The Government has named the first eight Freeport locations around the UK – areas where it will be possible to carry out trade under different customs rules. East Midlands is the only airport chosen so far. There will be 10 Freeports in total, with the last 2 announced later. Several other airports also applied for Freeport status (including Heathrow and Gatwick). Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the 8 locations in his Budget (3rd March). The East Midlands facility will be based around the airport and Gateway Industrial Cluster (EMAGIC) in North West Leicestershire, Uniper’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station site in Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands Intermodal Park (EMIP) in South Derbyshire. Sunak will be hoping the Freeports create jobs and aid the “recovery”. The areas will get a numb er of special allowances, including full relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase of land or property within Freeport tax sites, and full Business Rates relief once designated. However, it is likely that jobs will merely transfer into the Freeport areas from elsewhere, rather than be a total addition. There are also concerns about Freeports being used for various criminal and fraudulent activities – as has happened in the past. . Tweet
East Midlands Freeport given green light for take-off
March 03 2021 By Sam Metcalf (The Business Desk)
The Government has named the first eight Freeport locations around the UK – areas where it will be possible to carry out trade under different customs rules.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his Budget on Wednesday afternoon that Freeports will be established in Thames (including London Gateway Port and the Port of Tilbury), Liverpool City Region, Solent, East Midlands, Freeport East (Felixstowe and Harwich), Humber and Teeside.
The East Midlands Freeport will be unique inland facility based around East Midlands Airport and Gateway Industrial Cluster (EMAGIC) in North West Leicestershire, Uniper’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station site in Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands Intermodal Park (EMIP) in South Derbyshire.
Sunak described the areas as “taking a unique approach” to doing business as he gave a strong message of recovery, with measures to extend support to businesses and individuals well beyond the scheduled loosening of restrictions that Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out last month.
Businesses located in the freeport sites will benefit from: an enhanced 10% rate of Structures and Buildings Allowance for constructing or renovating non-residential structures and buildings; an enhanced capital allowance of 100% for companies investing in plant and machinery for use in Freeport tax sites in Great Britain, once designated; full relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase of land or property within Freeport tax sites in England, once designated; and full Business Rates relief in Freeport tax sites in England, once designated.
Neil Berry, tax partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, said: “It’ll be fascinating to see what gets wrapped around the Freeport at East Midlands Airport, as they will certainly make it easier for businesses to trade with each other, so we’ll wait to see who can really benefit from this move.”
Jay Boyce, partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, added: “The Chancellor has presented Freeports as an chance to grasp the opportunities that Brexit will bring. The reality will be found in the detail, but they certainly give businesses an opportunity to grow out of recession.”
TheBusinessDesk.com’s landmark Invest Midlands all-day conference in May will feature a dedicated session on Freeports with high profile speakers.
Sir John Peace, chairman of the Midlands Engine, said: “I am delighted that the Chancellor’s Budget Statement recognises the huge potential for economic growth represented by Humber Ports and East Midlands Airport by announcing that they will become the locations for two of the eight new Freeports in the UK.
“Taken together, both Freeports within the Midlands Engine will be transformational catalysts for widespread changes and a key component of levelling up the Midlands. They will play a crucial role in driving up economic potential, rapidly accelerating existing initiatives, tackling skills and productivity gaps, increasing investment and delivering long term growth in our region.
“Most significantly, the Freeports of Humber Ports and East Midlands Airport will further enhance the central role of the Midlands Engine as a global gateway for the UK – building on our position as a proven powerhouse of international trade.
“The focus on green growth measures is also welcome, as the Midlands continues to play a central role in driving the new Green Industrial Revolution, and I am delighted too, with the Towns Fund announcements. Success here reflects the considerable work led by partners and recognises the importance of our regions’ towns, their hinterlands, and the critical role they play in levelling up every part of the Midlands Engine.”
• East Midlands Airport Freeport will create a regional hub for trade, innovation and commerce.
P 62 2.113 Freeports in England – East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe & Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth and South Devon, Solent, Teesside and Thames have been successful in the Freeports bidding process for England. Subject to agreeing their governance arrangements and successfully completing their business cases, these Freeports will begin operations from late 2021. The Freeports will contain areas where businesses will benefit from more generous tax reliefs, customs benefits and wider government support, bringing investment, trade and jobs to regenerate regions across the country that need it most.
EU clamps down on free ports over crime and terrorism links
Moves comes as Britain launches consultation on creation of up to 10 of the zones
By Daniel Boffey in Brussels (Guardian)
Mon 10 Feb 2020
Brussels is clamping down on 82 free ports or free zones after identifying that their special tariff and duty status has aided the financing of terrorism, money laundering and organised crime.
A set of new rules was introduced by the European commission just weeks before the launch on Monday of a UK government consultation on the creation of up to 10 free ports in post-Brexit Britain.
Authorities across the EU have been obliged since 10 January to take extra measures to identify and report suspicious activities at the ports and zones as a result of the “high incidence of corruption, tax evasion, criminal activity”.
The plans for all eight freeports announced in Rishi Sunak’s Spring Budget
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed the locations of the new Freeports in England
The Chancellor has announced the location of eight regional freeports in the Spring Budget after a bidding process that began earlier this year.
He confirmed that Freeports will be located at East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe and Harwich, the Humber region, the Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.
Mr Sunak said the freeports will have “simpler planning”, “cheaper customs – with favourable tariffs, VAT or duties”, and lower taxes – with “tax breaks to encourage construction, private investment and job creation”
The plan is to create 10 zones around the country to benefit from import and export tax reliefs with the aim of helping create jobs, growth, and innovation. There were 30 in the bidding process including some of the biggest names in the UK ports sector such as Dover, Southampton, Port of Tyne, Bristol and Milford Haven.
A further announcement on the remaining two ports is expected later in the year.
Here’s what’s planned for each Freeport:
East Midlands Airport
Business leaders and politicians say creating a low-tax freeport around East Midlands Airport in central England could support 60,000 new jobs.
Supporters of the scheme on the border of Leicestershire/Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire submitted their formal bid in February.
It would take in the Leicestershire airport which has seen unprecedented levels of commercial business during lockdown with new demand for pure cargo flights making up for much of the business lost from passenger travel.
Meanwhile surrounding warehouse and business parks such as the vast new Segro Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway, with its own rail freight terminal, have benefited from their proximity to the airport and the M1 and from being within a couple of hours drive of a huge chunk of the UK population.
The regional scheme could also take in energy company Uniper’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station plans in Nottinghamshire, and the East Midlands Intermodal Park (EMIP) in South Derbyshire.
Sectors that could benefit might include advanced manufacturing, automotive and logistics, including big employers such as Rolls-Royce, Toyota, and Bombardier.
Heathrow, Gatwick and East Midlands apply for UK Freeport status
February 10, 2021
Heathrow, Gatwick, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports have applied to the government for Freeport status. The period for applications closed on 5th February. There are 33 applicants, and the government is expected to announce 10 – for all the UK – by “the spring” (ie. probably by June). The scheme comes following Brexit and as the government looks to create new trade links. Freeports are sites where normal tax and customs rules do not apply. They can be airports or maritime ports, and can be made up of a consortium of both as long as all sites are within a similar geographic location. Companies using Freeports will be able to import goods without paying tariffs, process them into a final good and then either pay a tariff on goods sold into the domestic market, or export the final goods without paying UK tariffs. Areas given Freeport status will also benefit from a wide package of tax reliefs, including on purchasing land, constructing or renovating buildings, investing in new plant and machinery assets and on Employer National Insurance Contributions. There were 7 freeports between 1984 and 2012 (eg. Liverpool and Southampton ports), after which UK legislation changed and their use was not renewed.
The Portuguese aviation regulator ANAC (the National Civil Aviation Authority) has announced its ‘complete rejection’ of the request by airport operator, ANA, for a preliminary feasibility assessment to build ‘the future Montijo airport’, as a second Lisbon airport, south of the city. This has been a project vociferously opposed by environmentalists, engineers, civic groups and town councils for being ‘the worst possible plan’ for many reasons. The opposition of Moita and Seixal town councils swung the day. ANA had failed due to lack of ‘fundamental elements, namely the support of all municipal councils potentially affected by the airport’. For such a project, municipalities have to be in favour of it. As such, under the terms of the law there is no legal foundation for the plan to be granted. Opponents say “the fact that projects that have the direct consequence of an increase in GHG emissions continue to be drawn up shows that the Portuguese Government’s commitments to combat the climate crisis are, at the very least, insufficient. This is, therefore, a victory in a greater fight to reduce aviation and emissions in this sector.”
Aviation regulator ANAC has announced its ‘complete rejection’ of the request for prior viability assessment to build ‘the future Montijo airport’, south of Lisbon.
This has been a project vociferously decried by environmentalists, engineers, civic groups and town councils for being ‘the worst possible plan’ for a litany of reasons.
But it was the opposition of Moita and Seixal town councils that swung the day
ANAC concedes it had “no choice”.
Say reports, the request by ANA, the company that runs Portugal’s airports, failed due to lack of ‘fundamental elements, namely the favourable opinions of all municipal councils potentially affected by the airport’
As such, under the terms of the law there is no legal foundation for the plan to be granted.
