Sir David Amess (Southend West MP) in plea to Southend Council to get night flights scrapped

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, has said that night flights at Southend Airport must be scrapped, as residents continue to battle sleepless nights. He has written to Southend Council leader Ian Gilbert pleading for his support in getting them banned, for the sake of residents. The Amazon cargo night flights have been the topic of heated debate since they launched in October 2019. The airport has permission for 120 night flights per month, but insists the number of flights is regularly much lower.  Council bosses have admitted it would be “very difficult” to get the flights scrapped, as the airport is acting inside their targets, and and are not breaking the law. The only way to get the night flights stopped is to have the quota removed from the Airport’s Section 106 Licence Agreement, from the council. The airport is desperate to make some money, due to the pandemic, and would not willingly give up night flights, which provide some income.  This is especially frustrating, when there are very few daytime flights, and many of the cargo planes are old and noisier than more modern planes.  There were actually 127 night flights departing the airport in March 2020, compared to just 78 last month.
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Sir David Amess MP in plea to scrap airport night flights

By Toby Emes 
Reporter (Basildon, Canvey, Southend Echo)

7th April 2021

NIGHT flights at Southend Airport must be scrapped, an MP has insisted as residents continue to battle sleepless nights.

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, has written to Southend Council leader Ian Gilbert pleading for his support for the sake of residents.

The controversial Amazon night flights have been the topic of heated debate since they launched in October 2019.

The airport has permission for 120 night flights per month, but insists the number of flights is regularly much lower.

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Council bosses have admitted it would be “very difficult” to get the flights scrapped.

Ron Woodley, deputy leader of Southend Council, said: “The airport are working inside their targets, and are not breaking the law.

“I emphasise with those who live nearby, but if the night flights are banned, there would be next to no flights leaving at the moment. With the financial struggles and tough times they are facing, I don’t see the airport making that move.”

In November, Mr Jones insisted the night flights would remain overnight,despite a lack of departures during the day due to the pandemic.

David Smith, who lives off Manners Way, claims he is woken up roughly four times a night by the The 70-year-old, said: “It’s impossible to sleep. We’re all disturbed along here.

“Some of the aircraft are 27 years old, they’re not set up to make minimum noise.”

But airport bosses insist night flights have decreased since this time last year.

Figures, seen by the Echo, revealed there were 127 night flights departing the airport in March last year, compared to just 78 last month.

Sir David Amess MP added: “I have written to the leader of the council saying that I would be calling for night flights to be banned at Southend Airport and asking the council for their support.”

https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/local_news/19213811.sir-david-amess-mp-plea-scrap-airport-night-flights/

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See earlier:

Southend Airport to pay out £86k due to runway extension noise, under the Land Compensation Act

A court has ordered that Southend Airport should pay a total of £86,500 in compensation to owners of 9 neighbouring homes who say their values were diminished by noise, following the extension of the runway. in 2012  In its ruling, the Upper Tribunal’s Lands Chamber ordered that payments ranging from £4,000 to £17,000 be made in respect of the 9 homes, while a claim for a 10th property was dismissed. The claims for compensation are under the Land Compensation Act 1973. There is more noise, as larger planes land and take off from the airport.  The longer runway enabling the airport to “attract low-cost commercial airlines operating much larger aircraft than had previously flown from it”. The Tribunal agreed that the extra noise had meant depreciation in the value of most of the lead properties.  In 2013, the value of the lead properties ranged from £150,000 to £280,000, and the claimants sought compensation of between £32,200 and £60,100.  The Land Compensation Act says it applies to cases where there have been alterations to runways or aprons.  ie. something physical has been built (not buildings).

Click here to view full story…

Tory councillors want an end to Southend night flights, largely bringing in Amazon packages

Conservative councillors have criticised Southend Airport’s night flights, pledging to “explore every avenue possible” to have them removed. They have made it clear they back “further controlled expansion” but want night flights removed. Some residents say they are being forced to take sleeping tablets because of the sleep disruption caused by night flights. The Conservative councillors said: “We will continue to explore every avenue possible to have the night flight quota removed from the Airport’s Section 106 Licence Agreement.”  Other councillors worry there will be a loss of jobs, and they dare not risk losing them, with so many jobs being lost due to Covid. There are residential roads very close to the airport boundary, with houses must too near the runway. The airport is permitted on average 4 flights per night, but sometimes has fewer.  The airport has cargo flights, bringing in Amazon goods. There are generally 3 pear night between 1am and 5.30am, though there had been an earlier agreement not to have flights between midnight and 6am. This agreement has been abandoned.

Click here to view full story…

 

Stobart job losses due to Covid pandemic and decreased air travel

24.9.2020

More than 60 jobs are at risk at Manchester Airport as part of Stobart Aviation Services’ plans to cut 250 jobs across the UK.

The roles under threat are mainly baggage handlers. In Manchester it is 40% of Stobart Aviation Services’ workforce.

The company is also looking to reduce the number of people it employs at Southend and Stansted Airports by more than 60%.

https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/2066978-airport-jobs-under-threat-as-baggage-handlers-risk-being-left-empty-handed 


Southend Airport Amazon night flights to stay despite meeting with MP

By Matthew Critchell @MattC_Echo (Basildon, Canvey and Southend Echo)

3rd September 2020

Amazon bosses say night flights at Southend Airport will stay and be assessed – as residents and an MP demand action to stop disruption.

Sir David Amess, Tory MP for Southend West met with bosses at the online giant following serious concerns from residents about disruption from the flights. For years residents have spoken of the disruption and called for action to help the issue.

A letter to Sir David following the meeting said: “Our flights schedules are based on the best times to meet our promises to our customers and some of the flights have to occur at night. We always seek to be responsible neighbours and are very strict in following all regulations and laws on aircraft noise, making every effort to reduce any impact on residents.

“We will inform you of any future flight schedule changes and we will continue to assess our schedule going forward with your concerns in mind. The slots we are allocated are agreed with Southend Airport.

“In the meantime we are committed to working with you, the airport and residents to find ways to mitigate flight noise and reduce night disruption.”

https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/18695758.southend-airport-amazon-night-flights-stay-despite-meeting-mp/

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Southend Airport to pay out £86k due to runway extension noise, under the Land Compensation Act

A court has ordered that Southend Airport should pay a total of £86,500 in compensation to owners of 9 neighbouring homes who say their values were diminished by noise, following the extension of the runway in 2012.  In its ruling, the Upper Tribunal’s Lands Chamber ordered that payments ranging from £4,000 to £17,000 be made in respect of the 9 homes, while a claim for a 10th property was dismissed. The claims for compensation are under the Land Compensation Act 1973. There is more noise, as larger planes land and take off from the airport.  The longer runway enabling the airport to “attract low-cost commercial airlines operating much larger aircraft than had previously flown from it”. The Tribunal agreed that the extra noise had meant depreciation in the value of most of the lead properties.  In 2013, the value of the lead properties ranged from £150,000 to £280,000, and the claimants sought compensation of between £32,200 and £60,100.  The Land Compensation Act says it applies to cases where there have been alterations to runways or aprons.  ie. something physical has been built (not buildings). Back in June 2013, over 1,000 claims were made against the airport’s noise.
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London Southend Airport to pay out £86k over runway extension noise

31.3.2021   (BBC)
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Southend Airport’s runway extension opened in 2012
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An airport has been ordered to pay compensation to the owners of neighbouring homes over noise caused by a runway extension.

Dozens of homeowners near London Southend Airport claimed the property values were diminished following the extension which opened in 2012.

The claims were denied by the airport.

But nine were upheld by the Upper Tribunal’s Lands Chamber, which ordered the airport should pay out a total of £86,500.

The court in London considered 10 exemplar cases after 190 current and former owners of houses near the airport made claims under the Land Compensation Act 1973.

Claimants said the value of their homes had been reduced by “physical factors caused by the use of the runway extension, and in particular by the increased noise they experience from the larger aircraft which now take off and land”.

‘A noisy environment got noisier’

The airport denied that the value of any of the lead properties had been “diminished by relevant physical factors resulting from the use of the runway extension and it values each of the claims at nil”.

In its ruling, the tribunal said daytime noise data showed between 2011 and 2014 “what was already quite a noisy environment got noisier”.

It said: “We are satisfied from the evidence of fact, the expert noise evidence and our site inspection that the use of the runway extension has caused depreciation in the value of most of the lead properties due to noise.”

The tribunal ordered payments ranging from £4,000 to £17,000 to be made in respect of nine homes, and a claim for a 10th property was dismissed.

A spokesman for the airport said: “London Southend Airport respects the decision of the independent judicial tribunal.

“The airport takes its role in the community extremely seriously and will continue to engage with residents so that we can all enjoy a sustainable future founded on responsible airport operations and creating long-term job opportunities.”

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Airport development & expansion claims

Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973 provides that compensation can be claimed by residents who own and also occupy property, near an airport, that has been reduced in value by physical factors such as noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke and artificial lighting caused by certain airport developments and expansions.

Claims are made against the company managing the works, usually the airport operator, known as the ‘Responsible Authority’.

https://www.hughjames.com/service/environmental-compensation/runway-development-and-expansion

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The Land Compensation Act 1973

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1973/26/part/I

The change in conditions could be a change in the physical infrastructure (eg. longer runway).

The Act says:

” 3) Subsection (2) above shall not by virtue of any alterations to an aerodrome apply to a claim in respect of physical factors caused by aircraft unless the alterations are runway or apron alterations.”


Southend Airport ordered to pay compensation to home owners over noise

A court ordered a total of £86,000 to be paid to nine households

By Sam Russell  (Independent)
31.3.2021

A court has ordered that London Southend Airport should pay a total of £86,500 in compensation to owners of nine neighbouring homes who say their values were diminished by noise following a runway extension.

In its ruling, the Upper Tribunal’s Lands Chamber ordered that payments ranging from £4,000 to £17,000 be made in respect of the nine homes, while a claim for a 10th property was dismissed.

The court considered 10 exemplar cases after 190 current and former owners of houses in the vicinity of the airport referred claims for compensation under the Land Compensation Act 1973.

The claimants asserted that the value of their homes has been depreciated by “physical factors caused by the use of the runway extension, and in particular by the increased noise they experience from the larger aircraft which now take off and land at the airport“.

An extension to the existing runway was opened in 2012, enabling the airport to “attract low-cost commercial airlines operating much larger aircraft than had previously flown from it”.

The tribunal, led by deputy chamber president Martin Rodger QC and chartered surveyor Andrew Trott, said: “The general impression created by the daytime noise data is that between 2011 and 2014 what was already quite a noisy environment got noisier.”

They added: “We are satisfied from the evidence of fact, the expert noise evidence and our site inspection that the use of the runway extension has caused depreciation in the value of most of the lead properties due to noise.”

In 2013, the value of the lead properties ranged from £150,000 to £280,000, and the claimants sought compensation of between £32,200 and £60,100.

The airport denied that the value of any of the lead properties has been “diminished by relevant physical factors resulting from the use of the runway extension and it values each of the claims at nil”.

