London City Airport’ ‘illegally’ operated over 60,000 noisy flights since 2009

16.12.2013  (campaign group, Stop City Airport Masterplan)

London City Airport has operated over 60,510 flights breaching legally binding noise limits with Newham Council since 2009 – a shocking 21.44% of all flights over the period.

There are around 70,000 flights per year at the airport – 70,502 in 2012.

Research compiled from the Airport’s own Performance reports between 2009 – 2012 shows 60,510 of the total 282,151 flights (21.44%) have operated above the very maximum noise level of 94.5 PNdB allowed at the airport.  [ link ]

One aircraft, the Avro RJ100, has operated 43,264 flights, breaching the noise factors every year since 2009, yet remains operating at the airport. Neither Newham Council, nor the Mayor of London have taken any action against the Airport.

Furthermore a Noise Monitoring and Mitigation Strategy (NOMMS) for aircraft agreed in 2009 is still not operational. [ link ]

Newham Council is currently consulting on further London City Airport expansion plans.[ link

The research is embarrassing for London City Airport’s owners Global Infrastructure Partners who are currently lobbying to get a second runway at their other airport, Gatwick. As part of their Airports Commission submission GIP Gatwick claims to have followed the usual CAA practice employing ANCON 2.3 noise modelling, whereas Heathrow used the American FAA INM model. 

In the case of London City airport, GIP are using the same modelling as Heathrow to justify its expansion, even though to the Airports Commission, they claim that approach uses theoretical assumptions for flight profiles and noise impacts whereas the CAA model deals with actual flight and noise data. [ link ]

Alan Haughton @stopcityairport said

“London City Airport and it’s hedge fund owners Global Infrastructure Partners are treating East London residents with utter contempt. These breaches are nothing short of illegal, clearly breaking the lawfully binding Section 106 agreement. Newham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich residents are all suffering from increased noise from the Airport even without these breaches – yet remain powerless.  Thousands more homes will enter the significant community annoyance threshold if the current planning application is approved”


An online copy of this Press Release will be available from 10am Monday 16/12/13 at 


The Noise Monitoring and Mitigation Strategy

IN the July 2009 section 106 agreement the Airport agreed to draw up a draft Noise Monitoring and Mitigation Strategy (NOMMS). The NOMMS is to embrace the following features along with any alternative arrangements which may be agreed with Newham Council from time to time:

  • a combined monitoring of noise and track-keeping in order to identify any deviations from the standard routes which should be followed by aircraft and to perform noise categorisation functions;
  • the provision of data for noise contour validation purposes;
  • the provision of data on ground noise;
  • provison to record noise levels produced during aircraft departures and arrivals;
  • provison to ensure appropriate access to data by Newham Council;
  • a strategy to prevent the loss of noise monitoring data collection through the failure of the noise monitoring system or because of external influences such as local construction and to ensure maintenance of the existing noise and track-keeping system;
  • a scheme to encourage airline operators to use quiet operating procedures and to observe air and ground noise abatement procedures;
  • a system of incentives and penalties for airlines which may include financial penalties (not for track-keeping infringements) as well as operational penalties in order to (a) minimise noise disturbance from aircraft using the Airport (including any aircraft overhaul facility),           (b) ensure good track-keeping by aircraft using the Airport and (c) control maximum noise levels of aircraft using the Airport;
  • arrangements to minimise noise disturbance from any aircraft overhaul facility or from aircraft at the Approved Ground Running Location or generally from any ground noise from aircraft subject always to to safe operation of aircraft;
  • regular meetings and consultation with the Airport Consultative Committee and any other statutory body nominated by the Council;
  • provision for a calculation procedure in accordance with the INM to calculate the 57 dB Contour, the 66 dB Contour and the 69 dB Contour ;
  • provision to minimise as far as practicable the impact of development outside the Airport on the integrity of the NOMMS;
  • maintenance of the existing glide slope (5.5 degrees);
  • limiting the use of Auxiliary Power Units before departure and after landing.
  • encouraging consistent with safety the minimum use of reverse thrust on landing





Read more »





Redhill Aerodrome boss ‘quietly confident’ ahead of runway appeal

October 29, 2013

By Chris Madden  (This is Surrey Today)

THE new chief executive of Redhill Aerodrome is “quietly confident” ahead of an appeal hearing into plans for a hard runway.

But Ann Bartaby, who succeeded Jon Horne as aerodrome boss in June, admits she is forming a “plan B”, should the proposals for the South Nutfield site be rejected again.

  1. PLAN B?: The fate of Redhill Aerodrome's plan for a hard runway will be decided next year

    PLAN B?: The fate of Redhill Aerodrome’s plan for a hard runway will be decided next year

Earlier this year, both Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Tandridge District Council rejected plans to replace the Kings Mill Lane aerodrome’s grass runways with one concrete one.

Now a planning inspector will review the decision at a public inquiry in January, after the aerodrome appealed.

Ms Bartaby told the Mirror: “I am quietly confident, but there are no guarantees and one can never predict with any certainty.

“I have to be cautious because there is a lot riding on this.”

She added: “I am working on a plan B [incase the appeal is rejected], which has to be looking at other ways to get more activity to the site. I don’t believe there are any other options.

“If we can’t get a hard runway the only other thing we can do is to try a range of activities to attract more businesses.”

Ms Bartaby, who is also a director of planning company Terence O’Rourke, says she has not finalised what the other activities might be.

About 340 people are currently employed at the aerodrome and she says the best hope to secure its future lies in a hard runway, which would allow flights to operate in all weathers, thereby attracting new businesses.

“We are trying to make the aerodrome able to compete in the future,” she said.

“We are being held back at the moment. We are gravely concerned that life will get increasingly difficult for us.

“We have quite high fixed costs in terms of Air Traffic Control, fire services and maintaining the site.”

