Specific airport-related reports

For reports on Gatwick, see below

and on London City Airport, see below


 See the HACAN website for more http://hacan.org.uk/reports/

Title:  The uneconomic case for the 3rd runway

Date: November 2015

Author:  Professor Len Skerratt,  (Economics, Brunel University)

Length:   6 pages (with references)

Summary:  Professor Skerratt has assessed the claims by the Airports Commission, of huge benefits to the UK from a Heathrow runway – and found them to be very dubious indeed. He has written to members of the Cabinet, to express his concerns. Professor Len Skerratt believes the Commission has presumed unreliable indirect benefits to the UK national economy. He says there would not be an economic case for the 3rd runway without the supposed indirect benefits to the national economy. These wider economic benefits are said by the Commission to amount to some £131-£147 billion, between 0.65% and 0.75% of GDP by 2050.  However, these predictions are not believable. There are only small predicted direct benefits, which could be as low as £11.8 billion (carbon traded model) or just £1.4 billion (carbon capped at the level suggested by the CCC). As the Commission’s own expert economic advisors (Mackie and Pearce) point out these appraisals rely on assumptions which are excessively optimistic. The Commission has gone to great lengths to quantify all the uncertain benefits, particularly the wider and often intangible economic and social benefits. Yet scant attention has been given to the certain tangible and intangible costs of serious damage to health, and quality of life in the very long term, and also the productivity loss, delays and annoyance caused by ten years of construction.

Link:  The uneconomic case for the 3rd runway

Eight Factsheets by the Richmond Heathrow Campaign                         on a 3rd Heathrow runway


(1). The UK Economy: the Commission’s own figures show that Heathrow expansion would not add significantly to the UK economy or add further connectivity to the UK as a whole.  Instead it would artificially stoke overheating of the South-East at the expense of the rest of the UK.

(2). Deliverability: Heathrow expansion may require £54 million or more of funding.  State aid would be difficult to justify given the spare capacity at other airports and the prevalence at Heathrow of transfers and leisure passengers from the UK, which provide little benefit to the UK economy.

(3). Carbon: It is very likely that Heathrow airport’s growth will be constrained even more than currently predicted in the Airports Commission’s modelling by the impact of carbon emissions, rendering a third runway uneconomic.

(4). Air Quality: Given that existing airport operations already result in a breach of legal air pollution limits, it seems unlikely that a third runway could be built while remaining within the law.

(5). Noise: Heathrow expansion is likely to expose several hundred thousand Londoners to aircraft noise for the first time and the uncertainty of flight paths may blight parts of London for several years.

(6). Local Economy: The local economy will grow whether or not Heathrow expands.  Moreover, it has not yet been shown how sufficient housing could be provided to support Heathrow expansion.

(7). Surface Access: Transport for London (TfL) has calculated that an investment of up to £20 billion will be needed to support a third runway at Heathrow. The consequences of inadequate investment would be poor travelling experience on public transport and increased resort to road transport, generating more air pollution and traffic congestion.

(8). Safety: Proposals for steeper flight paths on landing and for curved approaches to reduce noise raise new safety concerns. The multi-use of a single extended runway for take-off and landing has not been tested at any airport in the world, let alone one as busy as Heathrow.

Title: Airports Commission consultation explained

Date: December 2014

Author:  HACAN

Length:   4 pages

Summary:  Short paper setting out a lot of key details about the Airports Commission consultation, with summaries comparing the three runway options (Heathrow’s north west runway, Heathrow Hub’s extended northern runway, and a runway at Gatwick.

Link:  http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Airports-Commission-Consultation-Briefing-Explained.pdf


Title: Consultation Special – guidance on how to respond to the Airports Commission consultation

Date:  December 2014

Author:  HACAN

Length:  2 pages

Summary:   Key information on the consultation, key points that those opposed to a 3rd Heathrow runway could include in their responses, and details of how to submit a response. Deadline for responses is 3rd February 2015.

