The AirportWatch bulletin for June is now available at AirportWatch bulletin for June 2013


You probably have not been able to miss the flurry of activity over the past month or so, with various organisations producing reports on airport capacity, with which they hope to influence the Airports Commission, under Sir Howard Davies. There have also be many news stories about responses, from airports and a range of organisations, to the various "discussion documents" put out by the Commission.
The Commission's discussion paper that is currently out for consultation, till 11th July, is on airport operational models - that can be found at

Today yet another report is published, this time from a body called the Independent Transport Commission - this time calling for one single hub airport. The range of commissions and committees, and their output, is quite confusing - so we hope to get some clarity on what has been going on, in the bulletin.

Over in France, the campaign against a new airport at Nantes formed a truly spectacular human chain 25 kilometers long, surrounding the planned sit for the airport at Notre-Dame des Landes. It is estimated there were over 30,000 people present, many of whom had come from across France. The concerted opposition, not only from the local area, to this airport has become an important national issue.

The remarkable weekly protests at Frankfurt continue almost every Monday. The 60th took place on 13th May. Recently there was a rather spectacular protest in which a lighted "runway" was formed, with hundreds of people carrying down a street. Pictures. The Frankfurt protests are not going to stop any time soon. Berlin Brandenburg airport seems to manage to create its own problems for itself, with no opening date yet anticipated. Stunningly, the airport is using £20 million of energy per month for lighting and air conditioning the empty, unused airport, because the controls are too complicated to work out how to turn it off. Independent article. What might happen in the UK?

There will be a conference for airport campaigners from across Europe, hosted by the group at Munich, on Saturday 22nd June, with a meal together on Friday 21st. With so much going in many European countries, there are already links and synergies, and the conference is anticipated to build on these. There is some funding to help with travel expenses, and accommodation there is free. More details at Munich conference

On the good news front, a damaged BA plane with one burning engine and the other with damaged cowling on the other flew - without mishap - right across London. The media seemed more concerned that this caused flight delays to travellers, rather than any safety issue. The bad news (or one bit of it) is that a Chinese airline has flown a trial flight using palm oil. Words fail me ..... palm oil, produced from trashed tropical forest, should never be used as jetfuel.

AirportWatch bulletin for June 2013

This bulletin's contents:

Page 2
- Over 30,000 people formed a 25km human chain surrounding the site of proposed new Nantes airport
- From John Stewart, Chair of AirportWatch
Page 3
- The Airport Commission sets off a flurry of discussion papers
- A number of reports have been produced trying to influence the Airports Commission and the Government.
Page 4
- (reports - cont)
- Airports Commission: all expansion models on the table but suggests 2 hubs, not only Heathrow, for London
Page 5
- New CE Delft report finds “claims about the economic benefits of connectivity are not founded on solid evidence”
- European Aviation Campaigners’ Conference: 22nd June, near Munich
Page 6
- Travelodge says rising number of UK “Staycations” will boost economy by £12 billion this year
- Stop Stansted Expansion rebuffs claims that the UK faces an airport capacity crisis in its submission to the Airports Commission
- Stop Stansted Expansion says majority of night flights are unnecessary and should be phased out
Page 7
- “Make” try to sell their £23bn plan for Stansted 4-runway airport by saying it would cut flights over London
- Balaced approach needed on Stansted rail services – not a non-stop line excluding local commuter use
- GACC reveals indicative flight paths for a 2nd Gatwick runway, showing new areas overflown

Page 8
- GACC point out that there is no robust business case for a 2nd Gatwick runway
- Huge rally held against Heathrow expansion – if allowed it would face opposition on a truly massive scale
Page 9
- Damaged BA plane on one engine and trailing smoke from the other on fire, flies right across London for emergency landing at Heathrow. Remarkable lack of safety concern in the media reports.
- Over 100,000 residents of Hounslow, Hillingdon and Richmond voted in local polls - huge majority against a 3rd Heathrow runway or more flights
Page 10
- Update from Luton .... no sign of progress on planning application
- Lydd airport expansion decision to be challenged at the High Court by RSPB and LAAG
Page 11
- China Eastern Airlines carries out test flight using palm oil – and is considering more
- Norwegian aviation industry hopes for large volumes of biojet fuel from timber and logging residues
- ONS data shows about 12.3% of trips abroad by Brits in 2012 were on business + about 18% of worldwide visitors to the UK were on business
Page 12
- High Speed Rail 2 business case ridiculed by National Audit Office
- Lack of agreement within ICAO on market based measures (MBM) to reduce global aviation CO2 means effective deal this year unlikely
- Letter from Airbus to Chinese aviation official shows how active Airbus was in getting ETS emasculated
- Useful Info
In case you missed these remarkable images, there are flight path maps at that illustrate the density of flight paths across the world. Michael Markieta, a transportation planner at global engineering and design firm Arup, has spent the past year developing visualisations of flight paths crossing the globe. They indicate just how much aviation in concentrated across Europe, as well as the USA and the Far East.
Your feedback, news, views, bits of information etc are always welcome.