Posts Tagged ‘thames estuary’


[BBC News] A proposal to expand Gatwick and Stansted airports so they can compete with Heathrow has been put forward by Gatwick Airport‘s chief executive.

Gatwick wants three airports to compete but campaigners want demand spread across the UK

Gatwick wants three airports to compete but campaigners want demand spread across the UK. Photo: Gatwick Airport Ltd

Stewart Wingate said both the airports in West Sussex and Essex should expand.

The plan would see three airports of a similar size competing with each other and spreading the economic benefit and environmental impact, he said.

But anti-expansion campaigners said the South East had enough air capacity and demand should be spread across the UK.

Several plans have been put forward to increase air capacity in London and the South East including expansion of Gatwick, Heathrow, and regional airports.

There are also three plans to build airports in the Thames Estuary off Kent, and a proposal to build a four-runway airport on Goodwin Sands near Deal.

Mr Wingate said: “What we’re promoting is a model which sees the airports of the South East competing with one another.

“What that means for us is a second runway going into Gatwick and subsequently a second runway going into Stansted.”

But John Byng, vice chairman of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, said the prospect of a second Gatwick runway was “worrying” and added: “It will create much more noise and disturbance for local people.”

He said: “There are lots of services that would be further overstretched by the expansion of Gatwick and what’s more it’s not needed.

“There is plenty of capacity in the South East for the flights that are needed. There isn’t an airport in the country that’s full except Heathrow.

Read the full story on BBC News…..


BBC News
1st Feb, 2013



[Telegraph]  Gatwick Airport will resurrect proposals for a second runway this summer as it ramps up efforts to become London’s main gateway to booming economies in Asia.

GIP will publish a “master plan” next month setting out what the airport will look like in eight years’ time.

GIP will publish a “master plan” next month setting out what the airport will look like in eight years’ time.

Details of the airport’s plans have emerged as its chief executive, Stewart Wingate, blamed rival Heathrow for giving foreign airlines a false impression that London was “closed for business”.

Gatwick, which has been owned by Global Infrastructure Partners since 2009, will publish a “master plan” next month setting out what the airport will look like in eight years’ time.

The airport’s bosses will also float two scenarios for how it could develop after 2020 – including the case for a two-runway airport.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Wingate said a second runway at Gatwick or Stansted would be less problematic – and costly – than either a new airport in the Thames Estuary or expansion at Heathrow.

The costs of building “Boris Island” seemed “prohibitively expensive”, he said, while a third Heathrow runway could cost in the region of £10bn-£15bn.

More people would be affected by the noise created by an enlarged Heathrow than at Gatwick or Stansted, the former BAA director added.

“There’s a noise contour which says that in and around Heathrow there’s about a quarter of a million people that live very close to…….

Read the full story at The Telegraph…..


By
9:30PM BST 23 Jun 2012



 [Independant] Heathrow‘s capacity problems could be solved without the need for a new runway, as strict rules on take-offs and landings are eased from next month.

The plan could allow 120,000 extra aircraft movements each year at Europe's busiest airport.

The plan could allow 120,000 extra aircraft movements each year at Europe’s busiest airport.

The “silver bullet” solution to the airport’s congestion crisis could unlock up to 25 per cent more slots with no extra building. Introducing so-called “mixed mode” flying – under which runways are used for both take-offs and landings at the same time – could allow 120,000 extra aircraft movements each year at Europe’s busiest airport.This would call into question the need for either a third runway or an entirely new airport in the Thames Estuary. New rules coming into force on 1 July will increase the number of circumstances in which simultaneous runway use is permitted. Heathrow says this will not for now lead to a net increase in slots, but it is under pressure from the airline industry to extend the scheme to allow more take-offs and landings.

The fact that the Department for Transport has agreed to tinker with long-standing rules against “mixed mode” indicates they may be willing to overrule local residents’ objections.

How a mixed mode runway operation works

Steve Ridgway, the chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, told The Independent: “Mixed mode … would allow a more efficient use of the existing, overstretched runways at Heathrow.”

When working to full capacity – which it does much of the time – Heathrow can handle up to 44 departures and 43 arrivals every hour. Yet its nearest rival is even more productive: Gatwick is the world’s busiest single-runway airport by a wide margin, with up to 54 movements an hour.