Link:  http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Consultation_Special_by_HACAN_Jan_2015.pdf



Title:  Heathrow and surface transport stress

Date:  September 2013

Author:  Campaign for Better Transport

Summary: One of the most pressing, but least considered problems when proposals are made to expand Heathrow is that of surface transport to and from the airport. The Campaign for Better Transport, in a recent report, says Heathrow sits in the most congested quadrant of London. The roads around Heathrow are already full and journey times are getting longer. The Piccadilly Line, which provides most of the public transport capacity to Heathrow, is already one of the most crowded on the underground. Public transport will not have the capacity to accommodate the extra demand that Heathrow envisages from a 3rd runway – 40% more passengers by 2030 and nearly double that by 2040. An additional Heathrow runway would cause widespread transport chaos and would also have knock-on impacts on traffic between London and the south west.

Link:  Surface access – Campaign for Better Transport 


Title:  “A Summer of Noise – a snap-shot of the impact of aircraft noise on Londoners… in their own words”

Date: September 2013

Author:  HACAN

Summary:  A collection of some of the despairing emails that Hacan has received, over the summer. There are always more complaints about aircraft noise in summer than in winter, as people spend more time outside. There is also more stress caused by night flight noise, as on warm nights, people want to sleep with the windows open. The sad, despairing and angry emails show noise is a real issue for very many people, and night noise from aircraft remains a big concern. It also emerges that in very hot weather it is slightly more difficult for planes to take off (the air is a bit less dense, so the engine has to work harder) and this means that some areas get more noise. It is also clear that the cluster of complaints from particular areas may reflect the fact that some flight paths seem to be becoming more concentrated.

Link “A Summer of Noise – a snap-shot of the impact of aircraft noise on Londoners… in their own words”




Title:  “Short-Haul Flights: Still Clogging up Heathrow’s Runways”

Date:  April 2013

Author: HACAN

Length: 4 pages

Summary:   Out of the top 10 destinations from Heathrow, based on the number of flights, only one, New York, is long haul. The rest are European or British destinations.  Around 75% of flights from the UK are short haul, with about 25% of flights from Heathrow short haul. About 45% of all European flights are over distances of less than 500km.  At Heathrow there are far fewer flights now to Paris and Brussels than there were in 2006, due to Eurostar.  Flights to Brussels have decreased from 30 flights a day in 2006 to 19 in 2013 whilst flights to Paris have been reduced from 60 per day to 35. If Heathrow had fewer short haul flights, it could have space for more to the growth economies.

Link:  Short-Haul Flights: Still Clogging up Heathrow’s Runways




Title:  The Case against Heathrow Expansion

Date:  December 2012

Author:  HACAN Chair John Stewart

Length:  8 pages (illustrated)

Summary: This short and very readable briefing sets out the range of arguments why Heathrow does not need to be expanded: the number of people adversely affected by aircaft noise; the flawed economic case for expansion; the reality of links with the emerging economies such as China; the air pollution; and by no means least, the politics.

Link:   The case against Heathrow expansion




Title:  “Heathrow: Myths and Facts”

Date: June 2012

Author:  HACAN

Length: 4 pages

Summary:  The last few months have seen intense lobbying from the aviation industry and many of its allies in business for the debate on a 3rd runway at Heathrow to be  reopened.  This briefing examines the questions being asked.

Link:   Heathrow Expansion Myths and Facts June 2012



Title: “London: Too Dirty for Business?”

Date:  January .2012

Author:   HACAN

Length: 10 pages

Summary:   ‘London has got to clean up its act if its wants remain the top business city’. Though the excellent transport links to the rest of the world make it Europe’s premier business city, London fares less well on other issues which influence businesses in deciding where to locate. The annual survey by Cushman & Wakefield in 2011 “London is still ranked – by some distance from its closest competitors – as the leading city in which to do business.”  However London performed badly in all the surveys on the quality of life it offered, scoring particularly poorly on air pollution and traffic congestion.  HACAN says the message is clear. London has got to clean up its act if its wants remain the top city for business.

Link:  London “Too Dirty for Business”



Title: “International Air Connectivity for Business”

How well connected are UK airports to the world’s main business destinations for Business?

