DobboDobbo
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 8:44 am

PaxPicti wrote:
If south-east England needs more runway capacity, then extra ones at Garwick and Stansted make far more sense and would cost less. In fact, I think both of those could be built for the cost of the one at LHR, and with less resulting problems. The push for it to be LHR has nothing to do with more total runway capacity in the south-east and everything to do with the vested interests there trying to get a bigger piece of the same pie, when what we need is a bigger pie.


I think this largely sums up the present problem.

There is little doubt that the south east of England required support new runway capacity, and if that was the only issue, a new runway would have been built at Gatwick or Stansted years ago.

However, the truth is that this and previous governments have not been trying to address “runway capacity in the south east of England” it has been trying to address “how can we expand Heathrow”.

The present process is just the latest iteration under which the government has tried the come to the predetermined outcome.

First, they discounted Borris Island as being too technically challenging.

Second, they decided they needed only one new runway for environmental grounds (this knocked out Stansted).

Third, they came up with a series of criteria to decide between Heathrow and Gatwick. To no-ones genuine surprise, they chose Heathrow despite Heathrow offering less long term net economic benefits than Gatwick, being more environmentally damaging, requiring more support from public finances (underwriting the cost and providing surface access), being less easily financed than Gatwick, being less deliverable than Gatwick, and having far more public and political opposition to Gatwick.

The key reason given for this decision was “hub capacity” and as the only BA “hub” was at Heathrow, therefore they must build at Heathrow (the predetermined outcome trumps the facts).

Last weeks decision confirms (subject to appeal) that the Government hasn’t tripped itself up in the process so far. The next planning stage deals more about the underlying rationale, deliverability and detail behind the scheme and that is where (for the reasons set out above) it is vulnerable to challenge.

Meanwhile, the essential political support for the scheme looks less certain. The lifespan of Teressa May’s Government is measured in months, and it is almost certain that the UK will have a new Government by the end of the summer. It is difficult to see that any of the realistic alternatives will provide the same support as the current government and that is likely to be a major concern to the promotors of the scheme.
 
jomur
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 9:01 am

PaxPicti wrote:
For once in his life, Boris is right. Anyone who thinks a third runway at LHR is a good idea has probably never lived or worked, or even tried to travel on the motorway, near Heathrow - other than maybe in the middle of the night. It's total lunacy and being an aviation enthusiast or occasional user of the place doesn't change that. The airspace and infrastructure around it simply cannot cope with more traffic. And there *will* be more traffic if a third runway is built.

If south-east England needs more runway capacity, then extra ones at Garwick and Stansted make far more sense and would cost less. In fact, I think both of those could be built for the cost of the one at LHR, and with less resulting problems. The push for it to be LHR has nothing to do with more total runway capacity in the south-east and everything to do with the vested interests there trying to get a bigger piece of the same pie, when what we need is a bigger pie.


None of the airlines want to fly from the other airports...
There is a shortage of affordable housing in the south of the UK but there are loads of empty cheap houses further north but nobody wants to live in them because they are in the wrong place. You cannot force people to move north in this country and its the same with the airlines.
 
JHwk
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 11:08 am

I get the traffic issues around Heathrow and the desire to avoid making them worse. Perfectly logical. However, the solution isn’t to handicap LHR, it is to get crossrail up and running.

People proposing adding capacity elsewhere really should research “network effect.” Scale provides value. There are very few examples of metropolitan areas that successfully sustain two peer-sized airports; one always needs to be dominant.
 
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par13del
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 11:28 am

So Gatwick or Stanstead with 2 runways each and Heathrow in its present condition, who is dominant?
Transport links, number of carriers, routes flown, prestige, Heathrow is not in anyway threatened by the other two.
It is not a case of if you build it they will come, when the Bermuda agreements were in place carriers made Gatwick work despite the poor transportation infrastructure in place and the lack on interest to upgrade because no one wanted to diminish the crown jewel.
How did diesel vehicles get to be so popular in Europe, how is it now the demon of vehicles? If transportation in the Southeast is what was needed, Gatwick and Stanstead with additional runways would have a greater impact as additional transport links would be required, but as long as the mindset is that one additional pax at the others is one less at Heathrow, nothing will change.
 
Lufthansa
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 11:55 am

The UK has two options. The first, and least expensive is knock down a few houses, redirect a highway and build a few more houses. That means no more terminals need to be built, no new rail link to the city etc. The second is a complete new airfield ... possibly passed on Gatwick. But just ask Berlin how that worked out for them?
 
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par13del
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 12:40 pm

Even the promoters claim the LHR option is not the cheapest, they claim the economic impact will be greater.
 
DobboDobbo
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 12:58 pm

par13del wrote:
Even the promoters claim the LHR option is not the cheapest, they claim the economic impact will be greater.


They no longer claim it produces the greatest economic benefit for the UK because that is no longer the case (in the long term).
 
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exFWAOONW
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 3:09 pm

All this hand-wringing over guilt from a perception that we have it a little easier than someone else is a waste of time/energy. Have any of those complaining about the noise stood near a runway when 707s or DC8s took off? Things are a lot quieter around airports, so yes, we have changed our ways. We will change again when new technologies become available and cheap. (that weekend trip can’t cost too much more). To maintain cost, you need volume, hence LHR makes sense. CrossRail isn’t even operational yet, let’s see what impact that will have on road traffic/noise pollution before you shoot yourself in the foot.

