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(Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise)
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In July 2011 Fight the Flights, the organisation which fought the expansion of City Airport, merged with HACAN. HACAN East will take up issues around City Airport – read more
On Saturday 27th April thousands turned out for a major rally held in West London against Heathrow expansion. The cross-party rally, organized by Richmond MP Zac Goldsmith, heard speeches from 15 politicians including the London Mayor and two cabinet ministers Justine Greening and Ed Davey.
Boris called expansion ‘mad’. Watch the video
Three West London councils – Hounslow, Hillingdon and Richmond - are asking the residents’ views on Heathrow expansion. Hounslow is also asking questions on other topics, such as night flights. Closing date 16th May.
Richmond is also holding a PUBLIC MEETING: 3rd May, 7pm, Duke Street Church Hall, Duke Street, Richmond, Question Time panel event featuring speakers from pro- and anti-expansion campaigns
A new report, commissioned by HACAN, WWF and the RSPB, launched on 22nd April from the Dutch consultants CE Delft casts doubt on the benefits of Heathrow expansion. In particular it argues that the “claims about the economic benefits of connectivity are not founded on solid evidence”
Read the press release
Read the full report
Read the carefully argued HACAN blog
The Government is consulting on Night Flights. Email Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, direct and let him know just how much you value your sleep and how important respite is to you during the day? You can email him.
The London Assembly has called for a ban on night flights - scroll down for further information on night flights.
A new study from HACAN reveals that nine out the ten top destinations served by Heathrow are short haul. Only one, New York, is long haul. The rest are European or British destinations. New York, with 61 flights a day, tops the table. It is followed by Dublin, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Edinburgh. The study comes seven years after a similar one published by HACAN in 2006. That study placed Paris top of the league. However flights to the French capital have fallen dramatically since Eurostar has taken off – down from 60 a day to 35. And Brussels flights have decreased from 30 to 19.
To read the full report
To read the press release
2M, which represents local authorities across London and the Home Counties, has produced maps of what the flight paths of a 4 runway Heathrow – if it was ever built – would look like.
Click here for more maps
The Evening Standard broke the story
In a hugely significant development Heathrow Airport (BAA as was) has said it will not be pressing for mixed-mode (planes landing on both runways throughout the day). A Heathrow source told The Times (4/2/13): It would be a lot of pain for not much gain,” said a Heathrow source. Heathrow confirmed its position when appearing before the Transport Committee of the London Assembly (13/2/13) It is highly unlikely that any Government would recommend mixed-mode without the support of Heathrow Airport.
For an easy-to-read explanation of mixed mode
MPs, peers and campaign groups have joined with the leaders of nine local authorities to call on the Government to bring forward the publication date of the final report of the Airports Commission, headed by Sir Howard Davies. They have written a joint letter to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin asking for the report to be published well before the 2015 General Election. The scheduled date for publication is currently July 2015, two months after the Election. They are also calling on Sir Howard Davies in his interim report, due by the end of this year, to “lay out very clearly the direction of his thinking.”
Read the letter
HACAN has expressed disappointment that the Government has still not committed itself to a night flight ban in its consultation on a new night flight regime at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick, released on 22nd January.
Here is HACAN’S official response
Here is HACAN’S immediate press release
A timely new report – short and illustrated - from HACAN outlines the economic, environmental and social case against the expansion of Heathrow.
Read the report
HACAN has worked with Heathrow Airport (as BAA is now known), British Airways and Air Traffic Control to trial ‘no fly’ zones at night for people living some distance from the airport who currently get no respite day or night. To the east of the airport these areas include Vauxhall, Stockwell and parts of East London. To the west places such as Reading will benefit. The trial, which will last five months, will ensure that residents in these areas will get no flights until just before 6am every other week.
For more details of the night 'no fly' zone trial
Campaigners against night flights were joined by Seema Malhotra, the MP for Feltham and Heston and London Assembly member Murad Qureshi on Saturday for their pyjama protest against night flights. The protest was staged in Lampton Park in Hounslow. Similar protests took place across Europe as part of the European Day of Action against Night Flights. The UK Government is expected to consult next month on a new night flight regime for the three designated airports – Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick. The current agreement with the airlines runs out in October 2014.
HACAN has given the Davies Commission into future airport capacity a cautious welcome. HACAN Chair John Stewart said: “We are pleased and relieved that the Davies Commission will be looking at wider topics such as future demand, climate change and noise and not just selecting airports where expansion should take place. This is a sensible approach. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating but at this stage the Commission deserves a cautious welcome.”
Read the press release
HACAN has urged the Government to implement the “commonsense” noise measures outlined in the consultation on its new aviation policy which closes tomorrow.