Date:  2011

Author:  AirportWatch (John Stewart and Wiz Baines, and funded by WWF UK)

Length:  16 pages

Summary:  The study concluded that:

1. London has better connections to the key business centres of the world than any other European city.
• All London’s airports had 1,113 departure flights in the week studied to the key business destinations compared with Paris’s 499, Frankfurt’s 443, and Amsterdam’s 282.
2. Heathrow has many more flights to the world’s key business centres than any of Europe’s airports, despite fewer transfer passengers than the other four major hub airports.
• Heathrow had 990 weekly departures to key business destinations, more than the combined total of Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt
3. There is no evidence that an increase in transfer passengers is critical in maintaining Heathrow’s outstanding connections with the world’s business centres..

 Link:  http://www.aef.org.uk/downloads/Business_Connectivity_Report_August2011.pdf



Title: “Ban on night flights at Heathrow Airport – A quick scan Social Cost Benefit Analysis”

Date: 27th January 2011
Author:  CE Delft
Length:  47 pages
Summary: The report shows that banning night flights would almost certainly give a large net economic benefit. The study looked at the economic costs and benefits using an approach called Social Cost Benefit Analysis, which places economic values on costs and benefits even where there are no financial transactions or markets involved. The biggest benefit by far in banning night flights is the economic cost of noise.   The study found that having no takeoffs or landings between 11.30pm and 6am could have a socio-economic benefit of about £860 million a year.
Link:  Ban on Night Flights at Heathrow Airport



Heathrow Noise

“Aircraft Noise: No longer a West London Problem”

Autumn 2010  by John Stewart, Hacan (booklet, 4 pages)
Also interesting debate in Parliament on Night Flights at Heathrow on 24th May 2011   and


Title:  “Grounded: A new approach to evaluating Runway 3”

 Date:  April 2010

Author:  New Economics Foundation (NEF)

Length:    57 pages

Summary:   This detailed, independent re-evaluation of the case for a third runway at Heathrow airport  finds that if community and environmental impacts were taken into account, the costs of building a third runway at Heathrow would outweigh the benefits by around £5 billion.  The study is based on Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis. NEF says that in light of their analysis and in view of the formidable targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions their conclusion is that expanding Heathrow cannot be justified’

Link:  Grounded report by NEF April 2010

and news item Heathrow Runway 3 will leave UK  £5 billion worse off – says new NEF report 


Title:   Book “Victory Against All The Odds”  

Date:     August 2010

Author:   by John Stewart, HACAN

Length:     52 pages   pdf

Summary:   The story of how the campaign to stop a third runway at Heathrow was won. “The victory was no fluke. It wasn’t a question of luck. It was the result of a clear strategy, a radical approach, daring tactics and an utter refusal by the campaigners to believe that we wouldn’t win”.

Written by the Chair of HACAN and of AirportWatch, John Stewart, the book was launched to tie in with, and mark, the celebration in Sipson of the 28th August  2010 of the victory.  It outlines how the campaign to stop expansion at Heathrow, including a 3rd runway, was won.  It tells the tale of how a group of people took on the might of the aviation industry, international business and the UK Government and won.  It outlines the strategy and the tactics used.   It’san inspiring and a very human story.   But it also contains valuable lessons for campaigners wherever they live and whatever their cause.   More …..

Link:     Victory Against All The Odds      



Take Off   –     June 2010 – from HACAN

Title:  Flight Paths Report   “Approach Noise at Heathrow: Concentrating the Problem”            

Date:       March 2010
Author:    AEF for HACAN
Length:     24 pages     2.07 MB)
Summary:     A major study – by the Aviation Environment Federation –  has been published by HACAN. It outlines practical measures which would reduce aircraft noise for countless numbers of people living under the Heathrow arrivals flight paths.  The study was commissioned in response to the increasing number of complaints about
Heathrow noise from people living many miles away from the airport and who used
not to be affected. The report has identified the reasons these areas are now
affected and  suggests remedies.
Link:         Press release
Easterly arrivals map   and     Westerly arrivals map    (each 2.4 MB)
Report:   Flight Paths Report “Approach Noise at Heathrow: Concentrating the Problem”   

London Assembly report  “Flights of Fancy”  

January 2010
showing that noise and air pollution controls on a 3rd runway would be inadequate
“Flights of Fancy”

FoE Heathrow Announcement –

“Why the Government must say NO  to expansion”

Friends of the Earth briefing.   (5 pages, pdf).   January 2009.


