Home Page Link Thaxted - under the present flightpath and threatened with quadrupled activity Takeley's 12th century parish church, close to proposed second runway Harcamlow Way, Bamber's Green - much of the long distance path and village would disappear under Runway 2 Clavering - typical of the Uttlesford villages threatened by urbanisation
Campaigning against proposals to expand Stansted Airport

image SSE NEWS ARCHIVE - July to September 2017


Rebecca Smith and Francesca Washtell - City AM Online - 28 September 2017

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) last night said it would accelerate "enforcement action" for "persistently misleading customers" with inaccurate information after a spate of mass flight cancellations.

The budget airline announced yesterday that 34 routes will be suspended from November through to March 2018 as it seeks to bring an end to recent flight cancellation troubles. The decision means routes including London Gatwick to Belfast, and London Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow have been suspended, with up to 18,000 flights and 400,000 more people affected.

The London-listed Irish airline said it will slow growth to curb the risk of having to announce more cancellations by flying 25 fewer aircraft and reducing its flying schedule.

But yesterday's cancellations prompted the regulator to expedite enforcement against the airline, saying the airline had "failed to provide customers with the necessary and accurate information relating to their passenger rights, particularly around re-routing and care and assistance entitlements, which includes expenses".

The regulator has warned it could seek legal action against Ryanair for breaching consumer protection laws, though it is not yet clear what form the enforcement action will take. The action comes after Ryanair said it was cancelling 2,000 flights after the airline miscalculated pilot leave.

CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said: "In expediting our enforcement action we are seeking to ensure that Ryanair's customers will receive the correct and necessary information, to make an informed choice about an alternative flight."

Alex Neill, of Which?, said: "Ryanair is still flouting the law and failing to properly inform people of their rights, so it is good to see the regulator stepping in. They must ensure their intervention forces Ryanair to immediately change its behaviour and comply with the law."

Ryanair shares closed up 4.01 per cent yesterday, despite the cancellations. The enforcement action was announced after the market had closed.

OUR COMMENT: This must mean that MAG's intended planning applcation for increasing the number of passengers and flights allowed from Stansted airport must be reconsidered, Ryanair has made a big contribution to the number of flights to and from Stansted over the years and no estimates of future Stansted airport passenger numbers can be regarded as reliable until the present situation is clarified.

Pat Dale


BBC News - 27 September 2017

Ryanair will cancel another 18,000 flights between November and March, affecting the travel plans of another 400,000 passengers.

It will fly 25 fewer planes to cut the risk of further flight cancellations. A total of 34 routes will be suspended this winter, including Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Gatwick to Belfast and Newcastle to Faro.

Earlier this month the Irish airline cancelled up to 50 flights a day through to the end of October. It blamed the summer cancellations on "messing up" pilot holiday rosters.

Ryanair said suspending more flights meant it could "roster all of the extra pilot leave necessary" in October, November and December.


BBC News - 27 September 2017

Passengers affected by the move will be offered alternative flights or full refunds and had been emailed about advising them of flight changes occurring until the end of October. They will also be offered vouchers of 40 euros (35) one way or 80 euros return towards on alternative flights on top of any refund.

The airline again denied it had a pilot shortage as some have claimed: "In the current year less than 100 of over 2,000 captains left Ryanair (mainly retirements or to long haul airlines) and less than 160 F.O's [first officers] who have mainly left to join long haul airlines."

Ryanair added that it had more than 2,500 pilots on a waiting list and had offered jobs to more than 650 new pilots who would be join by May next year. In addition, ten days after saying it was preparing to buy the Italian carrier Alitalia, Ryanair said it would drop the bid to "eliminate all management distractions".

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "From today, there will be no more rostering-related flight cancellations this winter or in summer 2018. Slower growth this winter will create lots of spare aircraft and crews, which will allow us to manage the exceptional volumes of annual leave we committed to delivering in the nine months to December 2017."

The airline also said the total cost of the flight cancellations to date was less 25m euros (22m) and expected the cost of the free flight vouchers would be less than 22m.

It said that it has had to scale back its original forecast for passenger numbers in the year to March 2018 from 131m to 129m but it said that it would not affect profitability. Ryanair's share price rose 3% in London, bringing the rise this year to 17%.


