Labour leadership frontrunner still wants a third runway
Date : Wednesday 8th September 2010
The idea of a third runway at Heathrow seemed dead and buried but David Miliband, the favourite
in the Labour leadership contest, says he wants to resurrect it.
"Labour Leadership 2010 - Shape Britain's progressive future" - you must be joking!
He trots out the old worn out promise that the runway would not go ahead until
the climate change consequences are addressed.
Unfortunately for David, we still remember how Gordon's government planned to get round that
one by simply massaging the figures.
Sounds like Dinosaur David wants to keep Britain burning fossil fuels until clean air is
So our vote would have to go to his leadership rival, brother Ed Miliband, who realises that the
only way forward is No Third Runway.
David confirms the rumours - he IS bananas
Sipson supporters under threat of eviction
Date : Sunday 29th August 2010
Anti-runway campaigners who moved to the Heathrow villages to support residents have been
threatened with eviction from the site they have occupied and looked after for 6 months.
Shortly before the bank holiday, the registered owner of the Sipson site served campaign group
Transition Heathrow with a court summons for Thursday, 2nd September at 11am.
Transition Heathrow, which aims to help local residents to regenerate the area, went onto the
site on 1st March to start the Grow Heathrow project to reclaim the neglected Berkeley Nurseries and return
the plot to its original purpose - growing fresh food.
The site was purchased in 2003, after the government earmarked the area for a third runway and
insisted that such land be "safeguarded" from development in preparation for mass demolition in
Sipson and adjacent villages.
The prime agricultural land was then contaminated with substances resulting from car breaking - a business
without planning permission. People living nearby complained repeatedly about noise and crime.
At a public meeting held on 29th August, John McDonnell MP said that the purchaser wanted residents
to be told that the problems at the site over the past 7 years of ownership had been caused by tenants.
Since Transition Heathrow moved onto the land, volunteers have removed 30 tonnes of rubbish and brought
in fresh soil and compost so that fruit, vegetables and herbs could be safely grown.
But the site has become more than just a place to grow plants, it has raised the spirits of villagers
who are weary from years living under threat and now see a new energy entering the community.
While the group has no direct connection with NoTRAG, it has, like NoTRAG, been working with residents to
fight a third runway at Heathrow and has been vital in raising awareness of local issues.
Show your support for the work being done by meeting up with the campaigners outside Uxbridge County Court
(near The Beck Theatre) before the hearing.
More information and on-line petition
Countdown to The Big Thank You
Date : Sunday 1st August 2010
NoTRAG has started the countdown to the big event to thank everyone for their support in the fight -
and victory - against a third runway.
Mark the day in your diary and join our celebrations.
Engineers want to cut air demand but build more runways
Date : Wednesday 14th July 2010
In its report, "Rethinking Aviation", the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) acknowledges the need to
protect the environment by increasing the price of air travel to cut demand.
We agree the green agenda must be priority...
ICE Aviation Expert, Simon Godfrey-Arnold
Domestic air travel could be reduced by building low-carbon rail links, it adds.
However, it also wants to increase capacity at some airports such as building a
third runway at Heathrow.
The report tries to boost the case for a runway by trotting out the old warning that scrapping
Heathrow's extra runway could leave Britain lagging behind its North European hub-building rivals.
ICE shows greater interest in exploiting emerging markets in Brazil, India and China than it
does in the health of millions of British residents who would face the repercussions of reckless
Jobs for the boys? Frankly it doesn't sound like ICE would object to any
development, no matter how damaging, providing it gives work to engineers.
Even though the South East already has a large number of runways in a small geographical area, the
report thinks capacity could be increased in this part of the country - just re-organise UK airspace.
While all that's being done, why not build a whole new airport? Yep, ICE puts that forward as a
Engineers make roads as well so it's no surprise the report thinks that some parts of the country
might benefit from more of these, providing they're low carbon of course.
At least the report did emphasise that unconstrained demand-led aviation growth would be
hugely damaging to the environment and that the government should not allow "business as usual" when
it draws up the country's long-term strategy for aviation.
ICE Aviation Expert Simon Godfrey-Arnold talks about having to make tough choices but one decision
is easily made; NO THIRD RUNWAY - EVER.
The full ICE report
Villiers talks to campaigners about Heathrow expansion
Date : Thursday 24th June 2010
Secretary of State for Transport, Theresa Villers, has invited some campaigners to discuss their
concerns about Heathrow expansion.
NoTRAG, which has not been invited to the talks, noted this month that residents' groups had not
been offered places on the new taskforce to look at issues at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.
