Heathrow urged by 5 councils to end 3rd runway ‘fantasy’ – instead focus on cutting CO2 and noise

Councils have called on Heathrow to abandon once and for all its bid for a third runway and concentrate instead on working with the aviation industry to achieve zero carbon emissions and reduce noise impacts for overflown communities. Heathrow is due to challenge February’s Court of Appeal ruling against the expansion plan in October  (7th and 8th) at the Supreme Court. The 5 councils, (Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond upon Thames, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Windsor and Maidenhead) say there is no logic in the airport persisting with its runway fantasy. Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said: “COVID-19 has changed everything. This is a unique period when we are all rethinking traditional assumptions about how we work, travel and grow our economies. As local councils we want the industry to get back on its feet. But this won’t work without a fundamental rethink about the place of aviation in our society – and indeed where future capacity is most needed. Even Heathrow’s chief executive has admitted that a new runway would not be needed for years due to the pandemic. Yet still the airport and its shareholders press on with the process and the prize of a planning permission for a runway that will never be built.”
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Heathrow urged to end third runway ‘fantasy’

15 September 2020 (Richmond Council)

Councils have called on Heathrow to abandon once and for all its bid for a third runway and concentrate instead on working with the aviation industry to achieve zero carbon emissions and reduce noise impacts for overflown communities.

The airport is due to challenge February’s Court of Appeal ruling against the expansion plan in October at the Supreme Court.

The councils said today (Tuesday 15 September 2020) that there was no logic in the airport persisting with its runway fantasy.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“COVID-19 has changed everything. This is a unique period when we are all rethinking traditional assumptions about how we work, travel and grow our economies. As local councils we want the industry to get back on its feet. But this won’t work without a fundamental rethink about the place of aviation in our society – and indeed where future capacity is most needed.

Even Heathrow’s chief executive has admitted that a new runway would not be needed for years due to the pandemic. Yet still the airport and its shareholders press on with the process and the prize of a planning permission for a runway that will never be built.

The kind of growth that the third runway plan was predicated on was never sustainable. It is an insult to the people who have for years had their lives blighted by the threat of expansion to persist in keeping the threat alive.”

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, added:

“Give the challenges that the aviation industry faces today it beggars belief that one airport should think its own demand for extra capacity should still be on the table.

“At a time when the sector is benefiting from tax-payer funded support – and indeed seeking further help through cuts in airport passenger duty – the priority should be to rebuild the entire aviation economy and set it on a more sustainable footing.

“This should start with a legally binding commitment to achieving zero emissions. It should also mean a permanent end to night flights and the adoption of tougher measures to limit noise impacts. This should include rejecting the practice of ‘route concentration’ as a means of squeezing in more flights over densely populated areas. All this does is both increase noise and emissions.”

The Court of Appeal ruled in February 2020 that the Government had not taken into account the requirements of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change when drawing up its national policy statement (ANPS) giving support to Heathrow expansion. The Court said that the ANPS is legally ineffective unless and until it is reviewed by the Government. Ministers have said they will not be appealing the ruling.

A group of local councils – Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond upon Thames, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Windsor and Maidenhead together with the Mayor of London and Greenpeace – had challenged the ANPS alongside environmental groups Plan B and Friends of the Earth.

https://www.richmond.gov.uk/heathrow_urged_to_end_third_runway_fantasy

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Richmond Council urges Heathrow to end third runway ‘Fantasy’

15.09.20  (Teddington Nub News)

Richmond Council has called on Heathrow to abandon its bid for a third runway.

The council said Heathrow should instead be focused on working with the aviation industry to reduce pollution and noise for local communities.

The airport is due to challenge February’s Court of Appeal ruling against the expansion plan in October at the Supreme Court.

The council said today that there was no logic in the airport persisting with its runway ‘fantasy’.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said: “Covid has changed everything. This is a unique period when we are all rethinking traditional assumptions about how we work,travel and grow our economies.

“As local councils we want the industry to get back on its feet. But this won’t work without a fundamental rethink about the place of aviation in our society – and indeed where future capacity is most needed.

“Even Heathrow’s chief executive has admitted that a new runway would not be needed for years due to the pandemic.

“Yet still the airport and its shareholders press on with the process and the prize of a planning permission for a runway that will never be built.

“The kind of growth that the third runway plan was predicated on was never sustainable. It is an insult to the people who have for years had their lives blighted by the threat of expansion to persist in keeping the threat alive.”

The Court of Appeal ruled in February that the Government had not taken into account the requirements of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change when giving support to Heathrow expansion.

A group of local councils – Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Richmond upon Thames, Hammersmith and Fulham and Windsor and Maidenhead together with the Mayor of London and Greenpeace– had challenged the plans alongside environmental groups Plan B and Friends of the Earth.

https://teddington.nub.news/n/richmond-council-urges-heathrow-to-end-third-runway-39fantasy39

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Protest by opponents of Southampton airport, against the “madness” of its expansion plans

Opponents of expansion of Southampton airport took part in a protest on Saturday 29th, as did many other groups at airports across the UK.  The group say the airport should not be expanding, at a time of climate crisis, and the impact would be a needless increase in carbon emissions, from the extra flights using the airport.  They said  1. The economic case does not stack up, in jobs, house prices or health impacts.  2. The noise impacts of expansion, with many more local people negatively affected.  3. More air pollution will affect local health and mortality rates, from an increase (the airport’s own figures) of 272%  in NOx emissions. 4. No figures have been provided for ultrafine particles, which could be even worse than NOx for human health.  5.  The expansion will contribute to climate change and a ‘carbon-neutral’ airport is a myth; the expansion would roughly double current carbon emissions, and the airport is only looking to offset the relatively small ground emissions, not those from flights.
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Extinction Rebellion marched – highlighting the madness of Southampton Airport expansion plans

29th August 2020

AXO (Airport Expansion Opposition Southampton)

and Extinction Rebellion in Southampton

At Eastleigh Borough Council (the planning authority for Southampton airport)

They must be as mad as hatters to be considering airport expansion in Southampton, during a climate emergency. So yesterday, we marched!

Why? Mainly because of these 4 key reasons:    

1. The economic case does not stack up

– The airport’s own assessment says there will be ‘neutral’ economic benefit and no increase in jobs.

-The assessment excludes reduced house prices under the flight path and increased costs from ill health due to pollution

2. The noise impacts of expansion make this the worst UK airport to expand

– There will be an increase of 210% in local people affects by significant noise pollution

3. More air pollution will affect local health and mortality rates

– The airport’s figures state there will be a 272% increase in NOx emissions, leading to a 5% increase in local mortality.

– No figures have been provided for ultrafine particles, which are worse for human health

4. The expansion will contribute to climate change and a ‘carbon-neutral’ airport is a myth

– The expansion will roughly double current carbon emissions, and the airport is only looking to offset the relatively small ground emissions, not those from flights.

– Offset schemes are already needed for existing emissions!

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Want to know more? check this out.

https://axosouthampton.wordpress.com/reasons-to-object/

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See earlier:

Southampton airport runway extension plans would lead to higher CO2 emissions

Plans to lengthen Southampton Airport’s runway (by 164 metres) have come under fire amid concerns over their impact on climate change. The airport’s 2nd public consultation on revised plans has now been launched. Local campaigners Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) said: “A ‘carbon-neutral’ airport’ is like ‘fat-free lard’. It’s just not possible. We need to act now on climate change.  Lower carbon fuels and electric planes capable of carrying significant numbers of passengers are decades away. The airport says extending the runway isn’t about ‘bigger planes’. But its own figures show that it is about flying many more of the bigger, noisier A320 jets than previously. The result of this is, as the new documents show, over 40,000 extra local people being exposed to aircraft noise.” And “Regional connectivity can be maintained with the airport as it currently is, and since most travellers are UK residents heading out on holiday most of the benefit of their travel will be abroad.” The airport claims its future is in doubt (usual stuff about jobs…) unless it lengthens the runway.

Click here to view full story…

Public consultation over Southampton runway extension slightly delayed – and campaigners fight for Marlhill Copse trees

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The public consultation through Eastleigh Borough Council over plans to extend Southampton Airport’s runway by 164 metres has been delayed. It was due to start on July 10th, but now the start date is not known – the delay may only be a week or so. The consultation is due to last 30 days. The airport also wants to add 600 more parking spaces to the existing long stay car park. There is a lot of local opposition to the plans, largely due to the noise impact and the extra carbon emissions of more flights. Neighbouring local authorities including Winchester and Southampton councils objected to the scheme.  There has already been one consultation, in late 2019, and the airport may make modifications in this second consultation. The final decision will be by Eastleigh Borough Council. The airport bought a small woodland near the airport, Marlhill Copse in 2018. It now wants to fell many of the trees, citing safety concerns. The trees in fact would only be a potential safety concern if the airport is allowed to expand. Three trees have already been felled, on the pretext of “good forestry management”.  Campaigners are trying to get this tree felling and tree height reduction stopped.

Click here to view full story…

Southampton Airport expansion plans go to second consultation – no date yet set

The airport plans to extend the runway by 164m to allow for larger 190-seater aircraft, and more flights.  It wants to double the number of passengers.  Its plans will go to a second public consultation, by Eastleigh council,  before a decision is made. Environmental campaigners and two neighbouring councils, Southampton and Winchester, have raised concerns over noise and air pollution. The airport makes the usual statements about lots of new jobs, and local economic boost (in reality, more of the passengers will be people in the area taking holidays abroad, taking their leisure money out of the UK). Local group, AXO, Airport Expansion Opposition, has been leading opposition to the plans.  A final decision is expected to be made by Eastleigh Borough Council, but everything is held up by the Covid pandemic, and no date has been set.  The council said: “We are awaiting amended information in support of the application.  Once we have received this, we will undertake a full re-consultation on the proposed runway extension.”

