport groups felt they needed to go and talk to the locals about this and to do this in a typically “Extinction Rebellion” way –  by bringing peaceful, non-violent creative spectacle of colour, sound and art.
Part of the rationale for the protest was to do outreach into an area with a different demographic. Central Weston is in the lowest 5% of neighbourhoods for deprivation in England.
The Jamboree action took place in the busiest part of the High Street shopping area where thousands of local people passed through.
The Jamboree had a hub consisting of a number of gazebos decorated with banners, flags and other XR branding. There were three large boards containing factual information about the airport’s plans, a table of flyers, pre-addressed postcards for objections and posters galore. A small team staffed this table.
Ninety-six postcards of objection were completed on the spot & many more were taken away to be completed later. Approximately three thousand leaflets giving  ‘Reasons to say No to airport expansion’ * were given out.
Beside the hub was a group offering block-printing on tee-shirts and other types of clothing.
image1.png
Banners were put on the walls. Musicians from Bayou Tapestry played short sets throughout the four hours the Jamboree was there.
image1.png
A group of campaigners called The Landing Crew took part in the protest, as the silent witnesses of the Jamboree, drawing people in by their colourful clothing & their coordinated slow movements….
The Samba Band, by contrast, led the protest in a noisy & colourful march around the central area of Weston and along the seafront. The procession was supported throughout by the XR stewards who were mindful to WSM residents and passers-by.
Throughout the action a small team of people who had co-designed a questionnaire with the assistance of a doctor in sociology & methodology, spoke to people as they passed-by to ascertain what they knew of the expansion plans & to listen to their opinions.
People seemed surprised to be approached, but in the main many people were willing to engage and give their opinions.
image1.png
Some of the highlights from the questionnaire are below:
33% did not know the airport was expanding & only 36% knew North Somerset council were the decision makers.
Shockingly this indicates that nearly two thirds of the WSM residents don’t know that it is their own local councillors (11 out of the 27) who are going to be making that decision.
They in other words have not realised that they have the power to support or object to the expansion if they so wish to.
An important part of the role of the protest was to make them aware of this. They spoke of their powerlessness over political matters that directly impact on their lives. It seemed like they had long given up trusting.
Campaigners believe this lies at the heart of the failure of our political system as it is organised today.  Here is a really important issue which is going to have repercussions on not just our immediate future but on generations to come.
Despite this, the political system has not reached out and engaged full-heartedly with people in WSM because I believe it doesn’t have the infrastructure or the will to do so.  More and better engagement is needed; one of the best ways we can do this is through Citizen’s Assemblies.
The rest of the survey results indicate strongly that the people of WSM who answered this survey would object to an extra two million passengers using the airport and the thousands of extra planes if they knew they had a voice:
90% of responders were exasperated by road congestion & agreed with the statement ‘there will be an extra 10,000 car journeys to and from the airport clogging up the roads even more’.
People on the whole felt exasperated with the airport’s claims of being a ‘carbon neutral airport’. One person said ‘they must think we are fools’.
As indicated by only 2.5% of people agreeing with the statement that ‘The Airport has no responsibility for climate warming and greenhouse gases released by the planes’.
Whilst 87.5% agreed with the statement: ‘The planes are absolutely the airport’s responsibility. Greenhouse gas emissions mean that ice is melting, sea levels are rising and we are worried about Weston super Mare flooding’.
When it came to health matters & aviation:
77.5% agreed with this statement ‘We believe the local doctors who have said in a recent letter that aviation emissions cause premature deaths and increased risk of heart and lung disease’.
People were also extremely annoyed about noise caused by the planes with 80% agreeing with the statement: ‘We say an extra 23,000 flights a year and more flights between 11.00pm and 6.00 am in the summer months will cause sleep disturbance and increase heart disease to local people’.
Respondents had lived in Weston-super-mare on average for 24 years.
Campaigners were heartened that this piece of outreach could produce results about the material planning considerations that reflect the many objections received by North Somerset Council.
It seems people wherever they live in North Somerset are concerned about road congestion, noise levels and the health of their families.
When communities speak they amplify the callousness of these planning applications.
Bristol Airport is part of a huge multi billion pound investment fund, the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Fund (OTPP) which attempts to manipulate  every aspect of our political system in order to increase their profit.
Desmog* revealed recently British political parties and individual politicians have received more than £9 million worth of donations from the aviation industry. With the former International Trade Secretary Liam Fox receiving the most. This of course is highly worrying as he is an MP in North Somerset where the airport expansion is being considered.
What environmental groups want, and what society needs, if for our towns and cities to have many local people who are involved & engaged with all decision making processes which places them, the natural world and social justice at the heart of all that we do.
The local XR groups believed the day in Weston-super-Mare was a useful piece of outreach which could be replicated outside the traditional XR heartlands. We now need Citizen Assemblies set up in every town & city council throughout the land.