Ms Bartaby was formerly director of operations and development at TAG Farnborough Airport and advised former Redhill Aerodrome chief executive Jon Horne for around four years before succeeding him.

She believes the aerodrome’s case at appeal, which will focus on jobs at the site and its potential for improved business links, is stronger than is has ever been.

“We are not going to suggest the aerodrome is a massive business hub,” she told the Mirror.

“But it is important; there’s just under 400 people working here at the moment and there is an opportunity for that to increase.”

The inquiry will be held at Redhill’s Harlequin Theatre from January 7.





Battle lines drawn in Redhill Aerodrome appeal

October 18, 2013


By Chris Madden (This is Surrey Today)

BATTLE lines are being drawn in the fight over controversial plans to build a hard runway at Redhill Aerodrome.

The proposals for the site in Kings Mill Lane, South Nutfield, were thrown out by two councils in June this year.

But, following an appeal by the site’s owners, a public inquiry into the plans will now be heard at Redhill’s Harlequin Theatre, from January 7 next year.

Last Thursday, all four major players in the inquiry submitted their initial evidence to the planning inspector – outlining the grounds of their argument for or against the development.

Protest group Keep Redhill Aerodrome Green (Krag) and Tandridge District Council both sent their papers to the Mirror.

But Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Redhill Aerodrome declined to comment on the matter.

Krag secretary Paul Murray called on politicians and residents to unite against the plans, which are the latest in a long series of proposed developments at the aerodrome.

He said: “We will ensure that we present well-researched and credible evidence to prove to the planning inspector that the proposed development is speculative, ill-conceived, unviable and opposed by the vast majority of the local community.

“We are actively encouraging local MPs Sam Gyimah and Crispin Blunt to continue their good work in opposing this application. We are also asking that the district councillors who represent the areas affected by the proposal continue to fully support their local constituents to publicly oppose this appeal, to ensure it is defeated as comprehensively as their predecessors have done over the last 20 years.”

The papers submitted to the inspector, which are available to view online, lay out the areas which the principal parties will focus on at the appeal.

If approved, the plan would allow the grass runways at the aerodrome to be replaced with a asphalt one, providing greater reliability, but a possible increase in aircraft movements.

Krag’s documents focus on the negative impact on the surrounding area, a lack of need for the development and opposition from residents.

The aerodrome’s argument claims the planning policies which formed the basis for the rejection are “out of date” and that the development is vital for the future of the business.

See the full documents on our website at www.surrey





and earlier:

Appeal lodged in battle for Redhill Aerodrome’s hard runway

Thursday, August 29, 2013 (This is Surrey Today)


It was the second time such an application has been thrown out in the past three years, but this week an appeal was lodged against the decision.

Former aerodrome chief executive Jon Horne, who stepped down for unrelated reasons shortly after the June decision, said at the time that he believed there was a strong case for appeal.

He also claimed the lack of a hard runway could put the aerodrome’s future in doubt, with the grass runways sometimes unusable in bad weather.

But campaign group Keep Redhill Aerodrome Green, which represents 900 households around the aerodrome, criticised the appeal bid.

The group’s secretary, Paul Murray, said: “This company is waging a planning application war of attrition on the local population.

“The public expense wasted in defending the local community and the environment against planning applications that are very similar to ones that have previously been rejected is appalling.”

Mr Murray questioned the assertion by aerodrome bosses that the development will create 450 new jobs in the area.

He also expressed fears the plans only have to be approved once for the battle to be lost.

Mr Murray added: “Any jobs projected by a new development need to have a chance to become real jobs, and not just fantasy jobs created with the intention to aid a duplicitous planning application.”

But new aerodrome chief executive Ann Bartaby, who replaced Mr Horne in June, said the runway is vital for the aerodrome, which could not function properly for five months last year, due to waterlogged runways.

She said: “We believe that to secure the future of the airfield we need to have the hard runway.

“The nature of aviation has changed and, in order to compete and offer full services to our customers, we need to give them greater certainty than we have at the moment. We are not claiming the aerodrome is going to change the world, but it does provide a large number of jobs, and we can provide an increase in the number of jobs.”

Appeal papers submitted to Tandridge District Council by planning company Terence O’Rourke – where Ms Bartaby is also a director – claim the council was wrong to reject the application on the grounds of conflict with green belt policy.

The papers claim provision of environmental enhancements, the economic contribution of the aerodrome and making the best use of the aerodrome’s additional capacity, represent the special circumstances required to allow development in the green belt.

A public inquiry into the appeal will be held later this year at a date to be confirmed.






Redhill Aerodrome hard runway plans rejected

June 7, 2013   Councillors have thrown out plans for a hard runway at Redhill Aerodrome because it would “scar” the landscape. The aerodrome currently only has grass runways, so cannot operate in bad weather. But the aerodrome’s owners, RAV, say they will appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. Both Tandridge and Reigate & Banstead councils decisively rejected the plans to build a 1,349m-long concrete runway . A planning officer’s report had recommended councillors reject the scheme on the grounds of inappropriate development in the green belt. The new runway would have enabled the air field to increase air traffic movements by about 72% by flying in wet weather. The applicant had “dismally failed” to argue a case of special circumstances in order to gain approval to develop green belt. Opponents said 90% of households were against the hard surfaced runway, and a local councillor agreed with many residents in saying that there was “no merit” to the application which would “spoil the rural area” if given approval.    Click here to view full story…



Important economic information on Redhill aerodrome hard runway application kept secret