Click here to view full story…

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Letter to Kelly Tolhurst (Aviation Minister) from airport groups, about the need for aviation noise policies

Many airport campaigns have written to Aviation Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, asking her to provide details of the government’s intentions about policies on aircraft noise. The organisations remind her of some of their key points. They want government to “put in place policies, processes and institutions which can together achieve outcomes that all parties accept are fair and balanced, a goal that the policies of the past two decades have failed to achieve”. The aviation industry needs to be sufficiently incentivised to reduce noise, and it is not good enough to merely “limit, and where possible, reduce total adverse effects on health and quality of life from aviation noise”. Those are just meaningless in terms of cutting the plane noise experienced by people overflown. The groups fear that proposals for the Aviation 2050 document are in fact even weaker than the extant 2013 Aviation Policy Framework which says “the industry must continue to reduce and mitigate noise as airport capacity grows” . The campaigners want noise impacts to be “as low as reasonably practical”, and any increase in noise in future, from more flights, to be balanced by reductions in noise and other environmental impacts – with compensation for those negatively affected. See the full letter.
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The letter to Kelly Tolhust

By email: charleslloyd2015@hotmail.com

From:

AirportWatch
Aviation Communities Forum
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise
Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise

Stop Stansted Expansion

 

To

Kelly Tolhurst MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 4DR
United Kingdom

 

24 August 2020

Dear Minister

AVIATION NOISE POLICIES

We understand that the government plans to publish an aviation recovery strategy in the autumn and that the strategy may provide further detail on your noise policies for the industry.

Several of our organisations submitted substantial responses to the 2018 Green Paper, Aviation 2050, including the noise proposals made in it. Because that was some time ago, we hope it will be helpful if we summarise the central noise issues that we believe the government should address. Our objective is to help government put in place policies, processes and institutions which can together achieve outcomes that all parties accept are fair and balanced, a goal that the policies of the past two decades have failed to achieve.

Policies

Aviation 2050 acknowledged that a stronger and clearer policy framework is required, “which addressed the weaknesses in current policy and ensures industry is sufficiently incentivised to reduce noise”. However, it then proposed a core noise objective – “to limit, and where possible, reduce total adverse effects on health and quality of life from aviation noise” – which is virtually identical to previous policies and neither stronger nor clearer.

Policies

Aviation 2050 acknowledged that a stronger and clearer policy framework is required, “which addressed the weaknesses in current policy and ensures industry is sufficiently incentivised to reduce noise”. However, it then proposed a core noise objective – “to limit, and where possible, reduce total adverse effects on health and quality of life from aviation noise” – which is virtually identical to previous policies and neither stronger nor clearer.

Further analysis suggests that the Aviation 2050 proposals are in fact weaker than the extant 2013 Aviation Policy Framework which says “the industry must continue to reduce and mitigate noise as airport capacity grows” and the Environmental Noise Directive’s clearly stated objective “to avoid, prevent or reduce on a prioritised basis the harmful effects, including annoyance, due to exposure to environmental noise” (emphasis added).

We support the core noise policy principles set out in Aviation 2050, particularly that there should be a fair balance between the interests of the aviation industry and those its operations adversely impact. However, we do not believe the policy itself is formulated in a way that is likely to achieve that goal. Similar statements in previous policy documents have contributed to an environment in which complaints have increased very substantially, many new aviation community campaign groups have been created and trust between the industry (together with government and the CAA) and impacted communities has largely disappeared.

In our view the Government should move away from this historic formula. The test for any new policy is straightforward: it should provide an objective, readily comprehensible, foundation upon which clear, enforceable, airport-specific noise reduction requirements can be set, measured, reported and enforced. The current and proposed noise policies fail that test.

The policy itself should, in our view, have three components:

  • first, the industry should be required to implement, on a timely basis, all safe and reasonably practical measures to reduce its adverse noise effects. This requirement should mirror the “As Low As Reasonably Practical” principle successfully applied to safety regulation across multiple sectors, including aviation, for many years.
  • secondly, a condition of any future growth above an agreed baseline should be that it will be equitably and proportionately balanced by reductions in noise and other environmental impacts or, if there are locations where that is not possible, by the provision of equivalent benefits in those areas.
  • thirdly, that community exposure to aircraft noise must be reduced to the limits recommended by the World Health Organisation by a specified date to be determined by the government. 
These core noise policies should be supported by additional policies that require the industry to pay all external costs that its activities impose on society at large, in line with the “polluter pays” principle, and to ensure potential passengers are properly informed about the industry’s environmental, health and other impacts. 
Processes and institutions 
Aviation 2050 proposed that aviation noise policy should be delivered principally through noise caps and noise plans.

We believe caps and plans have the potential to be effective tools for managing and reducing aircraft noise. However, current Noise Action Plan arrangements, and most current noise caps, are not fit for purpose and should not be used as a template for future arrangements. Instead:

  • noise caps should be determined for all airports whose operations have significant impacts on local communities, not just as an output of planning approvals. They should set out the level of noise reduction airports are required to achieve and over what timeframe.
  • noise plans should set out how airports will achieve the noise reductions required by the noise cap. They should also be set for at all airports whose operations have significant impacts on local communities, not just for airports that do not have noise caps.
  • noise caps and plans should be determined and approved respectively by an independent, expert, empowered regulator, endorsed by the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise, not by planning authorities. Planning authorities are not representative of impacted populations, do not have the expertise to regulate noise effectively, lack appropriate powers and may be conflicted.

We have provided your officials with further details on these proposals and would welcome an opportunity to discuss them with you in due course. Our objective is simple: to replace opaque policies and a regulatory vacuum with clear policy that is robustly measured, monitored and enforced.

We appreciate that the aviation industry is facing challenging market conditions. However, we believe this is the right time to put in place more robust noise policies and regulation. Aviation noise issues have vexed government, communities and the industry for many years. Excessive aircraft noise has serious health consequences, inhibits investment, reduces asset values and unnecessarily absorbs policy maker, industry and community resources. All those issues will persist until the government puts in place clear noise policies and robust regulation. These should be foundations of the build back better strategy announced by the Prime Minister.

Yours sincerely,

AirportWatch
Aviation Communities Forum
Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise
Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise
Stop Stansted Expansion

 

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cc: 
Ian Elston, DfT,

Tim May, DfT

Rob Light, Chairman ICCAN,

Sam Hartley, ICCAN

Huw Merriman, Chair, Transport Committee

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See the letter as a Pdf  at

http://www.gacc.org.uk/resources/Kelly%20Tolhurst%20groups%20letter%20re%20aviation%20noise%20policies%20final.pdf

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Dismay that Bristol Airport will appeal against Council refusal of its plans to expand for more passengers

Members of XR Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) are very disappointed that Bristol Airport is seeking to appeal against the decision ratified in March which rejected their application to increase passenger numbers per annum to 12 million by 2026. The decision made by the North Somerset Council’s Planning and Strategic Committee amplified the views of the local community who clearly did not want this expansion.  Some 8,931 written objections were submitted to the Council’s planning website as opposed to 2,431 statements supporting the development. The Planning Committee rejected the original plan for expansion on the grounds that key environmental issues had not been properly resolved while insisting the economic benefits would not outweigh the environmental harm.  Tarisha-Finnegan-Clarke, Coordinator of XR BAAN:  “At a time when the Coronavirus has forced airports to drastically reduce the number of flights the aviation industry should be focusing on survival.  Instead, the unfailing arrogance of Bristol Airport’s management sees them pursuing their fantasy aspiration to expand passenger numbers.  An appeal at this time is simply unappealing to so many people.”

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BRISTOL AIRPORT’S ASPIRATIONS FOR EXPANSION ARE ‘UNAPPEALING’

Friday 7th August 2020

XR Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) press release

Members of XR Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) are very disappointed that Bristol Airport is seeking to appeal against the decision ratified last March which rejected their application to increase passenger numbers per annum to 12 million by 2026. 

The decision made by the North Somerset Council’s Planning and Strategic Committee amplified the views of the local community who clearly did not want this expansion.  Some 8,931 written objections were submitted to the Council’s planning website as opposed to 2,431 statements supporting the development.

The Planning Committee rejected the original plan for expansion on the grounds that key environmental issues had not been properly resolved while insisting the economic benefits would not outweigh the environmental harm.  Campaigners claim that any expansion would still have detrimental effects on the local community with more noise from extra flights, an increase in traffic congestion on local roads and the loss of greenbelt land as well an unacceptable increase in greenhouse gas emissions which would worsen the climate crisis.

Tarisha-Finnegan-Clarke, Coordinator of XR BAAN said, “At a time when the Coronavirus has forced airports to drastically reduce the number of flights the aviation industry should be focusing on survival.  Instead, the unfailing arrogance of Bristol Airport’s management sees them pursuing their fantasy aspiration to expand passenger numbers.  An appeal at this time is simply unappealing to so many people.”

BAAN member, Richard Baxter, said, “Nothing has changed – the reasons for objecting to the Airport’s development remain the same.  What has changed since North Somerset Council’s rejection is the emergence of a worldwide health crisis which has seriously grounded much of Bristol Airport’s business.  The aviation industry around the world needs to fully recognise the part they played in spreading COVID-19 around the globe so rapidly. Going back to business, as usual, is no longer acceptable and it is so insensitive to be talking about airport expansion at this point in time.  People are certainly afraid to fly whilst there is no vaccine to help protect people against the virus.” 