A spokesman for the airport said: “London Southend Airport respects the decision of the independent judicial tribunal.

“The airport takes its role in the community extremely seriously and will continue to engage with residents so that we can all enjoy a sustainable future founded on responsible airport operations and creating long-term job opportunities.”

Press Association

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/airport-pay-compensation-noise-b1825071.html

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See earlier:

Tory councillors want an end to Southend night flights, largely bringing in Amazon packages

Conservative councillors have criticised Southend Airport’s night flights, pledging to “explore every avenue possible” to have them removed. They have made it clear they back “further controlled expansion” but want night flights removed. Some residents say they are being forced to take sleeping tablets because of the sleep disruption caused by night flights. The Conservative councillors said: “We will continue to explore every avenue possible to have the night flight quota removed from the Airport’s Section 106 Licence Agreement.”  Other councillors worry there will be a loss of jobs, and they dare not risk losing them, with so many jobs being lost due to Covid. There are residential roads very close to the airport boundary, with houses must too near the runway. The airport is permitted on average 4 flights per night, but sometimes has fewer.  The airport has cargo flights, bringing in Amazon goods. There are generally 3 pear night between 1am and 5.30am, though there had been an earlier agreement not to have flights between midnight and 6am. This agreement has been abandoned.

Click here to view full story…


Grandmother complains after Southend airport expansion means 50 planes a day taxi at end of her garden

More planes using Southend airport have been causing noise nuisance and distress to local residents. A grandmother has complained as planes now taxi at the end of her garden, and there are 50 jets a day coming within 150ft of her fence. She says the planes going past, sometimes as often as every 20 minutes, with the noise and fumes, have left her and her husband miserable. “You can’t have a conversation in the garden with anyone because you can’t hear them.  When we are inside with the door closed we have to pause the TV until the plane has gone past. We worry about our grandchildren coming around and the enjoyment of having people over for BBQs is ruined. I love my garden and used to do a lot of gardening but now it is all spoilt with the noise and the smell.”  She has complained to the airport numerous times and is concerned the problem could worsen this summer when runways are expected to get busier.  It is very unsatisfactory when residential housing is as close to the taxiways as it is at Southend, and the quality of life of the residents is greatly reduced.

Click here to view full story…

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Lands Tribunal rules that residents near Farnborough can claim if their homes have been devalued by more flights

The Lands Tribunal has ruled that residents impacted by operations at Farnborough Airport, whose homes have been devalued by flights, can claim against the airport operators TAG. Law firm Hugh James is already dealing with 200 claimants and estimates that compensation could run into the millions.  The ruling concerns claims for compensation under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973, which provides a right to compensation where property value has been depreciated by increases in noise and other physical factors caused by the use of certain works including airports. The deputy president of the Lands Tribunal ruled that claims can proceed for any depreciation in property values caused by the addition of the airport’s West One Apron, completed in May 2010. This Apron was considered to be a substantial alteration built with the purpose of providing facilities for a greater number of aircraft. A partner at Hugh James said: “It’s yet to be determined whether any depreciation has been caused to property values and if so by how much, but it will now be the subject of ongoing proceedings.” Any claims for compensation arising out of the decision will need to be brought prior to the expiry of the statutory limitation period in May 2017. Other claims for work done at the airport in 2002 cannot be made, as these are now out of time. 

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/10/lands-tribunal-rules-that-residents-near-farnborough-can-claim-if-their-homes-have-been-devalued-by-more-flights/

 


Over 1,000 claims for compensation from Southend Airport due to loss in value of homes, because of aircraft noise

Southend Airport – which has had a huge and very rapid rise in the number of aircraft using the airport over the past year – has received more than 1,000 claims for compensation over aircraft noise. Homeowners nearby are concerned that the airport is reducing the value of their properties, due to the noise. The airport has said it will honour residents’ compensation claims if it is proven their homes have lost value because of its activities. Jon Fuller, of local group SAEN (Stop Airport Expansion and Noise) said that estate agents are giving strong indications local residents must expect many thousands of pounds less than they expect when they sell their homes. Though house prices in the area are generally fairly buoyant, if houses are close to the airport or on the flight path prices are suppressed. The airport’s CEO, Alistair Welch said people can make a compensation claim up to a year after the new terminal is finished. Surveyors, Michael Marriott, who are helping people submit claims say they can only claim for nuisances arising from the use of the runway extension. Nuisances arising from the use of the airport which do not depend upon the extension will be disregarded.

Claims could only be made after 9th March 2013, for 6 years. So the end of the claim period was March 2019.

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2013/06/huge-opposition-to-southend-airport-expansion-revealed/

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Campaign groups call for ban on Gatwick Airport night flights

Both community groups at Gatwick, GACC and CAGNE, are calling for a ban on night flights from Gatwick. “If night flights continue to be allowed, GACC argues they should be limited to those that are genuinely essential for economic reasons, not leisure flights, and that they should be far more strictly regulated.”  Successive governments have acknowledged that noise from aircraft at night has significant health, economic and other impacts on communities near airports and under flight paths, and have asserted that they take this very seriously. But there has been no bottom-up review of the UK’s night flight regime since 2006. Instead, the government has repeatedly rolled forward night flight limits set many years ago, without any re-examination of what we believe are the very limited economic benefits, whilst failing to take account of the increasingly strong evidence of the adverse physical and mental health impacts night flights have on communities. There is no reason to continue to operate services at night when there is ample capacity at times of day that have less serious health and community impacts. The first part of the DfT consultation on night flights ended on 3rd March; the second part ends on 31st May.
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Campaign groups call for ban on Gatwick Airport night flights

Two campaign groups are calling for a ban on night flights from Gatwick Airport.

By Sam Dixon-French  (West Sussex County Times)
Friday, 19th March 2021

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) and Communities Against Gatwick Noise Emissions (CAGNE) want to stop planes flying at night to reduce noise and health impacts in the area.

A spokesman for GACC said: “If night flights continue to be allowed, GACC argues they should be limited to those that are genuinely essential for economic reasons, not leisure flights, and that they should be far more strictly regulated.”

Chairman of GACC Peter Barclay added: “People’s health should be put ahead of cheap holidays and airline profits.”

CAGNE said it is calling on residents in the area to respond to the Government’s night flight consultation, which ends on May 31.

A spokesman added: “It is well documented that night flights come with serious health risks as such they carry a cost to residents’ wellbeing and the NHS.”

… and it continues with comments from Gatwick, which can be seen at

https://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/people/campaign-groups-call-for-ban-on-gatwick-airport-night-flights-3171791

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GACC said in a recent newsletter on the Night Flights issue:

GACC strongly disagrees with DfT’s proposal to extend current night flight restrictions for an additional two years, for three main reasons.

First, we think it is complacent and irresponsible. Successive governments have acknowledged that noise from aircraft at night has significant health, economic and other impacts on communities near airports and under flight paths, and have asserted that they take this very seriously. But there has been no bottom-up review of the UK’s night flight regime since 2006. Instead, the government has repeatedly rolled forward night flight limits set many years ago, without any re-examination of what we believe are the very limited economic benefits, whilst failing to take account of the increasingly strong evidence of the adverse physical and mental health impacts night flights have on communities,

Secondly, there is no reason to continue to operate services at night when there is ample capacity at times of day that have less serious health and community impacts. The current reduction in night flights has been widely welcomed in local communities and the government should be taking steps to ensure they are eliminated or reduced very substantially, rather than permitting the airport to reintroduce them at scale when it pleases.

Thirdly, Gatwick communities are unfairly penalised by the current regime. In the summer, when they have greatest impacts, we have nearly 40% more night flights than Stansted and three times the number at Heathrow.

http://www.gacc.org.uk/resources/Newsletters/GACC%20NEWSLETTER%20123%20links%20included%20.pdf


The DfT Night Flights consultation – 2nd part ends 31st May 2021.

They say:

…. Secondly, we are also seeking early views and evidence on policy options for the government’s future night flight policy at the designated airports beyond 2024, and nationally. This includes whether we should amend our national noise policy to include specific policy for night noise, revising our night flight dispensation guidance, whether we should set criteria for airport designation, and what any future night flight regime at the designated airports should look like. This second section has been extended in a separate consultation, running from 4 March to 31 May 2021, all responses received will be treated equally to those of the new consultation.

We would aim to publish stage 2 of this consultation in 2022 which will set out firm proposals for the designated airports beyond 2024.

This process relates to the current designated airports in their current operational form and it does not consider any scenarios related to airport expansion proposals.

This consultation process will be of interest to communities that live near airports or underneath flightpaths, local authorities, airlines, airport operators, and businesses or consumers that depend on the aviation sector.

See

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flights-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-beyond-2024-plus-national-night-flight-policy/night-flights-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-beyond-2024-plus-national-night-flight-policy


See earlier:

DfT night flights consultation – deadline for first section is 3rd March (second section 31st May)

The DfT has a consultation currently, on night flights.  The consultation has two parts. First, by 3 March the DfT seeking views on its proposals to extend the current night flight restrictions, set in 2017, for an additional two years from October 2022, and to ban the noisiest category of aircraft from operating in the night from October 2022 (this is only relevant for the few airports at which these planes are permitted). Then second, by 31st May it is seeking wider views on its national night flight policy and the structure of night flight restrictions beyond 2024.  Groups concerned about aircraft noise are very much opposed to the DfT’s proposal to extend current night flight restrictions for an additional 2 years, as it is widely acknowledged that plane noise at night disturbs sleep thousands, and negatively affects their mental and physical health.  The government has repeatedly rolled forward night flight limits set many years ago, without any proper re-examination of the issues. There are claims of the economic benefits of night flights, and these need to be re-assessed. With falling business flights, one frequent justification is to increase the number of daily “rotations” by low-cost airlines, keeping their fare prices low.

Click here to view full story…

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DfT spending £5.5 million on airspace change, to “drive improvements to UK’s ‘motorways in the sky’”

There is much talk, in the DfT and the CAA about “modernising airspace”. The main aim is to make it easier for more aircraft to use UK airspace safely. It means more planes flying along exactly the same route – which the DfT refers to as “motorways in the sky.”  The industry would also like to get the amount of noise nuisance from aviation to be as low as is possible with ever more planes. There has never been any satisfactory solution to whether to fly most planes over fewer routes (concentrated routes) or to fly planes on more routes. So the choice is affecting a smaller number of people very severely, or a larger number less badly.  There has never been decision on the alternatives. The concept of “respite” is popular with some – so more planes fly a certain route part of the time, giving those under another route some rest from the noise – then switching the two. Now the DfT has announced it is spending £5.5 million will (in the greenwash) “support airports to develop and evaluate design options aimed at making journeys quicker, quieter and cleaner.”  It will “deliver for all the UK.”  And help the sector to “build back better.” … The main aim is to fit in more flights, and ensure planes do not stack on their arrival at an airport.

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£5.5 million to drive improvements to UK’s ‘motorways in the sky’

[Read with greenwash detectors fully operating.]

For the first time since the 1950s, airport modernisation receives support to help make journeys faster, quieter and greener.