Nick Ferrari - LBC Online - 22 September 2017

This RyanAir pilot was so angry by boss Michael O'Leary's comments about his employees that he called LBC to reveal all about the company's working practices.

After having to cancel numerous flights due to a lack of pilots, Mr O'Leary said: "I would challenge any pilot to explain how this is a difficult job or how it is they are overworked, or how anybody who by law can't fly more than 18 hours a week could possibly be suffering from fatigue."

John in Stansted was livid at that remark and called Nick Ferrari to set the record straight. He revealed that pilots have to pay just for an interview with RyanAir and then have to pay 26,000 for training, during which they don't receive a penny from the airline for the six month period. He even stated that pilots have to take their own water on flights as they are not even given a staff discount.

His call was a fascinating insight into the way that the company work - and why they are struggling with the number of pilots. LBC has asked RyanAir for a response.


Phil Davies - Business Weekly Online - 19 September 2017

A major recruitment drive is being started by Manchester Airports Group in response to expected growth over the next 15 years.

The MAG Connect initiative will visit areas close to the group's four airports to seek new staff. The first is being staged at a jobs fair in Tottenham in north London, 35 minutes away from Stansted by train. The airport and train operator are providing support for people in the area who want to work at Stansted by providing an 80% discount on rail fares.

The MAG Connect concept will continue to be developed in key target areas around its airports at Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth. Other more long-term elements of the scheme will include a new Technical Skills College at Stansted in partnership with Harlow College.

The airports group expects to play a key role in meeting growing demand for air travel before a new runway is built in the south-east of England. MAG runs the two biggest airports in the UK with significant current runway capacity. Manchester airport will see a new terminal and other facilities added over the coming decade in an 1 billion investment while 130 million is being spent on a new arrivals building at Stansted.

MAG's four UK airports are estimated to have generated economic activity worth 7.1 billion in the last year, a 15% annual increase. A claimed 5,000 jobs were created on airport and in the supply chain as a result of this growth, in industries like construction, tourism and transport, and in businesses that rely on connections to global import and export markets.

MAG chief executive, Charlie Cornish, said: "Our airports are critical contributors to the ongoing economic health of the country, providing a gateway for welcome foreign investment and ensuring that the UK is able to meet the growing demand from international leisure and business travellers. Increasingly, our airports are also providing hubs for a vibrant global air cargo industry, spurred on by the huge growth in e-commerce."

"We also know that delivering growth in the right way is key to securing the support of our stakeholders, and as our airports continue to grow over the coming years, we recognise the importance to local communities of being able to deliver this growth while managing the environmental impacts associated with our operations."

Employment minister Damian Hinds added: "With record levels of employment, businesses should be looking for new ways to fill vacancies. Today's announcement will not only help more local people find work, it's also an excellent example of a company working innovatively with Jobcentre Plus to benefit the local Tottenham area."


Phil Davies - Business Weekly Online - 15 September 2017

Spare airport capacity available today must be used to generate the biggest positive impact for consumers and the economy, the government is being urged by the new boss of Stansted.

Chief executive, Ken O'Toole, called for a national aviation strategy, being considered as part of plans for a third runway at Heathrow, that supports other airports to grow. He also reiterated industry calls for the reform of Air Passenger Duty.

The UK has the highest rates of aviation taxation of any developed nation by some margin, which inhibits demand and affects the ability to compete against EU and global competitors for airline capacity, he told the London Infrastructure Summit.

O'Toole claimed that a lot more can be done to improve the UK's connectivity with the rest of the world to ensure it succeeds as an outward-facing trading nation as the country prepares to leave the EU and at a time when airport capacity is at a premium.

He said: "The UK is going to need the aviation industry to be at the top of its game over the next 10-15 years to build a prosperous and global Britain. First and foremost, we need to ensure that we make the most productive and efficient use of the capacity we have already. We will shortly be applying to raise our planning cap so that we can make full use of our runway. Securing that approval would enable Stansted to meet 50% of London's expected passenger growth over the next decade, double our economic output to 2 billion and create thousands of new jobs."

