[BBC NewsHeathrow Airport has unveiled three options for a new runway, saying each one would be “quicker and cheaper” than plans for a rival hub airport.

One of the airport's preferred options is to have a runway to the south-west of the existing airport

One of the airport’s preferred options is to have a runway to the south-west of the existing airport.  Image: Heathrow Airport

The airport’s submission to the Davies Commission, which is looking at raising airport capacity, outlined a runway to the north, north-west or south-west of the existing airport.

It said a new runway could be in place by 2029, allowing 260,000 more flights.

 

The full 40 page report can be downloaded here……

Heathrow Masterplan video download link here…..

 

London Mayor Boris Johnson said such an expansion would be “disastrous”.

‘Global hub status’

According to Heathrow’s submission, building a new runway would deliver extra capacity at the airport by 2025-29 and would allow it to operate 740,000 flights a year – up from the current limit of 480,000.

The plans would “maintain the UK’s global hub status for the foreseeable future” and “protect the thriving businesses and plentiful jobs that surround Heathrow”, it said.

Heathrow’s preferred option would be to place a new runway to the north-west or the south-west of the airport.

This would “deliver a full-length third runway while minimising the impact on the local community”.

The submission also detailed how a new westerly runway would help reduce noise pollution because planes would not have to fly so low over London.

It predicted that, even with a third runway, there would be 10-20% fewer people affected by noise under its new plans.

The option of building north of the airport would be the quickest and cheapest, the airport acknowledged – but it would also be the noisiest and have the biggest impact on residential property.

Heathrow expansion options

Heathrow expansion options

Each of the options would mean the compulsory purchase of some properties and some property demolitions, as well as potentially major work on the M25.

The submission also outlined the need for a sixth terminal at Heathrow as part of the plans – which would enable the airport to handle 130m passengers a year, rather than the current figure of 70m.

‘Flying pigs’

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: “After half a century of vigorous debate but little action, it is clear the UK desperately needs a …….

Read the full story with video of Colin Matthews at BBC News…..


BBC News
17th July, 2013



[ITV NewsThomson Airways said a Dreamliner flying to Florida returned to Manchester after a “technical issue”.

Thomson Airways says Dreamliner forced to return to UK

Thomson Airways says Dreamliner forced to return to UK

A spokeswoman said: “Thomson Airways can confirm that flight TOM126 travelling from Manchester to Sanford, Florida experienced a technical issue and the aircraft returned to Manchester Airport, as a precautionary measure.

“Passengers have disembarked and our dedicated team of engineers are now inspecting the aircraft. Our customers will be moved to an alternative aircraft to ensure they get away on their holiday as soon as possible.

“The safety of our customers and crew is of paramount importance and we would like to apologise for the delay caused.”

Read the original story at ITV News…..


ITV News
12th July, 2012



[BBC News] Runways at London’s Heathrow airport have closed after a fire on a parked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet.

No passengers were on board at the time of the fire

No passengers were on board at the time of the fire.  Image: BBC News

Arrivals and departures were suspended after the incident at 16:30 BST, a spokesman for the airport said. No passengers were aboard at the time.

Fifty Dreamliners worldwide were grounded in January because of battery malfunctions.

BBC Video Here

Aerial pictures show damage to the planes structure under the tail fin.   Image: BBC News

Aerial pictures show damage to the planes structure under the tail fin. Image: BBC News

Boeing later modified the jets with new batteries and flight resumed in April.

An Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner named the Queen of Sheba – the same plane involved in the Heathrow incident – flew from Addis Ababa to Nairobi on the first commercial flight since the grounding.

Pictures of the Heathrow fire on Twitter show an aircraft close to a building and surrounded by fire vehicles. London Fire Brigade said its crews were standing by to assist Heathrow staff.

Fire-retardant foam appeared to have been sprayed at the airliner, but no damage to the aircraft was immediately apparent.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “We can confirm there has been an on-board internal fire involving an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft and the airport’s emergency services are in attendance.