Mr Baxter added, “Surely, Bristol Airport’s plans for growth are redundant and are a complete waste of time and money.  North Somerset Council is already under great pressure to deal with the circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus.  An appeal is going to be hugely detrimental in diverting money and Council resources from providing key services to the local community.”

“The airport says the expansion is important for the economic regeneration of the region.  If anything it will be people booking a staycation and holidaying in the UK that will benefit the area instead of encouraging many people to fly abroad whilst the airport profits from car parking fees”

Details of the venue and appeal dates will be announced in due course.

ENDS

For further information contact Tarisha Finnegan-Clarke on 0787 674 0864 or Richard Baxter 0n 07795 435576


 

Bristol Airport to appeal against planning refusal to expand for more passengers

Campaigners against the plan face another battle

By Jasper King (Bristol Live)
6th August 2020

Bristol Airport is launching a bid to overturn a refusal by North Somerset Council of its plans to expand.

Councillors rejected the airport’s planning application to increase its current capacity from 10million to 12million passengers per year in February.

They said the environmental and societal impacts outweighed the economic benefits of the expansion.

However, this lunchtime, airport chief executive Dave Lees said there will be an appeal against the decision, which was made by councillors against advice from their own planning officers.

If the airport wins an appeal, the council could be forced to pay for the appeal process.

There is also a danger if the decision is overturned that the council will lose its powers to enforce any conditions on the development.

The decision on the appeal will be made by the Government planning inspectorate.

Mr Lees said: “Expansion at Bristol Airport will spur growth in the South West and increase the rate at which jobs are created, replacing those lost at the airport during the current crisis.

“Approval of Bristol Airport’s planning application will give a much-needed boost to the economy in the West and South West of England and allow exploration of new route development opportunities in the Middle East and North America.”

The airport’s plan has proved to be controversial with hundreds of residents and the majority of councillors in the area objecting to the proposal.

There were also protests by Extinction Rebellion against the plans.

But despite the objections, the council’s own planning officers recommended the application be approved – which is why for many it came as a shock when the plan was thrown out by the council’s planning committee.

After a four-and-a-half hour planning meeting, councillors refused it by 18 votes to seven.

A planning inquiry for an application of this size could take several weeks with witnesses and experts called to give evidence for both sides.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-airport-appeal-against-planning-4399746

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Bristol Airport intends to appeal planning decision

Created: 6th Aug 2020

Bristol Airport has confirmed that it intends to appeal against North Somerset Council’s decision to refuse its planning application to increase capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers per year. The decision to refuse the planning application was contrary to the recommendation of the Council’s own planning officers.

The decision on the application will now move to a national level and will be made by an independent planning inspector or, if the appeal is recovered, by the Government.

The plans to expand capacity at the airport will offer passengers more routes and flights from the South West directly, create jobs, facilitate inward investment and inbound tourism, and support greener and more sustainable, regional economic growth. Specific improvements include:

  • Extensions to the terminal building, including a new immigration hall
  • Ambitious new public transport targets, with new and innovative bus and coach services across the region
  • Improvements to the A38 and the airport’s internal road layout, as part of a multi-million-pound transport improvement plan
  • Construction of a new multi-storey car park and extension of the Silver Zone car parking
  • Enhancement of airside infrastructure, including passenger walkways with travellators

The decision to refuse Bristol Airport’s planning application simply exacerbates a situation which already sees millions of passengers drive to London’s airports every year, adding to unnecessary carbon emissions and congestion. This also acts as a barrier for overseas investment into the region.

Bristol Airport’s expansion proposals sit alongside a roadmap which sets out how it will achieve its ambition to become carbon neutral for direct emissions by 2025 and a net zero airport by 2050. A comprehensive package of measures is also proposed to minimise the adverse environmental impacts of an additional 2 million passengers per annum including:

  • Developing a Carbon and Climate Change Action Plan to mitigate the carbon emissions associated with an additional 2 million passengers
  • A biodiversity management plan to ensure adverse effects on wildlife and habitats are minimised, providing the opportunity to deliver a net gain for local biodiversity
  • The provision of on-site renewable energy production
  • A significant public transport investment package to encourage sustainable travel
  • An Environmental and Amenity Improvement Fund to support a range of measures to minimise noise impacts, including acoustic fencing

As the aviation industry looks beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that all regions of the country have sufficient infrastructure. The South West has not been at the forefront of transport investment to date and expansion of capacity at Bristol Airport will be a significant step in addressing this disparity. This will benefit the South West’s economy beyond the direct jobs that the project will generate and support the Government’s aim of ‘levelling-up’ economic growth across the United Kingdom by driving economic growth outside the South East of England. Regional aviation will play a crucial role in providing international connectivity when the UK completes its departure from the EU. Expanding capacity at Bristol Airport will offer the opportunity to explore new route development opportunities in the Middle East and North America.

Bristol Airport welcomes the opportunity to commence the appeal process in order to fulfil the ambition of enhancing prosperity in the South West and West of England.

Dave Lees, CEO, Bristol Airport commented:

“Expansion at Bristol Airport will spur growth in the South West and increase the rate at which jobs are created, replacing those lost at the airport during the current crisis. Although demand is temporarily suppressed, it is forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels in the coming years. The sector has been operating at close to capacity for some time and expansion at regional airports will allow growth to benefit all regions across the UK. Approval of Bristol Airport’s planning application will give a much-needed boost to the economy in the West and South West of England and allow exploration of new route development opportunities in the Middle East and North America.

“As the UK completes its departure from the European Union, our international connectivity will become more important than ever. International trade and transport links with our European and global partners will be a huge focus over the coming years. Regional aviation will play a crucial role in the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and in delivering the UK’s global ambitions.”

Deborah Fraser, CBI Director – South West & Regions, said:

“Bristol Airport provides South West businesses with vital access to global growth and essential regional connectivity. Further infrastructure investment can also act as a catalyst for training, jobs and growth, especially given the impact of the current crisis within the aviation sector.

“Longer-term, supporting the airport’s ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality and become net-zero in the years ahead will help contribute to a sustainable recovery from the COVID crisis, helping the UK build back better.”

Miles Morgan, Owner, Miles Morgan Travel said:

“Despite the short term Covid affects, I can only see the demands to travel and travel locally increasing. Bristol Airport needs to forward plan to support and fulfil this demand. This, in turn will provide additional jobs in the local area going forward which will also be great news.”

https://www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/news-and-media/news-and-media-centre/2020/8/bristol-airport-intends-to-appeal-planning-decision

 


See earlier:

Around 250 job losses likely at Bristol airport, due to collapse in its air travel demand

Nearly 250 jobs could be lost at Bristol Airport because demand for air travel has plummeted. The unions are saying these redundancies would leave a ‘huge economic hole’ in the region.  Bristol Airport has begun consultation with Unite over making 76 directly employed staff redundant. Swissport has also announced 167 job losses. A smaller number of redundancies at other firms are also expected to be announced soon. There are the usual claims about the alleged economic benefit the airport brings, and the number of jobs it supports. These conveniently ignore the fact that most flights are taken by local people flying abroad for their leisure, spending their money abroad – not in local businesses or local leisure/ holiday destinations.  To try to save jobs, the unions want delay, in the hope that air travel demand picks up.  The AOA – lobby groups for the industry – said this week up to 20,000 jobs at Britain’s airports are at risk as a result of the collapse of air travel due to the Covid pandemic.  Bristol is yet another area has has become too dependent on the airport for jobs, and this vulnerability has now been shown up. Aviation is no longer a sector with guaranteed security and growth for a local economy.

Click here to view full story…

Still unknown if Bristol airport will appeal against expansion refusal – they have to decide by 19th September

Bristol Airport has not yet decided whether to appeal against a decision to refuse its expansion plans. North Somerset Planning and Regulatory committee councillors went against the council officers’ recommendation earlier this year, to reject the expansion plans which would have allowed the airport to increase its current capacity from 10 million to 12 million passengers per year. The councillors ruled that environmental and societal impacts outweighed the economic benefits of the expansion. The airport has 6 months in which to appeal, and that time ends of 19th September 2020. A spokesman for the airport said a decision on whether to lodge an appeal had yet to be made and was still under review. The decline in air travel demand will be a factor in the decision. The costs of a public inquiry could run into tens of thousands of pounds for North Somerset Council. It has confirmed it will defend any appeal but said it was unable to comment on any potential costs. It would be for the Planning Inspector who is overseeing the case to decide what costs and conditions to impose on North Somerset Council, if it loses.

Click here to view full story…

Bath and North East Somerset Council rejects Bristol Airport application to increase night flights in summer months

Bath and North East Somerset Council has rejected an application by Bristol Airport to increase the number of night flights. The airport wants to increase the number of night flights to 4,000 throughout the whole year, starting in summer 2021. Currently the airport is allowed 3,000 night flights throughout the summer months and 1,000 in winter. The airport wants to be able to move some of their winter allocation to the summer, when demand is higher. Bath and North East Somerset Council rejected the application – stating it would have a negative impact on people living in towns near the airport. The request for more flights comes after the council opposed the expansion of Bristol Airport in March 2019. Then in March 2020 North Somerset Council threw out the plans, (which included increasing passenger numbers by an extra two million each year and building more car parks) on the grounds they were “incompatible” with the council’s declaration of a climate emergency.  The extra night flights would cause noise nuisance to people in both councils.