March 11, 2013

Redhill Aerodrome has been trying to get a hard surfaced runway to replace its current three grass runways for many years. It submitted an application in July 2011, which was refused by Tandridge District Council (TDC) and Reigate & Banstead Council (R&B). Redhill Aerodrome then submitted a very slightly changed application in June 2012. The concrete runway would enable the aerodrome to increase flights from 60,000 to 85,000 a year including larger planes. There are problems with the application in relation to drainage and a local brook, as well as traffic impacts. But the aerodrome was asked by the councils to supply more detailed information on future activities of the aerodrome. This information is being used to back up the aerodrome’s claim for special grounds for building in the Green Belt. The aerodrome asked both councils to sign a confidentiality agreement so that the economic information supplied (eg. employment) would not be published. R&B signed the agreement, but after taking legal advice Tandridge refused to do so. Local campaigners say the application cannot be assessed without access to the financial details including employment and impact on the economy.    Click here to view full story…




Redhill Aerodrome applies yet again for a hard runway to replace 3 grass runways

Owners of Redhill airfield, RAVL, have submitted a revised application for a hard runway after their first bid failed.  They want to replace the 3 grass runways with a one concrete one, giving it potential to increase flights from 60,000 to 85,000 a year and for larger planes. Tandridge and Reigate councils turned down the original bid last year. The airfield think their new application “addressed the reasons for refusal in 2011″. As usual, they exaggerate the  number of possible jobs that might be created – alleging it will increase the 450 jobs it supports today to some 590 in future – and attract investment to the area etc.  Over 1,000 people opposed the original plans which were rejected last year, realising the plans would create an unacceptable level of noise and pollution,  breach green belt restrictions, and destroy the landscape.

31 July 2012 (BBC)


and more at  Redhill Aerodrome









Read more »



Main points:

  • The airspace coverage approach can only be accepted as an interim measure pending real progress at ICAO.
  • Otherwise the ETS must automatically snap back to cover emissions from 50% of all arriving and departing flights from 2017 (the 50/50 option).
  • Reduced scope means the emissions cap must also be reduced to restore environmental integrity.
  • 100% of aviation allowances must be auctioned; there is no argument for allowing industry to earn windfall profits from this much-reduced scheme.
  • All carriers on all routes must continue with the monitoring (MRV) requirements.







Environment: Agreement on emissions hard to reach

15.11.2013  (Financial Times)

By Jane Wild

A global agreement on limiting airline carbon emissions has been 16 years in the making but, even after a definitive step forward last month, the goal still seems far off.

After the assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation in Montreal in October, the UN agency responsible for standards in aviation hailed a breakthrough: its 191 member countries had endorsed the creation of a global measure to tackle airline emissions from 2020.

Yet that commitment – to work out a deal over the next three years – was not enough for those who said it merely deferred real action.

“We have to temper enthusiasm with a heavy dose of scepticism,” says Bill Hemmings, programme manager for aviation and shipping at Transport & Environment, a lobby group.

“All the hard questions – which mechanism, when (and indeed whether) to implement, who to exempt, how to measure and, last but not least, who pays and who receives – are still to be addressed.”

The other key resolution to come out of Montreal was controversial, in that it limited the EU’s own aviation emissions scheme, creating uncertainty over that.

Observers present at the meeting said the mood had been tense and there had been much resentment towards the scheme.

Developing countries such as China, India, Brazil and Russia, and some developed countries, including the US, argued that flights landing within the EU should not be caught by its scheme.

They say that the European plan to make airlines pay for their carbon pollution, even if the international flight originated far away, is a unilateral breach of their sovereignty.

Some have raised fears of a trade war. Last year, Airbus said that it was unable to complete orders with Chinese airlines because of Beijing’s opposition to the EU scheme.

However, despite the weakening of its scheme, the EU painted the decision positively.

Siim Kallas, EU transport commissioner, said that the agreement avoided “a damaging conflict among trading partners”.

But, in revised proposals for its scheme a few weeks later, the European Commission again caught foreign airlines within its net, prompting them to hit back.

The International Air Transport Association, the global aviation industry body that represents 240 airlines, said that it was concerned the commission was pursuing action that had the potential to undermine the goodwill that achieved a consensus in Montreal.

It has pushed for a global response to aviation emissions, to avoid distortions created by a patchwork of policies.

Achieving a global system to regulate emissions is possible, agrees WWF, the conservation group. Nevertheless, the Montreal deal was “the smallest of tiny steps forward”, says Jean Leston, WWF transport policy manager, and the progress would be problematic.

“It could be quite a difficult few years ahead, and it will depend on the goodwill of aviation industry, if we’re going to see anything emerge in a few years’ time,” she says.

The ICAO’s governing council is now working to formulate plans for a global market-based mechanism by 2016. That could take shape as an offset scheme, whereby airlines can buy permits for carbon that is offset elsewhere.

Steven Truxal, lecturer in aviation law at City University in London, says: “It’s been a long time, but there is now a global consensus, which is that something needs to be done.” The variety of backgrounds and legal frameworks of the countries coming together at the ICAO table highlighted how complex a process reaching an agreement will be, he says.

The EU had moved faster and its emissions trading scheme had “effectively given the US and others a green ultimatum, by saying ‘the global aviation sector, anyone who uses our airports, will have to play by our rules’”.

After Montreal, the EU scheme could be viewed as an interim measure before global action was achieved, he says.

But Mr Hemmings, of Transport & Environment, says the “rush to crush” Europe, supported by the US, has serious implications. “The G77 [group of developing countries], with American support, has clearly shown it has the votes in ICAO,” he says.

He warns that the balance of power could tip further towards countries that wanted to constrain the EU scheme with forthcoming changes of leadership – a new council president will take over from January and the next secretary-general will come in 2015.

“With a new Nigerian council president and the next secretary-general potentially coming from China, the chances of any ICAO outcome having a meaningful impact on aviation emissions would seem to be receding,” Mr Hemmings says.

“The whole of the ICAO negotiations remain very difficult and I think it’s going to take a complete rethink of established positions if we’re going to see anything constructive come out of it,” says Ms Leston.