Sadly the taskforce is dominated by groups in favour of airport expansion.
However, this meeting gave Ms Villiers the chance to hear how campaigners see
the way forward.
HACAN Chair, John Stewart, described the meeting as "useful" and commented
that she made it clear that, as far as this Government is concerned, a third runway and mixed-mode
will not happen.
Naked bike riders set off from Sipson
Date : Saturday 12th June 2010
Sipson was the starting point for a group of naked cyclists taking part in this year's World Naked
Bike Ride (WNBR) in London.
A group of around 20 men decided to start their journey to Central London from Sipson to highlight the
fact that, although a third runway is unlikely to be built, BAA refuses to rule out the possibility.
The WNBR is the world's biggest naked protest with over 100 cities and thousands of riders participating
worldwide, including around 3,000 in the UK in 2009.
The peaceful and fun events are a protest against oil dependency and car culture.
By riding naked the protesters are drawing attention to the vulnerability of the cyclist in traffic.
The cyclists certainly drew attention to their cause as they cycled along the busy A4 in brilliant sunshine.
Brightly-coloured flags improved their visibility in the traffic but it was often only as drivers overtook that
they realised that the cyclists' skin-tight outfits were their birthday suits!
Anti-runway campaigner Jim Payne joined the first part of the ride in a Flashmob T-shirt and a snazzy pair of
striped shorts - complete with fake bare bottom.
Thanks to everyone who took part, turned up at the King William VI pub for the send off or cheered the riders
on thoughout their journey.
More information on naked bike rides
Heathrow-bound airliner in near miss over London
Date : Thursday 9th September 2010
Politicans in London are calling for action to be taken to prevent a repeat of the near miss that
was revealed in a report yesterday.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) study described the incident over London on 27th July
2009 as "serious".
A business jet taking off from London City Airport came close to a mid-air collision with a Turkish
Airlines plane carrying 232 people.
The Citation 525 jet was about 100ft to 200ft below and half-a-mile away from the airliner heading to
Heathrow, which in aviation terms is dangerously close.
The jet should have been flying at 3,000ft but the pilot misheard instructions and flew at 4,000ft - the same
height as the massive airliner.
Flight crew on the Boeing 777 ignored warning instruments while the jet was not even equiped with this technology.
A mid-air collision would have caused carnage in the capital.
The sky over London is criss-crossed by aircraft yet airlines want to increase flights. Will it take a 9/11 style
disaster in our capital city before the dangers are taken seriously?
Minister confirms that 3rd runway and mixed-mode are dropped
Date : Tuesday 7th September 2010
Aviation Minister Thereesa Villiers has issued a written statement to confirm that the Government
has dropped a third runway and mixed mode at Heathrow airport.
HACAN Chair John Stewart said, “This is good news for residents under the flight paths.
The Government has resisted pressure from the aviation industry to bring in more planes on the
existing runways in order to compensate for the cancellation of the third runway.
He continued, "Mixed-mode would have meant the end to the half day’s peace and quiet residents
enjoy when planes switch runways at 3pm.”
Grow Heathrow project in Sipson wins reprieve
Date : Thursday 2nd September 2010
After fearing eviction from a plot of land in Sipson, Grow Heathrow volunteers and local residents
were celebrating a reprieve at Uxbridge County Court in Hayes.
Dozens of supporters gathered outside the court to highlight the injustice of the threatened eviction.
Inside Courtroom 2, the solicitor for the registered landowner, Mr Imran Malik, faced an uphill struggle to represent
his client, who had sent two "brothers" rather than attend himself.
When the solicitor was required to check Mr Malik's availability, one of the men hesitantly stated that the
businessman would be out of the country for a long time and had no email, just a mobile phone.
With Mr Malik proving illusive, the solicitor helpfully suggested that "Mr Malik has a lot of brothers".
That didn't impress the judge who insisted that a statement by Mr Imran Malik had to be filed and served
on the defendent within 28 days.
The judge granted Grow Heathrow's request for an adjournment but felt that the case should be heard by a
circuit judge at a Central London court.
So, with the gardeners' achieving their short-term goal, there was just time for a few quick photos before
heading back to the Grow Heathrow site for a celebratory pasta and vegetables lunch.
Report from Indymedia
Celebrations give residents a Fun Day to remember
Date : Saturday 28th August 2010
After NoTRAG's eight-year fight against a third runway, local residents celebrated the end of the
threat by joining campaigners at a Family Fun Day in Sipson - the village BAA wanted to wipe off the map.