Click here to view full story…

Bristol Airport expansion plans rejected by North Somerset council by 18-7

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.

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Plans to expand Bristol Airport accused of being flawed; decision put off till early 2020

A decision on Bristol Airport’s major expansion bid will not be made this year. They submitted proposals to boost passenger numbers from 10 million to 12 million a year by the mid-2020s, and to expand the airport’s on-site infrastructure.  A decision had been due over the summer but people are continuing to comment – there are currently about 3,780 objections and 1,800 letters of support.  Reasons for opposing the expansion include climate change, traffic levels, air pollution and noise.  When they declared a “climate emergency”, Bath and North East Somerset Council members also voted to oppose the airport’s expansion, amid concerns about increased congestion on rural roads in their area. There is also doubt about alleged economic benefit.  The airport and its supporters always talk up the possibility of more jobs, and improved “access international export markets.” In reality, the majority of air passengers are on leisure journeys.  The application will be considered by North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee meeting in 2020, with possible dates the 22 January, 19 February and 18 March.

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Concerns about proposed flight paths in and out of Manston when (if) it reopens for air freight

Development consent was finally granted in July, by the government, for a freight air cargo hub at Manston. The Thanet site is owned by RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) which now has to complete the various stages of the Civil Aviation Authority CAP 1616 process for airspace change. RiverOak is currently on ‘stage 2’, known as the develop and access gateway.  But CARMA, the Campaign Against the Reopening of Manston Airport, has questioned the lack of transparency of the process so far.  They have drawn particular focus on the planned flight paths, claiming 30 towns and villages will be impacted. There are illustrations of some proposed flight paths, arrivals and departures, in the RSP documents. These show many areas of east Kent being overflown, for the first time.  CARMA is very concerned that these routes have been drawn up, without information for, or consultation with, the public.  Relevant community representatives have not been being properly informed. At the best of times, the CAA flight path alteration process is difficult for laypeople to understand, with “CAP1616 process” and “design options” and “airspace design principles” and “technical and operational interdependencies” among other bits of jargon, which are not written in “plain English.”
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Thanet: Full story behind those ‘secret’ proposed Manston Airport flight paths

Development consent was finally granted last month for a freight air cargo hub by the Secretary of State for Transport

Manston Airport is on course to reopen as a £330 million freight air cargo hub.

The Thanet site is owned by RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP), who last month received development consent from the Secretary of State for Transport.

For the project to go ahead, RiverOak must complete the seven stages (14 steps) of the Civil Aviation Authority CAP 1616 process for airspace change.

RiverOak is currently on ‘stage 2’, known as the develop and access gateway.

But CARMA, the Campaign Against the Reopening of Manston Airport, has questioned the “secrecy” and transparency of the process so far.  http://thecarma.co.uk/

They have drawn particular focus on the planned flight paths, claiming 30 towns and villages will be impacted.

The proposals for the departures and arrivals from the airport have been illustrated in RiverOak’s options development document, which can be viewed here.

 

This figure shows the proposed Runway 28 Left-Hand Departures detailed in the RiverOak options development document (Image: RiverOak)

 

Within it, RiverOak lays out several planned freight routes which could fly over east Kent.

In a petition to the Civil Aviation Authority, CARMA said: “So far these consultations have been discussed and developed behind closed doors and questions have been raised asking if the relevant communities and their representatives have been properly informed and consulted.”

This was echoed by Ramsgate councillor David Green, who said: “The consultations I have been to have been sparsely attended by councillors and local representatives from east Kent.

“You have to ask if the relevant community representatives are being properly informed.”

However, in response to this, RiverOak has said they are following the Civil Aviation Authority Process by the book and highlighted public and stakeholder consultation is carried out extensively in ‘stage 3’.

A spokesman said: “We are working methodically through the process and we are currently at step 2A. The level of public and stakeholder consultation is rightly both extensive and detailed, but is not carried out until step 3.

“Work is currently underway on step 2A (options development).

“At this stage of the airspace change (CAP1616) process we are seeking feedback for our design options, from air navigation service providers at neighbouring airports, the wider aviation community and selected representatives of local communities such as members of local authorities, parish councils and MPs representing constituencies in the surrounding area to ensure any critical technical and operational interdependencies have been considered.

“When the design options are produced based upon the airspace design principles, a comprehensive public consultation will take place during stage 3 as a key part of the airspace change process where we will take into account the wider views of residents, businesses, communities, the public and other stakeholders.”

KentLive has approached RSP for clarity on exactly which community representatives were reached out to for feedback on their design options.

https://www.kentlive.news/news/kent-news/thanet-full-story-behind-those-4396339


 

Claims of ‘secret’ flight paths in and out of Manston when it reopens denied by airport boss

KENT TRAVEL NEWS

By Marijke Hall mhall@thekmgroup.co.uk

7th August 2020

Claims of secret flight paths in and out of Manston when the airport reopens have been denied by bosses who insist they have no say over the routes.

Director of RiverOak Strategic Partnership (RSP) Tony Freudmann, who last month won the backing of the government to relaunch the site as a freight cargo hub in 2023 in Thanet, says it “can’t just put aeroplanes in the sky” and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) makes the final decision.

He insists the only thing he is pushing for is that more flights come in over Herne Bay than Ramsgate, due to the latter being closer to the runway and therefore more likely to be disturbed by noise.

“We’ve had two focus groups with representatives from councils in east Kent, we’ve suggested some flight paths and these will be sent in a report to the CAA,” he said.

“All we do is make proposals.

“The CAA makes the final decision – it wants flights that are safe, as safe to the environment as possible and cause as little disturbance through noise as possible.”

His comments come in response to a campaign calling for transparency over where the flight paths will be.

Critics claim some 30 locations in east Kent will be affected by those proposed, including Thanet towns and villages, Herne Bay, Beltinge, Swalecliffe, Folkestone, and villages across the area such as Ash, Wingham, Challock, Fordwich and Chillenden.

There are also fears that one proposal for a holding pattern – when an aeroplane can’t immediately land and has to circle in the sky – will be over Faversham.

Ramsgate town councillor Cllr David Green is backing a petition by pressure group CARMA (Campaign Against the Reopening of Manston Airport) asking the CAA to be transparent about the “secret” routes.

He says he is also “not convinced” RSP is being open about the paths with all the relevant authorities.

“The developers claim these new routes have been shared with key stakeholders who can ‘offer early views on behalf of their local communities, including elected community representatives’,” he said.

“The consultations I have been to have been sparsely attended by councillors and local representatives from east Kent. There were only half a dozen in the last one.

“You have to ask if the relevant community representatives are being properly informed.”

He says he has written to all parish councils asking if they have been contacted regarding the proposed flight paths.

But Mr Freudmann says there hasn’t been a consultation, but two focus group sessions, involving local representatives.

“There will be consultations, but not yet,” he said.

‘You can’t just put an aeroplane in the air and fly where you like’ – Tony Freudmann
“At the moment there is no air space allocated, because when Manston was closed in 2014, the then-owners surrendered the air space.

“So we have applied to the CAA for Manston to have its own air space.

“We have to go through a process which is highly regulated, whereby we go through focus groups in which we suggest possible flight paths to the local community and ask them for their response and then go through a consultation process – which hasn’t started yet.

“We don’t set the flight paths, the CAA sets them.

“You can’t just put an aeroplane in the air and fly where you like.”

He says holding patterns will likely be over the sea, except for quieter light aircraft which would potentially be over land.

Mr Freudmann says the criteria they are working with is for as many arrivals and departures as possible to be over Herne Bay, at the eastern end of the runway.

“Ramsgate is closer to the runway than Herne Bay which means that aircraft landing over Ramsgate or taking off are lower and therefore noisier than they are over Herne Bay, because they’re higher in the sky over Herne Bay.

“So what we’ve been trying to do is ensure that as many arrivals and departures are over Herne Bay and not over Ramsgate.

“Lets say there are six movements an hour, three arrivals and three departures, what we hope to achieve is of those six arrivals, at least four or even five will be in the direction of Herne Bay.”

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/row-over-secret-flight-paths-to-and-from-airport-231707/

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Letter to Chancellor saying there is no economic or social case for government funding of aviation decarbonisation projects

A group of aviation campaigns have sent a joint letter to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. This comes in response to a letter sent by Sir Graham Brady and other MP signatories, asking the Treasury to invest in aviation decarbonisation. The campaigners’ letter says: “… there is no economic or social case for the government to invest taxpayers’ money in projects that might reduce aviation’s emissions. Doing so would perpetuate the current moral hazard in which the industry pollutes with impunity but expects others to bear the consequences and clean up after it.”  Data from the ONS shows air transport, and services incidental to it, account for less than 0.7% of GDP and only 0.4% of jobs. “The industry’s increasingly meaningless assertions, such as the one in Sir Graham’s letter that aviation “supports” 4.5% of GDP, should be treated with the scepticism they deserve”. The industry overwhelmingly provides leisure, not trade, services. Over 80% of UK passengers travel for leisure purposes.  “Using taxpayers’ funds to further support [aviation]… should be inconceivable in the current economic context.” What is needed is “effective regulation that obliges the industry to decarbonise” and urgent government reform of regulation of the industry’s environmental impacts. See the full letter.