I grew up next to an airport (five miles away) and I knew when every commercial aircraft took off. There was also a military base that had F84/F100/F4s. Today, they whisper going overhead. So don’t tell me LHR is noisy today.
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
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spinotter
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 3:23 pm

SelseyBill wrote:
spinotter wrote:
A third runway in west London would cause a huge increase in traffic and pollution and above all in noise. Heathrow have a long way to go before they can meet the environmental standards demanded by law. "The third runway should not happen. This could be an inflection point toward less airplane traffic. Do we need flights from Heathrow to Wuhan?


I'm fine with you campaigning for less aviation and airport contraction if you want, but why don't you start your campaigning in Beijing or New Delhi, where they will be opening dozens of completely new airports over the coming decades; not one runway, but completely new airport builds.

The UK needs a vibrant LHR as its prime gateway to the world.

I find it quite funny to listen to some of these hypocritical west London MP's bemoan house values because of potential economic contraction, but then argue in their next breath against LHR expansion

spinotter wrote:
People need to travel less to keep the earth green.

No; we need to burn less carbon as we travel, not stop travelling. Two different things completely.

Nobody hates aviation or aircraft per se; what they dislike are the emissions from the fuel being used in their propulsion. If all aircraft were electric, nobody would bat an eyelid. Much of the LHR argument seems to surround pollution from ground transportation; something that we have now solved going forward. We can make buses/trains/cars/trams/cabs run on electricity, so decision makers just need to start making decisions that turns all ground transportation green, not banning travel altogether.

Maybe as a token symbolic gesture, LHR should look at proposing a commercial air route, and specify all-electric aircraft, even if they are only 9 seaters. That would shut some people up


Until all travel is carbon neutral, we need to travel less. And perhaps as reasonable intelligent beings, we need to travel less even in a carbon neutral world. I have not been in a motorized vehicle for almost a year now, and it is a great improvement in my life and happiness. So I'm not just mouthing slogans - I'm living what I believe.
 
bennett123
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 3:53 pm

I assume that you cycle, what is the maximum distance that you travel on a daily basis?.
 
eurotrader85
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 3:57 pm

This debate always makes me chuckle. We are talking about a Third runway at LHR, the seventh busiest airport in the world, and until 2015 was the third. An airport full for the last 15 years. We are not talking of a seventh or eight runway as you have at many other airports around the world, we are talking about the same amount of runways as ZRH currently has. Not expanding just means moving routes and investment abroad for no benefit in the fight against climate change, and a cost to the UK economy. London is a big city, its inevitable it will need a bigger airport.

Its only in the UK where we keep talking about how ‘difficult’ it is to build a new runway. Everyone else around Europe and the world scratches their head in mystification looking at us, not understanding why we wouldn’t just get on with it. All across the world people chuckle and sum it up as the UK being a laughing stock. The sad thing is politicians have made a big thing about only building ONE runway, prompting people’s thoughts and the press to be anchored on this mindset. Of course that runway needs to go where the airport is full and demand far exceeds its capacity, LHR. There is no rational case to expand airports which are not full and have spare capacity. They may be full some time in the future, expand them then.

smartplane wrote:
eurotrader85 wrote:
spinotter wrote:
People need to travel less to keep the earth green.


Or A and B and co need to manufacture planes which are more environmentally friendly. People ARE and WILL fly more going forwards. That's a fact. The answer to the environmental issue is not to ban expansion and take the ability to fly out of the reach of the poorest, but to make it sustainable.

And airlines need to behave in more environmentally sensitive ways, and Government rules and legislation need to assist.

If you speak to representatives from the 'poorest' nations, their priorities are food, health, and environmental impacts on those two. Cheap air travel for the rich ranks nowhere. And increasingly, it seems there are teenagers who feel the same way, even in 'rich' countries.


I was speaking in regards to the poorest in the UK whom will be priced out of the restricted supply and subsequent increase in fares, but if you want to make the point about poorer nations the point still stands. Access and connections to the rest of the world is a vital driver for investment and income. There is a reason why developing countries are expanding airport capacity at a breakneck rate and it is to attract inward investment. The best way to bring food to tables, income, better healthcare is to advance an economy.

The ‘teenagers’ fight against climate change is a valid cause, even if aviation is a very small fraction of this, but not expanding LHR isn’t the answer to their cause. The discussions should be aimed at Airbus/Boeing and co. If the planes don’t producer CO2 then what is the issue? Same as motorway expansion. An extra lane on the M25 doesn’t create more pollution, combustion engine cars stuck in traffic does. The extra lane just gets people home quicker. The focus should be to move to green energy, not against infrastructure for a growing population.

Pyrex wrote:
Why is the Mayor of London so actively opposing something that would be so beneficial to his city? Does he believe that airport delays are like terrorism, just part and parcel of living in a big city?