  • up to £5.5 million made available to support airports in reducing journey times, pollution and delays
  • funding will aid industry as it develops and evaluates new flight routes to modernise UK airspace
  • move will play a vital role in the Civil Aviation Authority’s Airspace Modernisation Strategy ready for when travel restrictions lift

The UK’s ‘motorways in the sky’ are on track to be redesigned for the first time since the 1950s, thanks to a £5.5 million investment announced today (19 March 2021).

Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there were approximately 7,000 aircraft in UK airspace, [sic] dependent on a complex network of routes that allows planes to operate safely. However, since these flight paths were initially mapped out decades ago, growing numbers of routes and a surge in demand has resulted in an increase in delays, noise and pollution.

The £5.5 million fund announced today will support airports to develop and evaluate design options aimed at making journeys quicker, quieter and cleaner.

Although national lockdown restrictions remain in place, meaning everyone must stay at home unless travelling for a very limited set of reasons, this work will help the sector build back better and greener from the pandemic.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts said:As an island nation, our airspace is vital in keeping us connected to the rest of the world.Modernising our ‘sky motorways’ could put an end to the days of circling the airport waiting for a landing slot, improving efficiency, and leading to flights that are quicker, quieter and greener than ever before.

Mark Swan, Head of the Airspace Change Organising Group (ACOG), said:

We’re delighted that the government has reaffirmed the essential role that airspace modernisation will play in helping the aviation industry to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work with our partners across the industry to ensure this programme is one that delivers for all of the UK.

Creating more efficient and streamlined airspace, not only benefits airports and airlines but also the passengers and communities surrounding them, through reduced emissions, lower levels of noise pollution and fewer delays.The investment has been made available to airports involved in the Airspace Modernisation Strategy to ensure this vital project remains on track, reflecting the government’s commitment to modernising the airways while supporting the aviation sector as we recover from the pandemic.

The government has also put in place one of the most comprehensive packages of business support in the world, pledging around £7 billion for the aviation sector since the start of the pandemic while working to develop a framework for the restart of safe and sustainable international travel.

The Global Travel Taskforce will publish its recommendations next month, with international travel resuming from 17 May at the earliest.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/55-million-to-drive-improvements-to-uks-motorways-in-the-sky


Information about the Airspace Modernisation Strategy

from the CAA

Airspace modernisation co-sponsor update (July 2020):

The Government and the Civil Aviation Authority have asserted our continued commitment to airspace modernisation in a joint statement and we have set out further detail on how we intend to review work on airspace modernisation going forward, including the need to consider how individual organisations may progress airspace changes in these uncertain times. 

The CAA has published its finalised Airspace Modernisation Strategy (AMS). The new strategy is in response to the Department for Transport tasking the Civil Aviation Authority with preparing and maintaining a co-ordinated strategy and plan for the use of UK airspace up to 2040, including modernisation.

The AMS replaces the Future Airspace Strategy and sets out the ways, means and ends of modernising airspace through 15 initiatives that will modernise the design, technology and operations of airspace, initially focusing on the period until the end of 2024. These include the removal of all fixed routes in upper airspace so aircraft can fly fully optimised routes, a fundamental redesign of the terminal route network using precise and flexible satellite navigation, and the focus on electronic surveillance solutions to improve safety and enable better integration of all airspace users. The AMS is published following public engagement earlier in 2018, which saw hundreds of people have their say.

The structure of the UK’s airspace has remained the same for decades, despite an increase in demand from its users. According to research conducted by NATS, flights in UK airspace are forecast to grow from 2.25 million per year in 2015 to 3.25 million in 2030 (an increase of 44 per cent). If nothing changes, more and more flights will be delayed at UK airports each year. Without modernisation,  NATS predict an average of 26.5 minutes of delay per delayed flight, with more than 1 in 3 flights from all UK airports expected to depart over half an hour late due to a shortfall in airspace capacity. Other airspace users, including drone and spacecraft operators, general aviation and the military are also wanting increased access to this infrastructure and other stakeholders such as local communities want adverse impacts to be better mitigated.  Modernisation is critical to ensure that this invisible piece of the UK’s national infrastructure is fit for purpose for the future.

The AMS sets out a new shared objective between the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport for modernising airspace which is to deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys and more capacity for the benefit of those who use and are affected by UK airspace. This new strategy will allow the UK to provide more choice and value for consumers, allowing airlines to add new flights, reducing flight delays and enhancing global connections that can help boost the UK economy, while continuing to improve safety standards and helping make journeys more environmentally friendly. Coupled with the adoption of new technology by existing airspace users, it will also help pave the way for increased safe access for newer airspace users like drones and spacecraft.

The increase in traffic may lead to an increase in noise in some areas, or the concentration of traffic can focus noise over a smaller area. While it is impossible to reduce the impact of aviation noise for all communities, it is important that noise is managed as well as possible. Airports should also consider whether they can develop airspace change proposals to reduce noise, i.e. to reduce the total adverse health effects of noise.

The strategy also presents a new governance structure which sets out the industry’s responsibility for its delivery and how relevant stakeholders will be a part of that process. The AMS does not propose any specific airspace changes but suggests that a masterplan of changes that will be necessary for modernisation should be developed. Any individual airspace changes that are developed either in response to this strategy or for any other reasons will go through the CAA’s airspace change process (as set out in CAP 1616), to include consultation with affected stakeholders which, depending on the circumstances, includes communities on the ground and other airspace users.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-industry/Airspace/Airspace-Modernisation-Strategy/About-the-strategy/

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Correspondence

DfT and CAA update on airspace modernisation: March 2021

Updated 19 March 2021

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/update-on-airspace-modernisation/dft-and-caa-update-on-airspace-modernisation-march-2021

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MSP Gil Paterson writes to Scottish Government, to get noise help for those overflown by Glasgow planes

Aircraft at Glasgow airport fly over some districts at little more than 400ft and yet Glasgow Airport, whose attitude towards its disadvantaged communities has been notoriously bad, refuses to provide them with proper sound insulation – which is all they have been asking for.  Now an MSP, Gil Paterson, has done a survey of the noise nuisance suffered. This shows a considerable % of those polled were “moderately, badly or severely” affected by the noise, both daytime and night. There are well established negative impacts of noise on health.  Gil has written to the Scottish Government, asking for help for those suffering so much aircraft noise. He says: “Before the pandemic I was engaged with Glasgow Airport, West Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Government putting together a noise insulation package for residents in the 63 dB area, but things have been very slow to materialise and to be honest the 63 dB contour area is much too narrow to resolve the impact of noise on human health.” …”Whilst I accept that air transport powers are limited to the Scottish Parliament as part of our Government’s commitment to eradicating inequalities and our anti-poverty policies, we must use all the levers available to resolve this appalling situation being experienced by my constituents who live under the flight path.”
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From
GIL PATERSON MSP
Member of the Scottish Parliament for
Clydebank and Milngavie constituency
SUITE 1-6
TITAN ENTERPRISE BUSINESS CEN.
1 AURORA AVENUE
CLYDEBANK G81 1BF

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To
Michael Matheson MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity
The Scottish Government
St. Andrew’s House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

26/02/21

Dear Michael,

Aircraft Noise Mitigation at Glasgow Airport

I have been working for 13 years to try to find a solution to the problems created by aircraft noise at Glasgow Airport which impacts severely on some of the most disadvantaged and deprived communities in Scotland.

As a result of the downturn in aircraft activity caused by coronavirus restrictions, I took the
opportunity as part of the UK Government’s Night Flights Consultation to survey constituent
communities previously affected to establish in a comparative way how less flights improved noise pollution in their homes.

I have attached a copy of my survey results (see Glasgow noise survey Gil Paterson 2020 ) together with my letter to the Night Flight Consultation for your information.

No real surprise with fewer planes there was less disruption reducing the number of those badly or severely affected by aircraft noise from 31% before the coronavirus pandemic to 9% during the restrictions.

Before the pandemic I was engaged with Glasgow Airport, West Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Government putting together a noise insulation package for residents in the 63 dB area, but things have been very slow to materialise and to be honest the 63 dB contour area is much too narrow to resolve the impact of noise on human health.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines outline that noise in excess of 45 dBs during the day and 40 dBs at night will damage people’s health and that level of ill health for communities in Clydebank has been demonstrated in the SIMD statistics where early death and prolonged periods of ill health are amongst the worst in Scotland.

Whilst I accept that air transport powers are limited to the Scottish Parliament as part of our
Government’s commitment to eradicating inequalities and our anti-poverty policies, we must use all the levers available to resolve this appalling situation being experienced by my constituents who live under the flight path.

Interestingly, almost every other airport in the UK has had an insulation or compensation scheme in place for years and a few ban night-flights yet we seem to be caught in some kind of paralysis.

Can the various department in the Scottish Government please get round the table and address this issue which affects a relatively small proportion of Scotland’s population, but it does affect them extremely severely. With the numbers involved this will not be an expensive problem to resolve.

If you require any further information, I am more than happy to discuss the details with you.

Yours sincerely,

Gil Paterson MSP
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Clydebank and Milngavie (SNP)

 

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See earlier (2019)

MSP Gil Paterson secures parliament debate on aircraft noise

26th June 2019

By Lauren Brownlie Reporter (Clydebank Post)

CLYDEBANK’s MSP secured a debate in the Scottish Parliament highlighting the health effects of aircraft noise, and the damage it does to children’s education.

Gil Paterson MSP has been a long campaigner on the issue, despite Westminster being responsible for aviation issues.

During the debate on Tuesday evening, Mr Paterson started by welcoming Whitecrook residents that were in the gallery.

He said: “ I would like to mention Tam Brady, Joe Henry, Reuben McLean and Pat Hoey who have been of great assistance to me for more than 12 years on aircraft noise issues.”

Mr Paterson has been working with the Scottish and Local Government to take preventative action by upgrading fuel poverty schemes under the flightpath, using materials that protect against both heat loss and sound penetration.

Read more: Aircraft noise readings outside Whitecrook raise questions

Mr Paterson pointed out that he has already proved this can be done effectively, and at a reasonable cost, when he retrofitted a house in Clydebank installing triple glazing and special loft insulation reducing noise levels from 63 decibels to 45 decibels.

The MSP also announced that a proposal will go before West Dunbartonshire Council in August to approve a pilot scheme retrofitting 12 houses for heat and sound protection.

He also spoke of the importance that when new houses are built under the flightpath, they comply with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.

He said: “The WHO say that people are damaged at levels over 45 decibels. Therefore, I believe that housing regulations for new build homes which are within this zone be required to install materials that protect to the 45 decibels level.

“The cost of installing on a virgin housing site is considerably less than having to rip out and reinstall.”

“Right now in Clydebank there are houses being built that fall within the 60 decibels zone, which if not fitted with a dual heat/sound protection products at the start would be required to do so in a few short years.

“However, I am very glad to say West Dunbartonshire Council have been very engaged and alert in this matter and there is every chance these houses will be fully protected.”

Read more: Whitecrook campaigners meet UK aviation noise commissioner

In October 2018 the WHO warned of the increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, mental health issues, metabolic problems, reduced quality of life, reduced level of well-being associated with the noise levels endured by those living under a flight path.

