Details of Aviation Green Paper Consultation, now closed – includes HACAN response

The Government published its Green Paper with proposals for its new aviation strategy at the end of last year which it will finalise and release in the second half of 2019.  The consultation ended on 20th June 2019.

Read HACAN’s response:  HACAN Consultation Response

Read the response of HACAN East: Aviation Green Paper HACAN East response

For more details of the consultation, plus HACAN’s briefing on it: https://hacan.org.uk/?p=5068

Heathrow Third Runway Consultation Launched

PRESS RELEASE

17/6/19 embargoed until 18/6/19

‘A MEGA PROJECT WITH A MEGA IMPACT ON LOCAL COMMUNITIES’

Heathrow today launched a three month consultation into its plans for a controversial third runway which it hopes to open in 2026.  The consultation includes proposals to build the new runway over the M25 as well plans to re-route local rivers, replace utilities and bring in changes to the road network.

In the consultation the airport also sets out its plans to mitigate the effects of expansion, including property compensation, noise insulation, a community compensation fund as well as measures to deal with noise, air pollution, carbon, and other environmental impacts.

It does not, though, reveal the location of the new flight paths.  Heathrow, in conjunction with the air traffic controllers, is still working these up following an airspace consultation earlier this year.  A further consultation on flight paths is expected in 2021 when the detailed routes will be revealed.

Today’s consultation does ask for views on noise envelopes.  These will provide the framework within which Heathrow will be allowed to grow.  They will set the noise parameters which it cannot break.

The consultation also provides more detailed information on how Heathrow is proposing to implement the 6.5 hour night flight ban it is required to introduce as a condition of building a third runway.

There are also more details on runway alternation (which provides for periods of respite from the noise) and on plans to replace westerly preference with managed preference (1).

Heathrow is asking for views on its controversial proposal to bring in an 25,000 extra flights per year in advance of a third runway opening.

John Stewart, the chair of HACAN, the campaign group which opposes a third runway, said, “What hits you is the scale of these proposals.  The impact on local people could be severe for many years to come.  Disruption from construction; the demolition of homes; the reality of more than 700 extra planes a day.”

The consultation is a statutory requirement of the Development Consent Order (DCO) process.  Heathrow intends to put its final plans before a Planning Inquiry in summer 2020.  The inspectors overseeing the Inquiry will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport in 2021.  The Secretary of State has the final decision on whether or not to give the expansion plans the go-ahead.

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

(1). At present Heathrow operates ‘westerly preference’ whereby planes land from the east not only when a west wind is blowing but also if there is an east wind of up to about 5 knots.  Heathrow will be proposing a move away from westerly preference to managed preference.  This will allow the direction of the planes to be switched (wind permitting) more often.  If the wind is medium – strong planes must land and depart into the wind but there is more leeway when the wind is less strong. Managed preference would allow more flexibility than is permitted by westerly preference.  For example, it could allow communities to be given some days of relief during a very long period of east or west winds.  It would also make it easier to adhere to the respite periods.

For further information:  John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650

Committee on Climate Change new report launched

2nd May 2019

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the Government’s official advisers, published its latest report today. It is recommending that the UK becomes ‘net-zero’ on CO 2 emissions by 2050. This does not there will be no CO2 emissions but those which are emitted will need to be balanced by taking carbon out of the air or burying it:  ” The CCC target is for “net zero” because some activities, such as flying and farming, will unavoidably produce some emissions in 2050. But these will be balanced by taking carbon out of the air by growing trees or burying CO2 under the ground ” .

The report goes on to suggest on aviation: “Air travel will become more expensive because of the slow development of alternatives to polluting kerosene to power planes. Air passengers may be required to pay to offset the costs of their emissions from 2035. The cost of doing so could reach £55 by 2050 for an economy flight to New York and £25 to Malaga. The report encourages frequent flyers — the 15 per cent of people responsible for 70 per cent of flights — to catch trains and cut down on long-haul travel”.

Read the report:  https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/net-zero-the-uks-contribution-to-stopping-global-warming/

Read the HACAN summary of the aviation section: https://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Committee-on-Climate-Change-Report-aviation-summary.pdf

Noise Relief: major new report from HACAN

HACAN released a report challenging the aviation industry to take action to improve the noise climate for local communities. Noise Relief outlines practical measures which could be taken to achieve this.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN and co-author of the report, said, “Heathrow is drawing up plans for the biggest shake up of its flight paths since the airport opened in 1946. HACAN welcomes many of these plans, particularly those which will bring some respite each day to the many areas which are currently flown over all day long.   But these new flight paths will not be in place for several years yet. Our report suggests measures which can be taken in the interim.”