Because Sadiq Khan is completely out of touch with the majority of the people he represents (I say this in a non-partisan manner). This is the same Mayor who thought banning Uber would be a vote winner to support the black cabs, only to receive the inevitable backlash across the board that he was out of touch, prompting what is a climbdown. Same with LHR, fighting expansion is not a vote winner when tens of thousands of jobs and more connections are going to be created.

jomur wrote:
PaxPicti wrote:
For once in his life, Boris is right. Anyone who thinks a third runway at LHR is a good idea has probably never lived or worked, or even tried to travel on the motorway, near Heathrow - other than maybe in the middle of the night. It's total lunacy and being an aviation enthusiast or occasional user of the place doesn't change that. The airspace and infrastructure around it simply cannot cope with more traffic. And there *will* be more traffic if a third runway is built.

If south-east England needs more runway capacity, then extra ones at Gatwick and Stansted make far more sense and would cost less. In fact, I think both of those could be built for the cost of the one at LHR, and with less resulting problems. The push for it to be LHR has nothing to do with more total runway capacity in the south-east and everything to do with the vested interests there trying to get a bigger piece of the same pie, when what we need is a bigger pie.


None of the airlines want to fly from the other airports...
There is a shortage of affordable housing in the south of the UK but there are loads of empty cheap houses further north but nobody wants to live in them because they are in the wrong place. You cannot force people to move north in this country and its the same with the airlines.


Exactly. LHR has been full for 15 years for a reason, LGW is still not full with its one runway.
As for all the ‘try to force capacity to LGW’ where there is not the demand yet anyway, hypothetically where would all those cars from the Midlands driving down go past en-route, on the M25-oh yes, LHR. There is a reason why LHR became the biggest hub.
I actually have nothing against an additional runway for LGW in addition, but build it in the future, after the third runway at LHR, when LGW is full-i.e. when it makes sense.
 
DobboDobbo
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 4:27 pm

eurotrader85 wrote:
Its only in the UK where we keep talking about how ‘difficult’ it is to build a new runway.
...
Exactly. LHR has been full for 15 years for a reason, LGW is still not full with its one runway.
...
I actually have nothing against an additional runway for LGW in addition, but build it in the future, after the third runway at LHR, when LGW is full-i.e. when it makes sense.


Some points in response to the extracts above:

1 - a new runway in the south east is only difficult because the government policy is a de facto “Heathrow or nothing”. The result, over several decades now, ends up being nothing because of the issues which are well ventilated.

2 - in 2018, Heathrow pushed something like 80 million passengers through two runways, Gatwick pushed 46million through one runway. By that metric, Gatwick is “fuller” than Heathrow and by the logic hinted at in your post above, a runway at Gatwick should come first.
 
eurotrader85
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:45 pm

Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 6:46 pm

DobboDobbo wrote:
eurotrader85 wrote:
Its only in the UK where we keep talking about how ‘difficult’ it is to build a new runway.
...
Exactly. LHR has been full for 15 years for a reason, LGW is still not full with its one runway.
...
I actually have nothing against an additional runway for LGW in addition, but build it in the future, after the third runway at LHR, when LGW is full-i.e. when it makes sense.


Some points in response to the extracts above:

1 - a new runway in the south east is only difficult because the government policy is a de facto “Heathrow or nothing”. The result, over several decades now, ends up being nothing because of the issues which are well ventilated.

2 - in 2018, Heathrow pushed something like 80 million passengers through two runways, Gatwick pushed 46million through one runway. By that metric, Gatwick is “fuller” than Heathrow and by the logic hinted at in your post above, a runway at Gatwick should come first.


1) - There have always been slots available at other London airports but carriers still choose LHR over LGW and others where there isn't availability. When the Bermuda II agreement ended, those carriers such as DL et al who were located at LGW moved to LHR as quickly as possible. So again LHR is where airlines want to be, at least for the main part of their service, and government policy with the third runway is reacting to that, not forcing that direction.

2) - LGW has the advantage of allowing night flights so they can get more out of the asphalt (think all the seasonal holiday charter flights) while LHR doesn't have this freedom. But LGW scheduled slots have a much higher proportion of NB aircraft which could naturally be up-gauged if demand was there, and there are slots available at LGW for airlines who want to expand, save some very specific peak times, so there is still scope to grow more with the existing runway even now (we could all agree the terminals could do with a revamp). LHR is only eking out more passengers every year as it squeezes out the small NB players and replacing them with carriers putting A380s and other WB aircraft in their place, or up-gauging the NB fleet as we see BA doing with 319s being replaced with 321s. I.e. much further ahead than LGW in this area. A pair of slots at LHR change hand for circa $25mln. That isn't the case at LGW, and again demonstrates the demand point.

It comes down the point LHR has been full for 15 years and needed to expand well over a decade ago. LGW will eventually fill up as well and exhaust the extra capacity up-gauging adds, and then it should also be expanded as well.
 
DobboDobbo
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 8:58 pm

eurotrader85 wrote:
DobboDobbo wrote:
eurotrader85 wrote:
Its only in the UK where we keep talking about how ‘difficult’ it is to build a new runway.
...
Exactly. LHR has been full for 15 years for a reason, LGW is still not full with its one runway.
...
I actually have nothing against an additional runway for LGW in addition, but build it in the future, after the third runway at LHR, when LGW is full-i.e. when it makes sense.