Read more »

Large Greenpeace protest, Protestival, in Schiphol airport, about its rising CO2 emissions

Over the weekend, 14 and 15th December, there was a huge protest at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, called Protestival organised by Greenpeace.  Hundreds of activists gathered at the airport to demand a climate action plan for Schiphol. Protesters waved banners saying “Tax the plane, take the train” and chanted slogans of “climate justice”, while Greenpeace activists told the crowd: “Schiphol is one the biggest airports in Europe and yet they still want to expand it. That’s not normal!”  In its call for people to attend the protest, Greenpeace said on its website: “We’re in the middle of a climate crisis, but the big polluter Schiphol is being allowed to keep growing and polluting even more.” The group had been allowed to protest outside the building only, but they broke that restriction, arguing that citizens’ rights to peaceful protest should not be restricted. Dozens of police from the force that guards Dutch borders began removing the protesters one at a time, dragging or carrying those who resisted, after they refused to leave the airport building.  No flights were disrupted by the demonstration. Schiphol has no real plan to cut the CO2 emissions of planes using the airport. 
.

 

 

Military police remove climate protesters from Schiphol airport

Hundreds of demonstrators call for international hub in Amsterdam to curb emissions

Dutch military police have begun forcibly removing a group of climate protesters at Schiphol airport, in Amsterdam, after they refused to leave during a demonstration organised by Greenpeace.

Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration on Saturday calling on the international air hub to adopt a plan to curb greenhouse emissions. The group had been allowed to protest outside the building only, but they broke that restriction, arguing that citizens’ rights to peaceful protest should not be restricted.

Protesters waved banners saying “Tax the plane, take the train” and chanted slogans of “climate justice”, while Greenpeace activists told the crowd: “Schiphol is one the biggest airports in Europe and yet they still want to expand it. That’s not normal!”

Greenpeace @Greenpeace

In a peaceful protest, hundreds of activists came to the airport to demand a climate action plan for Schiphol. https://twitter.com/GreenpeaceNL/status/1205817095012978688 

Greenpeace NL@GreenpeaceNL

Vreedzame actievoerders worden nu naar buiten gebracht door de Marechaussee. Terwijl onze actie is aangekondigd en betoging een belangrijk recht is. De manifestatie buiten op het plein om 13.00 uur gaat volgens plan door. Kom ook naar @Schiphol! #Protestival

View image on Twitter

One protester reportedly chained himself to a pillar during the demonstration, which took place in the hall that leads to the arrivals and departures section of the airport.

Dozens of police from the Marechausse, the force that guards Dutch borders, began removing the protesters one at a time, dragging or carrying those who resisted.

“After multiple warnings to leave Schiphol Plaza peacefully, the Marechausse has now begun arresting Greenpeace protesters,” the force said in a statement.

A Schiphol spokesman, Hans van Kastel, said no flights had been disrupted by the demonstration.

In its call for people to attend the protest, Greenpeace said on its website: “We’re in the middle of a climate crisis, but the big polluter Schiphol is being allowed to keep growing and polluting even more.”

Schiphol, which is owned by the Dutch state, says it does have a climate plan, which includes cutting emissions on the ground by using electric vehicles.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/14/military-police-remove-climate-protesters-from-schiphol-airport

.

 


Climate activists take the stage in the heart of Schiphol Airport

14th December 2019  (From Greenpeace Netherlands)

Greenpeace regrets removal of peacefully protesting activists who demand a climate plan from Schiphol Airport

Amsterdam, December 14 –

This weekend, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 December, Schiphol Amsterdam Airport is the stage for climate action: Greenpeace organises Protestival.

Hundreds of activists come to the airport to demand a climate action plan for Schiphol. In the heart of the major polluter Schiphol Plaza, activists have hung up banners with the text: “Welcome to Protestival” and “Schiphol is flying ahead of all climate limits.”

The activists sit on the floor in a circle and sing. After more than an hour, the authorities started removing people from Schiphol Plaza, but the peaceful activists continue.


A peacefully protesting activist is being escorted by the authorities away from Schiphol Plaza. PHOTO: Marten van Dijl / Greenpeace.

“We very much regret the removal of activists by authorities. Our campaigners wanted to organize a peaceful protest at Schiphol Plaza to call this big polluter to account. We announced this demonstration well in advance at Schiphol and the mayor. The right to demonstrate is a major asset, also at an airport”, said Greenpeace campaign leader Dewi Zloch.

Demonstrations take place at several locations at the airport. A 24-hour mass-action is planned inside and outside Schiphol Airport and will continue day and night. There will be a mainstage outside in front of Schiphol Plaza with performances by Brownie Dutch, Magic Tom & Yuri, Annabel Laura and Antillectuel, among others. The event can be followed via the Greenpeace live-stream.