Mr Paterson concluded his speech during the debate by saying: “So my message from this debate is simple, you either stop night-time flights or by insulating the building you safeguard the people.”

https://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/17731012.msp-gil-paterson-secures-parliament-debate-aircraft-noise/

 

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Bristol Airport withdraws application to be allowed many more night flights

Bristol Airport is pushing on with its expansion plans, despite withdrawing the application to the DfT to join the UK’s list of “coordinated airports”. The application, which would allow Bristol Airport to operate night flights all year round, has been withdrawn due to the pandemic-driven drop in passenger numbers.  It would have given the airport complete freedom to schedule night flights across the year, with the declared intention to increase summer (summer is 7 months) night flights.  Flights are currently allowed to operate between 11pm to 7am in the summer season. Allowing more flights at night would improve airline profits and “efficiency” (allegedly).  And airport spokesperson said the application for coordinated status is separate from the airport’s expansion plans, and the airport will resubmit the coordinated status application when/if passenger numbers return to high levels – such as numbers in 2019. There is currently an appeal by the airport, against their rejection by North Somerset council last year.  There are now 7 airports that have coordinated status, (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City, Luton, Birmingham and Manchester) and this is normally for congested airports. The airport currently has a cap of 10 million annual passengers. 
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Bristol Airport is currently designated as a partially coordinated Level 3 airport, covering night time operations between the hours 23:00 – 07:00 during each IATA summer season. It is limited to 3000 in the summer season and 1000 in the winter season within any one year. Outside summer time the airport is a Level 2 facilitated airport.

Summer is generally understood as 7 months, April to September inclusive.


Bristol Airport still set on expansion despite pulling application to run night flights

2 MAR, 2021

BY CATHERINE KENNEDY (New Civil Engineer)

Bristol Airport bosses are still fully committed to expansion plans despite withdrawing the application to join the UK’s list of “coordinated airports”.

The application, which would allow Bristol Airport to operate night flights all year round, has been withdrawn due to the pandemic-driven drop in passenger numbers.

The airport is currently only allowed to operate between 11pm to 7am in the summer season.

Expanding this would allow the airport to allocate landing slots to airlines formally, and thereby increase its efficiency – but the impact of Covid-19 has led to the airport withdrawing its application.

Despite this, a spokesperson emphasised that the application for coordinated status is separate from the airport’s expansion plans and added that it will resubmit the coordinated status application once passenger numbers return to normal.

The airport’s planning appeal over expansion is still ongoing, after plans were rejected by North Somerset council last year.

“In light of the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the industry and the unprecedented temporary reduction in passenger numbers, Bristol Airport has decided to withdraw its [coordinated status] application at this time,” the spokesperson said.

“However, given that we fully expect passengers numbers to recover when travel restrictions ease, we intend to resubmit our application ahead of Bristol Airport returning to the record passenger numbers of 2019 to ensure that we can effectively manage operations at the airport into the future.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) added: “Due to the impact the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has had on the aviation industry since the original application, Bristol Airport has informed DfT that it has withdrawn its request and will resubmit as traffic levels recover.

“DfT will continue to engage with Bristol Airport on this issue.”

If granted coordinated status, Bristol would join a select club including London Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. In total, there are seven coordinated airports in the UK, with the designation reserved for congested airports.

It originally submitted its application to become coordinated in November 2019.

The spokesperson explained: “This was to give the airport greater control over timings and number of passengers by using the industry standard of greater coordination of flights.

“This is particularly important to ensure that Bristol Airport remains within its current planning permission previously granted to handle 10M passengers per year. Without this mechanism in place the airport would be unable to fully control the demand for flights and passenger numbers.”

Meanwhile last month, the employers group the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) threw its weight behind plans to expand the airport.

In a boost for Bristol Airport’s planning appeal, the CBI said that expanding the airport would be a “significant step” in the government’s “levelling up” agenda.

Bristol Airport plans to increase its capacity by 30% by 2025 were first tabled in 2018. Airport bosses want up to 12M passengers a year to use the airport by the mid-2020s and have said operational changes are needed to cope with the demand.

The proposals include a multi-storey car park and expanded baggage handling areas but plans for a new terminal have already been shelved.

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/bristol-airport-still-set-on-expansion-despite-pulling-application-to-run-night-flights-02-03-2021/?tkn=1

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See earlier:

Canadian teachers don’t want their pensions invested in expanding

February 22, 2021

Since 2014 the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (which has some 329,000 members) has owned Bristol airport. Now some of the Canadian teachers in the pension plan say they stand in solidarity with the thousands of residents who oppose its expansion. In an open letter, six current and former teachers in the plan said they do not want their money used in such a “financially risky and unethical way”, and they would not want a foreign investor paving over their green spaces.  The ask the pension plan to instruct the airport to withdraw its appeal, and stop trying to overthrow the democratic will of the local communities. The OTPP has rejected the teachers’ claims that the airport’s expansion – refused last year by North Somerset Council – was incompatible with the council’s climate change commitments. The teachers said the pension plan had pledged to invest in “climate-friendly opportunities” and must invest with conviction and integrity.  An OTPP spokesperson gave a waffly response about how the airport was intending to eventually become carbon neutral … and “net zero by 2050.”  The airport’s appeal will be heard at a public inquiry in July. The deadline for comments is February 22. OTPP also owns part of London City Airport.  The USS owns 10% of Heathrow.

Click here to view full story…

Bristol Airport expansion: comments can be submitted on the appeal – 11th Jan to 22nd Feb

Members of the public are being urged to submit their views on the expansion of Bristol airport, to the Planning Inspectorate, ahead of public inquiry this summer.  The consultation started on 11th January, and end on 22nd February.  The airport appealed against a decision by North Somerset Council to reject its expansion plans which would see passenger numbers grow from 10 million to 12 million per year. The public inquiry heard by an independent planning inspector, would probably last 3-4 weeks, and is likely to start in July. Local campaigners are now getting ready to fight the appeal.  They say any expansion of the airport would lead to congested roads, increased noise, loss of green belt, negative impact on the local environment from the proposed growth in flights – as well as the impact on climate change.  Campaign group Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) is angry that the airport’s management has been instructed by wealthy owners, the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, to appeal the original decision made in March 2020. Bristol City Council also opposed the expansion with North Somerset Council saying it will ‘robustly defend’ the appeal.

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.

Click here to view full story…

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BRISTOL AIRPORT STILL WANTS TO INCREASE NIGHT FLIGHTS DESPITE REJECTION BY NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL

The only airports with ‘co-ordinated status’ at present are the London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City and Luton), Manchester and Birmingham. Bristol Airport is currently ‘partially co-ordinated’ (for summer seasons only during 2300 – 0659 hours), limited to 3000 in the summer season and 1000 in the winter season within any one year.

Reasons to reject the application for ‘co-ordinated’ status: SBAEx has submitted a full response to the quasi-technical consultation. In sum we make the following points:

An invalid application
Bristol Airport should not be granted ‘coordinated airport status, allowing permission to operate flights all hours in all seasons, for the following reasons:
.1 The Airport application is based on the assumption that the current capacity level has been increased by its recent planning application to North Somerset [2]. In fact, the application was refused (10 February, ratified 18th March 2020). So current capacity remains at 10 mppa not 12 mppa as proposed [3]. The consultation is therefore based on a false assumption and is invalid.
.2  The consultation document recognises that ‘the Bristol Airport night restrictions are fixed in the planning condition. Therefore, there is no mechanism to change or remove the restrictions except by a new planning permission.’ [4] The airport is already partially coordinated in the summer months to maximise night-time flights so the only way to become fully coordinated is to remove the condition set under the planning consent of 2011.
.3  It is not possible to verify the Airport’s fleet projections. Only the airlines have the power to deliver quieter aircraft [5]. In fact quieter aircraft should be used to reduce existing levels of night noise and not as an excuse to increase night flights.
.4  It is likely that Bristol Airport will appeal the planning decision within the next 6 months which will result in a public inquiry, where these issues would be discussed in detail. Any decision in advance of an appeal is premature.

The adverse impact of increased night flights on local communities
Local communities are oppressed by current night flights and increased night flights within the summer months or any other period within the year will further harm the health and well-being of local communities. This impact is supported by the body of scientific evidence showing health problems stemming from sleep disturbance and deprivation [6].

The democratic decision taken by North Somerset Council to reject Bristol Airport’s planning application has been supported by local Members of Parliament and many, many parish councils and community groups on the grounds that the harmful impact on health, well-being and the environment cannot be justified by the claimed economic benefits. As the Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Don Davies, has definitively stated: the detrimental effect of the expansion of the Airport on this area and the wider impact on the environment outweighs the narrower benefits to Airport expansion’.

The impact of the international events
Even before the Corvid-19 pandemic there were strong socio-economic grounds for challenging Bristol Airport’s claim of congestion. At present it still has around 15% potential for growth before reaching the existing cap of 10 million passengers per annum. The rapid growth in public awareness of the global climate emergency are likely to lead to a diminution of demand, together with the unpredictable consequences of Brexit. National and international protocols, agreements and legislation in the pipeline are also likely to discourage demand-led growth in aviation, particularly from tourist travel. 85% of Bristol Airport’s passenger traffic is leisure-based.

Now the Corvid-19 pandemic has created circumstances in which the Airport is highly unlikely to reach capacity levels in 2021 or even in the foreseeable future. As one small indicator, the Airport has just recognised that the newly-completed administration buildings are a white elephant and put these onto the (non-existent) market for letting. This possibly contravenes the bounds of permitted development under which the building was constructed.

Conclusion
On planning and wider socio-economic grounds there can be no case for granting Bristol Airport co-ordinated status.

Notes
Based on original research and comment by HB, with thanks.
(1) As concluded by the Mott MacDonald Report, ‘Demand and Capacity Assessment Report 2019’.
(2) 18/P/5118/OUT submitted to North Somerset Council. It’s also worth noting that the consultation for the Airport’s Noise Action Plan was held in 2018, before the Airport submitted its planning application to North Somerset Council in December 2018.
(3) under application 09/P/1020/OT2
(4) https://www.bristolairport.co.uk/about-us/environment/capacity-assessment
(5) Suggested in the airport application 18/P/5118/OUT and the MMR, which states ‘Aircraft operating at Bristol Airport are expected to get quieter in coming years with the introduction of new types such as the A320neo and B737Max’.
(6) See for example, comment from the World Health Organisation recognise noise as an ‘underestimated threat’ that has significant Public Health effects. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/noise/data-and-statistics

 

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Leeds City Council approves Leeds Bradford airport plans for new terminal (ie. more passengers, more carbon, more noise)

Leeds City Council has approved (subject to additional conditions still to be negotiated) Leeds Bradford Airport’s plans for a larger terminal to accommodate more passengers. This decision will entrench in the Leeds economy the growth of a carbon intensive industry. There is no certainty that the promised jobs will actually materialise, as the sector increasingly automates work. Objectors including climate scientists, transport experts and residents’ groups, warned such an expansion would help facilitate catastrophic climate change, as well as unbearable levels of noise pollution for those living close by. The application sought to demolish the existing passenger pier to accommodate a new terminal building and forecourt area. This would also include the construction of supporting infrastructure, goods yard and mechanical electrical plant. There are also plans to modify flight time controls, and to reduce the night-time flight period, with a likely increase from 5 to 17 flights between 6am and 7am.  A professor of transport planning said there are inadequate contributions to road and rail infrastructure. Local group GALBA says there could still be a legal decision against the  proposals.