O'Toole also stressed the importance of rail and road connectivity. "If we are serious about getting the most from our airports, joined up thinking on road, rail and aviation policies should be a priority for government," he said.

"In the case of Stansted, a key priority is creating the best possible rail links from the airport to London and Cambridge. Faster journey times will not only expand our reach but also, and most importantly, strengthen our ability to attract the increasing number of long-haul airlines that wish to serve London. Stansted offers the 'primary growth opportunity' in the south over the next 15 years and businesses and passengers will reap the benefits with increased global connectivity, trade opportunities and more choice."


Ian Sheppard - Air Online Weekly News - 11 September 2017

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has released a position paper in which it calls for the parties in Brexit negotiations to "safeguard the air traffic network in the European region" for the good of the economy and consumers.

Released on September 7, the paper explains ERA's views on Brexit, the popular term used for the UK vote on June 23, 2016, to leave the European Union. In a statement the association said, "ERA believes it is essential that a wide-reaching aviation agreement is reached between the EU and the UK at least 12 months before the deadline for negotiation ends in March 2019."

The UK-based association said the position paper is designed to "assist policymakers and those involved in the negotiations regarding the future aviation arrangements between the EU and the UK. Europe has one of the most liberal and effective air transport markets in the world," the statement continued, "facilitated by the deregulation of the industry." The paper makes three core recommendations that ERA believes are the minimum required to "maintain a healthy, well-connected European aviation industry."

First, the association calls for an EU-UK bilateral agreement "comprehensively guided by the spirit of EU Regulation 1008/2008." This, it said, will minimize service disruption. Second, it suggests that particular attention should be paid in the bilateral agreement to protecting four key principles enshrined in 1008/2008, namely the conditions for granting an operating license; the requirements to obtain an air operator's certificate (AOC); the provision on leasing; and the provision of intra-community air services.

Third, ERA would like to see "the continued application of EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) regulatory standards to UK operators and undertakings to support common safety compliance and a competitive, harmonized supply chain (for aircraft parts and materials) across the wider European region."

Caroline O'Sullivan, ERA's manager for policy and technical matters, commented: "ERA's position is focused on ensuring open and free traffic rights for all EU and UK carriers between the EU and the UK. ERA is also focusing on ensuring that EASA regulations continue to apply to the UK carriers and that the EU and UK carriers can continue to freely lease aircraft to each other without prior approval."

The ERA paper warns that having no agreement in place would have a "negative impact... All traffic rights between the EU and the UK would lapse, leaving uncertainty for businesses, consumers and aviation on the future of air services between the EU and the UK." It continues, "If there is no legal foundation established to underpin traffic rights?by March 2018, European flight operations will face paralysis."

The association is in the process of appointing a new director general and will hold its annual General Assembly in Athens, Greece, from October 17 to 19.


Alister Osborne, Business Commentary - The Times - 8 September 2017

Few things in life are as exciting as government consultations. So, little wonder the one on the draft Airports National Policy Statement has proved such a hit. It's produced more than 70,000 responses. So, here's some cracking news. They can all write in again - because the forecasts are wrong.

No, Chris Grayling didn't put it quite like that. But the transport secretary's latest "update" on the planned 17.6 billion third runway at Heathrow certainly invites the question. Thanks to his boss calling her daft election, he was unable to include key info in the 16-week public consultation that ended in May. So, he's now proposing a "short period of further consultation".

And, what is this info, you ask? Oh, the "revised aviation demand forecasts and the government's final air quality plan". Or, to put it another way, the two main issues, alongside noise pollution, that determine whether Heathrow really is a better option than a 7.1 billion second runway at Gatwick.

Take the traffic forecasts. The government's decision - and the consultation - was based on the ones in the Airports Commission report. But even Mr Grayling would admit they are hopelessly wrong. Sir Howard Davies's commission had 2013 figures to go on, but for bizarre reasons used a "model base year" of 2008 to extrapolate trends.