Some points in response to the extracts above:

1 - a new runway in the south east is only difficult because the government policy is a de facto “Heathrow or nothing”. The result, over several decades now, ends up being nothing because of the issues which are well ventilated.

2 - in 2018, Heathrow pushed something like 80 million passengers through two runways, Gatwick pushed 46million through one runway. By that metric, Gatwick is “fuller” than Heathrow and by the logic hinted at in your post above, a runway at Gatwick should come first.


1) - There have always been slots available at other London airports but carriers still choose LHR over LGW and others where there isn't availability. When the Bermuda II agreement ended, those carriers such as DL et al who were located at LGW moved to LHR as quickly as possible. So again LHR is where airlines want to be, at least for the main part of their service, and government policy with the third runway is reacting to that, not forcing that direction.

2) - LGW has the advantage of allowing night flights so they can get more out of the asphalt (think all the seasonal holiday charter flights) while LHR doesn't have this freedom. But LGW scheduled slots have a much higher proportion of NB aircraft which could naturally be up-gauged if demand was there, and there are slots available at LGW for airlines who want to expand, save some very specific peak times, so there is still scope to grow more with the existing runway even now (we could all agree the terminals could do with a revamp). LHR is only eking out more passengers every year as it squeezes out the small NB players and replacing them with carriers putting A380s and other WB aircraft in their place, or up-gauging the NB fleet as we see BA doing with 319s being replaced with 321s. I.e. much further ahead than LGW in this area. A pair of slots at LHR change hand for circa $25mln. That isn't the case at LGW, and again demonstrates the demand point.

It comes down the point LHR has been full for 15 years and needed to expand well over a decade ago. LGW will eventually fill up as well and exhaust the extra capacity up-gauging adds, and then it should also be expanded as well.


1 - Government policy is not to take decisions based on the perception of what airlines might prefer (as opposed to need). It is supposed to take decisions based on the best interest of the people it represents (in this case the UK). The best economic interest of the UK (NB as distinct from the owners of Heathrow or the supposed preference of airlines) is to expand Gatwick, but they have chosen not to do so. They must now defend that decision (taken by a lame duck transport secretary).

2 - That LGW is able to operate over a longer period in the 24 hour day tells you something of the relative advantage of locating a new runway there as opposed to at Heathrow, and perhaps explains why it offers the best economic return and has less local and national opposition. You may or may not recall the court case post Monarch collapse when the liquidator won the right to sell Monarch's Gatwick slots as an asset in the liquidation. In 2018 the average load per movement at LHR (167) is 5 passengers per flight higher than at Gatwick (162) - sounds like those widebodies are arriving and departing Heathrow half full so plenty of spare capacity by that metric.

It is irrelevant what the situation was 30, 20 or 10 years ago. We are dealing with things as they are now, and the truth is LGW and LHR are very similar propositions in 2019. The UK government will have to defend that position (if they still wish to do so) over the coming decade as the project moves through planning.
 
smartplane
Posts: 1024
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sat May 04, 2019 9:30 pm

exFWAOONW wrote:
All this hand-wringing over guilt from a perception that we have it a little easier than someone else is a waste of time/energy. Have any of those complaining about the noise stood near a runway when 707s or DC8s took off? Things are a lot quieter around airports, so yes, we have changed our ways. We will change again when new technologies become available and cheap. (that weekend trip can’t cost too much more). To maintain cost, you need volume, hence LHR makes sense. CrossRail isn’t even operational yet, let’s see what impact that will have on road traffic/noise pollution before you shoot yourself in the foot.

I grew up next to an airport (five miles away) and I knew when every commercial aircraft took off. There was also a military base that had F84/F100/F4s. Today, they whisper going overhead. So don’t tell me LHR is noisy today.

But the bar and expectations keep rising. How many would like to revert to 80's colour TV graphics standards, even if cheaper to manufacture?
 
eurotrader85
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:45 pm

Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sun May 05, 2019 8:51 pm

DobboDobbo wrote:
eurotrader85 wrote:
DobboDobbo wrote:

Some points in response to the extracts above:

1 - a new runway in the south east is only difficult because the government policy is a de facto “Heathrow or nothing”. The result, over several decades now, ends up being nothing because of the issues which are well ventilated.

2 - in 2018, Heathrow pushed something like 80 million passengers through two runways, Gatwick pushed 46million through one runway. By that metric, Gatwick is “fuller” than Heathrow and by the logic hinted at in your post above, a runway at Gatwick should come first.


1) - There have always been slots available at other London airports but carriers still choose LHR over LGW and others where there isn't availability. When the Bermuda II agreement ended, those carriers such as DL et al who were located at LGW moved to LHR as quickly as possible. So again LHR is where airlines want to be, at least for the main part of their service, and government policy with the third runway is reacting to that, not forcing that direction.

2) - LGW has the advantage of allowing night flights so they can get more out of the asphalt (think all the seasonal holiday charter flights) while LHR doesn't have this freedom. But LGW scheduled slots have a much higher proportion of NB aircraft which could naturally be up-gauged if demand was there, and there are slots available at LGW for airlines who want to expand, save some very specific peak times, so there is still scope to grow more with the existing runway even now (we could all agree the terminals could do with a revamp). LHR is only eking out more passengers every year as it squeezes out the small NB players and replacing them with carriers putting A380s and other WB aircraft in their place, or up-gauging the NB fleet as we see BA doing with 319s being replaced with 321s. I.e. much further ahead than LGW in this area. A pair of slots at LHR change hand for circa $25mln. That isn't the case at LGW, and again demonstrates the demand point.