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Press Release: GALBA’s Response to LBA Decision

11.2.2021

GALBA is disappointed that Leeds City Council has chosen to provisionally approve the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport. This is the wrong decision: wrong in law, wrong in planning policy and wrong for our climate! Today, Leeds City Council has put itself on the wrong side of history.

However, our campaign is far from over. The decision is legally flawed and if the Council persist and grant full permission on the basis they discussed, then it will be open to legal challenge.

We’re in a climate emergency and we simply cannot afford to carry on as if there’s no problem with increasing greenhouse gas emissions. We are grateful to those councillors who showed leadership by voting to protect our climate and our local communities. GALBA would also like to thank the thousands of people who support the campaign and say to them: stick with us – this story is far from finished…

About the conditional decision:

even with the conditions set by the Council, this gives the green light for a huge increase in greenhouse gases, noise and air pollution. Expansion would make it impossible for our city to become net zero and would make a mockery of the Council’s Climate Emergency Declaration.

It renders that declaration meaningless because when it has come to action, the Council has been shown wanting. They are in denial. This was an opportunity for Leeds City Council to show leadership and accept responsibility for protecting our world. They seem to have failed.In doing so, they have lost credibility when it comes to tackling the gravest danger that we face – the climate crisis.

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APPROVAL OF LEEDS BRADFORD AIRPORT EXPANSION IS A BACKWARD STEP FOR THE CLIMATE, SAYS AEF

11th February, 2021

Leeds City Council has today approved (subject to additional conditions still to be negotiated) Leeds Bradford Airport’s plans for a larger terminal to accommodate more passengers. In response to this news, Aviation Environment Federation’s Deputy Director Cait Hewitt said:

This decision will entrench in the Leeds economy the growth of a carbon intensive industry with diminishing returns when it comes to employment (given the growth of automated check-in and low-cost travel).

Most people[1] want our local and national economies to be rebuilt in a way that gives us a better environmental future after the pandemic, with cleaner air and more green industries that can create and sustain green jobs. Encouraging a growth in aviation will take us in the opposite direction; flying is one of the most environmentally damaging things an individual can do and there are no zero emissions planes on the horizon for commercial routes.

While the government says it is committed to achieving net zero emissions, it hasn’t set out any plans for delivering that in aviation. The promised policy on this is long overdue. With the UK’s climate watchdog, the CCC, having now advised no net increase in UK airport capacity[2], decisions like the one taken today by Leeds City Council represent a backwards step.

Earlier this week Cumbria County Council announced that it will be reviewing its approval for a new coal mine in the wake of the CCC’s advice in December last year on what the UK needs to do to achieve net zero emissions. Given what that advice said about airport expansion, we hope that today’s decision on Leeds Bradford Airport will be overturned.

Our analysis shows that if all airport expansion plans[3] in the UK are granted permission, they will add an additional 9MtCO2 by 2050[4].

—ENDS—

Contact: Tim Johnson tim@aef.org.uk //

Cait Hewitt cait@aef.org.uk // 07710 381742

Notes to editor:

[1] https://www.edie.net/news/11/Brits-believe-a-non-green-Covid-19-recovery-would-be-bad-for-the-economy–cross-party-survey-reveals/ 

[2] https://www.aef.org.uk/2020/12/18/stop-expanding-airports-include-aviation-in-carbon-budgets-and-dont-let-airlines-off-the-hook-with-carbon-offsets-ccc-has-advised/

[3] Current UK airport expansion plans https://www.aef.org.uk/uk-airport-expansions/

[4] https://www.aef.org.uk/2020/12/09/stop-airport-expansions-to-help-reach-net-zero-emissions-say-governments-official-climate-advisors/

https://www.aef.org.uk/2021/02/11/approval-of-leeds-bradford-airport-expansion-is-a-backward-step-for-the-climate-says-aef/

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Leeds Bradford Airport expansion plan is approved after eight hour planning meeting

By Richard Beecham, Local Democracy Reporter

11th February 2021

PLANS for a £150m overhaul of Leeds Bradford Airport have been approved in principle by a panel of Leeds City Councillors.

It follows a mammoth eight-hour debate during which dozens of academics, campaigners and businesspeople spoke out for and against the plans.

The airport wants the “state of the art” terminal, as well as new parking and access facilities, and has a target of 2023 for opening. LBA hopes the number of annual flights could increase from four million to seven million in the coming decades.

Objectors, which included climate scientists, transport experts and residents’ groups, warned such an expansion would help facilitate catastrophic climate change, as well as unbearable levels of noise pollution for those living close by.

But supporters, which included businesspeople and policymakers, said there was a risk the region could be left behind if it did not improve its airport, and that passengers would otherwise travel from other airports anyway.

The application sought to demolish the existing passenger pier to accommodate a new terminal building and forecourt area. This would also include the construction of supporting infrastructure, goods yard and mechanical electrical plant.

Plans were also included to modify flight time controls, and to extend the daytime flight period at Leeds Bradford Airport, with a likely increase from five to 17 flights between 6am and 7am.

The meeting saw 24 objectors speaking against the plans, each of whom were given two minutes to speak.

Campaigner David Faranoff added: “Climate change is the issue. Without drastic changes the consequences will be dire. Countries such as Bangladesh will become unviable, while places like the Maldives will disappear underwater, bringing millions of climate change refugees.”

Peter Bonsall, professor emeritus on transport planning at the University of Leeds, said: “To add insult to injury, they are offering wholly inadequate contributions to road and rail infrastructure. If LBA get what they want, Leeds residents will be sold down the river.”

Jefim Vogel, Leeds University Climate scientist said: “Eyes on the ball – the ball here is flight emissions – they are 97% of all airport emissions. Emissions from the terminal are tiny by comparison.”

He added it should be down to LBA to prove flights would be taken from another airport, adding: “That tends not to be what happens. It is like road-building, you build another road and there will be more cars on the road overall.

“Airport expansion drives demand for flights.”

Only five objectors (sic!) spoke in favour of the application, meaning they were given more time each to speak.

Gerald Jennings from the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said: “If (passengers) do not fly from LBA, they will jump in their car and drive to Manchester – it seems to me if they don’t fly out of our airport, they will fly from another. We can’t stop people from flying. the world is bigger than that.”

“We are the largest economy outside London, but we have a third-rate airport- what message does that send out to people outside?”

Henri Murison, from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “If this is denied today, we will be consigning people to driving to London to access them – the surface access costs of that will be the same aviation emissions that have been discussed at great length, with more surface access concerns.

“We cannot cannibalise our economy and destroy jobs, of unionised workers, in the name of climate change – it reduces public support for an issue I personally feel passionate about.  [Wow… ]

The tone of the debate from the objectors sadly misses the point – if you turn this down, you are encouraging people to fly from London and the southeast.”

Chairman of Leeds Bradford Airport, Andy Clarke, said: “Our scheme will provide significant improvements, benefits to the regional economy and an improved passenger experience.

He promised “stringent noise controls”, and that Leeds Bradford Airport wanted to be “innovative and do things differently”, listing “world class access, state of the art technologies, better facilities, faster check-in, improved food and drink offers.”

Coun David Blackburn (Green) said: “If we don’t do something about Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere by 2030, we might have had it. There should be no expansion of any airport until then.

“Are we the appropriate people to be deciding this – should this not be done centrally?”

Graham Latty (Con): “I do have sympathy with objectors, but I can’t help looking at the airport – it has been there a long time. Without it, Leeds slips back a division. We want an airport that will be something that will increase the profitability of Leeds.”

Coun Robert Finnigan (MBI): “I am concerned that is this is an economic opportunity we don’t take, someone else will take it and we have the same impact on the environment.” [This is such a classic cop-out…. ]

Coun Peter Gruen (Lab) said: “One the one hand, we have the economy and the jobs, on the other hand we have environmental factors.

“But Leeds needs a better airport.”

Coun Neil Walshaw (Lab): “There is 10 years left to avert catastrophic climate change. This application is about that growth in carbon emissions.

“This application will prevent Leeds from becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and I will be voting against.”

Coun Peter Carlill (Lab) said: “Until the industry can show us how this will work, I think it is much too early to be making a decision of this magnitude.”

Coun Al Garthwaite (Lab) compared the issue of air travel with asbestos, adding: “I don’t want to be part of a decision that will cause illnesses and death in 20 years.”

Coun Elizabeth Nash (Lab) said: “I don’t think there is a single member of the council not concerned about pollution. But we can’t act like King Canute trying to hold back the waves.

“It is essential the new terminal is ready for occupation and the old one is demolished.”

Coun Dan Cohen (Con): “Leeds is a Premier League city, and Leeds needs a Premier League airport, and that it aint at the moment.”

Coun Asghar Khan (Lab): “If we want to be the best city in Europe, you need a good transport infrastructure.

“It will create jobs and bring in investment.”

Councillors voted by nine votes to five to agree to the plans in principle and to ask officers to make further conditions, for the updated plans to come back to the panel at a later date.

After the meeting The Green Party candidate for Mayor of West Yorkshire Councillor Andrew Cooper, Green Party Candidate for Mayor of West Yorkshire Mayor and a Kirklees Councillor, said: “This is incredibly disappointing news and takes us backwards in our response to the climate crisis.

“This ruling today just makes a mockery of how our councils here in West Yorkshire are responding to their climate commitments. There is simply no room for airport expansion in a climate emergency. It just does not make sense when the UK as a whole has to reduce its carbon emissions as quickly as possible.

“This has been a real ‘David and Goliath’ story as, on the one side is a large global pension fund who own the airport, and on the other is a crowd-funded campaign and lots of hard work by ordinary but committed people, including many Green Party members.

“Leeds Council have sent a clear message that commercial interests are more important than the views of local people, the protection of our environment and the wellbeing of future generations.”

https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/19084716.leeds-bradford-airport-expansion-plan-approved-eight-hour-planning-meeting/?ref=rss

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Feb 18th – deadline for comments on application by Luton airport to increase passenger cap from 18m to 19mppa

Luton Airport has submitted a planning application (21/00031/VARCON) to Luton Borough Council to increase the annual cap on passenger throughput by 5.5% from 18m to 19mppa. Also to expand the day and night noise contours by 11.3% and 15.3% respectively until 2028, when they would be reduced somewhat, but still a net growth from today’s levels. Annual plane movements are forecast to grow by no more than 0.8%. The deadline for responses is February 18th. The airport is arguing that more larger planes means that the extra passengers can be accommodated without a huge increase in plane numbers. They also claim the anticipated new planes will be less noisy and emit less carbon … (’twas ever thus…) These wonderful planes or technologies don’t yet exist. The motivation for the increase in the passenger number cap has been rising demand, before the Covid pandemic struck. Future air traffic demand is uncertain.  The “elephant in the room” is  the conflict of interest of Luton Borough Council being both the planning authority and the owner of the airport.  But Hertfordshire County Council is set to formally object to the plans, largely on grounds of noise nuisance.
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See LADACAN website for details

https://ladacan.org/luton-airport-19-million-time-to-say-no/

Why people need to say no.