This conundrum was flagged last year (click here) – and the PS Socialist government set about trying to either ‘change municipalities minds’, or change the law. It failed.
Says ANAC, as the regulatory authority it is thus “obliged to reject the request outright, in compliance with the principle of legality and the mandatory command of the legislator contained in the aforementioned legal disposition, meaning there is no room for technical appraisal of the merit of the project”.
This is ‘breaking news’ on Tuesday lunchtime, thus ‘reactions’ from all those who have railed against this hugely bombastic plan for so many years has yet to come.
There is already a small airport at Montijo, just south east of Lisbon. See link
Plans for new Lisbon airport opposed by local authorities, and the Dutch (for harm to national bird, the godwit)
March 2, 2020
There are plans to construct a new airport for Lisbon (Portugal) as the existing airport – Humberto Delgado Airport – is considered by the authorities to be full. Plans have been considered for many years, but a new airport at existing Montijo military air base, near Lisbon, got approval on 8th January 2019 when the government signed an agreement with ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal (the country’s airports manager). The Montijos site is on the Tagus estuary, a nature reserve where the godwits, a threatened species, stop off on their way from Africa to the Netherlands. There is now considerable opposition from the Netherlands, where the godwit is seen as the national bird. The planned airport would devastate the areas where godwits feed, and many birds would be culled if the airport was built, for air passenger safety. There is now political controversy about the airport, as in Portuguese law, if local councils oppose a development, it is not permitted. The government wants to over-rule this ability, as various councils led by various political parties are blocking government plans. Due to costs, TAP Air Portugal, has firmly stated it would not move to the new airport.
The government has suffered a new body blow in its determination to press ahead – against the advice and opinions of engineers, scientists, conservationists and civic groups – for a second airport south of Lisbon at Montijo.
The bid to garner support from minority parties to actually change the law in order to ‘stay with the programme’ has bitten the dust.
Left wing parties that more usually support PS power-makers have categorically refused to be reeled in – saying there are no good reasons for choosing Montijo other than to satisfy ‘big business’, in this case French company VINCI which purchased Portugal’s airports, says Left Bloc coordinator Catarina Martins, “at a bargain basement price and now wants to make as much money as possible”.
Attempts to appeal to the largest party in opposition, the centre-right PSD, have been equally stymied – with the party’s vice-chairman putting the boot in yesterday, accusing the government of “incompetence and irresponsibility”.
The truth is that this latest obstacle in starting construction on a 1.3 billion euro project designed to take the pressure off Lisbon’s creaking inner city airport are two Communist-led councils (Moita and Seixal) which, by law, have the power to ‘veto’ the plan even if it is supported by the government and given the green-light by licensing authorities.
Infrastructures minister Pedro Nuno Santos told parliament last week that the situation was ‘absolutely incomprehensible’ and that “obviously” the law impeding the government’s wishes (and, in his mind, the country’s opportunity for development) would have to be changed.
This was always an over-simplistic view: bearing in mind the weight of informed opinion against the project.
Climate research has already shown the site will be liable to flooding; civil engineers have outlined some of the major structural drawbacks (including a runway that is too short to safely accommodate larger planes), conservationists have highlighted the danger of bird-strike, the damage the airport would cause a thriving birding wetland and the devastation it would wreak on a fragile ecosystem, while studies into the effects on public health have acknowledged the very damaging toll a busy airport would bring local communities (click here).
Yet PS Socialists, up till now, have insisted there is no Plan B.
Again, this has been over-simplistic. There are plenty of Plan B’s – it’s just a matter of which would be best.
Pedro Nuno Santos admitted in January that it was not so much a question of ‘no other options’, but ‘no more time or money’ to explore them (click here).
Now, all the bluster has to be put in a box and somehow the government will have to move forwards.
Expresso yesterday carried an opinion piece by none other than former prime minister José Sócrates (currently facing prosecution for corruption on an allegedly enormous scale), recommending the option of Alcochete (a former military shooting ground).
Alcochete has been the choice of numerous ‘experts’, as has the military base of Alverca (click here).
Airline companies have long bewailed the delay in starting construction at Montijo – but with the global panic over coronavirus now impacting the sector, those ‘wails’ may abate somewhat as a next step is decided.
Controversy over the choice of Montijo airbase for a second Lisbon passenger terminal has moved to a new level. ANA airports authority – desperate to get the environmental ‘okay’ to get started – has come up with a plan to save birds from colliding with planes by buying or renting alternative nesting grounds “far from flightpaths”.
The proposal to provide 260 species of migratory birds a choice of eight nearby saltmarshes has been described as “perfectly normal” by environment minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes – the man pilloried for declaring that asbestos was “not a dangerous material”, and who continues to insist that lithium mining is “essential for the country to meet decarbonisation targets”.
But it has been met with amazement by members of the public who have left comments online to the effect of “once the alternative saltmarshes are purchased or rented, the government will send emails to all the birds registered with SEF (the border control agency) and tell them they have to move house … pathetic!”
Experts too have been left shaking their heads.
Said Domingos Leitão, executive director of SPEA (the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds), with habitual diplomacy, “this looks like being a false compensatory measure” even from a legal perspective.
Leitão explained that the various saltmarshes ‘identified’ to take fleeing avians are already protected. In other words, they can’t be used as compensatory measures, even if a solution was found on how to inform birds that they need to ‘vamoose’ as a collision with passenger jets arriving at the rate of 38 per hour might just ruffle feathers (of all concerned).
SPEA’s viewpoint is that “something new is needed to compensate for a damage” – but what it could be is somehow still left hanging.
For critics who have said all along that Montijo is the worst possible place for a new terminal to take the pressure of Lisbon’s heaving Humberto Delgado complex, this is just another example of institutional lunacy.
Civil engineers have already trashed the plan on the basis that it is a short-term sticking plaster carrying enormous environmental costs for local communities.
As for the birds, ANA airports authority has admitted that roughly 250 hectares that today represent an official sanctuary will be “significantly affected”.
Meantime, the second environmental impact study (the first having been rejected on the basis that it was “confused, generic and full of deficiencies”) is still under public discussion.
That in itself is ‘curious’ – bearing in mind it should have been ready in March.
All in all, the Montijo controversy looks set to stagger on until the elections are safely out of the way, at which point someone in power might agree that the military airbase constructed in the 50s and since surrounded by residential development is not the best place for a 21st century passenger terminal playing its part in bringing 50 million tourists to Portugal every year.
Online commentary certainly seems to hope so.
Said one reader, reacting to the saltmarsh buy-up plan: “This airport is an accident waiting to happen. The question is not if, but when there is a serious collision with birds …”
Study highlights health risks posed by jet planes
Released (almost quietly) during this controversy has been a report that concludes that people who “work, live or spend any form of prolonged period of time” near Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado airport “are exposed to high concentrations of ultrafine particles of such magnitude that constitutes a considerable risk to their health”.
Problems that could be precipitated by particles “so fine that they are 700 times less dense than a strand of hair” range from “neurological disorders to fetal development and cognitive problems in children”.
Explains lead investigator Margarida Lopes, who developed the study within the Sciences Technology and Environmental Engineering Faculty of the New University of Lisbon, the findings are ‘worrying’ – particularly as the short-term future suggests jet planes will now be arriving at two high-density residential destinations within close proximity to each other – Montijo being a relative stone’s throw ‘as the crow flies’ (excuse the pun) from Lisbon.
These ‘nanoparticles’ don’t stay put either. They float about within a radius of at least one km, and they’re found on airplane descent paths in areas like Amoreiras.
Lopes stressed that “until a few years ago, no one even suspected that particles so minuscule could have such a large impact on health”. Their measurement – and recognition of their prejudicial effects on public health – is “recent” and there is a “growing preoccupation, due to their direct absorption by the body, through the respiratory system”.
Nanoscience is very new, concludes TSF radio, and while it’s now clear that these particles affect people’s health, there is still no law setting limits on levels of exposure.
The ominous feeling behind Lopes’ study is that so little about it has been discussed in the media.
TSF carried an oblique comment from environmental NGO Quercus about the “need to transition to less polluting fuels”, but the bottom-line is that until this happens, and if Montijo does become a new passenger hub, hundreds of thousands of people will be at risk.
Portugal could beat records for tourism in 2019 despite airport deficiencies
Despite the perceived “brake on tourist growth” posed by the deficiencies of Lisbon Airport, President of Tourism Luís Araújo believes 2019 could be another record-breaking year.
Talking to Jornal Económico, Araújo said tourist numbers were up 6% in June (with revenue up 7%) and figures were likely to maintain this level, if not exceed it, for July and August.
Last year’s ‘record’ was 22.8 million holidaymakers, with 2019’s headed towards 24 million, he said.
Particularly excited by the Portuguese market are the Chinese.
Visitor numbers grew in the first half of the year by 16%, representing around 200,000 holidaymakers and 300,000 ‘sleepovers’.
Other Asian markets also in ascension include Malaysia, Hong Kong and even Vietnam.