It comes down the point LHR has been full for 15 years and needed to expand well over a decade ago. LGW will eventually fill up as well and exhaust the extra capacity up-gauging adds, and then it should also be expanded as well.


1 - Government policy is not to take decisions based on the perception of what airlines might prefer (as opposed to need). It is supposed to take decisions based on the best interest of the people it represents (in this case the UK). The best economic interest of the UK (NB as distinct from the owners of Heathrow or the supposed preference of airlines) is to expand Gatwick, but they have chosen not to do so. They must now defend that decision (taken by a lame duck transport secretary).

2 - That LGW is able to operate over a longer period in the 24 hour day tells you something of the relative advantage of locating a new runway there as opposed to at Heathrow, and perhaps explains why it offers the best economic return and has less local and national opposition. You may or may not recall the court case post Monarch collapse when the liquidator won the right to sell Monarch's Gatwick slots as an asset in the liquidation. In 2018 the average load per movement at LHR (167) is 5 passengers per flight higher than at Gatwick (162) - sounds like those widebodies are arriving and departing Heathrow half full so plenty of spare capacity by that metric.

It is irrelevant what the situation was 30, 20 or 10 years ago. We are dealing with things as they are now, and the truth is LGW and LHR are very similar propositions in 2019. The UK government will have to defend that position (if they still wish to do so) over the coming decade as the project moves through planning.


1) - Government policy is based upon the Airports Commission report by Sir Howard Davies. It cost $20Mln of taxpayers money and gave a resounding unequivocal decision that the runway for the South East should be built at LHR, taking a wide range of stakeholders views, including but not limiting itself to, what was in the interests of the UK as a whole, where did industry desire it, what would have the greatest economic impact.

2) - It is true that night flights is an advantage for LGW over LHR but doesn't take away from the fact major carriers would rather their link be LHR rather than LGW (other than when very local geographical location comes to an advantage e.g. 6th flight a day to LON from HKG for CX) and still, now, most carriers move across as soon as slot availability at LHR allows it. Only a fraction of those night slots are used, most only seasonally. The entire Monarch slot portfolio was purchased by BA for £50mln, not per slot, the entire portfolio. Remember LHR takes a lot more freight meaning a flat comparison of aircraft movements to passengers is not a fair comparison.

The long and short of the issue is capacity should be expanded where it is demanded, not where interested parties, political or otherwise, would like to artificially, subsequently, push it. Otherwise again inefficient government that thinks it knows better is spewing tax payers money. It commissioned a report and the report gave its verdict for what is best for the country. LGW has the opportunity to shift the reserve runway 12 meters and use this to expand peak capacity. its a quick 'cheap' fix and by-passes the political nonsense of no 'new' runways. They should do it. That way both airports get what they were aiming for and we'll see where people want to fly to/from.
 
DobboDobbo
Posts: 853
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:02 am

Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Sun May 05, 2019 9:51 pm

eurotrader85 wrote:
DobboDobbo wrote:
eurotrader85 wrote:

1) - There have always been slots available at other London airports but carriers still choose LHR over LGW and others where there isn't availability. When the Bermuda II agreement ended, those carriers such as DL et al who were located at LGW moved to LHR as quickly as possible. So again LHR is where airlines want to be, at least for the main part of their service, and government policy with the third runway is reacting to that, not forcing that direction.

2) - LGW has the advantage of allowing night flights so they can get more out of the asphalt (think all the seasonal holiday charter flights) while LHR doesn't have this freedom. But LGW scheduled slots have a much higher proportion of NB aircraft which could naturally be up-gauged if demand was there, and there are slots available at LGW for airlines who want to expand, save some very specific peak times, so there is still scope to grow more with the existing runway even now (we could all agree the terminals could do with a revamp). LHR is only eking out more passengers every year as it squeezes out the small NB players and replacing them with carriers putting A380s and other WB aircraft in their place, or up-gauging the NB fleet as we see BA doing with 319s being replaced with 321s. I.e. much further ahead than LGW in this area. A pair of slots at LHR change hand for circa $25mln. That isn't the case at LGW, and again demonstrates the demand point.

It comes down the point LHR has been full for 15 years and needed to expand well over a decade ago. LGW will eventually fill up as well and exhaust the extra capacity up-gauging adds, and then it should also be expanded as well.


1 - Government policy is not to take decisions based on the perception of what airlines might prefer (as opposed to need). It is supposed to take decisions based on the best interest of the people it represents (in this case the UK). The best economic interest of the UK (NB as distinct from the owners of Heathrow or the supposed preference of airlines) is to expand Gatwick, but they have chosen not to do so. They must now defend that decision (taken by a lame duck transport secretary).