Read more »

Ferrovial sells Heathrow stake to UK pension fund for £392m



Ferrovial sells Heathrow stake to UK pension fund for £392m

Spain’s Ferrovial has sold an 8.65pc stake in Heathrow to the Universities Superannuation Scheme, one of the UK’s largest pension funds.

The deal with USS is the fourth time Ferrovial has trimmed its stake in Heathrow in four years. Photo: Alamy

By , Leisure and Transport Correspondent (Telegraph)

22 Oct 2013

Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial has further reduced its stake in Heathrow after agreeing to sell 8.65pc of the airports group to UK pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, for £392m.

The deal, which values Heathrow at £4.5 billion, is the fourth time Ferrovial has trimmed its holding in the airports group in two years and reduces its stake to 25pc, down from 62pc when it bought BAA in 2006 in a £10.3 billion deal.

BAA, which changed its name to Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH) last year, has changed dramatically since the 2006 takeover, as the UK’s competition authorities have forced the company to sell off Edinburgh, Gatwick and Stansted airports. Heathrow still owns Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports.

Ferrovial will remain the largest shareholder in Heathrow following the deal with USS, which is expected to complete on Thursday.

USS will hold the seventh biggest stake behind China Investment Corporation, the sovereign wealth fund which bought 10pc of the airports operator in October 2012.

“This sale of a stake in HAH is a further part of Ferrovial’s investment diversification strategy. Following this deal, we reiterate our role in HAH as the main shareholder and industrial partner in the long term,” Mr Meirás said.

Ferrovial is selling the stake in FGP Topco, the holding company for Heathrow.

USS is the final salary pension scheme for universities and other higher education institutions in the UK. It manages around £40 billion, making it one of the largest pension schemes in the UK.

In October 2011, Ferrovial sold a 5.88 per cent stake to Alinda Capital Partners for €325m. Less than a year later, in August 2012, it struck a deal with Qatar Holdings before further reducing its holding to 33.65 pc last October through an agreement with China Investment Corporation.

The latest deal with USS comes amid a row with airlines and the UK’s airports regulator over the maximum return Heathrow’s shareholders should be allowed to generate on their investments.




Read more »

Chennai story






Chennai airport expansion project: Villagers turn to Facebook to fight for their land rights
Jul 16, 2013

CHENNAI: Inspired by thousands of Facebook pages for human rights and civil liberties, the residents of five villages near Chennai have taken to the social networking site to fight for their land rights.

The Facebook page, which appeared online a fortnight ago, is a desperate effort from hundreds of families affected by the Chennai airport expansion project, says Brindha Brighton, secretary of the United People’s Forum for Survival which fights for the rights of the affected villagers.

The page – Request to TN CM for Denotification of Houses and Lands – gives an online voice to the people living in Manapakkam, Kolapakkam, Gerugambakkam, Tharapakkam and Kovur, situated behind the Chennai international airport.

The residents of these villagers lost their lands in 2007 after the Tamil Nadu government notified about 1069.99 acres of land in the area to build a parallel runway.

The Airports Authority of India issued a letter in November 2011 to the state government informing that parallel runway plan was dropped and the earmarked land could be denotified. However, the denotification process is still pending with the state government.

Since the area continues to remain under the ‘notified’ status, residents are not able to resume construction of the incomplete layouts. It is estimated that at least 900 houses and 5,000 residents are affected.

“Many families are facing a lot of financial difficulties and paying loan for houses never constructed,” said Brindha.

“We cannot even sell, pledge or transfer the property due to the notified status of the land,” she said.

Several incomplete buildings in the area are now covered in bushes.

In May last, social activist Medha Patkar visited the area to assess the situation.

The Facebook page for “Request to TN CM for denotification of houses and lands.” is at



Brindha Brighton
Petition by
Brindha Brighton
Chennai, India

We the residents of Manapakkam, Gerugampakkam, Kolapakkam, Tharapakkam and Kovur, would like to bring the following to the attention of our Chief Minister. Vide GO No: 108 dated 19-10-2007, Government of Tamilnadu notified 1069.99 acres of land in the villages of Manapakkam,Kolapakkam, Gerugamapakkam, Tharapakkam and Kovur for the purpose of building a Parallel runway.The residents of the above villages were issued with notices under sec 3(2) of Tamil Nadu Land acquisition for Industrial Purposes Act 1997 in December 2007. Of the total 1069.99 acres, 136 acres was acquired and handed over to AAI in 2008. As suggested by ICAO, AAI dropped the parallel runway project for technical reasons and accordingly had informed TN govt. vide D.O.No.AAI/PLG/2011/2296 that it does not require the remaining land and that it can be denotified. Its been 7 years and we have no solution. Once the lands were notified in 2007, the CMDA froze all the construction and other activities in the said survey nos. The banks stopped the disbursements and insisted on repayments. Due to this the under construction houses were stopped abruptly and we had to pay loan EMI’s while residing in a rented house. Thus the financial implications has increased much beyond our capaci ty and planning. In the semi constructed house where trees have grown inside the built houses and damaged the entire building. The poor people living in Lakshmi Nager, Gerugampakkam are not able to pledge, sell their land for any emergency. At this juncture, Please join us in this campaign in requesting our Honourable Chief Minister Dr J Jayalalitha to consider our request and issue appropriate orders for de-notification. This will add meaning to our existence and life. Pls support us.

Dr J Jayalalitha, Hourable Chief Minister of Tamil NAdu
Tmt Sheela Balakrishnan IAS, Chief Secretary
[Your name]

see also
photo of article from May 2013 at https:

The Chennai airport has been beautified and the Indigo airlines took off from the new modernised terminal but there are many families whose agony and fear has not taken off….. It is not an exaggeration but many have lost their loved ones in this bargain… in many families love has taken a back seat and stress, burden misunderstanding are auto piloting the family. As middle class (the most suffering segmant) we are just putting up to the pressures of the society, where words cannot express. Thanks very much to all the empathetic hearts who are supporting us in this cause. Pls keep up the good work until we take off happily.