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See the full letter:
Letter to the Chancellor re decarbonising aviation
The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
HM Treasury
1 Horse Guards Road
London SW1A 2HQ
31 July 2020
Dear Chancellor
We are writing in relation to the letter sent to you on 16 July by Sir Graham Brady and other Members of Parliament calling on you to “fuel a green economic recovery by supercharging investment in aviation decarbonisation”.
We agree with Sir Graham that decarbonising aviation will be a crucial step in meeting the UK’s net zero ambitions. He may also be right that it offers an opportunity to make Britain a world leader in new technologies, although the very limited progress made by the aviation industry to date means that the evidence for that is weak and the track record poor.
However, there is no economic or social case for the government to invest taxpayers’ money in projects that might reduce aviation’s emissions. Doing so would perpetuate the current moral hazard in which the industry pollutes with impunity but expects others to bear the consequences and clean up after it.
The key facts are stark:
• The UK aviation industry is small and employment in the sector has been in decline for many years. ONS data shows that air transport, and services incidental to it, account for less than 0.7% of GDP and only 0.4% of jobs. The industry’s increasingly meaningless assertions, such as the one in Sir Graham’s letter that aviation “supports” 4.5% of GDP, should be treated with the scepticism they deserve.
• The industry overwhelmingly provides leisure, not trade, services. Over 80% of UK passengers travel for leisure purposes. Although air freight is important in some sectors, aviation as a whole is no longer the key contributor to economic growth and trade that it would like you to believe it is.
• UK aviation primarily serves a small and relatively wealthy sector of society: DfT data shows that 15% of people take 70% of UK flights.
• The industry’s environmental track record is dismal. Its CO2 emissions grew by nearly 16% between 2010 and 2018 (and by 124% since 1990) and reached a new record high in 2019. It is projected by the Committee on Climate Change to be responsible for nearly 35% of the UK’s residual CO2 emissions by 2050.
Encouraged by the absence of effective regulation of its adverse environmental impacts, aviation has adopted a “words not actions” strategy, periodically announcing, then missing, a series of aspirational environmental targets. It is an industry that has chosen to pursue a low-margin high-volume business model, failed to invest with any real effectiveness to address the health, noise and climate change consequences of that model, but now appears to expect the government to do so on its behalf.
In short it takes its many legal, fiscal, public funding and other privileges for granted and its environmental responsibilities far too lightly.
Using taxpayers’ funds to further support an industry that has neglected its adverse environmental impacts for so long, and thereby to cross subsidise a small section of society, would be difficult to justify in any circumstances. It should be inconceivable in the current economic context.
Instead the government’s role should be to regulate the industry’s emissions and other adverse environmental and health impacts properly, by setting and enforcing standards and targets.
The current regulatory vacuum, including the lack of any legal requirement on airlines to achieve net zero emissions (in contrast to the requirements imposed by the Climate Change Act on other sectors), creates uncertainty that airlines will be willing to pay the premium that low carbon technologies and fuels will incur and is holding back the development of those markets.
By contrast, effective regulation that obliges the industry to decarbonise would incentivise the market to develop, and the industry to adopt, low carbon solutions without the need for public funds. Reforming regulation of the industry’s environmental impacts should therefore be at the top of the government’s aviation action list.
Investment that decarbonises aviation and reduces its other adverse impacts must certainly be supercharged, but the costs and risks of that investment must be borne fully by the polluter – the industry and its customers – not by the taxpayer. The industry should put away its bottomless begging bowl, stand down its lobbyists, stop pretending that its glossy road maps and action plans have any practical effect and start making meaningful investments that will actually deliver lower carbon aviation.
Yours sincerely,
Sarah Clayton, AirportWatch
Charles Lloyd, Aviation Communities Forum
Peter Barclay, Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign
John Stewart, Heathrow Association for the Control of Air Noise
Andrew Lambourne, Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise
Martin Peachey, Stop Stansted Expansion
cc:
The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport
Kelly Tolhurst MP, Aviation Minister
Huw Merriman, Chair, Transport Committee
Sir Graham Brady and other signatories to the 16 July letter

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See earlier – about the letter written by Sir Graham Brady et al:

The letter from Sir Graham Brady et al is at https://www.mariaeagle.co.uk/latest_news/2020/07/21/backing-our-aviation-industry/ 


£500m green aviation investment plea from MPs to make clean recovery take off

Treasury plea from cross-party group of MPs puts BA and Shell-backed Velocys scheme before the Chancellor

By David Laister Business Editor (Humber)  – Business Live
17 JUL 2020

 

Calls to accelerate green aviation investment in the UK have put a jet fuel refinery on the South Humber Bank at the forefront of the campaign.

Developer Velocys has welcomed the move from a 35-strong cross party group of MPs, with backer and national flag carrier British Airways also endorsing the efforts.

It makes a £500 million pot of industry-matched funding for early stage sustainable aviation fuel facilities the lead priority, of three clear asks.

Funding to aid the development of more efficient engines and hybrid and electric aircraft and a short term Airspace Masterplan to cut emissions immediately are also listed.

Led by Sir Graham Brady MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Aviation, a letter has been sent to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, calling on him to “fuel a green economic recovery by supercharging investment in aviation decarbonisation”.  It follows a plea from industry early last month.

He said: “Decarbonising aviation is going to be a crucial step in meeting our net zero ambitions, but it also offers an opportunity to make Britain a world leader in new technologies. As we emerge from lockdown, support for the aviation industry can drive a sustainable recovery, so that as the Prime Minister says, we can ‘build back greener’. This means building a sustainable aviation fuels industry in the UK, a here-and-now technology that can create jobs and add billions to our economy.”

Planning consent for the £350 million plant – which could be scaled up further – was received during lockdown, with a site at Stallingborough, close to the port of Immingham selected.  It has the potential to be carbon negative, tapping into a region-wide carbon capture and storage network.

Henrik Wareborn, chief executive of Velocys, said: “The Prime Minister said he wanted the UK to build the world’s first zero-emission long-haul passenger plane. In fact, our planned waste-to-sustainable aviation fuel facility in North East Lincolnshire could be fuelling transatlantic flights in just five years’ time without the need to modify aircrafts or engines at all.

“Velocys has the technology, already demonstrated at commercial scale, and such fuel allows a seamless transition towards net zero lifecycle emissions. We encourage the Government to support getting the first few production facilities off the ground and sustainable aviation fuel in the air in significant commercial volumes by the second half of this decade.”

The re-endorsement from the very top of BA will also be welcome.

Alex Cruz, chief executive, said: “Last year British Airways led the way in UK aviation, committing to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Despite the unprecedented and difficult times we now face, we know it is vital that we continue to forge ahead with our plans to address climate change.

“We are investing in a range of initiatives to meet our commitment, including flying new, more fuel-efficient aircraft and the development of sustainable aviation fuels, which will play a crucial role in the future of global aviation.

“Alongside our partners, Velocys and Shell, we are developing the UK’s first waste to jet fuel plant in Immingham, converting 500,000 tons of waste that would otherwise go to landfill into 50 million litres of sustainable jet fuel every year, which will help to power our aircraft for years to come. This remains a priority and we will continue to ensure that our future is sustainable.”

Among the signatories is Martin Vickers, the constituency MP for the proposed site.

“The Humber is already a green industrial hub and proudly known as the Energy Estuary,” the Conservative said. “With Velocys’ planned waste-to-jet fuel facility in my constituency having recently received planning permission, the area could also become known for developing and exporting green aviation technology.

“By backing this nascent sector now, the Government could build another new green industry on the banks of the Humber, future proof UK aviation for decades, and fuel a green recovery for the UK.”

A Jet Zero Council has already been pledged by government, with Transport Minister Grant Shapps and the PM articulating the long-haul goal set at the announcement.

The letter to Mr Sunak details how the UK aviation sector is the third largest in the world, supporting 4.5% of UK GDP.   [???]

[AirportWatch note:

Brian Ross, in his presentation in Feb 2019 had figures of the aviation sector contributing about £16.4 billion per year.  Of that, air transport is just £8.6 billion.  See copy of slide below.  The DfT has claimed £22 billion. But this claim needs a bit of looking at.  UK GDP was estimated at about $3 trillion this year. That comes to £2.39 trillion.  And 4.5% comes to around £107 billion.   Not £22 billion.  ]

In it Sir Graham states there is “a golden opportunity to rebuild a great British industry in a way that protects and creates jobs, fuels a green economic recovery and futureproofs UK aviation for decades to come”.

Highlighting potential payback from such a kickstart at the outset, he states that sustainable aviation fuel production could generate £2.7 billion for the economy by 2035, supporting 18,800 jobs.

https://www.business-live.co.uk/manufacturing/500m-green-aviation-investment-plea-18615604

Brian Ross’s slide. Feb 2019.

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Natural England objects to proposed jet fuel from waste plant, backed by BA, Shell and Velocys

April 3, 2020

BA has been trying to get some jet fuel made from domestic waste that would otherwise go to landfill, so it can claim it is using “low carbon” fuels. There were plans for a plant in east London, by Solena, back in 2014 but that never got off the ground; Solena went bust in October 2015. Now BA and Shell and Velocys are hoping for a plant on an 80-acre site on Humberside, to convert waste that would go to landfill, into jet fuel. However, Natural England are worried it could harm local wildlife and have filed an objection. Velocys says the plant would turn household waste into 60 million litres of “low-carbon” jet fuel every year. The project is backed by £4.5m of investment from Shell and British Airways, alongside a £434,000 grant from the Department of Transport. In a letter dated 20 February 2020 Natural England said it objects to the development because trucks ferrying waste to the site could increase nitrogen oxide levels – which can cause serious health impacts for humans and wildlife. It is also concerned construction and waste from the site could disturb nearby habitats for rare birds.  It is now for North East Lincolnshire Council to decide whether to approve the scheme.