2 - That LGW is able to operate over a longer period in the 24 hour day tells you something of the relative advantage of locating a new runway there as opposed to at Heathrow, and perhaps explains why it offers the best economic return and has less local and national opposition. You may or may not recall the court case post Monarch collapse when the liquidator won the right to sell Monarch's Gatwick slots as an asset in the liquidation. In 2018 the average load per movement at LHR (167) is 5 passengers per flight higher than at Gatwick (162) - sounds like those widebodies are arriving and departing Heathrow half full so plenty of spare capacity by that metric.

It is irrelevant what the situation was 30, 20 or 10 years ago. We are dealing with things as they are now, and the truth is LGW and LHR are very similar propositions in 2019. The UK government will have to defend that position (if they still wish to do so) over the coming decade as the project moves through planning.


1) - Government policy is based upon the Airports Commission report by Sir Howard Davies. It cost $20Mln of taxpayers money and gave a resounding unequivocal decision that the runway for the South East should be built at LHR, taking a wide range of stakeholders views, including but not limiting itself to, what was in the interests of the UK as a whole, where did industry desire it, what would have the greatest economic impact.

2) - It is true that night flights is an advantage for LGW over LHR but doesn't take away from the fact major carriers would rather their link be LHR rather than LGW (other than when very local geographical location comes to an advantage e.g. 6th flight a day to LON from HKG for CX) and still, now, most carriers move across as soon as slot availability at LHR allows it. Only a fraction of those night slots are used, most only seasonally. The entire Monarch slot portfolio was purchased by BA for £50mln, not per slot, the entire portfolio. Remember LHR takes a lot more freight meaning a flat comparison of aircraft movements to passengers is not a fair comparison.

The long and short of the issue is capacity should be expanded where it is demanded, not where interested parties, political or otherwise, would like to artificially, subsequently, push it. Otherwise again inefficient government that thinks it knows better is spewing tax payers money. It commissioned a report and the report gave its verdict for what is best for the country. LGW has the opportunity to shift the reserve runway 12 meters and use this to expand peak capacity. its a quick 'cheap' fix and by-passes the political nonsense of no 'new' runways. They should do it. That way both airports get what they were aiming for and we'll see where people want to fly to/from.


1 - it is correct to say that the government decision via the NPS is based on the airport’s commission, but it is inaccurate to say that it came to a “resounding unequivocal decision that the runway for the South East should be built at LHR”. On any metric, the scales are finely balanced but it is a matter of fact that the government has decided to pursue a scheme that does not offer the strongest economic return, is the most technically challenging, is the hardest to finance, is the most environmentally damaging and causes the most disruption. As I say, they will have to defend that decision over the next decade or so, and I don’t think it is likely that a new government would do so.

2 - i don’t think advocating the significantly higher cost of the Heathrow scheme over the Gatwick for reasons of freight is the best argument (particularly where the Gatwick scheme offers the strongest economic return for the UK).

I entirely agree this is a mess that the UK should not be proud of. If the market were left to its own devises I don’t think we’d see the outcome the government are pushing today (partly because it would force Heathrow to consider a realistic and deliverable scheme).

If Gatwick are allowed to bring their second runway into use, it would further undermine the economic case for Heathrow, perhaps fatally. For that reason, I suspect the government (and the Heathrow lobby) will try and block it!
 
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exFWAOONW
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Tue May 07, 2019 12:21 am

Why do you think financing a new runway would be “harder” at Heathrow? Demand is higher there driving higher landing fees able to repay loans faster.
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TSS
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Tue May 07, 2019 6:28 am

exFWAOONW wrote:
Why do you think financing a new runway would be “harder” at Heathrow? Demand is higher there driving higher landing fees able to repay loans faster.

My guess would be the cost of buying and demolishing everything (homes, businesses, and a bunch of major hotels) along Bath Road near the airport as well as having to relocate Bath Road northwards at LHR versus maybe having to buy a few empty fields but needing to reconfigure the entire layout of the terminals at LGW.
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jomur
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Tue May 07, 2019 7:08 am

TSS wrote:
exFWAOONW wrote:
Why do you think financing a new runway would be “harder” at Heathrow? Demand is higher there driving higher landing fees able to repay loans faster.

My guess would be the cost of buying and demolishing everything (homes, businesses, and a bunch of major hotels) along Bath Road near the airport as well as having to relocate Bath Road northwards at LHR versus maybe having to buy a few empty fields but needing to reconfigure the entire layout of the terminals at LGW.


The airport owns a lot of the land already. It has been buying it up for years in anticipation of the expansion.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Tue May 07, 2019 2:49 pm

exFWAOONW wrote:
Why do you think financing a new runway would be “harder” at Heathrow? Demand is higher there driving higher landing fees able to repay loans faster.


In any other country, both Heathrow and Gatwick would have built additional runways build years ago, or one of them would have been replaced by whole new hub that would have been built with 4 or more runways. Additional runways at both airports would allow both airports to operate more flexibly and eliminate holding patterns over London that cause aircraft to release more emissions.
 
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Elshad
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Tue May 07, 2019 3:11 pm

Most politicians in London (at least those running London-wide or SW London) feel the need to pander to the treacherous NIMBY mafia. They are a real disgrace.
 
TSS
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Tue May 07, 2019 3:14 pm

jomur wrote:
TSS wrote:
exFWAOONW wrote:
Why do you think financing a new runway would be “harder” at Heathrow? Demand is higher there driving higher landing fees able to repay loans faster.