Chennai second runway project for airport – protestors use Facebook to make their pleas heard

DatedJuly 18, 2013

Chennai second runway project for airport – protestors use Facebook to make their pleas heard

Facebook has attained unprecedented popularity in this country. People have started believing that it is the only way they can reach out to millions from a single platform. It is also being considered as a primary means to have oneself heard by those in power.

These beliefs have made the citizens of Tamil Nadu follow the heels of those who create Facebook pages to protest against the Government running roughshod over human rights or any of the basic freedoms.

The TN citizens in this case are whining about the 1069.99 acres of land which was acquired for building a parallel runway for the Chennai airport. Out of this, 130 acres are allocated for the expansion but was eventually scrapped owing to the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

6 years have passed since that day but the acquired land has not been denotified. This has made it literally inaccessible to the rightful owners of the land. They continue to pay the debt they incurred while purchasing plots, but have no right to start with any form of construction on it.

The Facebook page which has been titled ‘Request to TN CM for Denotification of Houses and Lands’ hopes to strike a chord with those in authority after every effort in the direction seems to have failed.

Read more »

Government announced the creation of independent Aviation Connectivity Commission – the call for evidence on airport capacity, due shortly, has been cancelled


The DfT has now announced that it has asked Sir Howard Davies to chair an independent Commission tasked with identifying and recommending to Government options for maintaining this country’s status as an international hub for aviation. It says the Commission will examine the scale and timing of any requirement for additional capacity to maintain the UK’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub; and identify and evaluate how any need for additional capacity should be met in the short, medium and long term.  In doing so, the Commission, will provide an interim report to the Government no later than the end of 2013 setting out its assessment of the evidence on the nature, scale and timing of the steps needed to maintain the UK’s global hub status; and its recommendation(s) for immediate actions to improve the use of existing runway capacity in the next five years – consistent with credible long term options. The Commission will then publish by the summer of 2015 a final report, for consideration by the Government and Opposition Parties. A decision on whether to support any of the recommendations contained in the final report will be taken by the next Government.  The call for evidence has been abandoned.


Aviation  – from DfT website

Delivered by:The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP
Publisher:Department for Transport
Delivered date: 7 September 2012
Type:Written statement

The Secretary of State for Transport (Patrick McLoughlin): International connectivity is vital to support economic growth. This Government has made clear that its priority is returning this country to sustainable economic growth and our aviation networks and infrastructure have an important role to play.

The UK is an island nation dependent upon its transport links to the rest of the world for its prosperity. The aviation industry in the UK is extremely successful. It is a significant economic sector employing 220,000 directly and supporting many more indirectly and it contributes more than £16 billion of economic output. 35% of UK non-EU trade by value enters or leaves the country by aeroplane. Importantly the industry also provides this country with the global connections which our businesses need to sell their products abroad and which inward investors to the UK demand. [ AW – this 220,000 figure is disingenous – see below ]. 

The Government recognises the importance of aviation to the UK. It is taking forward the Civil Aviation Bill to reform the economic regulation of airports to further the interests of passengers and create a better environment for investment. It is implementing the recommendations of the South East Airports Taskforce, including a trial of operational freedoms at Heathrow airport to improve reliability and reduce delay. In July the Government published a draft Aviation Policy Framework (APF) for consultation; a framework which will set the high-level policy parameters within which any new proposals for airport development may be considered. The final APF will be adopted by the end of March 2013. Alongside the draft APF the Government announced a number of short term measures to deliver operational improvements and boost economic growth within existing airport capacity constraints including £500 million towards a western rail link to Heathrow, a review of the UK’s visa regime and the recruitment of 70 additional border staff at Heathrow.

Today the UK is amongst the best connected countries in the world. Our airports, particularly those in the South East, deliver direct flights to over 360 destinations, [AW – this should say 360 international destinations, as CAA data for 2011 show 400 destinations from London’s airports including domestic destinations ( – see tables 12.1 and 12.2).
 including those of greatest economic importance. London has more flights to more destinations than any other city in Europe. More flights to the important trading centres like New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The Government is determined to deliver a solution which will continue to provide that connectivity in the short, medium and longer term.

This is a very difficult debate, but the reality is that since the 1960s Britain has failed to keep pace with our international competitors in addressing long term aviation capacity and connectivity needs. Germany, France and the Netherlands have all grown their capacity more extensively than the UK over the years, and so are better equipped, now and in the future, to connect with the fast growing markets of emerging economies. The consequences are clear. Our largest airport and our only hub airport – Heathrow – is already operating at capacity. Gatwick, the world’s busiest single runway airport, will be full early in the next decade, while spare capacity at Stansted airport is forecast to run out in the early 2030s.

The Government believes that maintaining the UK’s status as a leading global aviation hub is fundamental to our long term international competitiveness. But the Government is also mindful of the need to take full account of the social, environmental and other impacts of any expansion in airport capacity.

Successive Governments have sought to develop a credible long term aviation policy to meet the international connectivity needs of the UK. In each case the policy has failed for want of trust in the process, consensus on the evidence upon which the policy was based and the difficulty of sustaining a challenging long term policy through a change of Government. The country cannot afford for this failure to continue.

The Government has asked Sir Howard Davies to chair an independent Commission tasked with identifying and recommending to Government options for maintaining this country’s status as an international hub for aviation.

The Commission will:

  • examine the scale and timing of any requirement for additional capacity to maintain the UK’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub; and
  • identify and evaluate how any need for additional capacity should be met in the short, medium and long term.

In doing so, the Commission, will provide an interim report to the Government no later than the end of 2013 setting out:

  • its assessment of the evidence on the nature, scale and timing of the steps needed to maintain the UK’s global hub status; and
  • its recommendation(s) for immediate actions to improve the use of existing runway capacity in the next five years – consistent with credible long term options.