The upshot? Laughable estimates for Gatwick, not least because the commission's oil price forecast was far too high. So, it missed the effect of cheap oil on demand for low-fare airlines, such as Easyjet - Gatwick's biggest customer. The result? It reckoned the airport wouldn't handle 46 million passengers a year until 2040. In fact, it's almost there already: 45.2 million in the 12 months to August. Not only that: it claimed that, even with two runways, Gatwick wouldn't have 50 long-haul flights a year until 2050. It already has 60.

From air traffic forecasts follow all sorts of other issues, not least the projects' economic benefits. Even on the old figures, the difference is tiny once you adjust for transfer traffic, which brings no real benefits to the UK. On updated forecasts, Gatwick may well be in front.

And on air quality, there's only one winner. Heathrow's in breach of EU nitrogen dioxide limits, mainly because of the cars on the M4, M25 and M40. Moreover, it's hard to spot anything in the new air quality plan that will solve that before the runway's planned 2025 opening.

In short, the new information, when it's published, could radically change the case for and against Heathrow. Mr Grayling insists that the new period of consultation, due to "begin later this year", won't change the timetable for the final national policy statement - and an MPs' vote in the first half of 2018.

But people need time to respond: a point that must be made by Sir Jeremy Sullivan, the former lord justice of appeal, whose job it is to ensure the consultation is "fair and thorough". Mr Grayling's latest "update" may have bigger ramifications than he thinks.


Independent adviser also calls for consultation to be
reopened because of impact of snap general election

Jim Dunton - CivilServiceWorld Online - 7 September 2017

An independent adviser tasked with overseeing the impartiality of this year's consultation on the expansion of Heathrow Airport has criticised a Department for Transport leaflet created to publicise the process.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling appointed former Lord Justice of Appeal Sir Jeremy Sullivan to oversee the consultation on plans for a third runway at the airport in October last year. The consultation began in February in tandem with the publication of the government's Draft Airports National Policy Statement.

Sullivan's report on the consultation, which ran until May 25, generally praises the impartiality of the exercise, but highlighted particular failings with a pamphlet distributed to 1.5m homes that listed 20 one-off events for local residents most affected by the proposals to attend, but failed to list venues or times.

Sullivan said the pamphlet - titled "Heathrow Expansion - Have Your Say" - had been "the one instance" when the government's tight timescale for putting together the consultation had produced "unfortunate consequences".

"The department was the victim of its own ambition: to print and distribute 1.5m leaflets for a consultation commencing on 2 February 2017, with the first of twenty local events taking place on 13 February," he said. "I was told by the department that the explanation for criticism was that the addresses of all the venues were not known by the date when the printing of the leaflets had to begin in order to ensure that a sufficient quantity of leaflets was available to be delivered well in advance of the first week's local events. That excuse is not adequate because the department should have anticipated (and no doubt will in future consultations) that difficulty when deciding upon the start date for the consultation."

The pamphlet listed a borough or town and a date for each event, but not the precise location and time. Sullivan said that while criticisms that the pamphlet had been "propaganda" and "uninformative" had been made, residents who wished to attend the events it flagged up would have been able to find out venue information and times online or elsewhere.

His report, which is dated July 2017 but which was only published today, also urged the government to reopen the consultation because prime minister Theresa May's calling of June's snap general election had meant the exercise's final days had been covered by the pre-election purdah period.

"If best practice is to be adhered to, it will be necessary to re-open the consultation in order to deal fairly with the unfinished business," he said. "And it will be necessary to re-open the consultation for a period which is sufficiently long both to make up for some loss of time (particularly for local authorities) during the purdah period, and to enable consultees to have a fair opportunity to consider the implications of the final modified Air Quality plan and the final passenger demand forecasts. My provisional view is that this period would need to be not less than eight weeks, excluding main school holiday periods."

In a written ministerial statement to parliament today, Chris Grayling confirmed that the consultation would be reopened for "a short period" to allow updated evidence to be taken into account. "This further consultation will focus mainly on the specific elements of the NPS affected, and is expected to begin later this year," he said.

The DfT told Civil Service World it accepted there were shortcomings in relation to the level of detail on consultation events contained in the pamphlet but said it had learned from the experience.