“The aircraft was parked on a remote parking stand. There were no passengers on board and there are no reported injuries at this time.

“Arrivals and departures are temporarily suspended while airport fire crews attend to this incident. This is a standard procedure if fire crews are occupied with an incident.”

The airport is advising passengers to check the status of their flights with the airlines.

The Metropolitan Police said: “Police at Heathrow were alerted to a fire on a plane. Emergency services are in attendance.

“At this time it is believed no one was on board and there are no reports of any injuries. The fire is being treated as unexplained.”

Read the original story at BBC News……


BBC News
12 July, 2013



[BBC News] A Boeing 777 aircraft has crash-landed at San Francisco international airport, killing at least person and injuring as many as 30, diplomats say.

The plane reportedly landed and then crashed on San Francisco International Airport's Runway 28L

The plane reportedly landed and then crashed on San Francisco International Airport‘s Runway 28L

Pictures posted on Twitter showed passengers jumping down the inflatable emergency slides and leaving the area, as plumes of smoke rise from the plane.

Firefighters and rescue teams are at the scene of the downed Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which had taken off from South Korea’s capital, Seoul.

The cause of the crash is unclear.

Early indications suggest the plane came in too short and hit the seawall at the airport.

There were 291 passengers and 16 crew on board, Asiana said.

While the sequence of events remains unclear, it appeared the plane landed and then crashed on San Francisco International Airport’s Runway 28L, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown.

Footage of the scene showed debris strewn on the runway and smoke pouring from the jet, as fire crews sprayed a white fire retardant into gaping holes in the craft’s roof.

One engine and the tail fin appeared to have broken away from the main wreckage.

Passenger David Eun tweeted a picture of people jumping out of the plane’s emergency inflatable slides and wrote: “I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok. Surreal…”

Mr Eun, who describes himself as a “digital media guy” and “frequent flier”, added: “Fire and rescue people all over the place. They’re evacuating the injured. Haven’t felt this way since 9/11.”

A witness to the crash, Ki Siadatan, said the plane “looked out of control” as it descended over San Francisco Bay to land just before 11:30 (18:30 GMT).

“We heard a ‘boom’ and saw the plane disappear into a cloud of dust and smoke,” he told the BBC. “There was then a second explosion.”

He saw events unfold from the balcony of his home in the Millbrae area of San Francisco, which overlooks the airport.

Weather conditions were fine and there was little wind, he added.

Arrivals and departures at the airport have been suspended since the incident……

Read the full story at BBC News…..


BBC News
6th July, 2013



[Airport Informer) In a note to the Star Alliance airlines group, CEO of Heathrow Airport Colin Matthews has confirmed that the new terminal currently referred to as Terminal 2 will be given a royal title.

Heathrow's Newest Terminal, Terminal Two will be known as the Queen's Terminal.

Heathrow’s Newest Terminal will be known as Terminal Two: The Queen’s Terminal. Image: Heathrow Airport

Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal

Today, on the day before the Queen celebrates her official birthday, we are announcing that our new Terminal 2 will be known as ‘Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal’, in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Nearly sixty years after the Queen opened the original terminal 2 we’re delighted that she has kindly agreed to give her name to our new terminal.

Terminal 2 has a regal past. The original building was the first passenger terminal at the airport, opened in1955 by the Queen. During fifty-five years of operation over 300 million passengers passed through it. The original terminal was closed in November 2009 and demolished to make way for the construction of a new Terminal 2 designed around the passenger.

 Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal will open on 4th June 2014, and Heathrow is proud to continue Her Majesty’s long association with the airport:

 1952: The former Princess Elizabeth returned to Heathrow as Queen Elizabeth II, after her father, George VI, died whilst she was touring Kenya.

 1955: Queen Elizabeth II opened Heathrow’s first permanent passenger terminal, the Europa Building, which was later renamed Terminal 2, as well as the Queen’s Building and the airport’s original control tower.