My guess would be the cost of buying and demolishing everything (homes, businesses, and a bunch of major hotels) along Bath Road near the airport as well as having to relocate Bath Road northwards at LHR versus maybe having to buy a few empty fields but needing to reconfigure the entire layout of the terminals at LGW.


The airport owns a lot of the land already. It has been buying it up for years in anticipation of the expansion.

I read an article about that a while back. Even though it seemed to be heavily biased toward the "Evil Heathrow is swallowing small towns one house at a time!" mindset, it didn't make a very effective case against LHR at all and, if anything, the article impressed me with the foresight and patience of LHR management in this regard.

That brings me to something I've been wondering about for a while: Here in the US, we have what is called "imminent domain" laws by which someone can be compelled by municipalities (city, county, state, etc.) to sell their home, business, or land for fair market value in order to make way for public projects such as highways or airport expansion. What would be the UK equivalent applicable to the inevitable hold-outs between Bath Road and the M4 should LHR expansion be fully finalized and green lit?
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AndyEastMids
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Tue May 07, 2019 3:28 pm

TSS wrote:
jomur wrote:
TSS wrote:
What would be the UK equivalent applicable to the inevitable hold-outs between Bath Road and the M4 should LHR expansion be fully finalized and green lit?


The development concept order and final planning permission will provide powers for compulsory purchase orders to be applied for houses and other premises that will need to be demolished.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Tue May 07, 2019 3:52 pm

the little looks misleading - my first thought is that the judgement unfavour the expansion
 
bhxalex
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Tue May 07, 2019 5:25 pm

The long and short of it is that London's airport are perilously close to capacity. The government, and the opposition of the UK have been utterly useless at seeing the benefits of London airport expansion.

The fact it's LGW v LHR for a new runway shows a lack of ambition and a lack of a grasp of the situation London's congested airports.

London has the biggest air transport system in the world, the fact it's two largest airports are hamstrung for the foreseeable future is very concerning.

When in 10 years time CDG, AMS, maybe even MAD & FRA outgrow Heathrow I think the penny will finally drop. Every day that runway isn't built is a day of economic self harm for London and the UK.
 
uta999
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Tue May 07, 2019 5:34 pm

Part of the planning application process could be a complete ban on airlines, from other LONDON Airports moving en-mass to LHR. Thus vacating the other airports.

I don’t think EasyJet, Ryanair or Norwegian should be allowed, as they serve a completely different market.

It would also mean an extended LHR would quickly fill up again within two years. That would defeat any benefit of the 3rd runway being built.
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TSS
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Wed May 08, 2019 12:27 am

uta999 wrote:
Part of the planning application process could be a complete ban on airlines, from other LONDON Airports moving en-mass to LHR. Thus vacating the other airports.

It would also mean an extended LHR would quickly fill up again within two years. That would defeat any benefit of the 3rd runway being built.

Agreed, but leaving room for a fourth runway, properly spaced for independent ops, in between the existing northernmost runway and the proposed new runway would make future expansion much, much easier.

uta999 wrote:
I don’t think EasyJet, Ryanair or Norwegian should be allowed, as they serve a completely different market.

Hehehe! I can just imagine the picket signs now: "Keep the Riffraff out of Heathrow!", "If you want to fly to Ibiza, go to Stanstead instead!", and "No orange on the Union Jack, no Easyjet at Heathrow!".
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Fargo
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Wed May 08, 2019 1:38 am

Not really sure what the issue here is. LHR is overcapacity and needs more runway/terminal space in order to remain competitive.

Why is it that CDG and FRA can have more than two runways but LHR can't?
 
DobboDobbo
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Wed May 08, 2019 6:55 am

exFWAOONW wrote:
Why do you think financing a new runway would be “harder” at Heathrow? Demand is higher there driving higher landing fees able to repay loans faster.


Hi - apologies for the slow response.

On financing, the principle point, as already identified, is that the cost of the scheme is far higher than any other scheme and therefore requires higher borrowing. This is problematics because HHL does not appear to be well placed to service that level of debt burden and the project is technically high risk (amongst other risks). All that means lenders are going to be nervous.

Heathrow is (in theory) a commercial entity, so it cannot fund expansion from central government reserves. It therefore needs to borrow, for which cash flow and an asset base are generally required. Both of these are questionable as set out below.

On cash flow, Heathrow obviously operates a strong underlying business. It’s charges are significantly higher than its peers and government policy has required it to (vaguely) commit to holding them at their current level. The level of borrowing is so substantial that it requires the new facilities to be full almost from day 1 - which is unlikely (unless for example you see EasyJet move wholesale from Gatwick - which might undermine BA’s business model which was not the point of expanding LHR). All things considered, it is difficult to see how Heathrow has the cash flow to service this debt without increasing prices (which will only work if demand is squeezed elsewhere - the main European hubs as well as in South East England).

Secondly, the asset base against which Heathrow can borrow is also finite. The regulated asset base is circa £15bn against which there are various obligations of circa £13.4bn. Banks will be unwilling to lend the circa £14bn to Heathrow absent security or an underlying guarantee (eg from Heathrow’s owners which might in turn be underwritten by the UK taxpayer - none of these are forthcoming as far as I’m aware). Heathrow’s owners have pledged to invest equity but that runs contrary to their approach so far.