Heathrow’s broken promises on Heathrow

The history of BAA’s broken promises on Heathrow

Friends of the Earth briefing (5 pages, pdf).   January 2009.  and updates since 2009 at https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?page_id=4407#brokenpromises



The growth in transfer and transit passengers at Heathrow between 1992 and 2004.
 Report by HACAN    (2005)  A transfer passenger is a passenger who flies into Heathrow in one aircraft and departs in a second aircraft without breaking his or her journey.
A transit passenger is a passenger who flies into and departs from Heathrow in the same aircraft, which stops at Heathrow to pick up additional passengers and/or cargo; and/or
to re-fuel.   Between 1992 and 2004, transfer and transit passengers at Heathrow increased from 9% to 35% of the total.

Title:   Heathrow.  “Flaws Galore”

Date:       February 2008

Author:      AirportWatch Aviation Economics Group

Length:     6 pages

Summary:   This paper has identified over  20 serious flaws in the Government’s economic case for expanding Heathrow  airport.   It assesses the assumptions on future oil price, taxes on aviation, the economic benefit of transfer passengers and the real value to business. The paper’s findings support the findings of the major
report published recently from the independent Dutch consultants CE Delft.
To coincide with the end of the consultation on Heathrow expansion HACAN published a new paper, by the AirportWatch Aviation Economics Group, which attacks the Government’s economic case for expanding the airport.   (26.2.2008)   More …..

Link:     Flaws Galore        

Title:     CE Delft Report on Heathrow economics – “The Economics of Heathrow Expansion”

Date:         February 2008

Author:      CE Delft
Length:     111 pages       882 KB
Summary:   CE Delft’s report undermines the economic case for expansion at Heathrow.   It challenges Government claims that its current proposals to expand Heathrow will benefit the economy to the tune of £5 billion. It argues the Government’s figures are based on flawed research which over-estimates the importance of aviation to the economy.
Link:         The Economics of Heathrow Expansion
Read the CE Delft press release and key points summary and One page summary


Title:   The submission from the World Development Movement on the Heathrow consultation

 Date:   February 2008

Author:     WDM
Length:     19 pages
Summary:     The global challenge of climate change should form part of the scope of the consultation for adding capacity at Heathrow.   WDM’s response to the consultation therefore focuses on the implications of extra capacity at Heathrow for tackling climate change.
Link:   Adding capacity at Heathrow airport – WDM response



Title:   Friends of the Earth Briefing  –  “Heathrow expansion  – its true costs”

Date:       January 2008

Author:     Friends of the Earth
Length:   10 pages
Summary:   The Heathrow consultation presents the economic case as a given.   However, the economic case is flimsy in the extreme. This briefing presents five main arguments why it should not be accepted.   In summary, the consultation misleads the public as to the benefit of extra capacity at Heathrow.   Under more realistic assumptions, Heathrow expansion does not provide net economic benefits.   Valuing climate change properly means expansion has net economic costs.   The prime justification for expansion does not stack up.
Link:       Heathrow expansion – its true costs


“Fallible Forecasts”  

– a critique of the 2007 air passenger forecasts.   A report by AirportWatch’s Aviation Economics Group.   The new forecasts produced by the Department for Transport are shown to be unreliable.  They depend on a series of questionable assumptions.        “Fallible Forecasts”     goes through forecasts for air traffic, for climate change damage and for the forecast net economic benefits of new runways at Heathrow and Stansted, and finds serious deficiencies in the Government’s  arguments.   (March 2008)

Title:   Heathrow. “Emissions Impossible”