Aircraft at Glasgow airport fly over some districts at little more than 400ft and yet Glasgow Airport, whose attitude towards its disadvantaged communities has been notoriously bad, refuses to provide them with proper sound insulation – which is all they have been asking for. Now an MSP, Gil Paterson, has done a survey of the noise nuisance suffered. This shows a considerable % of those polled were “moderately, badly or severely” affected by the noise, both daytime and night. There are well established negative impacts of noise on health. Gil has written to the Scottish Government, asking for help for those suffering so much aircraft noise. He says: “Before the pandemic I was engaged with Glasgow Airport, West Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Government putting together a noise insulation package for residents in the 63 dB area, but things have been very slow to materialise and to be honest the 63 dB contour area is much too narrow to resolve the impact of noise on human health.” …”Whilst I accept that air transport powers are limited to the Scottish Parliament as part of our Government’s commitment to eradicating inequalities and our anti-poverty policies, we must use all the levers available to resolve this appalling situation being experienced by my constituents who live under the flight path.” . Tweet
From GIL PATERSON MSP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Clydebank and Milngavie constituency SUITE 1-6 TITAN ENTERPRISE BUSINESS CEN. 1 AURORA AVENUE CLYDEBANK G81 1BF
To Michael Matheson MSP Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity The Scottish Government St. Andrew’s House Regent Road Edinburgh EH1 3DG
Aircraft Noise Mitigation at Glasgow Airport
I have been working for 13 years to try to find a solution to the problems created by aircraft noise at Glasgow Airport which impacts severely on some of the most disadvantaged and deprived communities in Scotland.
As a result of the downturn in aircraft activity caused by coronavirus restrictions, I took the opportunity as part of the UK Government’s Night Flights Consultation to survey constituent communities previously affected to establish in a comparative way how less flights improved noise pollution in their homes.
No real surprise with fewer planes there was less disruption reducing the number of those badly or severely affected by aircraft noise from 31% before the coronavirus pandemic to 9% during the restrictions.
Before the pandemic I was engaged with Glasgow Airport, West Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Government putting together a noise insulation package for residents in the 63 dB area, but things have been very slow to materialise and to be honest the 63 dB contour area is much too narrow to resolve the impact of noise on human health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines outline that noise in excess of 45 dBs during the day and 40 dBs at night will damage people’s health and that level of ill health for communities in Clydebank has been demonstrated in the SIMD statistics where early death and prolonged periods of ill health are amongst the worst in Scotland.
Whilst I accept that air transport powers are limited to the Scottish Parliament as part of our Government’s commitment to eradicating inequalities and our anti-poverty policies, we must use all the levers available to resolve this appalling situation being experienced by my constituents who live under the flight path.
Interestingly, almost every other airport in the UK has had an insulation or compensation scheme in place for years and a few ban night-flights yet we seem to be caught in some kind of paralysis.
Can the various department in the Scottish Government please get round the table and address this issue which affects a relatively small proportion of Scotland’s population, but it does affect them extremely severely. With the numbers involved this will not be an expensive problem to resolve.
If you require any further information, I am more than happy to discuss the details with you.
Gil Paterson MSP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Clydebank and Milngavie (SNP)
See earlier (2019)
MSP Gil Paterson secures parliament debate on aircraft noise
26th June 2019
By Lauren Brownlie Reporter (Clydebank Post)
CLYDEBANK’s MSP secured a debate in the Scottish Parliament highlighting the health effects of aircraft noise, and the damage it does to children’s education.
Gil Paterson MSP has been a long campaigner on the issue, despite Westminster being responsible for aviation issues.
During the debate on Tuesday evening, Mr Paterson started by welcoming Whitecrook residents that were in the gallery.
He said: “ I would like to mention Tam Brady, Joe Henry, Reuben McLean and Pat Hoey who have been of great assistance to me for more than 12 years on aircraft noise issues.”
Mr Paterson has been working with the Scottish and Local Government to take preventative action by upgrading fuel poverty schemes under the flightpath, using materials that protect against both heat loss and sound penetration.
Mr Paterson pointed out that he has already proved this can be done effectively, and at a reasonable cost, when he retrofitted a house in Clydebank installing triple glazing and special loft insulation reducing noise levels from 63 decibels to 45 decibels.
The MSP also announced that a proposal will go before West Dunbartonshire Council in August to approve a pilot scheme retrofitting 12 houses for heat and sound protection.
He also spoke of the importance that when new houses are built under the flightpath, they comply with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.
He said: “The WHO say that people are damaged at levels over 45 decibels. Therefore, I believe that housing regulations for new build homes which are within this zone be required to install materials that protect to the 45 decibels level.
“The cost of installing on a virgin housing site is considerably less than having to rip out and reinstall.”
“Right now in Clydebank there are houses being built that fall within the 60 decibels zone, which if not fitted with a dual heat/sound protection products at the start would be required to do so in a few short years.
“However, I am very glad to say West Dunbartonshire Council have been very engaged and alert in this matter and there is every chance these houses will be fully protected.”
Read more: Whitecrook campaigners meet UK aviation noise commissioner
In October 2018 the WHO warned of the increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, mental health issues, metabolic problems, reduced quality of life, reduced level of well-being associated with the noise levels endured by those living under a flight path.
Mr Paterson concluded his speech during the debate by saying: “So my message from this debate is simple, you either stop night-time flights or by insulating the building you safeguard the people.”
Bristol Airport is pushing on with its expansion plans, despite withdrawing the application to the DfT to join the UK’s list of “coordinated airports”. The application, which would allow Bristol Airport to operate night flights all year round, has been withdrawn due to the pandemic-driven drop in passenger numbers. It would have given the airport complete freedom to schedule night flights across the year, with the declared intention to increase summer (summer is 7 months) night flights. Flights are currently allowed to operate between 11pm to 7am in the summer season. Allowing more flights at night would improve airline profits and “efficiency” (allegedly). And airport spokesperson said the application for coordinated status is separate from the airport’s expansion plans, and the airport will resubmit the coordinated status application when/if passenger numbers return to high levels – such as numbers in 2019. There is currently an appeal by the airport, against their rejection by North Somerset council last year. There are now 7 airports that have coordinated status, (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City, Luton, Birmingham and Manchester) and this is normally for congested airports. The airport currently has a cap of 10 million annual passengers. . Tweet
Bristol Airport is currently designated as a partially coordinated Level 3 airport, covering night time operations between the hours 23:00 – 07:00 during each IATA summer season. It is limited to 3000 in the summer season and 1000 in the winter season within any one year. Outside summer time the airport is a Level 2 facilitated airport.
Summer is generally understood as 7 months, April to September inclusive.
Bristol Airport still set on expansion despite pulling application to run night flights
2 MAR, 2021
BY CATHERINE KENNEDY (New Civil Engineer)
Bristol Airport bosses are still fully committed to expansion plans despite withdrawing the application to join the UK’s list of “coordinated airports”.
The application, which would allow Bristol Airport to operate night flights all year round, has been withdrawn due to the pandemic-driven drop in passenger numbers.
The airport is currently only allowed to operate between 11pm to 7am in the summer season.
Expanding this would allow the airport to allocate landing slots to airlines formally, and thereby increase its efficiency – but the impact of Covid-19 has led to the airport withdrawing its application.
Despite this, a spokesperson emphasised that the application for coordinated status is separate from the airport’s expansion plans and added that it will resubmit the coordinated status application once passenger numbers return to normal.
The airport’s planning appeal over expansion is still ongoing, after plans were rejected by North Somerset council last year.
“In light of the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the industry and the unprecedented temporary reduction in passenger numbers, Bristol Airport has decided to withdraw its [coordinated status] application at this time,” the spokesperson said.
“However, given that we fully expect passengers numbers to recover when travel restrictions ease, we intend to resubmit our application ahead of Bristol Airport returning to the record passenger numbers of 2019 to ensure that we can effectively manage operations at the airport into the future.”
The Department for Transport (DfT) added: “Due to the impact the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has had on the aviation industry since the original application, Bristol Airport has informed DfT that it has withdrawn its request and will resubmit as traffic levels recover.
“DfT will continue to engage with Bristol Airport on this issue.”
If granted coordinated status, Bristol would join a select club including London Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. In total, there are seven coordinated airports in the UK, with the designation reserved for congested airports.
It originally submitted its application to become coordinated in November 2019.
The spokesperson explained: “This was to give the airport greater control over timings and number of passengers by using the industry standard of greater coordination of flights.
“This is particularly important to ensure that Bristol Airport remains within its current planning permission previously granted to handle 10M passengers per year. Without this mechanism in place the airport would be unable to fully control the demand for flights and passenger numbers.”
Meanwhile last month, the employers group the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) threw its weight behind plans to expand the airport.
In a boost for Bristol Airport’s planning appeal, the CBI said that expanding the airport would be a “significant step” in the government’s “levelling up” agenda.
Bristol Airport plans to increase its capacity by 30% by 2025 were first tabled in 2018. Airport bosses want up to 12M passengers a year to use the airport by the mid-2020s and have said operational changes are needed to cope with the demand.
The proposals include a multi-storey car park and expanded baggage handling areas but plans for a new terminal have already been shelved.