Read the press release
Read the full response
Read the report
Read the press release
In a move that will delight the aviation industry Transport Secretary Justine Greening and Aviation Minster Theresa Villiers have both been moved out of the DfT. Villiers got a well-deserved promotion to a seat at the Cabinet as Northern Ireland Secretary. Greening becomes International Development Secretary. The new Secretary of State is Patrick McLoughlin and the new Aviation Minister is Simon Burns.
See blog for our assessment of the changes: http://hacan.org.uk/blog
On 12th July the Government released part 1 of its draft aviation strategy for consultation. It covers general policy issues such as noise and climate change. The consultation will close on 31st October 2012. The second part of the consultation will follow in the autumn. It will ask for evidence-based responses as to whether more capacity, particularly, hub capacity is needed in London and the South East. The Government aims to publish its final aviation policy in March 2013.
To disentangle the myths from the facts in the Heathrow debate, read our latest 4-pager: Heathrow Expansion Myths and Facts
Speaking at the debate organized by the Evening Standard (27th June) BAA chief Willie Walsh said that, much as he would like to have seen a 3rd runway at Heathrow, he no accepts the reality that it will not happen and is planning his business accordingly. He also said that mixed-mode at Heathrow would makes worse at the airport and opposes it.
The Evening Standard, still pushing expansion under its new editor Sarah Sands, chose to report things differently….and incorrectly.
There has been a high-profile campaign recently by the aviation industry arguing the UK economic will suffer if airport expansion does not take place, particularly at Heathrow. It has been heavily featured in the Evening Standard since Sarah Sands became editor. HACAN does not believe the case stands up. This two page document summarises why.
In a Lord's debate (28/5/12) the Government announced it would consider the economic loss due to sleep loss when it reviews night flights later this year. This will be the first time this has been done. The issue was first raised in a CE Delft Report published by HACAN. Welcome move.
Read the HACAN report
Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers in a major speech to an aviation industry conference firmly ruled out a third runway at Heathrow. The speech was an excellent riposte to aviation industry calls for a 3rd runway. Included in her speech were the words: “The quality of life aspect of a third runway with up to 22,000 more flights over London every year would be massive and there’s no technological solution in sight to ensure planes become quiet enough, quickly enough to make this burden in any way tolerable. So we need another solution.
Read the speech in full
The campaigners at Frankfurt Airport have won a night flight ban after the German courts today (4th April) ruled in their favour. Flights will be banned from 11pm until 5am. It is thought the ruling could have implications for night flights at other European airports, including Heathrow where the Government will begin consulting later this year on plans for a new night flight regime after the current agreement with the airlines runs out in 2014. At present, no night flights are allowed at Heathrow between 11.30pm and about 4.15am but the Government is under pressure to introduce a ban from 11pm until 6am.
For the full story
For the HACAN press release
The night ban at Frankfurt is only one of the demands of the Frankfurt protesters, thousands of whom occupy the airport terminal every Monday night. They are objecting about the impact of the 4th runway which was opened in October. See pictures of the astonishing protests that are happening in Frankfurt every week.
On Saturday 24th March over 20,000 people took the streets in six cities in Germany to protest against the growth of aviation. Here are two videos which give a flavour of the protests. The first, (with a special message for us in London!) is of campaigners against a 3rd runway having a protest picnic in the terminal 2 of the airport: The second captures the thousands of people who protest inside the terminal of Frankfurt Airport every Monday evening. And this excellent video shows the protests in Berlin.
Campaigners in Munich scored a notable victory when they persuaded the people of the city to vote against the third runway being proposed for the city: The result, binding for a year, is a big set-back for the airport authorities. It comes as a result of creative, strategic campaigning by the protesters.
For an overview of the German protests: see The German Spring takes off, and scroll down
The mighty campaign against a new airport in Nantes in South West France took an astonishing turn this Summer when farmers went on a 28 day hunger strike in protest against the compulsory purchase of their land before all the legal processes had been completed. They won concessions from the Government. This July thousands turned out to stage a major demonstration in a long-running campaignwhich won the backing of all the Presidential candidates except for Hollande and Sarkozy.
A new report by HACAN released today (31/1/12) claims that it is not a lack of airport capacity which threatens London’s position as the top city in Europe to do business but its poor environment. Too Dirty for Business? concludes that London’s excellent transport links to the rest of the world make it Europe’s premier business city. However, that position is under threat because many of its rivals score more highly on quality of life, pollution and a lack of traffic congestion, all key considerations for businesses when deciding where to locate. The report is published on the same day as London First’s Connectivity Commission is launching its findings. It is expected to call for more airport capacity in the South East.