 1969: Her Majesty formally inaugurated Terminal 1

 1977: Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the London Underground connection between central London and Heathrow – the first link of its kind to connect a capital city with its major airport.

 2008: Terminal 5 was opened by Her Majesty.

 2012: A giant Union Flag with an image of Queen Elizabeth II was painted next to Heathrow’s northern runway to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

The new Heathrow Terminal 2 is designed to provide a great experience even before take-off.

The new Heathrow Terminal 2 is designed to provide a great experience even before take-off. Image: Heathrow Airport

The terminal is the next major step in the transformation of Heathrow, and will continue the progress the airport has made in recent years with the opening of Terminal 5 and the refurbishment of Terminals 1, 3 and 4. £11bn has been spent on the airport over the last decade and passenger satisfaction scores now rank Heathrow as among the world’s very best large airports…..

Read more of the original letter here…..


The Airport Informer
14th May 2013



[Airport informer] If  you have to occasionally collect friends and family from Gatwick Airport‘s terminals, from July 1st you need to dig further in your pockets and pay for the privilege ….. and subsidise the taxi industry.

Minimum parking charges will rise from £1.50 to £3.00 to subsidise taxi & chauffeur driven cars

Minimum parking charges will rise from £1.50 to £3.00 to subsidise taxi & chauffeur driven cars. Image is for editorial purposes: Gatwick Airport Ltd

Gatwick Airport is planning a major shakeup of the Gatwick meet and greet industry.

Approved Operator Scheme

A recent consultation period has ended hosted held by Gatwick Airport in partnership with West Sussex County Council, Surrey Trading Standards and a number of meet and greet companies operating at the airport, the airport plans to introduce an approved ‘operator scheme’ and has launched a consultation period for meet and greet operators.

The aim is to ….

  • Reduce forecourt congestion by limiting meet and greet operations to specific, controlled areas
  • Expands the ‘user pays’ principle to cover meet and greet parking
  • Address the issue of sub-standard meet and greet operators at Gatwick by only allowing meet and greet companies that are part of the ‘approved operator’ scheme to operate at Gatwick
  • Recognise meet and greet operators that meet minimum customer service standards and ensure passengers can identify these operators.

The trouble is with these fine principles is that everyone now has to pay more to collect their loved ones as well.

In the words of the Gatwick Airport Ltd, in their full findings published here…  

Any individual not in the Approved Operator scheme will not be allowed to use the dedicated areas …, and will have to operate from the non-dedicated areas in the Multi-Story Car Park …. paying the regular tariff.

By the way the regular tariff has just had it’s minimum charges raised by 100%

Why, well in the words of Julia Gregory, Gatwick Airport’s head of Surface Transport….

“The implication for regular passengers using the forecourt is that the rules in place today will be more strictly enforced, that is to say that the forecourts must be for drop-off only, and any pick-ups should be carried out in the short-stay car park. If the scheme achieves its objectives, customers using the forecourts to drop-off friends/family will also benefit through better management of the traffic on the forecourts, and therefore shorter waiting times.”

she continues….

There have been changes to the tariff for the short-stay car parks, the key change is that the entry price point is now 0-30 minute at £3.00 rather than 0-15 minutes at £1.50. This change brings us in line with all the other main London airports, and we expect the vast majority of short-stay users to be unaffected (as most people take longer than 15 minutes to use the short-stays).

In effect the public will subsidise taxi & chauffeur driven car companies 

“This price change also allows us to offer discounted rates to the ‘Approved Operators’ that use the short-stay car parks, so forms a key part of the scheme. “

“expect …..push-back from customers”

“……this will have most impact from 1st July when the new rules on the forecourt start to be strictly enforced. In particular I expect there to be push-back from customers who today pick-up friends and family on the forecourt in contravention of the signage in place – they will not be allowed to do so from 1st July”.

In conclusion, from July 1st, bring some money….

You just know that when an auspicious entity like Gatwick Airport Ltd or a local council extols the virtues of a scheme to improve things……. it’s going to cost you more money somewhere along the line….