Businesses in Essex are being invited to have their say on
Stansted Airport's plans to increase its annual passenger cap to 44.5m

Duncan Brodie - EADT Online - 6 September 2017

Numbers at Stansted have just passed the 25m mark for the first time, with the airport currently subject to a maximum of 35m passengers a year. In June, however, the airport gave formal notice of its intention to apply for the cap to be raised to 44.5m passengers year, representing the maximum possible use of its existing single runway.

And, next week, Essex Chambers of Commerce is staging an event in conjunction with Stansted Airport and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) at which businesses will be able to learn more about the proposal and offer their thoughts.

Speakers will include Paul Willis, Stansted's transformation project director, who will outline its aspiration to grow the number of airlines using the airport and to develop new routes, and Christian Brodie, chairman of SELEP, who will set out the region's Strategic Economic Plan and the importance of the airport development.

The event is being held on Wednesday, September 13, at the Park Inn by Radisson Harlow hotel in Southern Way, Harlow, from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.

News of Stansted's plans to seek an increase in its passenger cap were broadly welcomed by the business community but are being opposed by the Stop Stansted Expansion campaign, which has warned of the impact of an increase in flights on the environment.


Victoria Ibitoire - Daily Mail Online - 1 September 2017

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary believes UK airlines face hardship post Brexit. Mr O'Leary said UK carriers may no longer fly between EU destinations. He said European airlines want to undermine British airlines like BA and easyJet. Such measures could see British consumers paying extra for flights abroad. Europe's biggest airlines are conspiring to punish UK rivals after Britain leaves the EU.

In a move that would result in rocketing fares and fewer flights for British passengers, some of the Continent's biggest carriers are advocating a tough post-Brexit aviation deal. Leaked briefing documents seen by the Daily Mail show they want British airlines to be treated as 'third country citizens' in a move that would severely reduce the number of routes they can operate within the EU.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary, suggested German and French airlines were lining up to 'shaft' British Airways and easyJet as a result of the Brexit process. European airlines such as Lufthansa want to stop their British rivals from flying between EU destinations following Brexit which would restrict their access to the market.

Germany's Lufthansa, French-owned KLM and TAP Portugal are among the foreign carriers that have backed the briefing - which pushes for the UK to lose its coveted 'cabotage' rights that enable airlines to fly freely in and around the EU. easyJet, Jet2 and Monarch would not be able fly within or between EU countries.

The European airlines are also pushing for the UK to be granted an aviation agreement similar to those of Israel and Morocco, conferring only 'third party' status. In these cases, EU states decide who can fly, how many flights can be operated and where passengers can fly to.

James Daley, of Fairer Finance, said: "This is just another trap that the British Government are going to have to navigate as they proceed with their Brexit negotiations. It's up to the Government to ensure that they negotiate a fair deal which protects the interest of British citizens."

Emma Coulthurst, of holiday price comparison site Travel Supermarket, said: "If the number of flights which a UK airline can take to an airport is restricted, prices are likely to rise."

Airlines UK, whose members include easyJet, Flybe, British Airways, Thomas Cook and Monarch, said it was aware of the briefing document, which has been circulating since May 11. Tim Alderslade, its chief executive, said: "We would encourage ministers to seek as liberal and open arrangements as possible, including cabotage rights. This is a technical issue that needs to be resolved but we fully expect flights to be protected because the benefits to both consumers and companies across the UK and the rest of Europe are so significant."

But Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said: "The French and Germans aren't sitting on the sidelines. They're going to actively shaft BA and easyJet. This is a historic opportunity for them and it's in their briefing document - no internal flights between Europe for any UK airline even if there is a bilateral agreement. easyJet are s******* themselves."

It came after Mr O'Leary, who earns 3million a year, claimed he is underpaid and feels 'unloved and under-appreciated'. Discussing Theresa May's proposals to crack down on CEO's salaries, he added: "I think company bosses are remarkably badly paid. If you can have Wayne Rooney getting 300,000 a week and Alexis Sanchez on 400,000, I am seriously underpaid. I don?t score as many goals but I employ a lot more people and I make a much bigger contribution to the UK economy."

Mr O'Leary branded the PM's plans to force firms to publish the pay gap between the boss and the average worker and make list of companies where at least 20 per cent of investors vote against boardroom wages as 'inane bureaucratic nonsense'.