Read the HACAN press release
Read the full report
There are mixed views in West London about an Estuary Airport. Some residents support it as it would remove the constant noise from their areas. Others are concerned that job losses would blight West London as Heathrow directly employs over 76,000 people. The bigger question is whether extra capacity is actually needed. Even at Heathrow nearly a quarter of flights are short-haul. If policies were in place to enable these passengers to switch to rail or do their business via video-conferencing, that would free up capacity for additional long-haul flights from the developing economies of Asia, Africa and South America. The question is not whether new capacity is required but whether we are making the most intelligent use of existing capacity.”
Read the full press release
HACAN is calling on the Government to include plans to change the way it measures aircraft noise in its draft aviation policy, expected to go out to public consultation before the end of March. The current method the Government uses varies from the one recommended by the European Union. It also contradicts the guidelines for noise annoyance recommended by the World Health Organisation. The EU estimates that around 720,000 people are disturbed by noise from Heathrow aircraft. The UK Government puts it much lower at less than 300,000. HACAN Chair John Stewart said: “The way UK governments have traditionally measured noise no longer tallies with reality. Using its method, aircraft noise ceases to be a problem around Barnes. It defies reality to say that people in places like Putney, Fulham, Battersea and Clapham are not disturbed by aircraft noise. We are calling on the Government to ditch this outdated way of measuring aircraft noise.”
Read the HACAN press release
A major new report published yesterday (19/12/11) by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reveals that 28% of the people in Europe affected by aircraft noise live under the Heathrow flight paths. A total of over 700,000 people are affected by Heathrow aircraft. The report calls for measures, such as steeper descents by aircraft, to mitigate the impact of noise on residents. It also urges airport owners to “engage constructively” with residents.
Read the CAA report
Read the HACAN Press Release
“We hear a lot of ritualistic grumbling from the aviation industry about levels of Air Passenger Duty but they conveniently forget to mention the £11 billion a year subsidy they enjoy from paying no fuel duty and no VAT” – read more
A new report from AirportWatch shows that Heathrow is better connected to the world’s business centres than any of its European ‘rivals’ – read the report
The Times and the Telegraph (29/6/11) featured calls from sections of business and industry for more airport capacity in the South East. A week earlier British Airways Chief Executive, Willie Walsh, said that plans for a third runway were ‘dead’ and that BA would be transferring more passengers at Madrid Airport following its recent link-up with Iberian Airlines.
HACAN Chair John Stewart argues there is no economic reason to expand Heathrow (in a piece that first appeared in the Times, 29/6/11):
See also article by Zac Goldsmith in the Evening Standard before Sarah Sands became its editor
A briefing by HACAN on why was launched at a meeting hosted by London Assembly member Val Shawcross at City Hall.
Read the HACAN briefing.
“The plane traffic continues unabatedly. Strange as it sounds, but we are dreading the idea of living with open windows when summer approaches”. And they live over 15 miles from Heathrow
Read more of the resident’s stories
A major report launched in the House of Commons on 27th January 2011 at a meeting hosted by Zac Goldsmith MP shows that a ban on night flights at Heathrow before 6am could be expected to have overall benefits for the wider economy. The new report, commissioned by HACAN from the respected Dutch economists CE Delft, has found that a night flight ban before 6am could benefit the national economy by as much as £860 million over a 10 year period.. The big savings would be in the monetary costs associated with sleep deprivation. Because of the huge number of people living under the Heathrow night flight path, these savings could be expected to outweigh any loss of income to the aviation industry. CE Delft argues that the national economy would only be harmed if none of the passengers who currently arrive on the flights before 6am failed to transfer to flights arriving at other times. If that were to take place, the national economy could lose up to £35 million over a 10 year period, but the report states that the chances of that happening are “highly unlikely”. John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, said, “We commissioned this report to test out the claims that a night flight ban would damage the economy. Its dramatic findings destroy the last remaining argument for night flights”.
The launch of the report marks the start of a campaign by HACAN to get a ban on night flights between 11pm and 6am when the new night flight regime is introduced in 2014. Later this year the Government is expected to consult on a new night flight regime at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick. The current agreement with the airlines comes to an end in October 2014.
Read the full report
Read people’s stories
Heathrow Airport challenged the report we commissioned from CE Delft in a report it submitted to the Department for Transport. Here you can read CE Delft’s rebuttal of the CE Delft Report.
High-Speed Rail News
HACAN supports a high-speed rail scheme that takes planes out of the air and cars off the road. The interests of the people of the West Midlands, the Chilterns and other areas through which it passes must be fully taken into consideration but this Government should be applauded as being the first one for over 50 years as seeing rail rather than road or air as the way to transport people the length of Britain.