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APPG on Heathrow Expansion and Regional Connectivity launches inquiry into Building Aviation Back Better

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heathrow Expansion and Regional Connectivity has  launched an inquiry into how the aviation industry can build back in a post Covid-19 world.  The APPG is keen to receive  evidence from a range of organisations on how to build a more sustainable aviation policy that supports both workers and the environment. People have till 14th September to respond. The sector is unlikely to recover to levels of flying in 2019 till perhaps 2023. This presents an opportunity to reset the UK’s aviation strategy and initiate a green recovery. This should set aviation on a fairer and more sustainable course, while providing any support necessary for workers to shift to green jobs. Aviation policy which must strike an equitable balance between the benefits aviation brings and its adverse environmental, economic and health costs. The issues on which the APPG is seeking comment include the Aviation White Paper, taxation, regional balance, bailouts, the UK policy framework for decarbonisation, and community impacts, such as noise, night flights and air pollution.

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APPG launches inquiry into Building Aviation Back Better

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heathrow Expansion and Regional Connectivity has today (21st July 2020) launched an inquiry into how the aviation industry can build back in a post Covid-19 world.

The APPG is keen to receive  evidence from a range of organisations on how to build a more sustainable aviation policy that supports both workers and the environment.

Submissions should be sent to APPGheathrow@gmail.com by Monday 14th September

The full terms of reference for the inquiry can be found here

Inquiry

Building Aviation Back Better: Developing an Environmental Aviation Strategy

21st July 2020

Terms of Reference

The aviation industry is facing challenges like many sectors of the economy and it could take years before demand returns to 2019 levels.

This presents an opportunity to reset the UK’s aviation strategy and initiate a green recovery. This should set aviation on a fairer and more sustainable course, while providing any support necessary for workers to shift to green jobs.

Aviation policy which must strike an equitable balance between the benefits aviation brings and its adverse environmental, economic and health costs.

The APPG is inviting views on how Government policy can best support the industry to build back better for a more sustainable sector.

 

Key Issues

1. Aviation White Paper

The delay to the publication of the Aviation White Paper provides an opportunity to pause and rethink its priorities to ensure that it delivers for the whole country.

• Is the mantra of ‘growth everywhere’ still feasible in a post-pandemic world?

• How much growth in aviation is compatible with the Net Zero targets?

• What incentive and penalties should be mandated to ensure technological improvements are delivered?

• What options should be considered for demand management?

 

2. Regional Balance

Government policy is to help rebalance the economy and this should seek to focus any growth in aviation in the regions, within existing planning constraints and ensure that this is compatible with net zero climate targets.

• What support do regional airports require from Government?

• Where would growth in aviation best deliver economic benefit within existing environmental targets?

• What investments in surface transport are require to facilitate fewer car journeys to regional airports?

 

3. Bailouts

It is likely that many aviation sector businesses will need financial assistance. The UK Government could include social and environmental objectives in any bailout approach as has happened in other European countries.

• What financial support should Government be willing to offer to the aviation sector?

• What conditions should be attached to any financial support?

• Are there any regulatory mechanisms or legislative changes required?

 

4. Jobs

It is vital that transition arrangements are put in place which ensure that good quality employment in the sector is protected, while also facilitating the development of the skills necessary for roles in the future.

• What level of demand is likely to return to aviation in the next few years and at what pace?

• What policy options does Government have to protect workers (particularly lowskilled and lower-paid workers) in the sector?

• What skills and training do workers require to transition into alternative sectors?

 

5. Taxation

The Government is due to review the tax arrangements of the aviation sector.

• Are existing aviation taxes fit for purpose?

• How can Government ensure that all aviation companies make a fair contribution to the reduction of emissions?

• Should revenue raised from aviation taxes be directed to investing in emissions reductions technologies?

 

6. Policy

Framework for Decarbonisation In order to meet Net Zero targets there will need to be a robust framework for decarbonisation from Government with strict targets and incentives to help boost investment and innovation.

• What would these targets and incentives look like?

• What role might be played by electric and hybrid aircraft?

• Are any changes required to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation?

 

7. Community Impacts

The operations of aviation have significant impacts on local communities near airports and under flight paths. As demand returns to pre-pandemic levels there is an opportunity to ensure that the most robust mitigation measures are in place.

• Do current noise impact assessments consider changes in the noise environment?

• What impact will the intensification of existing flight paths have on local communities?

• How can improvements in local air quality be secured for the long term?

• What schemes or incentives are required to increase the number of people accessing airports via public transport?

• Can the impact of night flights be mitigated?

How to submit evidence

Please send written submissions of no more than 2,000 words to APPGheathrow@gmail.com by Monday 14th September 2020.

The APPG will publish submissions online at www.APPGheathrowexpansion.com The APPG will consider hosting oral evidence sessions in the Autumn on specific issues that members wish to explore in more depth.

 See document


 

Co-chair of the APPG, David Simmonds, Conservative MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, said:

“The aviation industry is facing a number of challenges andit could take years for pre-pandemic demand to return. This presents an opportunity to reset the U.K.’s aviation policy to help initiate a green recovery that delivers for the whole of the country. Our enquiry seeks evidence on how aviation policy must now evolve to help support the industry whilst placing the environment at the heart of the strategy.”

Co-Chair Ruth Cadbury, Labour MP for Brentford and Isleworth said:

“It is clear that the aviation industry has changed dramatically. It is vital that as we transition to a zero-carbon economy that we protect good quality jobs in the sector and facilitate re-skilling opportunities for workers where needed. We must use this period to place greater priority on the community and environmental impacts of aviation.”

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Southampton airport runway extension plans would lead to higher CO2 emissions

Plans to lengthen Southampton Airport’s runway (by 164 metres) have come under fire amid concerns over their impact on climate change. The airport’s 2nd public consultation on revised plans has now been launched. Local campaigners Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) said: “A ‘carbon-neutral’ airport’ is like ‘fat-free lard’. It’s just not possible. We need to act now on climate change.  Lower carbon fuels and electric planes capable of carrying significant numbers of passengers are decades away. The airport says extending the runway isn’t about ‘bigger planes’. But its own figures show that it is about flying many more of the bigger, noisier A320 jets than previously. The result of this is, as the new documents show, over 40,000 extra local people being exposed to aircraft noise.” And “Regional connectivity can be maintained with the airport as it currently is, and since most travellers are UK residents heading out on holiday most of the benefit of their travel will be abroad.” The airport claims its future is in doubt (usual stuff about jobs…) unless it lengthens the runway.
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Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) criticises Southampton Airport’s plans

By Maria Zaccaro Local Democracy Reporter (Daily Echo)
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PLANS to expand Southampton Airport’s runway have come under fire amid concerns over their impact on climate change.

Campaigners have raised concerns over proposals to extend the airport’s runway by 164 metres.

The news comes as a second public consultation on revised plans has now been launched.

Airport bosses said the mitigation measures in the new plans are “enough” to protect the environment.

They stressed that the airport has become carbon neutral and warned that 2,000  jobs would be at risk if the plans are refused.

But in a statement campaigners from Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO), said: “A ‘carbon-neutral’ airport’ is like ‘fat-free lard’. It’s just not possible. We need to act now on climate change, and lower carbon fuels and electric planes capable of carrying significant numbers of passengers are decades away. The airport says extending the runway isn’t about ‘bigger planes’. But its own figures show that it is about flying many more of the bigger, noisier A320 jets than previously. The result of this is, as the new documents show, over 40,000 extra local people being exposed to aircraft noise .”

As reported, members of AXO opposed to the initial plans last year.

Airport bosses said the pandemic and the collapse of FlyBe hit the business.

Earlier this week, airport director Steve Szalay, said that while last year’s plans were all about growth the new proposals are about survival.

But AXO members said: “AXO does not believe the financial viability of Southampton Airport is in doubt. Even in the face of Covid-19 other airlines are already starting to take up Flybe’s routes. With this happening the airport’s revised economic assessment shows ‘neutral’ financial benefit to our region. Regional connectivity can be maintained with the airport as it currently is.”

But in a statement Southampton Airport said:  “The reality is the airlines backfilling FlyBe are still only about 20 per cent of our previous numbers. Smaller aircraft, less passengers, ten routes – where previously we offered up to 30.  Sustainability is at the heart of everything that we do, but the simple message is this: without the runway extension, the future of Southampton Airport is hugely in doubt and with that 2000 jobs, affecting thousands of local families.”

https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/18591513.airport-expansion-opposition-axo-criticises-southampton-airports-plans/?ref=rss

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See earlier:

Public consultation over Southampton runway extension slightly delayed – and campaigners fight for Marlhill Copse trees

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The public consultation through Eastleigh Borough Council over plans to extend Southampton Airport’s runway by 164 metres has been delayed. It was due to start on July 10th, but now the start date is not known – the delay may only be a week or so. The consultation is due to last 30 days. The airport also wants to add 600 more parking spaces to the existing long stay car park. There is a lot of local opposition to the plans, largely due to the noise impact and the extra carbon emissions of more flights. Neighbouring local authorities including Winchester and Southampton councils objected to the scheme.  There has already been one consultation, in late 2019, and the airport may make modifications in this second consultation. The final decision will be by Eastleigh Borough Council. The airport bought a small woodland near the airport, Marlhill Copse in 2018. It now wants to fell many of the trees, citing safety concerns. The trees in fact would only be a potential safety concern if the airport is allowed to expand. Three trees have already been felled, on the pretext of “good forestry management”.  Campaigners are trying to get this tree felling and tree height reduction stopped.