Leading economists have agreed with the Ryanair boss on Mrs May's proposals. Julian Jessop of the Institute of Economic Affairs said: "The aim should be to raise the incomes of the poorest, rather than to penalise success at the top".

OUR COMMENT: All part of the Brexit arguments?

Pat Dale


Leader - TTG Media Online - 31 August 2017

The latest Brexit news to emerge last week made for worrying reading. UK air traffic faces a "catastrophic slump" read an exclusive story by Sky News, after it obtained a confidential report submitted to government by Gatwick, Heathrow, London City, Manchester and Stansted airports.

The story wasn't new. It repeated a warning that Ryanair has been shouting about for months - that unless an agreement on Open Skies is secured, then the UK could witness a 41% fall in passenger demand between March 2018 and March 2019. That means the loss of 8.1 million bookings between the UK and EU.

Coming in the same week that latest figures showed net migration had fallen to its lowest level for three years following a surge in the number of EU nationals leaving the UK since the Brexit vote last year, it made for rather worrying reading. When you add in the restrictions on employing UK staff in Europe that may emerge, at the risk of sounding like a Remoaner, combined together these points are undeniably concerning.

Employing EU staff is key for companies across travel, including the thousands of Brits employed by the UK travel industry working abroad in Europe. A report released earlier this month by the European Tourism Association (Etoa) quizzed 100 of its UK members as to how they would cope if they had to recruit all non-UK EU staff using a formal immigration procedure. Almost half (49%) said they would see productivity "greatly reduced". Even more concerning, around 20% of Etoa's members said they were thinking of relocating their head office to an EU country.

Such reports will likely be dismissed by Brexiteers as alarmist and scaremongering. The problem is, when they keep being repeated by senior figures from across the business world, they become harder to ignore.

MPs will be returning from their holidays ahead of the reconvening of parliament on September 5. The shockingly poor exchange rate will have reminded them of the need to start getting on with the Brexit negotiations. The worrisome reports greeting them will be a sharp indication of what could happen if they don't.


Abbie Weaving - Eadt Online - 10 July 2017

A campaign group fighting plans to expand Stansted Airport says residents should not be 'tricked' into thinking the proposals are sustainable. Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) made the claims following a series of public exhibitions held by the airport in an effort to explain its latest plans.

The airport is hoping to submit a planning application to Uttlesford District Council, in which it proposes to lift the passenger cap of 35 million a year to 44.5 million by 2030.

Since the exhibitions started though, SSE says surveys are designed to trick people into thinking plans will be sustainable, when the environmental impacts of the expansion are yet to be assessed.

Brian Ross, the group?s deputy chairman, said: "The portrayal of the potential impacts that would arise from further expansion at Stansted is deliberately misleading and the public should be very, very sceptical about the claims being made to try to push through its proposals. The airport's so-called roadshow has all the hallmarks of a sales pitch for time-share apartments. It's all about spinning the positives and saying nothing about the negatives."

As well as more passengers, the airport also hopes to increase its aircraft movements from 274,000 a year to 285,000, meaning it would offer an extra 11,000 flights every 12 months.

SSE is urging people to question the plans and says that if they go ahead, residents will see an aircraft flying overhead every 85 seconds compared to the current rate of a couple of minutes. The resulting impact on the environment, the group says, will be "significantly worsened", with more noise and air pollution.

Speaking earlier this year, Stansted Airport CEO, Andrew Cowan said: "We know that growth is a sensitive and important issue for people living close to airports and we are committed to engaging, listening and sharing as much information as possible as we develop our plans."

The exhibitions will run until July 17 with the next session on July 12 at Braintree Town Hall, from 3pm to 8pm. Those unable to attend can share their views at ourstansted.com or by emailing consultation@stanstedairport.com. Alternatively, SSE is urging people to write to Uttlesford District Council's planning department.


Rebecca Smith - City AM Online - 10 July 2017

Heathrow's third runway will not be enough to support growing demand as all of the capital's airports will be stretched near capacity by 2025, business leaders warned today.