How to do so, before the 17th February 2021.


Luton Airport: Hertfordshire County Council to object to plans to increase passengers to 19m a year

One councillor said the proposals would create “utter misery” for nearby residents

By Deborah Price  and  Adam May, Multimedia Journalist  (Herts Live)

9th February 2021
Hertfordshire County Council is set to formally object to plans to increase passenger numbers at London Luton Airport.

Airport bosses already have permission to increase passenger numbers to 18m a year, which they weren’t expected to reach in 2027/8.

And now they are seeking planning permission to increase numbers further – to 19m a year.

Hertfordshire County Council is not the authority that will determine whether or not the latest application will be approved, but they have been asked to comment as part of the ongoing consultation.

And at a meeting of the county council’s growth, infrastructure, planning and the economy cabinet panel on Thursday (February 4), councillors agreed to object to the proposed increase.

Back in 2019, London Luton Airport Limited consulted on proposals to raise passenger numbers to 32m a year – although they did not go on to submit an application to do so, as had been expected.

And at the meeting, executive member for growth, infrastructure, planning and the economy Cllr Derrick Ashley said it was clear that London Luton Airport and Luton Borough Council had ambitions to drive forward the growth of the airport.

Cllr Sharon Taylor – who is also Labour leader of Stevenage Borough Council – spoke in support of the county council’s continuing objection.

And she stressed that residents in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, had supported the county council’s earlier objection to the “high levels of growth” at the airport.

She said: “In Stevenage it makes people’s lives an utter misery in the summer, when they are trying to sit in their gardens and they have literally got planes coming over every few minutes – very low because we are on the landing path.

“And any more of that – or the expansion that’s predicted – would be worse, I think. So we support your objection to that.”

Meanwhile, councillors also looked at proposed changes to the way aircraft arrivals are managed around Luton – in order to separate traffic headed to Luton and nearby Stansted.

Currently, aircraft heading to both airports are directed to the same ‘holds’ – circling above Royston and Sudbury.

But plans have been drawn up to separate Luton-bound and Stansted-bound aircraft, by creating a new “hold” for Luton-bound aircraft above Grafham Water, west of Huntingdon.

County council officer Paul Donovan told the panel the proposal stems from a safety issue, in that there was too much interaction between Luton and Stansted air traffic in upper air space.

But he said the creation of the new “hold” would change the “arrival patterns” to the airport.

And councillors have been consulted on options for those patterns – including one that would concentrate aircraft on a specific route and another that would spread the traffic slightly.

Members of the committee expressed a preference for the traffic to be spread across a wider area, to even out the impact for residents below.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Steve Jarvis said he agreed with the the recommendation that it was “better to spread a little of the pain more widely rather than have a lot of pain in a very restricted number of places”.

And that was a view backed by fellow Lib Dem Cllr Sandy Walkington, who said: “In the current climate crisis it is absurd that there is talk of this level of expansion for Luton.

“And as a moral issue I think if there are benefits in access to a cheap airport – to hop-off for European holidays, when that happens again – morally they should accept that they may need to suffer some of the consequences in terms of aircraft noise.

“But just to dump all of the problem onto one small section or line of route seems totally wrong.”

Meanwhile, Conservative Cllr Stephen Boulton stressed that the airport’s plans were looking “10, 20, 30 years” into the future.

He suggested that during that time-frame there may be quieter planes and alternatives to aviation fuel.

He also pointed to other factors that may impact on the plans such as the growing numbers of people living in the South and the changing relationship with the EU.

And he said he agreed that the proposals that would spread – rather than concentrate – air traffic would be ‘the best way to go’.

An objection to the proposals for the expansion of annual passenger numbers to 19m will now be drafted and shared with members of the cabinet panel.

https://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/news/hertfordshire-news/luton-airport-hertfordshire-county-council-4982825

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From the 02/02/21  LLATVCC newsletter

This application replaces a pair which had much the same scope: the closing date for comment is 17th February.

Luton Airport Planning Application 21/00031/VARCON

This application, to vary among other items the passenger throughput cap and the noise contour areas, is accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment (248 pages), a Planning Statement (58 pages) and an Airport Master Plan (82 pages).

In essence, the airport operator wants to get another million more passengers through the airport each year.

The reasons for the current passenger cap and associated noise conditions set by Luton Borough Council include the need to safeguard residential amenity, and to align with the Government objective to limit and where possible reduce the level of aircraft noise.

Neither of these positions has changed. Nevertheless the airport operator is seeking to increase both the annual passenger throughput and the areas contained within the day and night noise contour areas.

The proposition is as follows:

The amendments are considered by LLAOL (London Luton Airport Operations Limited) to provide an appropriate balance between environmental protection and growth. When the airport was operating at its existing capacity of 18mppa there were breaches of the noise contours due to the higher than predicted growth in passenger demand, the delay in delivery of modernised aircraft (e.g. Airbus Neo and grounded B737 MAX) and disruption in European Air Traffic Control from significant weather events and industrial action resulting in flight delays.

Therefore the need to enlarge the noise contour exists independently of the proposed increase of the 18 mppa cap to 19 mppa.

The noise contours required for the 19 mppa would not be significantly different to the enlarged contours that would have been needed to operate at 18 mppa.

The proposed enlargement would apply until 2028, by when it is anticipated that the introduction of newer, quieter aircraft fleet mix would enable LLAOL to comply with a smaller contour albeit not as small as the contours under the existing condition.

The improvements in noise reduction facilitated by new aircraft will bring forward opportunities to reduce the areas covered by the noise contours in the future.

As to the “higher than predicted growth in passenger demand”:

we have frequently reminded the operator and the airport owner that this growth was far from unexpected: it was the direct result of financial incentives from Luton Borough Council to the airlines by way of cost reductions – given during 2013 and reported, rather inconspicuously, in the airport owner’s Annual Report for 2014.

As to flight delays having abruptly increased in extent, this claim is not borne out by what can be seen from Eurocontrol’s CODA (Central Office for Delay Analysis) system, which points out that at the great majority of airports late-evening and early night flights always experience the greatest delays, usually as the accumulation of a series of short delays during the day.

Airlines tend to be over-optimistic when scheduling flights, to get “that one extra rotation – more conservative scheduling would virtually cure this problem.

As to the replacement of the current fleet with less-noisy modern variants, this had been the promise from 2012 onwards, and that promise has not been kept.

Some of the newer variants have appeared at Luton, but the current picture is of predominantly older types and one of the newer models: the A321NEO, is not living up to the claims of lower noise levels on landing.

There is as yet no experience of the way the B737MAX will perform at Luton but it, like the A321NEO, is a larger aircraft and may show, on measurement, that it is no less noisy than its predecessor the 737/800 under Luton conditions.

This replacement rate has a profound effect on the estimates of noise in the Environmental Impact Assessment, and with the present financial climate the replacement rate is likely to be slow, and with several airports with the same noise issues as Luton there is competition between them to persuade or cajole their airlines to base the less noisy models at their airport.

In summary:

the Environmental Impact Assessment says, though not quite clearly enough, that there is no way that the present noise conditions can be met even with the various expedients in place to minimise the scale of the infringements, and that the size of the increase necessary to make it compliant at 19mppa is very little more than would be needed to achieve compliance at 19Mppa.

That sounds a bit too much like “if you want us to score a goal, you must let us move the goalposts”.

But it is not true that there is any need to enlarge the noise contour merely to make it possible for the airport operator to claim that it is now compliant. The contour areas could be left unchanged, and regular reports of the scale of infringement made: this would act as an effective reminder of the need for continuous scrutiny of both the various expedients in place to limit the extent of the infringement and of the airlines’ achievement in replacing their older noisier fleet with less noisy variants.

A more appropriate time to modify the noise contour areas will be during the work on “noise envelopes” which is a part of the work on LLAL’s Development Control Order application to virtually double the airport’s throughput.

However, from the Environmental Impact Assessment: The worst case-year for the number of dwellings above SOAEL (Significant Observable Adverse Effect Level) is 2022, when 724 additional dwellings would be predicted to experience noise above SOAEL during the night-time with the Proposed Scheme in comparison with the existing Condition 10 limits.

The number of additional dwellings above the night-time SOAEL remains constant until 2023 and then decreases thereafter. As mentioned above, this “worst case” position is an optimistic guess, and relies on the rate at which the less-noisy types are introduced as well as the rate at which passenger numbers rise from their present levels.

Whatever the case, we’re told that with the increase in passenger numbers as many as 746 additional dwellings will be significantly affected at night by more noise.

Other strands in the application: the airport claims that it can squeeze another million passengers through the existing facilities without further development, needing only to make changes to the arrangements for some queues, and it is suggested that the 5% increase in passenger numbers will not add to the congestion in the local road network, in part perhaps through the opening of the DART system, now believed to be opening some time during 2021.

The Planning Statement is atypically coy about any economic benefits of the proposed expansion; perhaps wisely, as it is known from Office of National Statistics data that UK travellers heading overseas spend more than do incoming passengers from abroad: before Covid the national balance of payments deficit in terms of tourism spending was £32 Billion.

Luton, with 60% of its travellers being UK residents rather than wealthy overseas folk hell-bent on Bicester Park or London’s West End, is likely to be doing exactly as described by New Economics Foundation when commenting on the proposal to expand Leeds/Bradford Airport – taking spending power and jobs out of the local economy through low-cost tourist flights: a point we have made at Luton’s Airport Consultative Committee but which seems to have escaped the minutes.

The application seeks “room to grow” to assure the airport’s existence and the continuation of its position in the local economic firmament, though that is not in doubt. What is in doubt is the rate at which demand for passenger leisure travel may recover.

The documents contain some optimistic estimates but in the present climate they appear not to be well-founded, and local communities have been the victims of previous optimistic estimates by airport operators and owners.

It is suggested that this application is at least a year premature and should be deferred until more certainty over passenger demand, and the replacement of the noisier aircraft types, is demonstrably under way.

It must be confirmed that any financial incentives from the airport owner are focused on accelerating the rate at which this is achieved, rather than attempts to accelerate the growth of passenger numbers. We suggest that this application is refused, for the reasons set out above

 


https://rachaelwebb.blogspot.com/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachael-webb-b381b5152/

London Luton Airport submits plans for 19mppa

Luton Airport has submitted a planning application (21/00031/VARCON) to Luton Borough Council to increase the annual cap on passenger throughput by 5.5% from 18m to 19mppa and to expand the day and night noise contours by 11.3% and 15.3% respectively until 2028, when they would be reduced somewhat, but still a net growth from today’s levels. Annual plane movements are forecast to grow by no more than 0.8%.

The deadline for responses is February 18th.