Canadian teachers don’t want their pensions invested in expanding
February 22, 2021
Since 2014 the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (which has some 329,000 members) has owned Bristol airport. Now some of the Canadian teachers in the pension plan say they stand in solidarity with the thousands of residents who oppose its expansion. In an open letter, six current and former teachers in the plan said they do not want their money used in such a “financially risky and unethical way”, and they would not want a foreign investor paving over their green spaces. The ask the pension plan to instruct the airport to withdraw its appeal, and stop trying to overthrow the democratic will of the local communities. The OTPP has rejected the teachers’ claims that the airport’s expansion – refused last year by North Somerset Council – was incompatible with the council’s climate change commitments. The teachers said the pension plan had pledged to invest in “climate-friendly opportunities” and must invest with conviction and integrity. An OTPP spokesperson gave a waffly response about how the airport was intending to eventually become carbon neutral … and “net zero by 2050.” The airport’s appeal will be heard at a public inquiry in July. The deadline for comments is February 22. OTPP also owns part of London City Airport. The USS owns 10% of Heathrow.
Bristol Airport expansion: comments can be submitted on the appeal – 11th Jan to 22nd Feb
January 11, 2021
Members of the public are being urged to submit their views on the expansion of Bristol airport, to the Planning Inspectorate, ahead of public inquiry this summer. The consultation started on 11th January, and end on 22nd February. The airport appealed against a decision by North Somerset Council to reject its expansion plans which would see passenger numbers grow from 10 million to 12 million per year. The public inquiry heard by an independent planning inspector, would probably last 3-4 weeks, and is likely to start in July. Local campaigners are now getting ready to fight the appeal. They say any expansion of the airport would lead to congested roads, increased noise, loss of green belt, negative impact on the local environment from the proposed growth in flights – as well as the impact on climate change. Campaign group Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) is angry that the airport’s management has been instructed by wealthy owners, the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, to appeal the original decision made in March 2020. Bristol City Council also opposed the expansion with North Somerset Council saying it will ‘robustly defend’ the appeal.
Bristol Airport expansion plans rejected by North Somerset council by 18-7
February 11, 2020
North Somerset Council’s Planning & Regulatory Committee has gone against the advice of their own planning officers and have refused permission for Bristol Airport to expand. It has been a “David versus Goliath” battle of local campaigners against the airport, (owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan). The airport wanted to expand from 10 million to 12 million passengers per year, with large carpark and other building. The opposition to the plans was huge, on ground of carbon emissions, as well as noise and general local damage. There were almost 9,000 objections sent in by members of the public, against 2,400 in favour. Councillors voted 18-7 against the plans, with one abstention. Councillors were persuaded that paltry economic benefits to the airport and airlines were far outweighed by the environmental harm. There would be large land take for the parking, and the extra carbon emissions would make targets of carbon neutrality for the area unachievable. Because the councillors went against the officers’ recommendations, the decision will return to the same committee to be ratified. If the decision is ratified, the applicant has six months to lodge an appeal, which would be heard at a public inquiry.
The only airports with ‘co-ordinated status’ at present are the London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City and Luton), Manchester and Birmingham. Bristol Airport is currently ‘partially co-ordinated’ (for summer seasons only during 2300 – 0659 hours), limited to 3000 in the summer season and 1000 in the winter season within any one year.
An invalid application Bristol Airport should not be granted ‘coordinated airport status, allowing permission to operate flights all hours in all seasons, for the following reasons: .1 The Airport application is based on the assumption that the current capacity level has been increased by its recent planning application to North Somerset . In fact, the application was refused (10 February, ratified 18th March 2020). So current capacity remains at 10 mppa not 12 mppa as proposed . The consultation is therefore based on a false assumption and is invalid. .2 The consultation document recognises that ‘the Bristol Airport night restrictions are fixed in the planning condition. Therefore, there is no mechanism to change or remove the restrictions except by a new planning permission.’  The airport is already partially coordinated in the summer months to maximise night-time flights so the only way to become fully coordinated is to remove the condition set under the planning consent of 2011. .3 It is not possible to verify the Airport’s fleet projections. Only the airlines have the power to deliver quieter aircraft . In fact quieter aircraft should be used to reduce existing levels of night noise and not as an excuse to increase night flights. .4 It is likely that Bristol Airport will appeal the planning decision within the next 6 months which will result in a public inquiry, where these issues would be discussed in detail. Any decision in advance of an appeal is premature.
The adverse impact of increased night flights on local communities Local communities are oppressed by current night flights and increased night flights within the summer months or any other period within the year will further harm the health and well-being of local communities. This impact is supported by the body of scientific evidence showing health problems stemming from sleep disturbance and deprivation .
The impact of the international events Even before the Corvid-19 pandemic there were strong socio-economic grounds for challenging Bristol Airport’s claim of congestion. At present it still has around 15% potential for growth before reaching the existing cap of 10 million passengers per annum. The rapid growth in public awareness of the global climate emergency are likely to lead to a diminution of demand, together with the unpredictable consequences of Brexit. National and international protocols, agreements and legislation in the pipeline are also likely to discourage demand-led growth in aviation, particularly from tourist travel. 85% of Bristol Airport’s passenger traffic is leisure-based.
Now the Corvid-19 pandemic has created circumstances in which the Airport is highly unlikely to reach capacity levels in 2021 or even in the foreseeable future. As one small indicator, the Airport has just recognised that the newly-completed administration buildings are a white elephant and put these onto the (non-existent) market for letting. This possibly contravenes the bounds of permitted development under which the building was constructed.
Conclusion On planning and wider socio-economic grounds there can be no case for granting Bristol Airport co-ordinated status.
Notes Based on original research and comment by HB, with thanks. (1) As concluded by the Mott MacDonald Report, ‘Demand and Capacity Assessment Report 2019’. (2) 18/P/5118/OUT submitted to North Somerset Council. It’s also worth noting that the consultation for the Airport’s Noise Action Plan was held in 2018, before the Airport submitted its planning application to North Somerset Council in December 2018. (3) under application 09/P/1020/OT2 (4) https://www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/environment/capacity-assessment (5) Suggested in the airport application 18/P/5118/OUT and the MMR, which states ‘Aircraft operating at Bristol Airport are expected to get quieter in coming years with the introduction of new types such as the A320neo and B737Max’. (6) See for example, comment from the World Health Organisation recognise noise as an ‘underestimated threat’ that has significant Public Health effects. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/noise/data-and-statistics
No 3rd Runway Coalition campaigners say Heathrow should accept what is now financial reality and give up on its plans for a 3rd runway. Heathrow made a £2bn loss in 2020, and is asking for more government finance in the form of extending the furlough scheme – and also full relief from business rates. Heathrow’s financial frailty is obvious; it has net debt of £15.2bn as of September 2020. It is now so highly geared with debt, that it has reached a leverage ratio of 97% — higher than any comparable UK infrastructure or utility operation. In June last year the ratings agency, Standards & Poor’s, put Heathrow on “credit watch with negative implications” — a 2nd credit downgrade in just 2 months. Then Heathrow sought waivers on covenants from holders of £1.1 billion of bonds. Any further downgrade would render these bonds junk, making the airport an extremely unattractive asset for investment. Its shareholders have not contributed more cash. John Holland-Kaye has told staff that the publicised “£3.2bn war chest” is merely the liquidity that can be mustered when “we have drawn down all the cash and credit facilities at our disposal”. ie. more future borrowing. With its precarious finances, it is no longer appropriate for Heathrow to be pursuing a 3rd runway. . Tweet
ACCEPT REALITY AND GIVE UP ON 3RD RUNWAY
By No 3rd Runway Coalition
24 February 2021
Heathrow Airport should accept what is now reality and give up on its plans to expand the airport by building a third runway, according to campaigners.
The Airport reported £2bn losses in 2020 on Wednesday (1), with a renewed request for financial support from Government in the form of extending the furlough scheme and full relief from business rates (2).
Heathrow’s financial frailty is clear for all to see; the airport already carries net debt of £15.2bn as of September 2020. It is now so highly geared with debt, that it has reached a leverage ratio of 97% — higher than any comparable UK infrastructure or utility operation. In June last year the ratings agency, Standards & Poor’s, put Heathrow on “credit watch with negative implications” — a second credit downgrade in just two months. (3)
Later that month it was announced that Heathrow sought waivers on covenants from holders of £1.1 billion of bonds. Any further downgrade would render these bonds junk, making the airport an extremely unattractive asset for investment.
So far during the crisis, Heathrow’s shareholders have declined to contribute more cash to the airport despite relying on the Government furlough scheme and receiving £8m relief on business rates.
They have received over £4bn in dividends since 2012, including £100m in February 2020 when the impact the pandemic would have was just becoming clear. Yet despite these figures, Heathrow’s CEO claims that the airport “remains committed” to a 3rd runway and fancifully predicts that “expansion will proceed successfully”.
Heathrow’s CEO, John Holland-Kaye continues to speak of the business’s “current financial strength”, despite their losses. Yet, he has admitted to staff that the publicised “£3.2bn war chest” is merely the liquidity that can be mustered when “we have drawn down all the cash and credit facilities at our disposal”. (4)
So, yet more borrowing to be repaid in the future – presumably by passengers.
The Government recently stated that Heathrow expansion will be a private sector project and will receive no taxpayer funds (5).