Date:      February 2006

Author:   Aviation Environment Federation  (AEF)
Summary:     An assessment of the noise and air pollution problems at Heathrow airport and the measures proposed to tackle them.   Noise and air pollution pose severe environmental and public health problems at Heathrow and in the surrounding area.  Nonetheless, the Government and the aviation industry wish to expand the airport, first by switching to ‘mixed mode’ operations (that is, ending the practice of
runway alternation), and then by the addition of a third runway.
Link:        Emissions Impossible report – on Heathrow

Heathrow: 2000 years of History

Second Edition    by Philip Sherwood

at £14.99, paperback.   (Sept 2009)

The book recalls the earliest recorded human activity in the area over 2000 years
ago. The author shows how the landscape of farmhouses, cottages, fields and gardens
in this quiet corner of Middlesex was obliterated by the airport’s expansion.
Hangars, runways, roads, hotels, warehouses and terminal buildings now cover the
countryside, and this continuous development has had a lasting effect on the lives
of the local people. Again the history of Heathrow is being drawn sharply back
into focus with the further proposed growth and new terminal.  From the first flight to the fifth terminal – the history of Britain’s most controversial airport.
Available from all good bookshops, Amazon.co.uk,
or phone the distributor (Marston Book Services) 01235 465577 for direct sales.


“Gatwick Grounded: why a second runway will never fly”

Date: September 2015

Author:  GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)
Length:  Short, glossy
Summary:  The booklet sets out the case against a second runway at Gatwick. The main facts are:   A Gatwick runway would provide only small economic benefit; there would be in-migration of population; it would worsen the north-south divide; it would cause urbanisation of countryside; the plane noise would be three times as bad as now; there would be road and rail chaos; and it would cause severe environmental damage.
Link:  http://www.gacc.org.uk/resources/Gatwick%20Grounded.pdf

Gatwick Key Runway Facts

Date:   January 2015
Author:   GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)
Length:   2 pages
Summary:   Short summary of the key points about why there should not be a 2nd Gatwick runway.  References are to paragraphs in the GACC brief  Gatwick Unwrapped  which contains a full explanation and the original sources. (See below)

RUNWAY FACTS – Gatwick Unwrapped


Gatwick Unwrapped

Date: January 2015

Author: GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Length: 17 pages

Summary:  GACC has written a thorough analysis of the Airports Commission papers on a Gatwick 2nd runway.  “Gatwick Unwrapped” is a carefully argued and fully referenced paper, setting out why the glossy promotion of Gatwick’s runway plans – at substantial cost – by the airport, is not all it seems.  GACC has looked at a range of issues, including the numbers of jobs to be created; the available work force within the area; transport problems for road and rail; numbers of houses required …… and so on. GACC wants everyone to respond to the current consultation (closing date 3 February) by saying ‘No’ to a new Gatwick runway. Gatwick Unwrapped provides facts and figures to help people respond. 

Details including how to respond to the Airports Commission consultation  here

Link:   Gatwick Unwrapped 

Title:  Surface access to London Gatwick Airport: present problems and future nightmares

Date:   October 2014

Author: Jeremy Early – for GACC

Length: 4 pages

Summary:  Non-transfer passengers travelling to an airport to take a flight do not magically materialise at the check-in desk.  They are obliged to use another form of transport to arrive, be it car, taxi, coach, bus, train or bicycle. Similarly when they leave.   The vast majority of those flying from Gatwick Airport are non-transfer passengers and in 2012, the latest year with details reported by the airport, they totalled 31.5 million, or 88%. The bulk of them used road vehicles to access Gatwick – 39.7% by car, 14.5% by taxi and 7.9% by bus or coach. Rail was used by 35.8%. There is already congestion for road and rail traffic, with  just one runway. The paper looks at the figures and what might happen with a new runway.

Link:  Surface access to London Gatwick Airport


Title:  Gatwick Fact File

Date:    April 2014 

Author:  GACC (Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign)

Length:  8 pages  – easy reading, illustrated.