The Commission will then publish by the summer of 2015 a final report, for consideration by the Government and Opposition Parties,containing:

  • its assessment of the options for meeting the UK’s international connectivity needs, including their economic, social and environmental impact;
  • its recommendation(s) for the optimum approach to meeting any need;
  • its recommendation(s) for ensuring that the need is met as expeditiously as practicable within the required timescale; and
  • materials to support the Government in preparing a National Policy Statement to accelerate the resolution of any future planning application(s).

A decision on whether to support any of the recommendations contained in the final report will be taken by the next Government.

The Government intends this independent Commission to be part of a process that is fair and open and that takes account of the views of passengers and residents as well as the aviation industry, business, local and devolved government and environmental groups. We would like, if possible to involve the opposition as part of our work alongside Sir Howard to finalise the arrangements for the Commission. I will provide Parliament with further details on the full membership of the Commission and the terms of reference for its work shortly. .



The 220,000 jobs claim:

The ONS data (based on the 2009 Annual Business Survey) shows 120,000 jobs in UK aviation, down from 200,000 jobs 10 years ago.  Rather than accept this, DfT has tried to muddy the waters by adding aerospace to the aviation sector.  The UK aerospace industry (manufacturing, including avionics and aero engines) employed 100,000 people in the UK in 2009 but many of these jobs were in the military rather than the civilian sector (ONS doesn’t provide that breakdown).  In any event, it’s disingenuous for DfT to include these manufacturing jobs in the UK aviation sector.  DfT hasn’t done this in the past and it seems to have changed its definition of UK aviation simply to hide the fact that there has been a 40% reduction in the number of jobs in the sector over the past 10 years. (You can check the numbers by looking at paragraphs 2.2 and 2.5 of the Draft Aviaition Policy Framework ( ) and following the footnote references provided therein.



Aviation Commission; an opportunity to be objective

Andre Farrar   (RSPB blog on the new Commission)
7 Sep 2012  ( link )

Here’s the RSPB’s reaction to the announcement of the Aviation Connectivity Commission – a topic, I have no doubt, that this blog will return to regularly.

Government has announced the creation of an independent Aviation Connectivity Commission in a ministerial statement issued today [Friday 7 September, 2012].

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s Director of Conservation, said, “An independent commission to consider options for UK airport expansion is an opportunity to defuse the political tension that has surrounded this. It is also a chance to look objectively at the facts.  We think that once the issues have been aired the commission will agree with RSPB to rule out a Thames Estuary Airport, which would be disastrous for wildlife if given the go ahead.

“We also believe a new airport would do nothing to tackle the urgent issue of aviation’s rapidly growing contribution to climate change, the biggest long-term threat to wildlife and people. If we don’t act now to limit our emissions, we’re putting our special places and species at grave risk as well people’s homes and livelihoods.

“When it comes to climate change, an essential first step is for Government to include international aviation emissions in the UK’s carbon budgets, otherwise aviation will continue to remain a special case compared to other industries. We also need a bold new vision for the UK’s wider transport strategy. Instead of thinking about aviation expansion, the Government should be investing much more in improving the UK’s surface transport network, in new technologies for efficient and electric vehicles, and in using existing airport capacity better.”





New independent commission to be set up to investigate airport growth

September 3, 2012     The Prime Minister has announced that there will be an independent airports review by a commission, on the issue of a third Heathrow runway, or a new south east airport. This is to have outside experts taking the controversial issue, rather than politicians. It is likely to have the effect of delaying any decision on Heathrow. The Chancellor has recently said: “We need more runway capacity in the southeast of England,” and looking at where it should go: “let’s examine all the options. Let’s make sure we can try and create a political consensus.” Other Conservatives want to avoid breaking a firm manifesto commitment for no 3rd runway, and do not believe it would actually help the UK’s economy. The news of the commission comes as plans emerged for a £60 billion four-runway airport to the west of Heathrow – in Oxfordshire or Berkshire. A major feasibility study has been commissioned by a secret consortium of British businesses.   Click here to view full story…




Read more »


Quotes from the two OEF reports:

1999 report by OEF

Taking these estimates together implies that total value-added by the UK aviation industry in 1998 was £9.4 billion in 1995 prices and £10.2 billion in 1998 prices. This is equivalent to 1.4% of GDP
Directly employed 180,000 people in the UK in 1998, 0.8% of the total.
“Taken together, these figures imply that the aviation industry contributed directly £2.5 billion to The Exchequer in 1998-99 (equivalent to around 1p on the basic rate of income tax)”
2006 report
The aviation industry directly contributed £11.4 billion to UK GDP in 2004 and
employed 186,000 people.
The aviation industry generated £11.4 billion value-added in 2004 – in other words, it
contributed £11.4 billion to GDP, 1.1% of the overall economy

• It directly employed 186,000 people (full-time equivalents) in 2004

On a conservative estimate, the industry contributed £3.55 billion to the Exchequer in



2.4 A 1999 aviation industry-sponsored report by Oxford Economic Forecasting
(‘OEF’) put the number of direct jobs in UK aviation at 180,000, equivalent to 1,132 jobs for every million passengers carried and, in a 2006 follow-up report, OEF updated this to 186,000 direct jobs, equivalent to 862 jobs per million passengers. This implies a remarkable 31% productivity improvement in the space of six years, albeit on the basis of the crude productivity measure of jobs per million passengers.
2.5 A third industry-sponsored report, this time by Oxford Economic Research Associates
(‘Oxera’) , published in November 2009, concluded that aviation directly provided 141,000 UK jobs in 2007. This is equivalent to 646 jobs per million passengers, which suggests an even more remarkable 75% improvement in productivity in the space of nine years.
2.6 For the UK aviation industry to achieve a 75% productivity improvement in the space of
nine years stretches credulity but it may actually be broadly correct. The period 1998-2009
coincides with rapid growth in the low cost carrier (‘LCC’) sector and one of the side effects of aggressive competition from the LCCs has been to force traditional full service airlines to address their cost base, particularly labour costs. British Airways, for example, shed 42% of its workforce between 1998/99 and 2009/10.