A study carried out by the air-traffic provider NATS concluded mixed mode could boost Heathrow’s capacity by up to 15 per cent – adding 10 million passengers to today’s annual total of 70 million. But a spokesperson for NATS said the operating changes needed to achieve that increase would require……

Read the full story at The Independant…..


Story by Simon Calder
23rd June, 2012



[Telegraph] Boris Johnson has called for a second runway to be built at Stansted as the gulf between the London Mayor and David Cameron widened on aviation.

”Boris thinks it is time that we looked at all the options around London because the Heathrow option is politically undeliverable"

”Boris thinks it is time that we looked at all the options around London because the Heathrow option is politically undeliverable”. Photo: Wikikpedia

Mr Johnson rounded on the Prime Minister and the Coalition which has refused to consider expanding Heathrow as well as vetoing proposals for new runways at Gatwick and Stansted.

Having earlier pushed for the building of a new airport in the Thames Estuary, Mr Johnson called for a second runway at Stansted to be built as a short term fix.

He also said that £14.8 billion Crossrail scheme, which will link the City to Heathrow, should be extended to Stansted.

“It would be a good interim solution,” he said. “A lot of money is now moving on to Stansted and the possibility of a high-speed rail link up there. You could be just as fast, if not faster, than at Heathrow.

”I think it is time that we looked at all the options around London because the Heathrow option is politically undeliverable and would be an environmental disaster.

Read the full story at The Telegraph…….


By
6:12PM BST 18 Jun 2012



[Financial Times] David Cameron has paved the way for a U-turn on building a third runway at  Heathrow airport, amid signs that Downing Street is cooling to the idea of  building a new  hub in the Thames Estuary.

Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne were initially attracted to the idea of building a  hub airport with four runways in the Thames estuary

Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne were initially attracted to the idea of building a hub airport with four runways in the Thames estuary. Photo: Wikipedia

Mr Cameron left open the prospect that the Conservatives would campaign at the  2015 election in favour of expanding Heathrow – a move that would please the  business lobby but infuriate environmentalists and Londoners living under the  flight path.

Although the coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats excludes building  another runway at Heathrow, the prime minister believes there is an urgent need  to develop London’s air links with emerging markets.

Questioned in the Commons, Mr Cameron refused to rule out a change of heart.  While restating the coalition’s position, he said: “We must not be blind to two  important considerations: how we expand airport capacity overall and how we  ensure Heathrow operates better.”

Government insiders confirmed that both Mr Cameron and George Osborne, the  chancellor, had an open mind on expanding Heathrow, although any change of  policy would not come before the election.

Zac Goldsmith, the environmentalist and Tory MP for Richmond Park, said that  up to 2m people living under the flight path – including his constituents – would resist a new runway, adding: “I could not stand on a Conservative platform  that included an expansion of Heathrow.”

Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne were initially attracted to the idea of building a  hub airport with four runways in the Thames estuary. But their enthusiasm has  waned as details have emerged on…..

Read the full story at the Financial Times


George Parker and Andrew Parker
14th June, 2012

Additional reporting by James Pickford and Jim Pickard



[Telegraph] London airspace will be controlled by the Ministry of Defence for the first time since the Second World War during the Olympic Games to prevent terrorist attacks.

he area under military control will stretch from Brighton on the south coast to positions 15 miles north of Stansted and Luton airports to the north, the Thames estuary in the east and to the west of Reading.  Photo: Wikipedia

The area under military control will stretch from Brighton on the south coast to positions 15 miles north of Stansted and Luton airports to the north, the Thames estuary in the east and to the west of Reading. Photo: Wikipedia

Military personnel will take charge of airspace over much of south east England in seven weeks’ time and fighter jets will be stationed near the capital to respond to threats.

The MoD will control most of the airspace over the South East, in a wide area which pans from Brighton on the South Coast to locations 15 miles north of Stansted and Luton airports further north of London. The Thames estuary, from the east of the captial to the west, passed Reading, will also be carefully monitored.

Working out of the National Air Traffic Services (Nats) control centre at Swanwick, Hants, MoD staff will monitor all aircraft in the area during the Olympics.

However, civilian air traffic controllers will continue to guide jets carrying the extra 500,000 visitors expected during the Games into London airports.

The area under military control will stretch from Brighton on the south coast to positions 15 miles north of Stansted and Luton airports to the north, the Thames estuary in the east and to the west of Reading.