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Southampton Airport expansion plans go to second consultation – no date yet set

The airport plans to extend the runway by 164m to allow for larger 190-seater aircraft, and more flights.  It wants to double the number of passengers.  Its plans will go to a second public consultation, by Eastleigh council,  before a decision is made. Environmental campaigners and two neighbouring councils, Southampton and Winchester, have raised concerns over noise and air pollution. The airport makes the usual statements about lots of new jobs, and local economic boost (in reality, more of the passengers will be people in the area taking holidays abroad, taking their leisure money out of the UK). Local group, AXO, Airport Expansion Opposition, has been leading opposition to the plans.  A final decision is expected to be made by Eastleigh Borough Council, but everything is held up by the Covid pandemic, and no date has been set.  The council said: “We are awaiting amended information in support of the application.  Once we have received this, we will undertake a full re-consultation on the proposed runway extension.”

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ICCAN produces review and 6 recommendations about aviation noise metrics and their measurement

The issue of plane noise has been of great concern to hundreds of thousands of people, for ages. ICCAN was set up in 2019 to look into the problem, seeing if there might be ways to manage it better, and for people to be considered more  – and their noise concerns taken seriously. One key problem is how noise is measured, and therefore how overflown communities can get factual data on the noise they are experiencing. This is complicated. Acoustics is not a simple science, and especially difficult to explain in plain English to laypeople. The noise an area suffers depends on the number of planes overhead, their height, their type, what they are doing at the time, the frequency of the flights overhead, the time of day (or night) and the background level of noise an area already experiences. Traditionally aircraft noise is averaged over a period of time. That provides numbers that can be compared to other places and other times. But it makes no sense to those being affected. But nobody hears an average of plane noise. They hear a number of separate noisy events. Now ICCAN has produced a review of aircraft noise metric and their measurement, and their six recommendations, for how improvements should be made.
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The six recommendations:

 

Recommendation 1:

ICCAN supports the continued use of the LAeq-based metrics currently used for noise monitoring and statutory reporting where appropriate. However, we also recommend that supplementary Single Event metrics are routinely published by airports to better reflect the way in which noise is experienced on the ground.

Recommendation 2:

The approach to noise monitoring around the UK is neither consistent nor clear to stakeholders; we will develop best practice guidance for UK airports on the approach, standards and quantity of aviation noise monitoring.

Recommendation 3:

To help rebuild trust and ensure airports and communities work in partnership, we will provide best practice guidance on the provision of temporary noise monitors by airports to communities.

Recommendation 4:

Noise data transparency needs to improve. Our best practice guidance will develop standards to enable comparable noise monitoring data to be published annually, so communities can track changes and trends around their airports.

Recommendation 5:

The threshold for noise monitoring data from airports of 50,000 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) should be replaced with a lower threshold for publication of noise monitoring data, but applied proportionately and, potentially, with tiered requirements.

Recommendation 6:

Improving noise monitoring consistency and application requires UK-wide leadership. We see ICCAN’s future role as providing that national leadership and standard setting.


A review of aviation noise metrics and measurement

July 2020

 by ICCAN  (the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise)

https://iccan.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020_07_16_ICCAN_review_of_aviation_noise_metrics_and_measurement.pdf

Below is just

Chapter 6 : Key findings and recommendations

ICCAN says:

Our review of aviation noise metrics, noise monitoring and data publishing has identified some key areas where transparency and process can undoubtedly be improved. These include the lack of a consistent and unified approach to monitoring and processing noise data, a lack of data transparency, and opaque and inconsistent publishing practices surrounding noise metrics.

In an era when open and transparent data is rightly becoming the norm, it will become increasingly important that the aviation industry and its regulators publish and use consistent data to manage the adverse effects of aviation noise. This needs to be supported by the publication of noise metrics that are reflective of a community’s actual experience of aviation noise exposure and should be published in an accessible way.

Only by de-mystifying the complex subject that is the measurement of noise can trust start to be re-built between the industry, regulators and the local communities around airports.

We believe our findings and recommendations, along with the next steps we propose, will be a positive move in the right direction to rebuild that trust.

Recommendation 1:

ICCAN supports the continued use of the LAeq-based metrics currently used for noise monitoring and statutory reporting where appropriate. However, we also recommend that supplementary Single Event metrics are routinely published by airports to better reflect the way in which noise is experienced on the ground.

We acknowledge that there is no one metric that can reflect annoyance, or associated health issues. Having considered the metrics available, and the concerns frequently raised by stakeholders, we conclude that the best approach at present is to use different metrics for different purposes, in order to cater for the different needs of stakeholders. The metrics need to strike the balance between being relevant, accurate and meaningful while also easily communicated to non-experts.

We conclude that continued use of the LAeq-based metrics that are currently required in UK legislation and policy are appropriate. Although the LAeq-based metrics have their disadvantages, they are useful due to the large data sets that have already been amassed. Furthermore, research has shown that they do correlate with some aspects of annoyance and health (as reviewed in Aircraft Noise and Health Effects: A yearly update (CAA, 2019) and Aircraft Noise and Annoyance: Recent findings (CAA, 2018)).

However, we acknowledge and agree that people do not experience noise as an average, and therefore reliance entirely on LAeq does nothing to aid public understanding, let alone trust, in the data being published. It is our view that the LAeq type metrics can be strengthened by coupling them with a complementary metric that represents different aspects of aviation noise.

Our initial opinion is that the Number Above (Nx) is the most appropriate complementary metric. This will enable communities to see official data relating to the frequency of significant noise events over their communities. We will do further work to analyse and determine/define at what noise level such a metric should be set, along with the time period covered for predictive flight information, and this will form part of future best practice guidance. We believe this would be an important step to help increase the transparency of noise measurements to stakeholders.

Recommendation 2:

The approach to noise monitoring around the UK is neither consistent nor clear to stakeholders; we will develop best practice guidance for UK airports on the approach, standards and quantity of aviation noise monitoring.

Noise data is at the heart of the discussion around aviation noise. However, the methodologies for recording noise data are set out in various publications drawing on a variety of sources dating back to 1971 (ICAO, 2019). This means that not only are some of the requirements in need of updating, but the best practice isn’t a coherent narrative. It is also highly likely that there is some discrepancy in the practices for noise monitoring between UK airports due to factors such as different contractors, type and age of recording equipment, budgets etc.

All these factors mean that it is likely that noise monitoring quality is variable across the UK. In part this is unavoidable, but the situation could be improved to increase consistency. It is our opinion that there should be more explicit industry-wide codes of best practice, which will include tiered minimum standards, to ensure the quality of data gathering is adequate.

Our next step is will be to take the lead on providing that best practice guidance, and we will do this by working in partnership with credible partners and stakeholders. This approach would ensure that a robust and practical guidance is achieved which meets stakeholders’ needs.

As UK airports vary significantly in their size and density of the affected population around an airport, and the number of flightpaths used, frequency of flights etc., we will ensure our guidance is tiered so it can be applied proportionately, based on their characteristics. This would help ensure that expectations and resources required are reasonable. If changes were implemented, it would necessitate a transition time to allow the airport to finance and install any required monitoring equipment.

Recommendation 3:

To help rebuild trust and ensure airports and communities work in partnership, we will provide best practice guidance on the provision of temporary noise monitors by airports to communities.

Many airports already provide a limited number of temporary mobile noise monitors. We believe that doing so helps airports understand better the impact on their surrounding communities, and specific impacts on certain individual communities which helps communities further trust that the airports are acting in their best interests.

To ensure that resources and effort by airports is best used, we intend to produce a code of best practice which will guide airports in the provision of such monitors. This will

accompany the best practice guidance for noise recording and include minimum standards for the meters, along with extra information around the minimum duration that a noise monitor should be installed to make sure that a representative sample of data is collected.

Recommendation 4:

Noise data transparency needs to improve. Our best practice guidance will develop standards to enable comparable noise monitoring data to be published annually, so communities can track changes and trends around their airports.

Openness between airports and affected communities is an important aspect of noise monitoring. While we accept – and this report shows – that noise measurements and data are complex areas, we nevertheless advocate full transparency and sharing of data. This would bring about increased confidence of community stakeholders.

However, we recognise this would help but not fully restore confidence of community stakeholders unless the published data was independently verified. We suggest that airports should not be asking themselves ‘Why should we publish this data?’, rather the question should be ‘Why shouldn’t we?’. While we recognise it could take some time to develop processes that ensure accuracy and fairness we acknowledge it should be our ambition to have accessible data which enables airport noise management to be accurately and fairly compared. By being more open and transparent, airports can continue to build trust with their communities.

The presumption should be that data collected from airport noise monitors is made publicly available. It may be appropriate to have separate data publications aimed at different stakeholders, who will have different requirements. For example, data published in its raw format is large in volume and complex and therefore may be unusable to local communities. Raw data, however, may be of greater interest to bodies such as government, regulators or the academic community.

To facilitate this ambition, we will develop as part of our best practice guidance, clear guidelines with credible associates and stakeholders to ensure that it is ambitiously achievable and clear to all. By adopting this approach, we hope to ensure the guidance meets stakeholders’ needs and is suitably robust.

The guidance will include careful consideration of factors such as:

  • Where should the data be published?
  • What format(s) should be used?
  • What is an appropriate processing level?
  • Is the data understandable, useful, transparent and contain the relevant metrics?
  • Is the data accessible in terms of volume and complexity?
  • Has the data been quality assured and processed to an agreed standard?
  • Is it comparable with other UK airports, or airports of comparable size internationally?