A new report by London First calls on the government to push forward with an aviation strategy that helps support growth and competition, by looking at flight movement limits and removing artificial caps on growth, such as those at Stansted. This would enable the airport to provide capacity for around an additional seven to nine million passengers a year.

It notes "clear demand" for further runway capacity in the south east beyond the third runway, and says proposals for future expansion at the capital's airports should also be enabled to come forward in "a far more timely and market-based way".

Richard Dilks, transport director at London First, said: "Government's backing for expansion at Heathrow was hugely welcome and a significant boost to British business, but it took 50 years to get to this stage. Government has to step up and help get the UK into the best possible shape ahead of Brexit, by supporting investment and recognising that the UK's global standing requires action beyond building a vital new runway at Heathrow."

The business group flagged the importance of improvements on links to the airport, notably rail, saying business case development should take place on a new Crossrail station at London City Airport. Other rail links considered crucial were investment in the Brighton main line as a "vital link" for City commuters and Gatwick passengers, and the confirmation of Western rail access to Heathrow.

While passenger experience has "improved considerably" in recent years thanks to significant investment by the airports, the report said more could be done to ensure "a high quality at our borders". Long queues and inefficient processes need to be clamped down on, as they send "a terrible signal to people wanting to come to the UK to visit or do business".

The five largest airports in London and the south east account for around 150m passengers annually, and the capital attracts more international overnight visitors than any other city in the world. The report says it is the UK's "international gateway for talent, tourists and investment".

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "Delivering new runway capacity in the south east is vital to the future of the UK, boosting our economy and our position on the world stage. We are working with Heathrow and TfL to give passengers the best possible access and just last week plans were announced to increase Elizabeth Line services to the airport, including new trains to Terminal 5. We want to improve transport links to help our airports grow and we are committed to the 15bn Crossrail programme, which will serve Heathrow and the 6bn Thameslink upgrades which will benefit Gatwick."

OUR COMMENT: Has the Paris Climate agreement (recently reaffirmed) been forgotten? This has already led to a ceiling on the extra number of flights that can be allowed.

Pat Dale


Charlotte Page - Hertfordshire Mercury Online - 9 July 2017

A campaign group has claimed that the consultations being held by Stansted Airport to discuss its expansion plans are 'deliberately misleading'.

On Thursday (July 6) meetings began for residents to share their thoughts and concerns on the proposal which will see Stansted become the second biggest airport in the UK. This would happen by making maximum use of its existing runway.

The group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) however, has issued a warning across the region. Brian Ross, the deputy chairman for SSE, said: "The portrayal of the potential impacts that would arise from further expansion at Stansted is deliberately misleading and the public should be very, very sceptical about the claims being made to try to push through its proposals."

"The airport's so-called roadshow has all the hallmarks of a sales pitch for time-share apartments. It's all about spinning the positives and saying nothing about the negatives."

Residents attending the roadshow are asked to fill in a survey which the group say is designed to "trick people into thinking that further expansion at the airport will be painless and sustainable, before the environmental impacts have even been assessed." They add that the results will be biased as they believe the questions favour the airport's plans.

SSE has also raised concerns about the extra passenger numbers meaning approximately two extra flights per hour, but the group say that in reality, the proposal would mean an extra 2,000 flights a week.

A spokesman on behalf of SSE, continued: "This translates into an aircraft overflying during daytime hours from the current average of a plane every two and a quarter minutes, to a plane every 85 seconds. Noise, air quality and especially road and rail transport impacts would all be significantly worsened in contrast to the airport's claim that there will be 'no significant adverse environmental effects'."


Hertfordshire Mercury Online - 9 July 2017

A spokesman on behalf of Stansted Airport said: "Stansted Airport already has permission to serve 35 million passengers a year, subject to a range of environmental limits including a robust cap on noise impacts. We are seeking local people's views at the consultation events on how we can make full use of our single runway by serving beyond 35 million passengers in the future whilst continuing to operate within the same environmental limits and current airport boundary."

Stansted Airport is holding seven more consultations in the area for residents to attend.

SSE has suggested that people share their thoughts to Uttlesford District Council's planning department via e-mail or through their online portal.

SSE Recent News
News Archive