Geraldine Nicholson, Chair of NoTRAG, played a major part in organising the event and praised Council
Leader Ray Puddifoot for supporting the campaign and enabling the very special fun day to go ahead.
The event took place in Sipson Recreation Ground, the same location used for the giant NO after
the Make a NOise march in May 2008.
However, this time all the events were taking place in the one place so a major stage and large
fairground rides could be included with all the other activities, like face painting and giant
Even more important was the opportunity to boost community morale in an area that has lived for far too
long under the threat of total destruction.
If you have a great photo of the event, we'd love to see it - and maybe share it with others reading this
Send your photos to Christine Taylor at the email address on the contacts page.
Rudd to stay at BAA for another three years
Date : Sunday 4th July 2010
BAA Chairman Sir Nigel Rudd has announced that he will stay with the company for a second
Sir Nigel Rudd
Perhaps the weary-eyed Rudd is banking on the next three years being considerably less stressful than
the last three.
He took over the role in September 2007, shortly after images of Climate Camp and the fight against a third
runway had been broadcast worldwide.
Even using his business connections to drum up support for a third runway, Sir Nigel couldn't stop the tide
of opposition, which ultimately led to the new coalition government scrapping the runway.
While shareholders' cash was poured into useless runway plans, BAA also lost money when
it sold Gatwick airport - a move forced on BAA to improve competition and give passengers a better deal.
In fact BAA's reputation for passenger care took a nosedive under Rudd.
He oversaw the chaotic opening of Terminal Five and the lost baggage fiasco that made Heathrow a worldwide
At least an erupting volcano in Iceland could be blamed for some of the losses this year.
BAA to face competition from the airport it sold off
Date : Monday 21st June 2010
Gatwick Airport has launched a new brand identity and advertising campaign in a move to increase
competition among London's aiports and shed its old BAA image.
BAA sold Gatwick to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) last December as part of a shake-up ordered by
the Competition Commission.
Part of the £1bn scheme to improve the airport, is a new signature-style logo and
campaign to give Gatwick a friendlier image than it had when owned by BAA.
Gatwick hopes that the improvements to almost every part of the airport will make travelling by
air less fraught.
As well as a new inter-terminal transit due to open in July and a new plaza in an extended north
terminal, there will also be a new check-in system with passengers being able to tag their own
bags to drop them more quickly. A “fast-track” also aims to reduce security screening queues.
Before the sell-off of Gatwick, it had been speculated that new owners would seek permission for a
second runway at the airport once an agreement not to build one expires in 2019.
However, the coalition government has ruled out new runways at London airport so, unlike BAA,
GIP is concentrating solely on making the existing facilities better.
In February the Chairman of Gatwick Airport, Sir David Rowlands told a meeting with members
of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) that Gatwick has "not a shred of interest in
a second runway".
He added, "Even if the government started to look more favourably at the prospect, we would have to think
very hard about spending £100 – £200 million on a planning application with an uncertain decision."
Residents near Gatwick should still be cautious as Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s chief executive,
has said that an area of land for a possible second runway has been safeguarded.
No place for residents in Taskforce to look at South East Airports
Date : Tuesday 15th June 2010
A new group will examine how to improve operations at major South East airports but the
views of people living near airports will not be heard.
Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers will chair the group which will initially focus on Heathrow,
Gatwick and Stansted.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said, “I have a clear vision for our airports which sees greater
reliability, shorter queues, less hassle and better services for passengers. It is absolutely crucial that
we get this right as aviation is vital to our national economy.
“We have been clear in our opposition to additional runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted,
so the challenge we face now is making them better within existing runway capacity constraints.”
The taskforce will no doubt be expected to consider how more passengers can be pushed through
Heathrow's shopping areas - a major source of BAA revenue - while the aviation industry insists the existing
runways are already operated at near full capacity.
Government sources seem to suggest that, rather than looking at increasing flights at airports,
the focus will be on improving efficiency. Airlines will probably have other ideas.
The group is dominated by big players in the aviation industry, such as British Airways,
Virgin Atlantic, Easyjet, Ryanair, the CAA and BAA.
London First, a business group that wants a third runway and more flights, also has one of the 13
places round the table.
Passenger group, the Air Transport Users Council will represent people who fly, while only campaign
group Aviation Environmental Federation (AEF) will have the chance to raise issues like noise and pollution.
You have to ask why representatives for the tens of thousands of residents living around
airports and under flightpaths are not invited to join the debate.
A balanced discussion on the future of our airports is unlikely when the majority of contributors
have only one objective - increasing their profits regardless of the impact on everyone else.