Don’t forget… Gatwick is “Your London Airport”


Airport informer
5th June, 2013



[Daily Mail] We may have all experienced turbulence on flights, but when a rough patch is so bad that the ceiling ends up covered in coffee then you know it’s serious.

Meals ended up in aisles and coffee on the ceiling after plane lost altitude. Picture Daily Mail / Alan Cross

Meals ended up in aisles & coffee on the ceiling after plane lost altitude. Picture Daily Mail / Alan Cross

Passengers on a recent Singapore Airlines flight were left surrounded by a chaotic mess after their flight fell 20 metres when it hit severe turbulence. A total of 11 passengers and one crew member were injured on flight SQ308 from Singapore to London last Sunday.

Flight attendants were told to immediately take their seats just before the aircraft hit the turbulence

Flight attendants were told to immediately take their seats just before the aircraft hit the turbulence. Picture: Daily Mail / Alan Cross

One passenger on the flight, who saw his coffee end up on the ceiling, managed to take pictures of the destruction which he posted to Instagram.

Alan Cross told ABC News that passengers had been warned to expect turbulence and that the breakfast service would be temporarily suspended.

A short while after the seat belt sign came on, the captain issued an abrupt order for all flight attendants to take their seats immediately.

Coffee can be seen on the ceiling of the Singapore to Heathrow flight following the turbulence.

Coffee can be seen on the ceiling of the Singapore to Heathrow flight following the turbulence. Picture Daily Mail / Alan Cross

Mr Cross said the subsequent turbulence felt ‘like being in an elevator with a cut cable or free-falling from some amusement park ride.’

He said everything that was not tied down, including people, hit the ceiling.

The airline told The Australian: ‘Eleven passengers and one crew member sustained minor injuries when the aircraft experienced a sudden loss of altitude and were attended to by medical personnel on arrival at Heathrow Airport.

Seat-belt signs were on at the time and meal services had already been suspended.’ ……

Read the whole story with more pictures and video at The Mail Online …..


The Mail Online
4th June, 2013



[Star Alliance - Press Release] The New Terminal 2 Set to Open on June 4th, 2014

LONDON, U.K. – June 4th, 2013 – Today the countdown to the opening of the new Terminal 2 at London Heathrow Airport begins. In 365 days the home of Star Alliance at Britain’s premier aviation hub will welcome the flying public.

Lufthansa is one of the founding members of the Star Alliance

Lufthansa is one of the founding members of the Star Alliance. Photo: Wikipedia

Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance commented: “In a year’s time we will ring in a new era for our customers, member carriers and employees at London Heathrow.

The purpose built Terminal 2 will be our home and will offer a superior travel experience to our customers, create new business opportunities for our member carriers and provide an improved working environment for employees.”

With the move to Terminal 2, all 23 Star Alliance member airlines serving Heathrow and representing over 20% of the airports traffic, will for the first time ever operate from a single terminal.

This will give Star Alliance the opportunity to enhance its seamless ‘hub’ experience, increase the number of passengers transferring through Heathrow and provide shorter connecting times between member airlines.

Moreover, the state-of-the art terminal allows Star Alliance to provide a new and improved level of service for passengers, offering today’s air traveller the right balance and choice between technology and the personal touch. Terminal 2 will have more automated processes and common facilities than currently exists in any one terminal at Heathrow, giving passengers more control over their journey.

Operating ‘under one roof’ enables the Star Alliance member carriers to share operational facilities more efficiently, and make the best use of space and services. Together, this will make Terminal 2 a commercially attractive European ‘hub’ option for the airlines.

The Star Alliance carriers will begin to move into Terminal 2 in phases between June and December next year.

From Terminal 2, 23 Star Alliance airlines – Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways – will provide 136 flights a day to over 51 worldwide destinations. Future member carrier EVA Air will be joining the member carriers in T2 during the course of 2014.

About Star Alliance:
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax.