Summary:  Information that people need to know about a proposed new runway at Gatwick, but which is not available from the airport and it PR.  Details of how  people will be affected by noise, flight paths, urbanisation, the scale of building proposed, impacts of local services, road and rail congestion. Also economics. And what people can do.

Link:  Gatwick Fact File April 2014



Title:   “Tangled Wings”   

Date:  December 2012

Author:   Brendon Sewill

Length:   Short book

Summary:  “Tangled Wings” tells the story of Gatwick from its opening in 1936 to the present day, as seen from the nearby village of Charlwood. The author, Brendon Sewill, has lived in Charlwood all his life and has held key posts at the centre of government, at the centre of the banking industry (when it was respectable) and at the centre of several national environmental bodies. He brings this experience to bear on the relationship between a small but historic village and an ever-expanding brash noisy airport. Part autobiography, part village history, part an account of the tangled development of British airports, makes this full size book an easy read. And there are plenty of fascinating illustrations. With the press full of speculation about where a new runway or a new airport should be built, “Tangled Wings” is a valuable contribution to the national debate. £10 + £3 p+p

More information:   Link     

Available online  Order Form   or at bookshops.


Title:   “A  Critique of The Gatwick Airport Climate Change”

Date:   August 2009

Author:   Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign   (GACC)

Length:     5 pages

Summary:   BAA Gatwick produced a report on the carbon emissions from the airport, in
August.     GACC has commented on its deficiencies.

Link:   The BAA report is     Gatwick Airport, Climate   Change Report

  and the GACC critique is GACC Critique of Gatwick Climate Change Report    



   and GACC’s earlier report:

Title:   “Gatwick destroying climate change targets”

Date:       June 2007

Author:   Gatwick Area Consernvation Committee

Length:     14 pages   314 KB

Summary:    A study of the emissions caused by aircraft using Gatwick Airport –     by GACCGatwick handles 17% of UK passengers. The distance flown by planes from Gatwick is probably about equal to the national average – less than from Heathrow but more than from other airports. That would indicate that aircraft from Gatwick
on their outward journeys emit about 6.5 Mt of CO2.

Link:         Gatwick wrecking climate targets  


Title:   “The Two Faces of BAA”

Date:     February 2006

Author:   AirportWatch

Length:     25 pages  1397 KB

Summary:     The  report was a devastating indictment of BAA, revealing the harsh reality behind the responsible and green image that BAA tries to cultivate.     BAA is planning new runways at Stansted, Heathrow, Edinburgh and possibly Gatwick and Glasgow, as well as an increase in flights at Southampton and Aberdeen, where, last year,  it introduced night flights.   The report compares the image BAA tries to present at each of its seven UK airports with the actual effect its expansion plans will have on the residents and the local environment, as well as BAA’s close links with Government.

Link:         The Two Faces of BAA




London City Airport


Title:  “Royal Docks revival – Replacing London City Airport” 

Author:    NEF  (New Economics Foundation

Date:   April 2014

Length:   47 pages

Summary:    London City Airport occupies a large and valuable strip of land at the heart of London.  Does it make sense to locate an airport in such precious space?  What if we reclaimed this historic site and built a new neighbourhood, incorporating the best thinking about sustainable urban design? Set in a prime location, London City Airport carries a very high opportunity  cost in the traditional economic sense, but also in a social and environmental  sense. It contributes to London’s poor air quality, carbon emissions and  community blight in surrounding Newham (already one of London’s most deprived boroughs), and causes noise pollution across much of east and south-east London. Generating relatively few jobs for locals, its benefits are felt almost exclusively by wealthy business people travelling to and from Canary Wharf and the City of London.

Now is the perfect time to think about alternatives. Crossrail, due to be operational within five years, will dramatically cut journey times between east and central London and London-area airports, allowing City workers to access Heathrow in just 30 minutes. At the same time, the current review of aviation capacity in the south-east should give us a chance to radically rethink the management of UK aviation.

Link:    “Royal Docks revival – Replacing London City Airport”                                           London City Airport NEF report April 2014