Greenpeace also had a surprise in store. In the morning a large banner was hung on the large advertising column next to the control tower with the text: Schiphol flies past all climate limits. Earlier thousands of people sent a text message to Schiphol to demand a climate plan. The purpose of the promotion is not to hinder travelers, but to demand a climate plan from the airport.

The municipality of Haarlemmermeer is opposed to it

The municipality of Haarlemmermeer does not want the demonstration inside in the public space of Schiphol Plaza. Greenpeace will continue with the action nonetheless. “We use our right to protest peacefully. Moreover, it is not our goal to hinder travelers.

“Schiphol Plaza is the heart of big polluter Schiphol, therefore we want to ask them at that specific location to come up with a climate plan,” Dewi Zloch, campaigner at Greenpeace. Only trained activists participate in the 24-hour mass action.

They plan to stay until Sunday. The supporting manifestation outside is accessible to everyone and is facilitated by the municipality. The manifestation starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday and around noon on Sunday.

Climate plan
The activists ask Schiphol to come up with a  climate plan. This plan means fewer flights, no Lelystad Airport, replacing short-distance flights by train, and supporting a fair price for flying. Schiphol Airport is the largest tax-free gas station in The Netherlands, and there is no tax on flight tickets either.


For more information: 

Press officer Greenpeace: 06-21296895. A whatsapp group for live-updates is available for press (in Dutch). Please contact the press officer.

Photos
Photos and videos of Protestival can be downloaded here. Use of the photos is free with reference to the photographer. Follow the Protestest live stream.

 

 

Read more »

Stansted likely to publish revised expansion plans in first half of 2020

Stansted has announced plans to submit a revised expansion proposal during the first half of 2020.  MAG’s new design proposals will replace plans launched in 2016.  The revised proposal is understood to contain plans for a new arrivals building. Under the original proposal, expansion was estimated to have been completed by next year.  A statement by the airport cited “fluctuating travel, social and economic trends” as a reason for the change in plans, and the “political landscape at a national and local level.”   The airport confirmed enabling works are still underway. The arrivals building is one of a number of developments planned at Stansted, including a 3,000 space carpark and baggage system update. Stansted plans to increase its passenger number from 35 million per year, to 43 million. But this is on hold at present, due to a legal challenge by Stop Stansted Expansion. They have evidence that the airport was planning to expand to 50 mppa and intended to do so in two stages: first, by seeking an 8 mppa uplift in the cap, to 43 mppa; and then later seeking a 7 mppa increase to 50 mppa.  A  court judgement is expected early in the new year. 
.

 

 

Stansted Airport to publish revised expansion plans

10 DEC, 2019

 BY JOSHUA STEIN  (New Civil Engineer)

The operator of London Stansted Airport has announced plans to submit a revised expansion proposal during the first half of next year.

The new design proposals by airport operator Manchester Airports Group (MAG), will replace plans launched in 2016.

The revised proposal is understood to contain plans for a new arrivals building and will be published in full during the first half of 2020.

Under the original proposal, expansion was estimated to have been completed by next year.

A statement by the airport cited “fluctuating travel, social and economic trends” as a reason for the change in plans.

“There is a large number of variables which will influence this work, not least the global and UK economic picture but also political landscape at a national and local level,” the statement read.

Construction work on the airport arrivals building is yet to start, but the airport confirmed enabling works are still underway at the site. The previous plan suggested the arrivals building would cost £130M in total.

The document stressed the new plans would ensure Stansted is “future-proof” when it is complete.

The arrivals building is one of a number of developments planned at Stansted, including a 3,000 space carpark and baggage system update. The airport told New Civil Engineer it had spent £150M developing the transport hub in 2019.

The airport expansion was set to increase the hub’s capacity from 35M to 43M customers a year, but faced a delay after Uttlesford District Council reviewed the project’s planning permission earlier this year.

The council said the airport plans, which were accepted initially, did not consider plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Stansted Airport bosses claim the airport extension will provide an additional 5,000 jobs when completed.

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/stansted-airport-to-publish-revised-expansion-plans-next-year-10-12-2019/

.


See earlier:

Stansted Airport denies plans to expand to 50 million passengers a year

Stansted Airport has denied that it is planning to expand the airport to a throughput of 50 million passengers a year (mppa), well beyond the 43mppa limit applied for in its 2018 planning application, which continues to be under consideration. Local campaign, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE), says this denial came from Thomas Hill QC, representing Stansted, on 13th November in the High Court in connection with SSE’s legal challenge over the handling of the current 43 mppa application.  However, earlier SSE’s barrister, Paul Stinchcombe QC, had provided the Judge with multiple sources of evidence demonstrating that the airport was planning to expand to 50 mppa and intended to do so in two stages: first, by seeking an 8 mppa uplift in the cap, to 43 mppa; and then later seeking a 7 mppa increase to 50 mppa.  The DfT was aware of all this and knew also that the existing runway was capable of handling 50 mppa. Any airport expansion project, or combination of projects, for an increase of over 10 mppa must, by law, be dealt with at national level by the Secretary of State rather than by the Local Planning Authority – i.e. Uttlesford District Council. The verdict of the court is awaited.