Campaigners believe that it is no longer appropriate for Heathrow to be pursuing a third runway given its precarious financial position.
Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “Leaving aside the moral dimension – that any expansion of Heathrow Airport would require a reduction in regional aviation if the country is to meet its new carbon obligations – Heathrow’s absurd debt position, even before the pandemic, was always likely to put their third runway out of reach.
“And in acknowledging such a large loss over the last year, Heathrow should now concentrate on building back better, refocusing on their customers and away from their foreign shareholders’ pipe dream.”
Heathrow makes £2bn loss in 2020 due to the pandemic – warning on continuing to be a “going concern”
February 24, 2021
Heathrow lost £2 billion in 2020 because of the fall in passenger numbers because of the Covid pandemic. The numbers are lower than for perhaps 50 years, and the airport is issuing a warning about its future. Its pre-tax loss was £2.01bn for its full-year compared to a £546m profit in 2019. Revenues fell 62% £1.18bn, with passenger were at 22.1 million, 73% less than in 2019. This led the airport to issue a warning, that the “existence of a material uncertainty… could cast significant doubt upon the group and the company’s ability to continue as a going concern”. Nobody knows how much air travel will happen this year. Heathrow desperately wants relief on all its business rates, an extended furlough scheme for its staff, and a revival of VAT-free airport shopping for tourists to the UK. John Holland-Kaye makes his usual statements about how vital Heathrow is to Britain … Since the start of the pandemic, the airport has cut operating costs by nearly £400m, reduced capital expenditure by £700m and raised £2.5bn in funding. And it says it ended 2020 with £3.9bn of liquidity, which it says is enough to last until April 2033 even if there is no recovery in passenger numbers. Which begs the question of why it needs more government support now.
Heathrow has added a new charge on all outbound flights from April. It will charge £8.90 extra in what the airport is calling a United Kingdom Exceptional Regulatory Charge. It may only last for a year, and Heathrow says the CAA has approved it. Other major UK airports have said they will not be implementing a similar fee. Paul McGuinness, chair of the No Third Runway Coalition, criticised the airport for adding on the extra charge. “Yes, aviation has dipped during the pandemic, but it’s the shambolic financial management of Heathrow – the massive borrowing, the large dividends payments to its foreign owners and the total lack of reserves – that is forcing the airport’s management into trying, by stealth, to raise these passenger tariffs.” A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Heathrow makes absolutely zero profit from these services [sic]. The price is calculated purely to cover the cost of operating and maintaining the infrastructure that supports them.” Airlines say the reason for the increase is the amount it charges them for baggage handling, water, electricity and other services. It is possible the tiny extra charge will make some people choose another airport to fly from (but it is probably too low to do that). . Tweet
Heathrow’s new pandemic tax pushes up flight prices
28.2.2021 By Stefan Boscia (City AM)
It comes after Heathrow posted a £2bn annual loss earlier this week, with chief executive John Holland-Kaye calling it the “toughest year by far” in the airport’s 75-year history.
Heathrow Airport has added a new charge on all outbound flights in a move that will make flights more expensive.
The airport will be charging £8.90 extra to all outbound flights from April in what the airport is calling a United Kingdom Exceptional Regulatory Charge.
It comes after Heathrow posted a £2bn annual loss earlier this week, with chief executive John Holland-Kaye calling it the “toughest year by far” in the airport’s 75-year history.
The new charge, which was first reported by the Sunday Times, would increase airfares for a family of four by almost £50.
Other major UK airports have said they will not be implementing a similar fee.
Paul McGuinness, chair of the No Third Runway Coalition, criticised the airport for adding on the extra charge.
“Yes, aviation has dipped during the pandemic, but it’s the shambolic financial management of Heathrow – the massive borrowing, the large dividends payments to its foreign owners and the total lack of reserves – that is forcing the airport’s management into trying, by stealth, to raise these passenger tariffs,” he said.
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Heathrow makes absolutely zero profit from these services. The price is calculated purely to cover the cost of operating and maintaining the infrastructure that supports them.”
Heathrow passenger numbers collapsed by 73 per cent to 22.1m last year, as the coronavirus crisis forced countries to close their borders and England went into its first national lockdown.
More than half of those passengers travelled in January and February last year — before the pandemic began to make its mark on the UK. By April 2020, passengers had fallen to only three per cent of 2019 levels.
The UK’s major aviation hub is hoping for passenger numbers to increase dramatically from 17 May when the government has said international travel could resume.
However, the exact details around the resumption of air travel will only be known after the government’s travel taskforce deliberates on what Covid measures will need to be taken by airports and airlines.
The EU collectively agreed earlier this week that people will need to have proof of having the Covid vaccine to travel to the continent.
Heathrow may be able to persuade the CAA to let it get back some money, in higher charges, due to huge Covid losses
February 7, 2021
The Civil Aviation Authority has been considering whether to allow Heathrow to increase its airport charges, in order to recoup the £2.8 billion that it says it had lost due to Covid (a few months ago). The CAA had rejected Heathrow’s revised request to hike charges by £2.8bn, labelling it “disproportionate”. But it now concedes that there has been “a further material deterioration in the outlook for the aviation industry” – due to further Covid travel restrictions – since it launched a consultation on the rises in October 2020. CAA director Paul Smith said: “In these exceptional circumstances we are persuaded that there are real issues we need to address to protect Heathrow’s consumers. However, in our view Heathrow’s proposals are not in the best interests of consumers.” Heathrow has been threatening legal action against the CAA. The airport already has over £15bn of debts. The CAA has added two new options, for the H7 period, which starts on 1 January 2022, and will consult on them until 5th March. They are: Package 1 No intervention before H7, but consider interventions at H7 and Package 2 Targeted intervention now and consider further intervention at H7. The largest airline at Heathrow, IAG, has always opposed the CAA allowing higher charges.
CAA likely to prevent Heathrow increasing its airport charges to cover Covid losses of £1.7bn
October 10, 2020
Heathrow wanted to increase charges to compensate for the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. But its regulators, the CAA, have rejected its request to increase airport charges by £1.7bn to Covid losses. The CAA said Heathrow’s demands were not “proportionate”. Heathrow operates under a regulatory mechanism that allows it to increase airport charges based on the costs it incurs, but this has to be agreed by the CAA. Separately, Heathrow is waiting on a final decision from the CAA on whether it can recharge airlines £500m for costs it has built up, prematurely, in (unwise)preparation for the building of a 3rd runway – even before all legal and planning hurdles were overcome. Heathrow said revenue losses in 2020 and 2021 would be more than £2.2bn – ie. the £1.7billion + the £500 million. The CAA now has a consultation (ends 5th Nov) on Heathrow’s request for RAB adjustment. IAG, said “Heathrow is a wealthy, privately owned company which should seek funds from its shareholders as many other businesses in our industry have done to weather this pandemic. We look forward to participating in the CAA’s consultation process.”
Two experts from New Zealand have written about the future of low carbon air travel. Aviation is a problem for NZ due to its geographic position. But the experts say “the global 1.5C target allows no room for fossil fuelled commercial aviation by 2050. So the public, the aviation and tourism industries, and the government must turn their attention to first capping and then reducing emissions.” They consider the only viable option for air travel is fuels made from surplus electricity. NZ has plentiful wind and sun (most countries do not have as much) to make this potentially possible – though huge amounts of electricity would be needed, competing with other increasing uses. The other key tool is to greatly increase the cost of carbon. This is currently around $ NZ 39 per tonne CO2, and the Air New Zealand offset price is just $23. The price needs to rise to at least $ NZ 140/tCO2 by 2030. Even that would have little impact on air travel demand. The NZ Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) recommends a distance-based departure charge like the UK’s APD. They say hopes of electric planes, or hydrogen, “will not arrive fast enough nor scale up quickly enough, and mainly serve to delay action now.” . Tweet
Sustainable aviation fuel is the only way forward if we want to keep flying
By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan – Australia and New Zealand
The targets envisioned by the Paris Agreement leave no room for fossil fuelled commercial aviation by 2050
Aviation is an important part of the global economy; until Covid-19, it was responsible for 2.8% of global CO2 emissions. In New Zealand, aviation is responsible for an even higher percentage of CO2 emissions, the figure having doubled since 1990 to 13% in 2018. The country’s geographic isolation, transport system, international tourist industry, and globally dispersed families have all contributed to the jump in growth and will make reducing emissions a challenge.
But New Zealand has signed up to net zero emissions by 2050 and enacted the Zero Carbon Act, which aims to implement policies that will limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5C, in line with the Paris Agreement.
The 1.5C target allows no room for fossil fuelled commercial aviation by 2050. So the public, the aviation and tourism industries, and the government must turn their attention to first capping and then reducing emissions.
The CCC’s main recommendations affecting aviation are to develop low-carbon fuels (to form 1.5% of all liquid fuel use by 2035) and to increase the price on carbon to at least $NZ140/tCO2 by 2030, up from a spot price of around $39 in late February (compared to the Air New Zealand offset price of $23).
It has also drafted carbon budgets that allow room for international aviation and shipping to be included in the net zero 2050 targets.