 

Recommendation 5:

The threshold for noise monitoring data from airports of 50,000 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) should be replaced with a lower threshold for publication of noise monitoring data, but applied proportionately and, potentially, with tiered requirements.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry has been pronounced, and has led to significantly fewer numbers of ATMs across UK airports, as it has across the world. In light of this, we do not consider the threshold for noise monitoring data from airports of 50,000 ATMs (see Endnote 39) to be appropriate for the short to medium term.

We also do not believe it is helpful to have a hard threshold; we believe that there should be a lower threshold for publication of noise monitoring data, but applied proportionately and, potentially, in a tiered fashion that reflects the resources available to the different sizes of airports and the impact of their activity. It is logical to suggest that this data is should be published annually, on the same basis as the designated airports.

We believe that increased transparency will contribute to building a more detailed picture of the impacts of noise on affected populations. his is especially important as the UK’s airspace will be undergoing modernisation and will continue to evolve (DfT & CAA, 2019). Greater transparency will also give stakeholders the opportunity to have a much more realistic grasp on how aviation noise is changing year-on-year.

It would also be important for planning authorities to have access to current and accurate information. Furthermore, by providing frequent forward-looking information (aircraft noise disclosure) about local aviation activity, this can play an important part in mitigating community annoyance (Australian Government, 2003) (Australian Government, 2019). Having more noise data available to examine, could also help feed into future studies around health and social impacts of aviation noise, which will be important for policy and legislation development in the future.

Recommendation 6:

Improving noise monitoring consistency and application requires UK-wide leadership. We see ICCAN’s future role as providing that national leadership and standard setting.

As can be seen from our findings and recommendations, we see the potential for much improvement in the way in which aviation noise is measured, collected and communicated to the public. The piecemeal approach – some airports under statutory obligations and some not; some publishing certain data and others not – leads to the impression that the industry is not being honest with the levels of noise (whether or not that is the case).

Correcting this needs co-ordinated and expert leadership and we see ICCAN’s role, as it evolves, as being to provide that leadership. This will be even more important as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As with other aspects around how aviation noise is managed, we see opportunity in the resetting and restarting of aviation: the opportunity to improve processes, practices and behaviours of all involved in aviation, and in this case of those that capture, use and disseminate noise measurements.

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See full report at

https://iccan.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020_07_16_ICCAN_review_of_aviation_noise_metrics_and_measurement.pdf

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ICCAN progress report, after a year’s work looking at aviation noise – it should be a priority post-Covid

What seems a long time ago, in 2015, the Airports Commission recommended that an independent body should be set up to deal with aircraft noise problems. So in 2019 ICCAN (the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise) was finally set up.  It was hoped that this body would be able to help people who are subjected to aircraft noise, and who have no sensible means to get the level of noise nuisance reduced. In reality, ICCAN says its aim is “to improve trust and public confidence in the management of noise in the UK through the delivery of a comprehensive work programme.” And: “It is not, and never has been, our role to have a view on the future expansion of the aviation industry, but as part of making the UK a world leader in managing aviation noise ….” It has no powers. It has now produced its Progress Report, one year from starting work. Its main aim has been contacting many “stakeholders”, finding information, getting well informed. Now its lead commissioner, Rob Light, says the Covid pandemic “should be seen as a chance to rebuild and regrow aviation in a more sustainable way” and noise should be a key priority.
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Our progress update: ‘One year in’

ICCAN Newsletter – June 2020   

https://iccan.gov.uk/

ICCAN (Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise) says:

It has been almost one year since we published our first Corporate Strategy, which set out ICCAN’s aim to improve trust and public confidence in the management of noise in the UK through the delivery of a comprehensive work programme.

As we enter our second year of that strategy, we have taken a look at how we have done over the past year, in ‘Corporate Strategy 2019-2021: Progress report – One year in’. This charts our progress so far as we prepare to deliver a series of reports and guidance that we have spent the first year researching.

We also use the document to reflect on the impact Covid-19 has had on the aviation industry and how we intend to deliver our objectives over the next year, in a landscape that looks very different to the one we encountered when we were first established in 2019.

Read it here

Call to make noise a key priority in aviation recovery

Last month, ICCAN Head Commissioner Rob Light wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, and Aviation Minister, Kelly Tolhurst MP. In his letter, he put forward ICCAN’s view that the unprecedented situation the aviation industry is currently experiencing should be seen as a chance to rebuild and regrow aviation in a more sustainable way, and he called for noise to be a key priority.

Read Rob’s letter

Engagement must continue

After attending the first meeting of the Heathrow Community Engagement Board’s Independent Forum, ICCAN Commissioner Howard Simmons wrote a blog reflecting on the meeting, the use of virtual technology for engagement and why conversations about noise must continue despite the slowdown in aviation.

Read Howard’s blog 

 

https://clicks.redcircledigital.co.uk/view_online/view_online.php

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ICCAN says:

We see this as a great opportunity to rebuild the industry in a way that ensures noise management is at the core of planning for the future and we are heartened that there are others on both sides of the debate with a similar view. We understand that this will be difficult, and that the aviation industry will be short of resources, even as activity increases; however, we fear that the consequences of not embracing the chance to change will significantly impair the industry in the future.

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We set ourselves the aim of improving trust and public confidence in the management of aviation noise in the UK – our ambition is that, in time, the UK becomes the world leader in managing aviation noise. Our activity throughout our first two-year work programme is underpinned by that focus and, as we enter our second year, we are ready to deliver a number of the reports and guidance that we have spent the first year researching and developing.

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Our engagement also enabled us to identify where the priorities lay; for example, it led to us prioritising our review into the Survey of Noise Attitudes (SoNA) 2014, which plays a role informing government and airport expansion policy. We published our first report in December 2019, which contained a thorough review of SoNA and set out a clear roadmap for how we would develop a new approach to attitudinal surveys.

We have since contracted a research agency to help us design the new series of surveys and, with the involvement of communities, government and regulators, industry, and academia, we will make recommendations on the next series of surveys later this year.

Our other priorities in year one included developing best practice for airports on consulting and engaging during airspace change design; and investigating and establishing an opinion on the complex issue of noise metrics. Having prepared to publish these in April 2020, once the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic – and its impact on the aviation industry – was clear, we decided to postpone delivering these two pieces of work while the communities and Government is rightly focussed on the immediate effects of the pandemic. We set out new plans for our publications in the tables in the Annex.

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It is not, and never has been, our role to have a view on the future expansion of the aviation industry, but as part of making the UK a world leader in managing aviation noise, we are determined to ensure that decisions taken in how the aviation industry rebuilds maximise the opportunity to improve noise management and mitigation and are as informed as possible.

As the industry begins to recover, our work in giving guidance on noise management will be more important than ever. While some of our work programme deliverables this year will be delayed due to the pandemic (through its impact on our own resources, and on those of partners we are working with), we will also be using the unique opportunity of such quiet skies to capture data – both quantitative and qualitative – about the use of the skies and people’s attitudes towards aviation noise during the pandemic. However, our work programme that we set out last year will remain the focus of our work over the coming months.

We intend to publish our opinion on metrics – postponed from April this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic – by the end of July 2020. In this report we will set out a roadmap towards publishing best practice on noise measurement, data use and transparency. It is clear to us that much needs to be done to increase public trust and understanding in the way in which aviation noise is measured and communicated to the public, and we will set out our role in providing direction, best practice and examples for the industry and government to follow.

As well as postponing our metrics work in April, we also held back the work we have done on a best practice toolkit on consultation for airspace change sponsors. One impact of Covid-19 is that nearly all airports have paused their airspace change processes, and the airspace modernisation programme has also been delayed. It is therefore unlikely that sponsors will be proceeding through the consultation stages of CAP1616, the CAA’s guidance on how to make airspace change proposals, any time soon.

We believe that airspace modernisation could be an important tool in managing the impact of aviation noise on communities, and once this programme, and the airspace change processes associated with it, has resumed we stand ready to deliver our best practice toolkit as well as other elements of our work programme relating to airspace changes, set out in the tables in the Annex.

During the summer of 2020 we will be collating and analysing quantitative and qualitative data on aviation noise and activity during what is the new normal of a quieter period in the skies. We hope this data will provide a unique baseline of how the skies are used in such low levels of activity, and shine a light on the way in which industry and community behaviours change when faced with such a crisis.

Depending on what this analysis shows, we intend to continue with such research over the coming year to 18 months as the industry recovers – by building such an evidence base we will be able to make more informed recommendations to government and stakeholders as the industry rebuilds and activity increases.

Our work throughout 2020 continues to be focussed around our one main priority of advising the government on the future of aviation noise regulation and management. Given the impact of Covid-19 on aviation activity and the industry itself, we anticipate our views on the future of regulation evolving over the coming months.

But we continue to work towards providing that advice by the end of 2020. Our report will also draw in our work on insulation and planning and land use – both of which overlap with our consideration about the future of regulation.

We are already clear that there will be an ongoing and evolving role for an independent noise body such as ICCAN in providing national leadership on the issue of managing aviation noise, whether it be through setting standards for noise measurements or insulation, leading on identifying the public health impacts of aviation noise, or advising government or planning authorities on expansion plans or airspace changes

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and there is lots more.  There are charts showing objectives, and progress made, on a range of subjects, in the Annex.

 

https://iccan.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020_06_19_ICCAN_Corporate_Strategy_One_Year_In.pdf

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