3 A major policy shortcoming of the 2003 ATWP was that it ignored the UK trade deficit on
international air travel. In fact the ATWP ignored outward tourism altogether but it was at pains to emphasise the benefits of inward tourism, for example:
‘Around 25 million foreign visitors a year contribute to a tourist industry that directly
supports more than two million jobs; two thirds of these visitors come by air. … The
aviation industry itself makes an important contribution to our economy. It directly
supports around 200,000 jobs, and indirectly up to three times as many. In a tough
competitive environment, UK airport operators and UK-based carriers of all types
are leaders in their fields, whose success brings significant economic benefits to this
country. An illustration of this is the fact that one fifth of all international air
passengers in the world are on flights to or from a UK airport.’

3.4 The first sentence of the above extract from the ATWP rightly highlighted the contribution
to the UK economy made by inward tourism with 25m foreign residents visiting the UK (in
2002) of whom 17m travelled by air. But the ATWP made no mention of the comparable
(2002) data for outward tourism showing 59m overseas visits by UK residents, 44m of whom travelled by air.

3.5 The final sentence of the above ATWP extract is also woefully incomplete because it
omits to point out that 72% of these international passengers were UK residents and the vast  majority were on overseas leisure trips.

The ONS reported at the time:
‘Travel expenditure by overseas residents in the UK accounts for around 16 per
cent of total exports of trade in services, while expenditure by UK residents
travelling abroad accounts for around 40 per cent of total imports. The travel
deficit has grown significantly since the late 1980s. The £13.9 billion deficit in
2002 was the highest on record, up from £13.3 billion in 2001. Exports of travel
services to overseas visitors to the UK increased by 6.8 per cent in 2002 to £14
billion while imports by UK residents travelling abroad grew by 5.6 per cent to
£27.8 billion.’

3.6 Just as surprisingly, the DfT 2011 Scoping Document makes no mention of the UK trade deficit on international air travel or of the economic impact of outward tourism.

3.7 There are those who argue that the air travel deficit in the UK Balance of Payments
Current Account is of no consequence and should be disregarded when considering aviation policy. We respectfully disagree. In the short term the trade deficit must somehow be financed and it must ultimately be addressed either by a lower Sterling exchange rate or
higher interest rates or a combination of the two. In short, there is no free lunch

Read more »

Aviation emissions no longer included in DECC carbon calculations ?

An article in the Guardian, on cuts to subsidies for UK onshore wind turbines mentions that a recent DECC report states that the amount of renewable electricity that needs to be generated in the UK by 2020 is now magically lower, due to aviation emissions now being removed from the carbon calculations.  This is news to everyone. Another recent DECC document states that:  ” International aviation and shipping emissions are not currently included in the UK’s 2050 target and carbon budget system, although international aviation is included in the EU ETS.   The Government must decide whether to include them by the end of 2012, or explain to Parliament why it has not done so. This decision will need to be considered alongside development of the UK’s sustainable aviation policy framework through 2012/13, which will also consider whether to adopt the previous administration’s 2050 aviation CO2 target”. So, has somebody jumped the gun?

The article in the Guardian below, about wind farms, ends with this paragraph:

The pledge to supply 15% of energy from renewables can be met despite building less generating capacity partly because since the last analysis, aviation emissions – which would have to be offset by renewable electricity in the short term at least because of the difficulty of finding affordable alternatives to kerosene – have been removed from the calculations.

The ENSG report also assumes 12% of heat and 10% of transport will be powered by renewables by 2020.


[The figures were published on the website of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) (pdf) in the past few weeks but not publicised] 

This DECC document says, on Page 11 :   The exclusion of energy used in the aviation sector from the overall target calculation which reduces the amount of renewable capacity required to meet the 15% target.   This would also result in a reduction in the overall renewable capacity in the scenario.   This reduction has been applied to wind generation capacity required as it is the main  source of renewable energy.   [ By 2020 ].


on page 41:

Increase in assumed nuclear generation due to potential 10-year extensions of
existing plants. Results in lower coal generation. Differences in calculating the exclusion of energy used in aviation sector from overall target calculation reduces renewable capacity required to meet 15% target. 

By contrast, shipping is not mentioned.  Normally international shipping and international aviation are mentioned together.

The Guardian article was talking only about the UK’s renewable energy target of 15%, which is separate from the CO2 targets and budgets.
The Committee on Climate Change has been fairly open about stating that its advice to Government will be to include aviation and shipping formally in the carbon budget.  But they are not due to formally set out their views on why and how until later in March or early April. It will then be for the Government to decide whether to accept their advice.
At present the CCC ‘takes account of’ aviation emissions in its budgets; in practice this means that they assume aviation emissions are capped at today’s levels, then adjust the cuts that are required in other sectors to still meet the overall target. Their advice to Government is likely be that it moves from informal to formal inclusion of aviation. It is likely that they will advise that aviation is included on the basis of its EU ETS cap (97% of average annual emissions between 2004 and 2006).  That level happens to be the same, approximately, as the 2005 level, which was the last government’s target for aviation in 2050.


 At present, the government is considering how to include aviation in UK climate totals.

A DECC report, December 2011, called “The Carbon Plan: Delivering our low carbon future” states on Page 48 :

2.81 Domestic aviation and shipping are already included in UK carbon budgets and so will need to contribute to meeting the 2050 target.   International aviation and shipping are not currently included; a decision whether to include them is due by the end of 2012.

and on Page 56:

2.109    International aviation and shipping emissions are not currently included in the UK’s 2050 target and carbon budget system, although international aviation is included in the EU ETS.   The Government must decide whether to include them by the end of 2012, or explain to Parliament why it has not done so. This decision will need to be considered alongside development of the UK’s sustainable aviation policy framework through
2012/13, which will also consider whether to adopt the previous administration’s 2050 aviation CO2 target  [of no higher aviation emissions in 2050 than in 2005. AirportWatch comment].