Click here to view full story…

Groups write to Government asking for a moratorium on airport expansion planning applications

Representatives of groups at some of the largest UK airports have written to both the Secretaries of State for Transport, and Housing, Communities and Local Government, to request a halt to airport expansion.  The letter asks them to suspend the determination by all planning authorities of applications to increase the physical capacity of UK airports, or their approved operating caps, until there is a settled UK policy position against which such applications can be judged.  Many UK airports are seeking – or have announced their intention to seek – planning approval to increase their capacity and/or their operating caps. In aggregate it has been estimated that proposals announced by UK airports would increase the country’s airport capacity by over 70% compared to 2017.  There is no settled UK policy on aircraft noise, or  policy on aviation carbon and how the sector will, as the CCC advises,  “limit growth in demand to at most 25% above current levels by 2050”. The letter says: “Until a settled policy with set limits is established for greenhouse gas emissions and noise there should be a moratorium on all airport expansion planning applications.”

Click here to view full story…

SSE will be in the High Court from 12-14 November for a Judicial Review challenge of the decision of the Secretary of State for Transport (SST)

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) will be in the High Court from 12-14 November for a Judicial Review challenge of the decision of the Secretary of State for Transport (SST) to allow Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to determine the 2018 Stansted Airport planning application for 43 mppa.  The essence of the SSE challenge is that the application should be treated as a nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP) under the Planning Act 2008 – because it is nearly 10 million extra annual passengers – and therefore determined by the Secretary of State for Transport, rather than UDC.  Part of the challenge relates to the CO2 emissions impact of the proposed development. It is not satisfactory for the DfT to say the limiting of aviation carbon emissions is not an issue for Local Planning Authorities (LPAAs). The SST cannot just sit back and allow LPAs to sanction major airport expansion projects all over the UK, and at the same time tell them to disregard aviation CO2 emissions of these airport expansion projects.  Many airports plan expansion, and the combined carbon emissions way exceed even lax future cap targets.  SSE will be trying to pin down the SST on this key issue.

Click here to view full story…

Lower Stansted passenger numbers recently shows there is no urgency for agreement to allow expansion

After 63 consecutive months of year-on-year growth, Stansted Airport has posted a reduction in passenger numbers in each of the past three months (July, August, September).  Passenger numbers were down 0.5% in July, down 3.7% in August and down 2.7% in September, compared to a year earlier.  The overall reduction over the 3 month period was some 200,000 passengers, equivalent to a year on year decline of 2.3%.  Luton posted a 7.3% increase for three months to 31 August with 5.3 million passengers.  (Luton and other airport numbers from the CAA for September are not yet available).  One reason for the fall in numbers at Stansted is the late arrival of Boeing 737 Max planes to Ryanair. Stansted’s passenger numbers are also expected to be down in October, partly due to the collapse of Thomas Cook at the end of September.  Stansted’s cargo tonnage was down with a loss of 28,000 tonnes (11%) on a year-on-year basis, with the number of cargo aircraft using Stansted is down 6% compared to 2018. All that shows there is NO urgency to allow Stansted higher annual passenger numbers. SSE said: “At the very least, Uttlesford District Council should do nothing until we all know the outcome of SSE’s legal challenge in the High Court, which takes place from 12th-14th November.”

Click here to view full story…

Independent legal advice says the 2018 decision on Stansted Airport expansion should be reconsidered by Uttlesford Council

Stop Stansted Expansion say the 2018 Stansted Airport Planning Application should be considered entirely afresh.  That’s the verdict of leading planning barrister Paul Stinchcombe QC in an independent legal opinion prepared for Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE).  In the interests of transparency the full (25-page) legal advice is now published today and will be available online at http://stopstanstedexpansion.com/ The QC’s opinion sets out the key precedents in planning law and confirms that Uttlesford District Council (UDC) is lawfully entitled to reconsider the entire Planning Application even if there have been no material changes in circumstances or any relevant new considerations.  However, a number of new material factors which have arisen since the Application was provisionally approved last year mean there is not only an entitlement to reconsider, but an obligation to do so.  The QC’s advice explains that, provided there are good planning reasons, the new Planning Committee could quite lawfully and reasonably reach a different planning judgment from the former Committee who, by the slenderest of margins provisionally approved the Application last November.

Click here to view full story…

.

.

 

Read more »