The PCE has grappled more directly with the issue, making aviation emissions a key focus. The report recommends a distance-based departure charge of NZ$25 to Australia, and NZ$155 to the US or UK, closely modelled on the UK’s Air Passenger Duty (currently £80 or NZ$152). The revenue would be used to develop low-carbon fuels and to fund climate change work in the Pacific. This would also serve as a role model for other countries willing to take more ambitious action.
All these moves would add up to a significant first step. Unfortunately, it would still be a small step. The suggested carbon price would add NZ$6 to an Auckland–Wellington flight, which currently sell for for anything between NZ$25 and NZ$279. Analysis commissioned by the PCE demonstrates that the proposed departure charge would have a very limited effect on demand.
What should we do next? Flying has to reduce.
A recent report (many academics, lead author Prof Julian Allwood) on a zero-emission future for the UK envisions a complete end to commercial aviation in the next few decades, arguing (see link ) that prospective “breakthrough” technologies like hydrogen and electric planes will not arrive fast enough nor scale up quickly enough, and mainly serve to delay action now.
Work on alternative domestic travel options, including a low-emission, high-quality national public transport network, needs to start immediately. Notably, Covid has reduced flying by 80%, and, while a major crisis for the sector that no one wanted, the impact on New Zealand tourism and on the economy as a whole has not been nearly as bad as first feared.
A study by one of us (Paul Callister) together with industrial chemist Wallace Rae considered a range of options if we want to keep flying . We concluded that sustainable aviation fuel, produced by a “Power to Fuel” process, was the only realistic path. Electricity, water, and CO2 are used to create jet fuel that can be used in existing planes.
But Ian Mason, a renewable energy engineer at the University of Canterbury, found that it would need at least an extra 28,000 GWh per year of electricity, two-thirds of the entire current supply, and at a time when many other sectors of the economy are seeking to electrify.
There is already one Power-to-Fuel plant under construction in Norway (Norsk E-fuel, fuelled by hydropower) and much larger ones are proposed for the Netherlands (Synkero) and Chile (Haru Oni, to be fuelled by the plentiful wind around the Straits of Magellan).
New Zealand, which has ample supplies of wind and sun, also has experience in producing synthetic fuels: the Motunui synthetic petrol plant was commissioned in 1987, the first of its kind in the world. And the country is already extracting CO2 from the Kapuni gas field, although rather than putting it to use to make sustainable fuel it is currently releasing it into the atmosphere.
The Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is a rare institution. The commissioner, Simon Upton, has wide powers to investigate any matter related to the environment; the catch is that nobody has to take heed of the commissioner. Nevertheless, through a process of broad-ranging enquiry and clear communication, the office has become widely trusted, and some of its reports have proved to be turning points. The timing of this report could not be better. The government should respond decisively and ensure that aviation plays its part in the end of fossil fuels.
Dr Paul Callister is a senior associate at the Institute of Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, whose current research centres on climate change policy and sustainable transport.
Robert McLachlan is a distinguished professor in applied mathematics at Massey University, New Zealand, and is a leader in the field of geometric numerical integration
Prof Julian Allwood: The only way to hit net zero by 2050 is to stop flying
February 8, 2021
The UK aviation industry this week pledged to bring its net carbon emissions down to zero by 2050 while growing by 70%, which is probably a lot of hype – to which they cannot yet be held accountable. But Professor Julian Allwood, an engineer from Cambridge University, argues that not only is it impossible and unrealistic for aviation to have zero carbon emissions, the only solution is to have a period with almost no flying at all. He says: “Let’s stop placing impossible hopes on breakthrough technologies, and try to hit emissions targets with today’s technologies.” And “There are 3 ways to deliver net-zero aviation: invent new electric aircraft, change the fuels of existing aircraft or take the emissions out of the atmosphere.” None of which can be done, at the scale necessary, any time before 2050, if at all. Long haul large electric planes will not be feasible for decades, if ever. There will not be enough spare renewably generated electricity to produce “green” hydrogen for planes. And “there are currently no meaningful negative emissions technologies. It requires more energy to recapture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than was generated when it was released.” “Rather than hope new technology will magically rescue us” we need to “commit to halving flights within 10 years, hoping to phase them out entirely by 2050.”
The government is under growing pressure to halt a proposed expansion of Leeds Bradford airport, which critics say would wreck efforts to tackle the climate and ecological crisis and undermine the government’s credibility ahead of the COP in Glasgow in November. The expansion would allow an increase in passengers from 4 to 7 million per year by 2030. It was recently given conditional approval by Leeds city council despite widespread opposition from local MPs, councils, residents and environmental groups. Lawyers have written to Sec of State Robert Jenrick asking for the decision to be “called in.” A Leeds University climate scientist, Jefim Vogel, says the airport expansion would only benefit “relatively few people”, and would contribute towards a global climate catastrophe. The Leeds Council decision illustrated how many councillors don’t fully comprehend the severity and urgency of the global climate situation. Jefim told councillors: “If we allow the climate crisis to escalate, it will make the COVID crisis look like a bed of roses. The climate crisis stands above short-term economics. Millions of lives and livelihoods and the safety of human civilisation are at risk.” The emissions from flights using the expanded airport would dwarf those of the rest of the city. . Tweet
Government under pressure to stop Leeds Bradford airport expansion
Critics say plan would wreck efforts to tackle climate crisis and undermine UK credibility ahead of Cop26
By Matthew Taylor (The Guardian) 25 Feb 2021
The government is under growing pressure to halt a proposed expansion of Leeds Bradford airport, which critics say would wreck efforts to tackle the ecological crisis and undermine the government’s credibility ahead of a key climate conference later this year.
The expansion plans, which would support an increase in passengers from 4 to 7 million people a year by 2030, were given conditional approval by Leeds city council earlier this month despite widespread opposition from local MPs, residents and environmental groups.
Now the same lawyers who are taking on the government over a proposed new coalmine in Cumbria have written to the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, Robert Jenrick, on behalf of campaigners asking him to “call in” the decision.
“[The] expansion would commit the UK to decades of increased carbon emissions, against the Climate Change Committee’s advice,” said barrister Estelle Dehon, who is acting on behalf of the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (Galba). “As with the proposed Cumbrian coalmine, allowing this in the year we host Cop26 undermines the UK’s ambition to lead on the climate crisis.”
Dehon said the “call-in” process would allow the national and international ramifications of granting permission for both the airport to be considered.
Supporters of the project say the airport expansion would boost the local economy by hundreds of millions of pounds and support thousands of new jobs.
However, critics dispute the figures and say it would lock the region into a diminishing carbon intensive economic future. A report from the New Economics Foundation, commissioned by campaigners, found that there would be little if any economic benefit, adding that if the impact of more people holidaying abroad rather than in the UK was factored in, the expansion would actually be a drain on the economy.
Leeds Bradford is one of several airports – including Stansted, Southampton and Bristol – that are attempting to get backing for expansion proposals in the coming months.
A spokesperson for Leeds Bradford airport said the planned increase in passengers at the airport was not dependent on the expansion, but would ensure it was able to “deliver the level of passenger experience it aspires to”.
They added: “We are pleased with the support for a replacement terminal and the recognition by Leeds city council that our proposals are compliant with local, national planning policy and national aviation policy.”
Leeds city council said it had looked at all aspects of the plans, adding: “Current government policy points to these emissions being something that should be primarily tackled at a national level – and addressed through international agreements and protocols – rather than by suppressing growth at individual airports in a way that could simply export passengers to other nearby airports at a higher financial cost to them and increase surface transport emissions.”
But green groups say the government must get a grip on high carbon infrastructure schemes – being given the go-ahead by local councils – if it is to have any credibility in the fight against climate breakdown.
Ariana Densham from Greenpeace said: “From new coalmines to expanding airports, the government has a deeply concerning, but growing habit of recklessly passing the buck on the signoff of polluting mega-projects. These are local decisions that will have global consequences.”
The scheme has also been criticised by local MPs, five of whom signed a letter alongside councillors, environmental groups and climate scientists calling for the plans to be scrapped.
“Expansion would mean health damaging increases in noise, traffic and air pollution for thousands of people in our local communities,” it stated.” Above all, it would mean a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions exactly when we need to cut them to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Local Communities and Government said that because of the scale of the proposed development and its green belt location the application, if given final approval by the council, “will be referred to the secretary of state”.
However, Dehon said this did not answer campaigners’ climate concerns. “[The government’s] response has been to put off any decision about call-in, because at some future point the council is obliged to refer the green belt impact to Mr Jenrick so he can consider call-in on that basis. This delay is unjustified. And green belt referral is no guarantee that the decision will be called in.”
Climate scientist calls for legal challenge to Leeds Bradford Airport decision
A Leeds climate scientist has added to growing calls for a legal challenge against the £150m expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport, which was approved in principle by council planners this week.
By Richard Beecham (Yorkshire Evening Post) 15th February 2021
Jefim Vogel is an academic at the University of Leeds whose research covers the effects of carbon emissions on the natural world. He believes the decision made by Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel this week would only benefit “relatively few people”, and would contribute towards a global climate catastrophe.
It follows calls today from campaign group GALBA vowed to launch a legal challenge against the decision.
