New Gatwick owners would like more runways, please

Posted by jamie — 22 October 2009 at 2:28pm - Comments

Gatwick will shortly have a new owner. BAA is selling the airport for much less than it originally hoped in order to reduce the company's debt. But the new owners have already indicated they intend to expand Gatwick as soon as possible, including a new second runway.

Global Infrastructure Partners, which has paid much less than BAA wanted, want to give Gatwick a major make-over, including a second runway. An injunction prevents them from doing this until 2019 at the earliest, but GIP has suggested it will get planning applications sorted so a new runway could be built as soon as possible.

Third runway grounded? Not quite yet...

Posted by jamie — 13 October 2009 at 4:45pm - Comments

How the Sunday Times reported the story

'BAA to give up on third runway' ran the headline in this weekend's Sunday Times and with the recent good news about Kingsnorth delay, there was a moment when I thought it was my Christmas and birthday presents rolled in to one. But unpick the details and unfortunately it's not quite the prize it appears to be.

Tories will 'definitely' scrap Heathrow's third runway

Posted by jamie — 6 October 2009 at 4:39pm - Comments

Some promising news from the Tory party conference in Manchester, where they've pledged to dump plans for Heathrow's third runway as part of their election campaign package. "We are absolutely firm on our opposition to expansion at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted," shadow transport minister Julian Brazier told the Evening Standard today. "It will definitely be in the manifesto."

It's great to hear their commitment being reaffirmed as it shows how isolated the government is on this issue. But there's a long way to go between promising to include it in the election manifesto, being able to form a government and then actually getting round to reversing the decision. Reports from the conference say that the Heathrow pledge in Theresa Villiers' speech received a polite smattering of applause, but her promise to crackdown on cowboy clampers roused the audience further still. Make of that what you will.

Pigs take flight as airlines claim they'll cut emissions by 50%

Posted by jamie — 22 September 2009 at 1:54pm - Comments

Startling news from Willie Walsh of British Airways who is preparing to lift the lid on a deal between aviation bosses to slash their emissions by 50 per cent by 2050. Wow, it seems like magic. Oh wait, it really does seem like magic - it's just some shifty sleight of hand as part of a PR offensive to persuade Copenhagen-bound politicos that airlines really do want to help with climate change.

BAA rapped for 'misleading' third runway advert

Posted by jamie — 26 August 2009 at 12:17pm - Comments

For as long as it's been pushing for an expanded Heathrow, BAA has been making exaggerated claims about the environmental impacts of a third runway. Now they, along with aviation lobbying group Future Heathrow, have been hauled up by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for making "misleading" claims about the levels of dirt, noise and air pollution a new runway will generate.

High court judge to hear Heathrow case later this year

Posted by jamie — 7 August 2009 at 12:12pm - Comments

After this week's high speed rail blinder, there's more good news on the road towards halting airport expansion. In the lofty legal realms of the High Court, a decision has been made to give the case against a third runway at Heathrow a public hearing. The case is being brought by an unprecedented coalition of groups, including Greenpeace, local councils, CPRE, HACAN, NoTRAG and WWF.

High Court case casts further doubt over Heathrow's third runway

Last edited 6 August 2009 at 11:05am
6 August, 2009

The government's plans to expand Heathrow Airport were dealt another blow today following a High Court decision that a hearing should be held to consider the case against the controversial decision to build a third runway.

The Judge ruled that the case needed to be heard in an open court given the significant public interest element and the need for clarification over the Transport Secretary's statement to Parliament in January in which he gave the green light to the third runway.

Trains, not planes: high speed rail plan gives airport expansion what for

Posted by jamie — 5 August 2009 at 3:16pm - Comments

When the new Eurostar terminal opened at St Pancras in 2007, we gave it a big thumbs up

In one fell swoop, a massive hole has been blown in the government's aviation policy. And the person holding the detonator is not a member of the shadow cabinet or even a group of campaigners, but no lesser person than the transport secretary Lord Adonis and his plan for a network of high speed trains for the UK. Crikey.

High speed rail announcement: Greenpeace response

Last edited 5 August 2009 at 12:06pm
5 August, 2009

Commenting on the announcement by Transport secretary Lord Adonis of a new policy to replace domestic flights with a high-speed rail network across Britain, Greenpeace transport campaigner Vicky Wyatt said:

Miliband's energy blueprint: more hot air or full steam ahead?

Posted by jamie — 15 July 2009 at 6:20pm - Comments

While today is unlikely to go down in the annals of history as Green Wednesday, it's still a significant day for those of us concerned about climate change as climate and energy secretary Ed Miliband unveils his big energy strategy.

The strategy - the Low Carbon Transition Plan, no less - comes in the form of not one but a whole ream of papers (including an energy white paper) covering renewable energy, transport, industry and carbon budgets. Together, they form a blueprint explaining how the government hopes to achieve the emissions reductions it's legally obliged to deliver, thanks to the EU renewable energy targets and the UK's own Climate Change Act.

Was it a red letter day for green energy? Let's see.

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