The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, TACA Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. EVA Air has been announced as future member.

Overall, the Star Alliance network offers more than 21,900 daily flights to 1,329 airports in 194 countries.

For further information please contact:

Star Alliance Press Office
Tel: +49 69 96375 183
Fax: +49 69 96375 683
Email: mediarelations@staralliance.com
http://www.staralliance.com


Star Alliance
4th june, 2013



[Star Alliance - Press Release] US Airways and American Airlines have announced that the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved a merger agreement.

Operating under the American Airlines name, the combined airline will offer benefits to both airlines’ customers, communities, employees, investors, and creditors.

The combined airline will operate under the American Airlines name

The combined airline will operate under the American Airlines name. Photo: Star Alliance

If the merger gains regulatory approval, US Airways will leave Star Alliance and the merged company will be a member of the oneworld alliance, of which American is a founding member. Until then, US Airways customers will continue to benefit from Star Alliance’s extensive route network.

Announcing the merger, Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO of US Airways, said, “Today marks an exciting new chapter for American Airlines and US Airways. American Airlines is one of the world’s most iconic brands. The combined airline will have the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace.”

Until the merger is complete, American Airlines and US Airways will operate independently, and US remains a full member of Star Alliance. The results of regulatory review are not expected until some time in the third quarter. Star Alliance headquarters will be working with US in the interim to ensure a smooth transition for both US Airways customers and those of other Star Alliance members if the merger goes ahead as expected.

Doug Parker will serve as CEO of the merged airline and a member of the Board of Directors. Parker will assume the additional position of Chairman of the Board.

The combined airline will offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries. The combined airline is expected to maintain all hubs currently served by American Airlines and US Airways. Both airlines expect that the regional carriers they own – AMR Corporation’s American Eagle and US Airways’ Piedmont and PSA – will continue to operate as distinct entities. The company will be headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth and will maintain a significant corporate and operational presence in Phoenix.

Doug Parker said, “I am particularly pleased for the employees of both US Airways and American. This merger will create a stronger company, with the path to improved compensation and benefits and greater long-term opportunities for all our employees. We are grateful to have the support of both companies’ unions and thank them and their leaders for their hard work and vision. We look forward to a bright future for our employees and enhanced service and choice for our customers. With today’s announcement, we start becoming one team and one new airline.”

The combined airline is planning to take delivery of more than 600 new aircraft, including 517 narrowbody aircraft and 90 widebody international aircraft, most of which will be equipped with advanced in-seat inflight entertainment systems offering thousands of hours of programming, inflight Wi-Fi offering connectivity throughout the world, and “Main Cabin Extra” seating with 4-6 inches of additional legroom in the Main Cabin. The combined carrier’s fleet will also feature fully lie-flat, all-aisle access premium seating on American’s new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and Airbus 321 Transcontinental deliveries slated for later this year. Similar to US Airways’ Airbus A330 international Envoy service, American will also retrofit existing 777-200 and 767-300 aircraft to include fully lie-flat premium seating in an effort to provide a consistent experience for customers flying on the combined carrier.

Customers can continue to book travel and track and manage flights and frequent flyer activity through AA.com or USAirways.com, and will continue to enjoy all benefits and rewards of the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles frequent flyer programmes. At this time, there are no changes to the frequent flyer programmes of either airline as a result of the merger agreement. All miles in both programmes will continue to be honoured. Upon merger approval, additional information will be provided to customers on any future programme updates, including account consolidation or benefit alignment.

Employees of the combined airline will benefit from being part of a company with a more competitive and stable financial foundation, which will create greater opportunities over the long term. Each carrier’s employees will receive reciprocal travel privileges as quickly as possible. The merger will also provide the path to improved compensation and benefits for employees.

The merger is conditioned on the approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, regulatory approvals, approval by US Airways shareholders, other customary closing conditions, and confirmation and consummation of the Plan. The combination is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013.

Read the original press release…..

 


Star Alliance
4th June, 2013