So the government is now trying to reduce the apparent total of UK carbon emissions by around 6 – 7 %, and thereby produce less renewable electricity, as a proportion of the total.

Sounds like deeply dodgy mathematics, and more sleight of hand with the figures, rather than any practical solution to either producing low-carbon electricity, or reducing carbon emissions.

It is akin to, instead of marking an exam out of 100%, reducing that to a maximum of 93%, so your previous mark of, say, 60% now appears to be 64%.  



Aviation emissions are about 6.5% of the UK total

The DECC figures refer to domestic aviation, which is included in UK carbon totals, while international aviation is not.

In 2010 the UK used around 150,000 million barrels of oil equivalent. The electricity consumption was  28,230 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Fuel used by air transport was 12,288 thousand tonnes oil equivalent in  2010.

(Aviation is about 6.5% of UK carbon emissions, excluding radiative forcing).


Net UK emissions were 495 million tonnes CO2 and 156 million tonnes CO2 from power stations in 2010.

In 2010 carbon emissions from international aviation were 31.5 m tonnes CO2 and 8.7 m from international shipping bunkers in 2010

The carbon emissions from civil aviation (domestic, cruise) 1.3 m tonnes CO2 and
civil aviation (domestic, landing and take off) 0.5 m tonnes CO2  = 1.8 m tonnes CO2,

(which is 6.7%). 






Windfarms axed as UK loses its taste for turbines

In the first of a three-part series, we look at the political shifts causing investors to doubt Britain’s commitment to wind

by , political correspondent

Read more »

Aircraft Noise demos from Frankfurt to Berlin Thousands of German noise opponents protest in several cities

There have been major protests at several German airports today, against aircraft noise, with whistles, drums and banners. There were about 20,000 protestors at Frankfurt protesting against noise from the new runway that opened in October. This was the largest protest at the airport since the opening . The police estimated the number of participants to 7,700, the organizers – a coalition of citizens’ groups against the airport expansion – spoke of 20,000 people. There were also demonstrations at Berlin, Leipzig, Munich and Dusseldorf.

Aircraft Noise demos from Frankfurt to Berlin

Thousands noise opponents protest in several cities,3672,8469667,00.html

(original article in German, with web based translation to English – not perfect !)

Protests at the airport in Frankfurt am Main.  Source: Reuters

Citizens to the barricades: Thousands of people have protested against aircraft noise. At Frankfurt airport, making up to 20,000 people with whistles and drums air their anger. Also demonstrations at Berlin, Leipzig, Munich and Dusseldorf.


Thousands of demonstrators gathered on Saturday in Frankfurt’s airport, in protest against the increasing noise pollution in the region. In the central departure hall of Terminal 1, they caused a deafening noise with whistles and chants. Many drummed it on buckets, cookie jars and other containers. Some wore ear muffs.  “Aircraft noise causes illness”, according to many posters.

So far, the greatest noise-protest in the terminal

It was the largest protest at the airport. The police estimated the number of participants to 7,700, the organizers – a coalition of citizens’ groups against the airport expansion – spoke of 20,000 people. There were no incidents. After a kick-off rally, the demonstrators marched to the airport building.

(there is a short video clip in German
Rhein-Main “Wutbürger” against aircraft noise (ZDF heute journal. 16/01/2012)

The protestors support a complete ban on night flights, some of the closure. The new runway opened in October.  Among the demonstrators were representatives of the protest movement and Stuttgart 21 airport and opponents from Berlin, where there was a demonstration at the same time.  At the beginning of the protests, the police blocked a portion of the terminal. The reason was an abandoned suitcase, standing beside the entrance to Hall A.  It later turned out to be harmless.

Fraport shows understanding

Since the opening of the new Runway Northwest in late October the protest against aircraft noise has become increasingly stronger. Some residents protest at Frankfurt Airport since November regularly on Monday nights against the noise.  According to civic initiatives, there are up to 5,000 participants taking part.

Fraport AG expressed understanding for the concerns of residents in the Rhine-Main area. The new runway has created new problems, or worse, admitted the CEO Stefan Schulte. “We must take the concerns and complaints of the people seriously – and we do that too.” The goal must be to find common solutions, said Schulte. Next week, wants the prime minister of Hesse, Volker Bouffier (CDU) to introduce a noise Summit plans to reduce the noise.  In the debate is above all a new and quieter approach procedure.

Hundreds of opponents of noise in Berlin

In Berlin, hundreds of aircraft noise opponents protested in the departure hall of theBerlin-Schönefeld  airport. With posters and promotions such as drums, whistles and chanting to protest against aircraft noise, which they fear from the new  Berlin Brandenburg airport when it opens.  Their demands include an absolute ban on night flights 22.00 to 06.00.  The airport is due to go  into operation in June.  Had called the Coalition for Berlin-Brandenburg (ABB).

The protests in Frankfurt and Berlin were part of a nationwide day of action against aircraft noise. At the same time there were demonstrations at airports in Leipzig, Munich and Dusseldorf.


Epidemiologist: Aircraft noise causes illness

According to the epidemiologist Eberhard Greiser, the science is now agreed that there is a causal link between noise and heart and circulatory disease.  “In other words, heart attack, stroke, heart failure and coronary heart disease,” Greiser said on Saturday in Germany Kultur.  Aircraft noise is harmful, especially at night.  For a study on the impact of aircraft noise Greiser had analyzed data from one million policyholders in the area of ​​Cologne / Bonn.,3672,8469667,00.html


Read more »


Read more »