RAF jets will be stationed at Northolt, close to Heathrow, for the duration of the Games.

Charles Farr, head of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, who is in charge of the anti-terror strategy for the London Olympics, said that he was confident the aircraft would be…..

Read the full story at The Telegraph…..


Telegraph
22nd May 2012



[Evening Standard] Britain will miss out on more than £100 billion over the next two decades if the Government ignores London’s “shocking” airport crisis, ministers were warned today.

Chinese passenger jet manufacturer COMAC decided to locate its European base in Paris, not London, because of superior links at Charles de Gaulle airport.

Chinese passenger jet manufacturer COMAC decided to locate its European base in Paris, not London, because of superior links at Charles de Gaulle airport. Photo: Wikipedia

Failure to build more runways to link the capital with the world’s rising economic powers will wreak huge damage on the country’s already stretched finances, according to new analysis.

The report, originally commissioned by Heathrow owner BAA, is the most in-depth on the subject so far. It comes amid growing alarm that London could become “cut off” from countries such as China and Brazil.

The Standard has learned Chinese passenger jet manufacturer COMAC decided to locate its European base in Paris, not London, because of superior links at Charles de Gaulle airport.

David Cameron and George Osborne are under pressure to sort out the issue. On Thursday, a group of Conservative MPs will publish a book, The Growth Factory, on the need for an industrial strategy, devoting a chapter to the danger of leaving aviation as it is. And a senior economist warned: “if you don’t have the capacity, you’re stuffed.”

The detail of the report, by consultancy Oxford Economics, has emerged as the Government prepares a consultation on aviation policy. The study concludes British economic growth will lag far behind its full potential if no new runways are built, and there will be “a substantial economic impact in both the long and medium terms.” This “GDP gap” would reach £8.5 billion a year by 2021, it is claimed.

And even if the gap gets no worse in the 2020s, the cumulative loss of national income by 2028 would top £100 billion, the study predicts. That is twice the estimated £50 billion cost of building a new airport in the Thames estuary, and more than……

Read the full story at The Evening Standard….


Evening Standard
21 May 2012



Isle of Grain site for £50bn project is in middle of major flight paths for four London airports.

Nats chief Richard Deakin said the architects had not contacted the air traffic control service about its feasibility.

Nats chief Richard Deakin said the architects had not contacted the air traffic control service about its feasibility.

A proposed airport in the Thames estuary would be in the “very worst spot” for the south-east’s crowded airspace, according to the boss of Britain’s air traffic control service, Nats. Richard Deakin, chief executive of Nats, said the architects of the Thames Hub airport had not contacted them beforehand to discuss its feasibility. Norman Foster and partners unveiled the blueprints of the £50bn project last November.

London mayor Boris Johnson has championed the idea of a Thames estuary hub in response to a growing clamour in the aviation industry and business for more capacity. The government has indicated that a much-anticipated consultation on aviation this summer will look at all options for airports except a third Heathrow runway, although the launch has been delayed until after the mayoral elections.

Deakin said the proposed site for the new airport, on the Isle of Grain, was directly under the convergence of major arrival and departure flight paths for four of London’s five airports.

Pointing to the Thames estuary on a map, he said: “The very worst spot you could put an airport is just about here.”

He said there were “serious challenges” to integrate an airport into that traffic pattern, and added: “We’re a little surprised that none of the architects thought it worthwhile to have a little chat” with the air traffic controllers.

While Deakin conceded that “technically anything is possible”, he said that beyond the well-documented risk of strikes from the thousands of birds found in the wetlands, the proximity of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport would also affect traffic patterns and force aircraft into more circuitous flight paths.

Such flight paths would run counter to much of the work being done to reduce fuel consumption in air travel. Industry bodies such as Sustainable Aviation say significant cuts in aircraft CO2 emissions could be made by planning more direct, intelligent flight paths.

He said that from an air traffic control point of view, “the single biggest thing we could do to reduce CO2 in the UK is to build a third runway at Heathrow”.

Deakin claimed that the extra runway could cut the need for aircraft to hold in the skies before landing. “Heathrow holding is not about airspace – it’s about lack of tarmac. I’m very confident you’d eliminate all the holding patterns in one go.”

Read the full story in The Guardian….


, transport correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Friday 13 April 2012