The airport is arguing that their passenger forecasts support the application, that the growth of the number of larger planes means that these extra passengers can be accommodated without a huge increase in plane numbers, and that noise and greenhouse gas impacts will be sustainable because these new planes are cleaner and quieter.

Local communities have countered that the passenger forecasts are based on historic data and over-optimistic industry forecasts. They have also pointed out that the sustainability strategy relies on the prompt delivery of the larger, greener planes, which is not guaranteed. It’s planes not people that cause the noise, so an annual cap on plane movements makes much more sense.

The reason for the application, campaigners argue, is to relax the noise constraints and that the proposed increase in passengers is a red herring to please shareholders and make spurious claims about economic growth.

With larger noise contours, LLA will be under less pressure to secure the new planes, which will be in short supply for a while, and they can be more relaxed about scheduling, making the airport more attractive to airlines.

The elephant in the room remains the conflict of interest of Luton Borough Council being both the planning authority and the owner of the airport.

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Open Letter – MPs, Councillors, Scientists and Community Groups Oppose LBA Expansion

An open letter has been sent to Leeds City Council (LCC) councillors, written by local opposition group GALBA & supported by 114 various groups, councils, organisations, residents’ associations and climate scientists. They ask the council to decide (on 11th February) against allowing expansion of Leeds Bradford airport, by not allowing the building of a new terminal. The work is designed to increase passengers from 4 million a year to 7 million by 2030. The letter says:  “Expansion would mean health damaging increases in noise, traffic and air pollution for thousands of people in our local communities. Above all, it would mean a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions exactly when we need to cut them to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. Expansion would be fundamentally wrong. Leeds City Council has declared a Climate Emergency and aims to reach net zero carbon by 2030. Yet from 2030 onwards, aircraft from an expanded airport would pump out more greenhouse gases than the whole of the rest of the city. Allowing LBA to expand would immediately make the Council’s own net zero target impossible.”

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GALBA says:

https://www.galba.uk/

On Thursday 11th February, the Leeds City Council planning panel will make a decision whether they will accept or deny the proposal from LBA to rebuild and expand. If accepted, the new airport will have double the flight capacity, and emit over 120% of Leeds City Councils own CO2 targets by 2030.

GALBA have been working tirelessly over the last year to fight the proposal, supported by XR in Leeds and many other environmental groups, activists and concerned citizens.


Open Letter – MPs, Councillors, Scientists and Community Groups Oppose LBA Expansion

The following is an open letter to LCC councillors, written by GALBA & supported by various groups.

Dear Councillor

In a few days, 13 Leeds councillors will make a decision that will affect the lives of the people of West Yorkshire for generations. These 13 people make up the committee that will say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Leeds Bradford Airport’s planning application – designed to increase passengers from 4 million a year to 7 million by 2030.

Expansion would mean health damaging increases in noise, traffic and air pollution for thousands of people in our local communities. Above all, it would mean a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions exactly when we need to cut them to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. Expansion would be fundamentally wrong. Leeds City Council has declared a Climate Emergency and aims to reach net zero carbon by 2030. Yet from 2030 onwards, aircraft from an expanded airport would pump out more greenhouse gases than the whole of the rest of the city. Allowing LBA to expand would immediately make the Council’s own net zero target impossible.

The Covid crisis has exposed how vulnerable we are as individuals and as a society. The climate crisis will be far worse – unless we make the right decisions now. Rebuilding the local economy matters to us all and we can rebuild a healthy economy with good, sustainable jobs. We can decide not to return to ‘business as usual’. A better, safer and greener future is possible. Leeds City Council can keep its promise to tackle the climate emergency. 13 Leeds councillors can stop the airport doubling its emissions.

We, the undersigned, implore those 13 councillors to follow the example set at Stansted and Bristol airports and reject LBA’s planning application. We call on them to use their legal powers to make the right decision for the future – for the good of our children, grandchildren and future generations.

Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport, supported by:

(Politicians and political parties)

1. Hilary Benn MP (Lab)

2. Alex Sobel MP (Lab)

3. Richard Burgon MP (Lab)

4. Fabian Hamilton MP (Lab) 5. Imran Hussain MP (Lab)

and 34 more councillors, local political parties;

also 3 Town  Councils;

and 28 Environmental and climate organisations;

and 13 Residents Associations;

and 8 other organisations;

and 19 Climate and meteorological scientists, most from the university of Leeds.

See the list at:

https://www.galba.uk/post/open-letter-mps-councillors-scientists-and-community-groups-oppose-lba-expansion


Last-ditch attempt to stop Leeds Bradford Airport expansion

09 FEB, 2021  (New Civil Engineer)

BY CATHERINE KENNEDY

A group of MPs, councillors and scientists has staged a last-ditch attempt to stop the £150M expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA).

Leeds City Council is due to make a final decision on the proposals on Thursday after council planners last week recommended the plans for a new terminal be approved.

However in an open letter, the group said expansion plans must be halted “for the good of generations”.

According to the letter – which has been signed by 114 people – plans to increase the airport’s size and passenger numbers are “fundamentally wrong”.

It says: “Expansion would mean health-damaging increases in noise, traffic and air pollution for thousands of people in our local communities.

“Above all, it would mean a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions exactly when we need to cut them to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. Expansion would be fundamentally wrong.”

The letter adds that the climate crisis will be “far worse” if the “right decisions” aren’t made now.

Plans for the replacement terminal, submitted to Leeds City Council in May 2020, involve the construction of a modern, three floor, 34,000m2 building on an alternative site within the airport’s boundary. Images of the proposed terminal were released in September last year.

LBA says it would be the most environmentally efficient airport building in the UK and deliver a passenger experience beyond what is achievable in the existing terminal, which has a legacy of several piecemeal extensions over the course of its 55-year history.

However, the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has claimed that the plans directly contradict Leeds City Council’s climate emergency policy, as the increase in flights and traffic would add to CO2 emissions and noise in the area.

An LBA spokesperson emphasised that replacing the current terminal “will create a more sustainable airport for Yorkshire”.

The spokesperson added: “Our environmental and economic reports were compiled by leading specialists and have been verified by independent third party experts.

“If approved, our proposals mean that LBA will become a modern, net zero airport, putting us in pole position to benefit from the latest aviation technology such as sustainably produced synthetic fuel and hydrogen powered electric aircraft.

“We look forward to hearing the determination of the plans panel, based on the factual information in the officer’s report, this week.”

A Leeds City Council spokesperson added: “This is a significant planning application and the council recognises that it has generated a considerable amount of public attention.

“Taking into account the material submitted on both sides and balancing all the considerations, planning officers have recommended that the application be approved, subject to a section 106 agreement and referral to the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government.”

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/last-ditch-attempt-to-stop-leeds-bradford-airport-expansion-09-02-2021/

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Meet the new CEO of Leeds Bradford Airport

Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) has announced the appointment of Vincent Hodder as its new CEO, bringing a wealth of global aviation expertise to the role.

By Ismail Mulla
20th January 2021,

Mr Hodder, most recently CEO of airline group IAG’s low-cost brand LEVEL, will take over the post on February 1, focusing on developing passenger experience, short term recovery from the global pandemic and the longer-term vision for the airport, including the terminal replacement planning application.

With more than 20 years in the industry, his experience spans organisations including Flybe, Jetstar Airways and VivaAerobus.

As a consultant and an operator, Mr Hodder has worked across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and Australasia and across all different models of airline from regional and low cost to long haul and network operations.

Mr Hodder said: “Our success at delivering excellence in customer service will be crucial in giving passengers the confidence to travel and to choose LBA, as well as in attracting new airlines that operate the most modern and efficient aircraft.

“I’m looking forward to leading the business as we face the short-term challenges of Covid and towards a sustainable long-term future, working collaboratively with businesses and stakeholders across the region, while continuing to progress the terminal replacement scheme through planning.”

Andy Clarke, chairman of Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “As we look ahead to a post-Covid world, we remain fundamentally committed to improving customer experience, continuing to develop the airport to deliver a wider economic impact in the region and ensuring a sustainable future for LBA.

“I’m delighted to welcome Vincent into the role.

“His experience at low-cost players and network players, across business and leisure travel, brings a varied perspective as we seek to develop new relationships with airlines that share our vision for a responsible and efficient future, ensuring that we are ready for the return of demand in travel when the time is right.

“Hywel has been instrumental in developing the longer-term vision for LBA and has helped the airport to navigate through a challenging year for the aviation sector.

“I know Vincent shares my aspirations for the future of LBA and I’m excited to see how he will shape this.”

During his tenure, Mr Rees initiated the planning application for the development of a replacement terminal to support future demand for the airport, while overseeing a number of enhancements to the existing operation to improve customer service and offer.

LBA’s plans for a replacement terminal, submitted to Leeds City Council in May, propose the construction of a modern, three floor, 34,000 sq m building on an alternative site within the airport’s boundary.

The airport says if approved, the new terminal building would deliver a passenger experience beyond what is achievable in the existing terminal, built in 1965 and which has a legacy of several piecemeal extensions over the course of its 55-year history.

It added that the development will protect and create new, high-skilled jobs, supporting 12,650 permanent positions, and increase the airport’s contribution to the region’s economy from £377m in 2019 to £869m.

Mr Rees will be leaving to pursue other projects a spokesman for the airport said.

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/meet-new-ceo-leeds-bradford-airport-3106362

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DfT night flights consultation – deadline for first section is 3rd March (second section 31st May)

The DfT has a consultation currently, on night flights.  The consultation has two parts. First, by 3 March the DfT seeking views on its proposals to extend the current night flight restrictions, set in 2017, for an additional two years from October 2022, and to ban the noisiest category of aircraft from operating in the night from October 2022 (this is only relevant for the few airports at which these planes are permitted). Then second, by 31st May it is seeking wider views on its national night flight policy and the structure of night flight restrictions beyond 2024.  Groups concerned about aircraft noise are very much opposed to the DfT’s proposal to extend current night flight restrictions for an additional 2 years, as it is widely acknowledged that plane noise at night disturbs sleep thousands, and negatively affects their mental and physical health.  The government has repeatedly rolled forward night flight limits set many years ago, without any proper re-examination of the issues. There are claims of the economic benefits of night flights, and these need to be re-assessed. With falling business flights, one frequent justification is to increase the number of daily “rotations” by low-cost airlines, keeping their fare prices low.
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Part 1

The first part of the consultation is here

Guidance from the Aviation Communities Forum (ACF) and John Stewart is at Night Flights Consultation key points 2020
Guidance how to respond from GACC at Gatwick is at DECEMBER 2020 NIGHT FLIGHT CONSULTATION QUESTIONS 6-12

Night flights

The government’s consultation on night flights has now been split into two parts.