Mr Vogel, who was one of 23 objectors speaking at the meeting, said he would support such a move, adding: “I am very disappointed at the outcome. The debate made clear that a lot of the councillors don’t fully embrace the urgency of the situation and what it requires.
“It deflects responsibility to Westminster, and focuses on short-term economic benefits – it shows we are dealing with the big questions about what matters to us as a society. Should you prioritise people’s lives or something that will benefit relatively few.”
So what could be next for the campaigners?
“It is my understanding that it is open to legal challenge because it does not fully consider the environmental impact,” he added. “So I would definitely embrace an appeal.
“I think it is fundamentally wrong to approve it – it’s been approved for the wrong reasons and flawed analysis.
“A lot of arguments are around economic growth, and ‘if we don’t, Manchester will’. I don’t think the arguments against this have been fully put on the table.”
During the meeting, each objector against the plans was allotted only two minutes to make their case to plans panel members, such was the huge number of those wanting to speak.
Jefim told members: “If we allow the climate crisis to escalate, it will make the COVID crisis look like a bed of roses. The climate crisis stands above short-term economics. Millions of lives and livelihoods and the safety of human civilisation are at risk. That must be your number one priority today.
“With expansion, the true airport emissions would not be within the Department for Transport’s provision for LBA but would be more than double that. And they would alone exceed the maximum emissions allowance for the whole of Leeds, which would make it impossible for Leeds to meet its climate targets.”
Following an emotionally-charged eight and a half hour debate, councillors voted by nine to five in favour of the airport expansion. The decision is expected to be officially rubber-stamped at a later date once the developers make tweaks to their proposals.
GALBA has written to Sec of State, Robert Jenrick, asking that the Leeds Bradford airport application is “called in”
February 19, 2021
On 11 February, Leeds City Council (LCC) provisionally approved a planning application to expand Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA), despite the Council having declared a climate emergency in March 2019. Now anti-airport expansion campaign, the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA), has written – through their Barrister, Estelle Dehon – to Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State at DCLG, asking him to ‘call in’ the decision on LBA. If he agrees, the airport’s planning application will be dealt with at a public inquiry. GALBA believes that LBA expansion is the aviation equivalent of the Cumbria coal mine case. There are striking similarities: a local authority decision which would result in significantly increased greenhouse gas emissions and which flatly contradicts the latest advice to government from the Committee on Climate Change in the 6th Carbon Budget. One of the key reasons that Leeds councillors felt able to support airport expansion is because their planning officers told them that international aviation emissions are not a matter for local authorities to consider in the planning process. GALBA believes that is legally incorrect and reserves the option of challenging LCC in the courts. The planned expansion raises the type of issues where consideration at national level, by the Secretary of State, is required.”
Leeds City Council approves Leeds Bradford airport plans for new terminal (ie. more passengers, more carbon, more noise)
February 12, 2021
Leeds City Council has approved (subject to additional conditions still to be negotiated) Leeds Bradford Airport’s plans for a larger terminal to accommodate more passengers. This decision will entrench in the Leeds economy the growth of a carbon intensive industry. There is no certainty that the promised jobs will actually materialise, as the sector increasingly automates work. Objectors including climate scientists, transport experts and residents’ groups, warned such an expansion would help facilitate catastrophic climate change, as well as unbearable levels of noise pollution for those living close by. The application sought to demolish the existing passenger pier to accommodate a new terminal building and forecourt area. This would also include the construction of supporting infrastructure, goods yard and mechanical electrical plant. There are also plans to modify flight time controls, and to reduce the night-time flight period, with a likely increase from 5 to 17 flights between 6am and 7am. A professor of transport planning said there are inadequate contributions to road and rail infrastructure. Local group GALBA says there could still be a legal decision against the proposals.
Open Letter to Leeds City Council – MPs, Councillors, Scientists and Community Groups ask them to oppose Leeds Bradford airport expansion
February 10, 2021
An open letter has been sent to Leeds City Council (LCC) councillors, written by local opposition group GALBA & supported by 114 various groups, councils, organisations, residents’ associations and climate scientists. They ask the council to decide (on 11th February) against allowing expansion of Leeds Bradford airport, by NOT allowing the building of a new terminal. The work is designed to increase passengers from 4 million a year to 7 million by 2030. The letter says: “Expansion would mean health damaging increases in noise, traffic and air pollution for thousands of people in our local communities. Above all, it would mean a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions exactly when we need to cut them to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. Expansion would be fundamentally wrong. Leeds City Council has declared a Climate Emergency and aims to reach net zero carbon by 2030. Yet from 2030 onwards, aircraft from an expanded airport would pump out more greenhouse gases than the whole of the rest of the city. Allowing LBA to expand would immediately make the Council’s own net zero target impossible.”
Gatwick Airport made a £465.5m loss in 2020 due to Covid. While the airport remained open all of 2020, passenger numbers fell by 78% as lockdowns and travel restrictions took their toll. All its revenue streams were affected and its loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was £25.1m. The airport cut over 40% of its workforce as a result of the travel slump. The airport’s CEO Stewart Wingate wants the government to provide further financial support by extending the furlough scheme and providing full business rates relief for airports for the current financial year, not just the £8 million on offer. Gatwick said it reduced operating costs by £140m last year and deferred more than £380m from the investment originally planned for 2020 and 2021. In April 2020 it got a £300m loan from a consortium of banks, and it has had £250m under the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility. It has been granted a waiver to address breaches in Financial Covenants at 31 December, 2020. In December it had liquidity of £573m to meet cashflow, investment levels and interest payments for this year. . Tweet
This is the Gatwick press release:
Gatwick publishes 2020 annual results, with renewed optimism for international travel to return in Summer 2021 whilst maintaining its financial resilience
Despite an encouraging start to 2020 passenger numbers at Gatwick fell 78% in the year ended 31 December, 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. The airport remained open throughout the pandemic, however all revenue streams were impacted and the collapse in passenger demand led to a £465.5m loss for the twelve-month period and negative EBITDA at -£25.1m.
Decisive and swift action was taken to protect the financial strength of the business. A strategic reduction in capital expenditure resulted in the deferral of over £380m from the investment originally planned in 2020 and 2021. Operating costs were reduced by over £140m in 2020 through a variety of actions including restructuring and reducing staffing levels by over 40%, renegotiating contracts and consolidating all air traffic and passengers into one terminal.
To improve liquidity, in April 2020 Gatwick secured a £300m loan with a consortium of banks and the company has drawn £250m under the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility. The group has been granted a waiver to address breaches in Financial Covenants at 31 December, 2020. As of December 2020 Gatwick had available liquidity of £573m to meet its operating cashflows, planned investment levels and interest payments for 2021.
A priority continues to be protecting the health and wellbeing of employees and passengers with new staff COVID-19 testing measures being implemented alongside one of the UK’s first airport NHS testing sites in 2020 and walk-in and drive-through private testing facilities also being made available at Gatwick for staff and the public.
Gatwick Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said:
“It will come as no surprise that, like any other international airport, the negative impact of COVID-19 resulted in a financial loss for the business last year which sadly also saw us need to reduce our workforce by over 40%. I would like to thank all our staff, including those that have left us, for all their hard work and determination throughout these difficult times.
“Despite the immediate challenges I remain optimistic that Gatwick will recover and retain its position as one of Europe’s leading international gateways and an economic driver for the UK’s south east region. Due to our swift actions the business remains resilient and robust with our focus on ensuring we are best placed to take advantage of a return to international travel this summer.
“We are heartened by the UK Government’s COVID-19 response plan and look forward to working with the Global Travel Taskforce to develop a framework that can facilitate greater international travel as soon as possible. This will require the UK Government working with other Governments, to ease the current crippling travel restrictions and ensure a consistent, reciprocal approach for all travellers in time for this summer. Restoring passenger confidence and offering COVID-19 safe air travel while minimizing the need for cost prohibitive testing and disruptive quarantine measures is vital. Before air travel recovery begins, and in order for the industry to continue to protect as many jobs as possible, we also need the UK Government to provide further support by extending the furlough scheme for a few more months and providing business rate relief, as airports in Scotland have been afforded, for the current financial year.”
A lot of the Covid affecting the UK from late summer 2020 is thought to have come from Spain, and other holiday destinations, as holiday-makers flew back to the UK. To airports like Gatwick. See link
Coronavirus strain from Spain accounts for most UK cases – study
Gatwick crashes to £465.5m loss as passenger numbers collapse
By James Warrington (City AM)
Gatwick Airport plunged to a £465.5m loss in 2020 as global air traffic and passenger numbers collapsed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the airport remained open throughout the pandemic, passenger numbers plunged 78% as lockdowns and travel restrictions took their toll.
Gatwick said all revenue streams were impacted and posted a loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £25.1m.
The company, which is jointly owned by Vinci Airports and Global Infrastructure Partners, was forced to cut 40% of its workforce as a result of the travel slump.
Despite this, Gatwick said it had “renewed optimism” [they would say that, wouldn’t they?] for a return to international travel from May after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the country’s lockdown exit strategy this week.
“We are heartened by the UK government’s Covid-19 response plan and look forward to working with the Global Travel Taskforce to develop a framework that can facilitate greater international travel as soon as possible,” said chief executive Stewart Wingate.