Thirdly, the scheme must deliver a completed and commercially viable project which generates the revenue stream required to (hopefully) service the debt. The chosen scheme requires a significant amount of CPO, and also requires the M4 to be moved and bridged. These are not impossible, but are technically challenging so the principle risk is cost overrun. Where the margins are tight, cost overruns (likely given the opposition and the technical and legal hurdles) might fatally undermine the business case for the runway.

There is also the question of surface access, where there is a serious discrepancy in the price tag and who should pay for it (anything from £10bn - £24bn depending on who you believe). Quite how Heathrow will finance their contribution to this (they offer £1bn which is clearly a lowball) has yet to be explained.

These issues largely do not exist (at least not to the same extent) at LGW, hence it is an easier scheme to finance.

That have been reported widely in the UK, and Heathrow have understandably denied such problems (but are yet to address them - which they must do over the coming years if the scheme is to proceed).

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.ft.c ... 565ec55929
 
DobboDobbo
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Wed May 08, 2019 7:02 am

Fargo wrote:
Not really sure what the issue here is. LHR is overcapacity and needs more runway/terminal space in order to remain competitive.

Why is it that CDG and FRA can have more than two runways but LHR can't?


The issue is that LHR is in the middle of a relatively densely built up area, where any additional land take requires large numbers of people to be forcibly removed from their homes.

None of this applies (certainly not to the same extent) at any of the other major European airports, which is why they have been able to expand.

There are procedures in place in the UK to permit development which forcibly removes occupiers (Compulsory Purchase Orders) but these processes take time, are expensive and have uncertain outcomes. They are unlikely to be made where a scheme’s viability is questionable and that is the obstacle LHR has to overcome over the coming years if it wants to obtain planning consent.
 
uta999
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Wed May 08, 2019 8:54 am

Heathrow are attempting to build a runway that they simply cannot afford. It would be far better to scale the whole project down by about 30-40%, with a 7000' runway slightly south and further east than planned. No more worries about the M25/M4 tunnel, and possibly fewer people affected locally. They really don't need a new 12000' runway at all. The heavies would simply use the existing for departure.

Most arrivals would be happy to land on the new 7000' runway, without the current 20+ minute delays. Heathrow desperately needs more gates and a terminal, more than it needs a runway anyway! Work on that should go ahead regardless.
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PaxPicti
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Wed May 08, 2019 9:06 am

TSS wrote:
Agreed, but leaving room for a fourth runway, properly spaced for independent ops, in between the existing northernmost runway and the proposed new runway would make future expansion much, much easier.
The problem is not the number of runways, it's trying to add capacity to a site which is full already. The capacity needs to be built elsewhere.


uta999 wrote:
Heathrow are attempting to build a runway that they simply cannot afford. It would be far better to scale the whole project down by about 30-40%, with a 7000' runway slightly south and further east than planned. No more worries about the M25/M4 tunnel, and possibly fewer people affected locally. They really don't need a new 12000' runway at all. The heavies would simply use the existing for departure.

Most arrivals would be happy to land on the new 7000' runway, without the current 20+ minute delays. Heathrow desperately needs more gates and a terminal, more than it needs a runway anyway! Work on that should go ahead regardless.
This is the only expansion option that makes any sense at all.

The idea of building over the top of the M25 is utter madness. The whole transport network to the west of London will be brought to a standstill while it's being done - it's at breaking point now.
 
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spinotter
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Wed May 08, 2019 5:59 pm

bennett123 wrote:
I assume that you cycle, what is the maximum distance that you travel on a daily basis?.


Sorry, missed your query because I am not always online. In the summer I cycle about 20 miles per day on a regular basis. In the winter here in Maine not as far - this January I did maybe 10 ten-mile trips, but February weather was really bad. Every day, however, I get to all the essential places. Anyone could arrange their life in that way. You must live near where you work, and have all essential services nearby. If every human being lived like that, there would be no climate change hysteria, no mass extinctions, and every one of us would be infinitely happier.
 
bennett123
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Wed May 08, 2019 8:04 pm

Not sure how practical it would be to be confined to a 10 mile radius.
 
stephanwintner
Posts: 79
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Re: Heathrow - Legal challenge lost

Wed May 08, 2019 8:36 pm

bennett123 wrote:
Not sure how practical it would be to be confined to a 10 mile radius.


If proper public transit was built, in advance of growth, one rarely needs to get into a private car - it becomes a luxury, not a necessity. While being "confined" to a 10 mile radius would be very limiting - I've used trolleys and trains for the daily commute for much of my adult life, and I certainly didn't remain within a 10 mile radius.

I'd agree that "You must live near where you work, and have all essential services nearby." would be very limiting - that's simply not possible in most of the world, due to how society has chosen to plan and build and zone.

But, then, the zoning and building and provision for public transit (and/or deliberately not provisioning for it) are choices. The places I've chosen to live made choices ... other cities made different ones ...

(provisioning for public transit, let alone zoning thoughtfully, requires foresight and thinking ahead. And, simply, thinking. That's something humans are astoundingly poor at.)

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