Part 1

1. By 3 March it is seeking views on its proposals to extend the current night flight restrictions, set in 2017, for an additional two years from October 2022, and to ban the noisiest category of aircraft (Quota Count 4 aircraft) from operating in the night from October 2022.  These points are covered by questions 6-12 of the consultation.
2. By 31 May it is seeking wider views on its national night flight policy,  the structure of night flight restrictions beyond 2024, dispensations and airport designation arrangements (questions 13-77 of the consultation).
The consultation with the  3rd March deadline is here.
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flight-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-between-2022-and-2024-plus-future-night-flight-policy/night-flight-restrictions#noise-abatement-objective-for-the-period-october-2022-to-october-2024
If people want to use parts of the ACF response in your own please feel free to do so, although it’s always best to use your own words wherever possible.
In summary the current draft responses argue for:
  • no extension of the current night flight restrictions for an additional two years, on the grounds that it is complacent, irresponsible and fails to take account of ever-growing evidence on the health and other costs of night flights
  • instead, a significant reduction in night flights in the remainder of the current regulatory period, to 2022, and thereafter, a ban on night flights at all UK airports for a full eight-hour period
  • if that is rejected, much lower limits on the number of night flights, restricting them to services which are genuinely essential for economic reasons (and emergencies), and much tougher regulation to ensure that all night flights are operated by the least noisy categories of aircraft, that future pricing of night flights fully reflects the costs they impose and that dispensations are only granted in genuinely exceptional circumstances.  
  • clear criteria for airport designation accompanied by robust, effective arrangements for the regulation of aircraft noise using the powers that designation provides, or by the introduction of an alternative form of regulation.

Part 2

Night flights restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports beyond 2024, plus national night flight policy

Published 4 March 2021

The documents are at

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flights-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-beyond-2024-plus-national-night-flight-policy/night-flights-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-beyond-2024-plus-national-night-flight-policy

The DfT says:

We originally sought views and evidence on policy options for the government’s future night flight policy at the designated airports beyond 2024 and nationally, as part of the Night flight restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports between 2022 and 2024 plus future night flight policy consultation of December 2020.

We have subsequently decided, through this consultation, to allow extra time for consideration of these policy options.

Much of the information within this consultation will reference the December 2020 consultation, since the information remains unchanged from that time.

This consultation has been created to allow extra time for consideration of what was originally part 2 of the Night flight restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports between 2022 and 2024 plus future night flight policy’ consultation.

We seek early views and evidence on policy options for the government’s future night flight policy at the designated airports beyond 2024 and nationally. This includes:

  • whether we should amend our national noise policy to include specific policy for night noise
  • revising our night flight dispensation guidance
  • whether we should set criteria for airport designation
  • what any future night flight regime at the designated airports should look like

This consultation will close on 31 May 2021.

The findings from this consultation will be used to inform policy options. We aim to set out firm proposals for the designated airports beyond 2024 in a consultation planned for 2022.

This process relates to the current designated airports in their current operational form and it does not consider any scenarios related to airport expansion proposals.

This consultation process will be of interest to: * communities that live near airports or underneath flightpaths * local authorities * airlines * airport operators * businesses or consumers that depend on the aviation sector.

The  questions, 13 – 77, are copied from the DfT website at the bottom of this AirportWatch page.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flights-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-beyond-2024-plus-national-night-flight-policy/night-flights-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-beyond-2024-plus-national-night-flight-policy


Airspace modernisation

The Airspace Strategy Board, which oversees the airspace modernisation programme, is due to meet on 9 February.  The Aviation Communities Forum don’t yet have an agenda for that meeting but have written to the aviation minister setting out critical gaps in the policy, governance and technology foundations of the programme and asking that these are discussed at the Board.

The DfT website: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flight-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-between-2022-and-2024-plus-future-night-flight-policy/night-flight-restrictions#noise-abatement-objective-for-the-period-october-2022-to-october-2024

Night flight restrictions

Published 2 December 2020

The government recognises that noise from aircraft taking-off and landing at night is often regarded by communities as the most disturbing form of airport operations. We also recognise that there is evidence, including in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) revised Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region, that sleep disturbance caused by aircraft night operations can have adverse health impacts on overflown communities.

At the same time, the aviation sector has material value to the economy and night flights are an important contributor to this at many airports. The aviation industry plays a significant role in the UK economy and it connects people and UK businesses with the world. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s aviation network was the third largest in the world, after the USA and China[footnote 1]. In 2019, UK airports served over 370 destinations in around 100 countries and handled over 297 million passengers[footnote 2]. Aviation also facilitates global trade with £95 billion of goods exported by air extra-EU countries in 2018[footnote 3]. The sector directly provided around 230,000 jobs with many more employed indirectly[footnote 2] and the sector contributed at least £22 billion annually to UK GDP[footnote 4].

This consultation process

This is a two-stage consultation process which seeks views on the regime at the designated airports beyond 2022, and night flights in the national context. This consultation is for a period of 3 months.

Stage 1 of this consultation has 2 purposes. Firstly, we are formally consulting on our proposal to maintain the existing night flight restrictions for the designated airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted) from 2022 to 2024, and our proposal to ban QC4 rated aircraft movements during the night quota period (23:30 to 06:00). Responses to this section of the consultation will allow us to make a final policy decision on the regime for the designated airport beyond 2022 in summer 2021.

Secondly, we are also seeking early views and evidence on policy options for the government’s future night flight policy at the designated airports beyond 2024, and nationally. This includes whether we should amend our national noise policy to include specific policy for night noise, revising our night flight dispensation guidance, whether we should set criteria for airport designation, and what any future night flight regime at the designated airports should look like.

We would aim to publish stage 2 of this consultation in 2022 which will set out firm proposals for the designated airports beyond 2024.

This process relates to the current designated airports in their current operational form and it does not consider any scenarios related to airport expansion proposals.

This consultation process will be of interest to communities that live near airports or underneath flightpaths, local authorities, airlines, airport operators, and businesses or consumers that depend on the aviation sector.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/night-flight-restrictions-at-heathrow-gatwick-and-stansted-airports-between-2022-and-2024-plus-future-night-flight-policy/night-flight-restrictions#noise-abatement-objective-for-the-period-october-2022-to-october-2024

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The questions for Part 2 of the Night Flights consultation by the DfT:

 

13/ What are your views on the:

  • findings of the night flight dispensation review?
  • proposals for the night flight dispensation review?

14/ Should disruption due to local weather qualify for dispensations?

15/ Should disruption due to en-route weather qualify for dispensations?

16/ Should disruption due to foreign airport weather qualify for dispensations?

17/ Should disruption caused by ATC industrial action qualify for dispensations?

18/ Should disruption caused by industrial action by airport staff qualify for dispensations?

19/ Should disruption caused by industrial action by airline staff qualify for dispensations?

20/ Should network capacity delays qualify for dispensations?

21/ Should delays caused by serious criminal or terrorist activity that affect multiple flights qualify for dispensations?

22/ Should cumulative delays qualify for dispensations?

23/ Should dispensations be permitted for flights delayed to the NQP due to a medical emergency that has passed?

24/ Should dispensations be permitted for flights delayed to the NQP due to a police emergency (for example a disruptive passenger) that has passed?

25/ Should dispensations be permitted for the repositioning of emergency service (including medical transplant) aircraft?

26/ Should dispensations on the basis of reducing carbon emissions be permitted?

27/ Should pre-emptive dispensations be permitted?

28/ Should dispensations be granted for information technology failures?

29/ Supply any further views or evidence on the guidance allowing airport operators to grant dispensations you may have?

30/ What are your views on government dispensations overall (provide evidence to support your view)?

31/ What length should the night flight regime beyond 2024 be?

32/ How do you think the length of regime will affect you (provide evidence to support your view)?

33/ Do you think that QC is the best system for limiting noise at the designated airports?

34/ What do you think are the:

  • advantages of changing to a new system?
  • disadvantages of changing to a new system?

35/ Do you have evidence of other noise management regimes being used elsewhere and how they compare with the current system?

36/ Should we introduce an additional QC category for quieter aircraft in the longer-term?

37/ Should the government reintroduce an exempt category?

38/ Please provide evidence to support your position.

39/ Do you think we should re-baseline the night quota system in the longer-term?

40/ What factors should we consider when anticipating how to best future proof a re-baselined QC system?

41/ What costs, if any, would you anticipate in re-baselining the QC system?

42/ Would you be impacted if the NQP was extended to 23:00 to 07:00?

43/ Provide evidence to support your view.

44/ Do you think night flights in certain hours of the NQP have a greater impact on local communities than other times of the NQP?

45/ Provide evidence to support your view.

46/ Would a mechanism that disincentivises aircraft movements in periods of the night that are more sensitive for communities impact you (provide evidence to support your view)?

47/ Provide evidence to support your position

48/ What would be the impact on you if QC4 rated aircraft movements were banned between 23:00 and 07:00 after October 2024?

49/ What would be the impact on you if a scheduling ban was placed on QC2 rated aircraft movements between 23:30 and 06:00 after October 2024?

50/ What would be the impact on you or your business if a scheduling ban was placed on QC2 rated aircraft movements between 23:00 and 07:00 after October 2024

51/ If bans are introduced should the implementation be staged?

52/ Please provide evidence to support your position.

53/ In a future regime how should we manage the number of aircraft movements (detailing the airport or airports relevant to your view)?

54/ In a future regime how should we manage an airports’ noise allowances (detailing the airport or airports relevant to your view)?

55/ Should we remove the movement limit and manage night flights through a QC limit only?

56/ Provide evidence to support your view.

57/ Should we introduce a ring-fencing mechanism to ensure night slots are available for:

58/ Provide evidence to support your view.

59/ Should an airline be able to use unused allowances later in the season?

60/ If the government decided that unused allowances should be returned to the airport’s pool, what would be the impacts on:

  • communities?
  • airports?
  • airport users?
  • airlines?
  • business in and around airports?

61/ Do you agree or disagree that the current carry-over process benefits you?

62/ Provide evidence to support your view.

63/ What changes, if any, would you like to see to the carry-over process and how would this impact you?

64/ How fair a balance between health and economic objectives do you think our current night flight approach is?

65/ What are your views on the health impacts of aviation noise at night, including potential impacts on different groups in society (provide evidence to support your view)?

66/ What are your views on the economic value of night flights, including the potential value on different businesses and aviation sectors (provide evidence to support your view)?

67/ What are you views on changes to aircraft noise at night as result of the COVID-19 pandemic (provide evidence to support your view)?

68/ In your opinion what are the advantages or disadvantages that the emergence of new technology will have in relation to night noise from aircraft within the next 10 years (provide evidence to support your view)?

69/ Should we include a reference to night noise when we publish a revised aviation noise objective?

70/ What factors relating to night noise should we include if we do introduce a noise reference in our revised aviation noise objective?

71/ Should the government set criteria for airport designation?

72/ What do you think are the:

  • advantages to the government setting criteria for airport designation?
  • disadvantages to the government setting criteria for airport designation?

73/ What factors, if any, do you think we should consider when setting criteria for designation?

74/ How should any criteria for designation be agreed?

75/ What impact, if any, do you think the designation of an airport have on:

  • communities?
  • airports?
  • airport users?
  • airlines?
  • business in and around airports?

76/ What impact, if any, do you think the de-designation of an already designated airport (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted) will have on:

  • communities?
  • airports?
  • airport users?
  • airlines?
  • business in and around airports?

77/ Any other comments?


 

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