“This will require the UK government working with other governments, to ease the current crippling travel restrictions and ensure a consistent, reciprocal approach for all travellers in time for this summer.”
He added: “Restoring passenger confidence and offering Covid-19 safe air travel while minimising the need for cost prohibitive testing and disruptive quarantine measures is vital.”
Wingate called for the government to provide further financial support by extending the furlough scheme and providing business rates relief for airports for the current financial year.
Gatwick said it reduced operating costs by £140m last year and deferred more than £380m from the investment originally planned for 2020 and 2021.
Norwegian Air scraps long-haul flights, ditches Gatwick base and cuts 2,000 staff in bid for survival
In April last year the airport secured a £300m loan from a consortium of banks, while the company confirmed reports it had drawn £250m under the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility.
As of December, it had available liquidity of £573m to meet cashflow, investment levels and interest payments for this year.
Gatwick increased its Government borrowing by £75m to shore up its finances during the Covid period
January 25, 2021
Gatwick has increased its Government borrowing by £75 million, trying to shore up its finances during the extended Covid travel reduction. It is thought that Gatwick has also borrowed £250 million under the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) scheme. Gatwick applied to access the CCFF in August, saying at the time it was a contingency measure and hoped not to touch the money, but now it needs the £250 million. It has 12 months to repay it. Gatwick still has the option of accessing a further £50 million under its £300million CCFF facility. The airport had a £344 million pre-tax loss for the six months to June 2020. During 2020 its number of passenger numbers fell by about 80%. It is owned by France’s VINCI Airports and $71billion fund GIP, which should be able to provide money Gatwick needs. Local community group GACC says, despite the airport’s dire financial state, it is still finding money to spend on expansion plans which will have major adverse consequences for local residents & would also fly in the face of climate change concerns.
Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport and flies a range of both short and long-haul point-to-point services. The airport is a vital piece of the UK’s national infrastructure and is also a major driver for both the regional and national economies.
In 2019, a new long-term partnership was formed with VINCI Airports who purchased a 50.01% stake in the airport. This partnership saw Gatwick Airport integrate into the network of VINCI Airports, the leading private airport operator in the world, which manages the development and operation of 45 airports located in Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, France, Japan, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Served by more than 250 airlines, VINCI Airports’ network handled 255 million passengers in 2019. Through its expertise as a comprehensive integrator, VINCI Airports develops, finances, builds and operates airports, leveraging its investment capability and know-how to optimise the management and performance of airports and carry out extensions and upgrades. In 2019, its annual revenue for managed activities amounted to €4.9 billion, for a consolidated revenue of €2.6 billion.
Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which manages the remaining 49.99% interest in Gatwick, is an independent infrastructure investor that makes equity investments in high quality infrastructure assets in the energy, transport and water/waste sectors. GIP has US$68 billion of Assets under Management. Its 41 portfolio companies operate in over 51 countries with more than 67,000 employees and generate annual revenues of circa US$51 billion.
International Airlines Group, owner of BA, has reported a record annual operating loss of €7.4bn (£6.4 billion) for 2020. Its passenger capacity last year was only a third of 2019 and in the first quarter of this year is running at only a fifth of pre-Covid levels. The loss included exceptional items relating to fuel and currency hedges, early fleet retirement and restructuring costs. The loss compares with a €2.6bn profit in 2019. IAG is trying to cut its cost base and increase the proportion of variable costs to better match market demand. IAG’s passenger revenues fell 75% from €22.4bn to €5.5bn last year but its cargo business had “helped to make long-haul passenger flights viable” during the pandemic. Cargo revenues increased by almost €200m to €1.3bn and IAG also operated more than 4,000 cargo-only flights in 2020. It is not providing guidance on its finances for 2021. Airlines do seem to understand, at last, that for acceptable Covid safety of air travel, people need to be vaccinated or have proper proof they are not able to spread the virus. IAG spent €4.1bn in cash last year – almost €80m a week (£11.4 million per day). IAG’s market value has halved to £9.6bn since the start of the pandemic. When Covid is less of a threat, low-cost carriers may emerge in stronger shape than airlines like BA. . Tweet
British Airways owner IAG hit by record €7.4bn loss
Group calls for passenger digital health passes to ‘reopen skies’ as Covid takes toll
By Mark Sweney @marksweney (Guardian) 26 Feb 2021
The owner of British Airways, International Airlines Group, has reported a record €7.4bn loss for last year, and called for the introduction of digital health passes for passengers to enable the airline industry to get back on its feet.
IAG said that passenger capacity last year was only a third of 2019 and in the first quarter of this year is running at only a fifth of pre-Covid levels. The airline group reported a total annual operating loss of €7.4bn (£6.4bn), including exceptional items relating to fuel and currency hedges, early fleet retirement and restructuring costs. It compared with a €2.6bn profit in 2019.
“Our results reflect the serious impact that Covid-19 has had on our business,” said Luis Gallego, the chief executive of IAG. “The group continues to reduce its cost base and increase the proportion of variable costs to better match market demand. We’re transforming our business to ensure we emerge in a stronger competitive position.”
IAG’s passenger revenues plunged 75% from €22.4bn to €5.5bn last year but it said its cargo business had “helped to make long-haul passenger flights viable” during the pandemic. Cargo revenues increased by almost €200m to €1.3bn and IAG also operated more than 4,000 cargo-only flights during the year.
The airline group said that because of the uncertainty over the impact of the pandemic on its business, it would not provide profit guidance for this year and called for an international plan to “reopen the skies”.
Gallego said: “The aviation industry stands with governments in putting public health at the top of the agenda. Getting people travelling again will require a clear roadmap for unwinding current restrictions when the time is right. We know there is pent-up demand for travel and people want to fly. Vaccinations are progressing well and global infections are going in the right direction. We’re calling for international common testing standards and the introduction of digital health passes to reopen our skies safely.”
IAG burned through €4.1bn in cash last year – almost €80m a week. Despite this, the company said its liquidity stood at €10.3bn, higher than at the start of the pandemic. IAG’s market value has halved to £9.6bn since the start of the pandemic.
“These results from IAG really do bring out just how painful the last year has been for the airline industry,” said Jack Winchester, an analyst at Third Bridge. “Investors have been willing to plug IAG’s finances on the assumption of an eventual recovery but when the dust settles we are likely to see that low-cost carriers like Ryanair and Wizz Air have come out of 2020 in far better shape.”
Meanwhile, Gatwick airport also slumped into the red, reporting a £526m pre-tax loss last year, compared with a £211m profit in 2019.
Gatwick said passenger numbers had slumped by 78% in 2020 as the pandemic forced the airport to reduce staff levels by 40%, renegotiate contracts and consolidate all its operations into one terminal.
“I remain optimistic that Gatwick will recover,” said Stewart Wingate, the airport’s chief executive. “Before air travel recovery begins … we also need the UK government to provide further support by extending the furlough scheme for a few more months and providing business rate relief, as airports have been afforded in Scotland, for the current financial year.”
British Airways to get a £2 billion loan, backed by UK Export Finance. It had a £300 million loan earlier
January 4, 2021
British Airways has been asking for financial help, to get it through the Covid pandemic. Now it has had a new £2 billion funding boost, through a state-backed loan. Its parent company, IAG, has secured commitments for a 5-year loan, underwritten by a syndicate of banks. It is being partially guaranteed by state-backed credit agency UK Export Finance (UKEF) and details are being finalised. The loan has covenants, including perhaps restrictions on dividend payments by the airline to IAG. The money will keep BA going until, it hopes, effective Covid vaccines during 2021 will enable air travel to resume, in high numbers. IAG said it “continues to have strong liquidity with cash and undrawn facilities of €8 billion as at November 30, excluding the UKEF facility.” But it is also looking at other sources of money. BA had previously received £300 million over a year from a Bank of England loan programme for the UK’s biggest companies. It also claimed support from the taxpayer-funded furlough scheme. IAG made a pre-tax loss of £6.2 billion pre-tax loss for the first 9 months of 2020, on revenues down 66% to £6.5 billion. BA is also cutting a quarter of its workforce – so losing 12,000 staff.
British Airways lays off up to 12,000 staff, due to likely air travel decline for years
April 28, 2020
Madrid-based IAG, the owner of British Airways, says 12,000 of BA’s total staff of 45,000, now face redundancy. The airline is trying to conserve cash to keep going. Passenger numbers are expected to halve compared to 2019. BA had already furloughed more than half (22,626) of its 45,000 workers. In a statement after the close of the Stock Exchange, IAG said: ‘In light of the impact of Covid-19 on current operations and the expectation that the recovery of passenger demand to 2019 levels will take several years, British Airways is formally notifying its trade unions about a proposed restructuring and redundancy programme. The proposals remain subject to consultation but it is likely that they will affect most of British Airways’ employees and may result in the redundancy of up to 12,000 of them.” …”There is no Government bailout standing by for BA and we cannot expect the taxpayer to offset salaries indefinitely.” News that thousands of people will lose their jobs comes weeks after the airline company’s Spanish owners axed a controversial £300million payout to shareholders earlier this month.