The report advocates four measures be taken to assist residents:

  • Stagger the point at which planes join their final approach path: at present 95% of planes now join within a narrow 4.8 nautical mile band;
  • Increase variation in departure routes: over the last ten years or so aircraft taking off from Heathrow have increasingly been concentrated along narrow flight paths;
  • Promote fairer night flight arrival distribution: night flights appear to vary their routes less than they did in the past;
  • Reduce simultaneous overflight by both Heathrow and London City arrivals:   there are days when parts of SE London are overflown by both Heathrow and London City aircraft, giving them at times over 50 planes an hour.

HACAN will now be lobby the industry for action on these measures

To read the full report: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/NoiseRelief.pdf

NEW HACAN REPORT CHALLENGES AVIATION INDUSTRY TO PROVIDE SHORT TERM MEASURES TO CUT COMMUNITY NOISE

PRESS RELEASE

 30 /4/19 for immediate use

NEW HACAN REPORT CHALLENGES AVIATION INDUSTRY TO PROVIDE SHORT TERM MEASURES TO CUT COMMUNITY NOISE

Campaign group HACAN, which gives a voice to residents under the Heathrow flight paths, has today released a report challenging the aviation industry to take action to improve the noise climate for local communities (1)Noise Relief outlines practical measures which could be taken to achieve this.

John Stewart, chair of HACAN and co-author of the report, said, “Heathrow is drawing up plans for the biggest shake up of its flight paths since the airport opened in 1946.  HACAN welcomes many of these plans, particularly those which will bring some respite each day to the many areas which are currently flown over all day long.  But these new flight paths will not be in place for several years yet. Our report suggests measures which can be taken in the interim.”

The report’s co-author Dr Maureen Korda, a South London resident, endorsed the need for short-term action: “Long suffering residents like myself cannot wait for half a dozen more years for some sort of relief.”

The report advocates four measures be taken to assist residents:

  • Stagger the point at which planes join their final approach path:  at present 95% of planes now join within a narrow 4.8 nautical mile band;
  • Increase variation in departure routes:  over the last ten years or so aircraft taking off from Heathrow have increasingly been concentrated along narrow flight paths;
  • Promote fairer night flight arrival distribution:  night flights appear to vary their routes less than they did in the past;
  • Reduce simultaneous overflight by both Heathrow and London City arrivals:  there are days when parts of SE London are overflown by both Heathrow and London City aircraft, giving them at times over 50 planes an hour.

Stewart said: “Our proposals will make the flight paths a lot fairer.  Few will impact new areas as they are largely reverting to previous practice.” 

HACAN will now discuss with the aviation industry the level of consultation that will be necessary on the proposals it has put forward.  The report acknowledges the assistance Heathrow Airport and NATS have already provided. They have given technical advice and shared key data.

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

(1).  To read the full report: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/NoiseRelief.pdf  

For further information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650 

Land Referencing Letter Explained

We have had a lot of questions about a Land Referencing letter some of you will have received from Heathrow.  It is a legal requirement for any promoter of a major development to send these out.  They go to households who may – and we stress may – be impacted by the construction of a third runway.  Most people who receive a letter will not be.  You are not required to respond to it though Heathrow are likely to follow up if you don’t.  And it doesn’t mean, of course, that a 3rd runway is inevitable.  It still has to overcome the hurdles of the current legal challenge, a planning inquiry (expected next year) and uncertainty if a new Government came to power.

Aviation Green Paper out for Consultation

The Government published its Green Paper with proposals for its new aviation strategy at the end of last year which it will finalise and release in the second half of 2019.  The consultation will end on 20th June 2019 It is an important document.  It sets out proposals for UK aviation policy until 2050.

The consultation was originally due to close on 11th April but has been extended to 20th June 2019 in part, allow comment to be made on the Committee on Climate Change report due in May.

Link to the full paper:  https://aviationstrategy.campaign.gov.uk

There’s also a NATS paper on the new type of flight paths being introduced: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/763085/nats-caa-feasibility-airspace-modernisation.pdf

And a CAA paper on past and future noise levels:  http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%201731%20Aviation%20Strategy%20Noise%20Forecast%20and%20Analyses.pdf

Read the 3 page summary HACAN has put together: http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Green-Paper-summary.pdf 

Here is a short paper to help you with your response:http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Green-Paper-response-pointers.pdf 

Heathrow Noise Action Plan Published

Each airport with over 50,000 movements is required by the European Union to publish a Noise Action Plan every 5 years. Heathrow has just published it latest one covering the years 2019 – 2023. It only focuses on a two-runway Heathrow since, if a third runway gets permission, it will not be up and running until about 2025/6. UK airports will not be required to produce Noise Action Plans if the UK leaves the EU but the Government is considering replacing them with Noise Reduction Plans: https://www.heathrow.com/noise/making-heathrow-quieter/noise-action-plan