HACAN Clearskies

the.case.against.the.expansion.of.heathrow.airport.06.01.13(Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise)



HACAN are an independent campaign group highlighting noise problems caused by Heathrow Airport. They are not politically affiliated

UKIP Hillingdon broadly support the aims of the group and in particular opposition to the construction of a third runway at Heathrow.(mjs)

Dear Friends,


This is just a quick email to remind you that the HACAN AGM will be taking place on 28th September, starting at 7pm.


It is being held in St Anne’s Church Hall, Kew Green, Kew Road, TW9 3AA


Formalities are kept to a minimum to allow plenty of time for discussion.


There is some parking available.  The nearest stations are Kew Gardens and Kew (both about a 7 minute walk).  The 391 and 65 buses stop nearby.


Kind Regards,


Sarah King

Membership Secretary



Sent from Mail for Windows 10





30th May: ‘Celebrate’ Heathrow’s 70th Birthday



Midday, High St Harmondsworth* – outside the historic Five Bells Pub, UB7 0AQ.


  • 70 ‘No 3rd Runway’ birthday balloons will be released.


  • There will be music, a few speeches, refreshments and a chance to walk part of the route of the proposed new runway.


  • And everybody is encouraged to bring a birthday present for Heathrow which will be kept safe overnight and delivered to them on their official birthday the next day.


  • We are hoping this will be a fun Bank Holiday event but with a serious purpose, the day before Heathrow’s official birthday.  It is also probably the last chance to have an event for a while as the news in June and July is likely to be dominated by the referendum. Heathrow Airport knows that also and is expecting its 70th birthday to generate a lot of media coverage.   It means we can interest the media in this event.  If you have nothing planned for the Bank holiday, you are encouraged to join us as the more people who attend, the more powerful the signal that there is considerable opposition to a 3rd runway.

* There is some parking available in the area.  The U3 and 350 buses stop just a short walk away.




17th May:  ‘Not all trade unions back a third runway’


7.30pm, St Paul’s Centre, Queen Caroline Street, London W6 9PJ.

St Paul’s Centre is attached to St Paul’s Church and is just a few minutes walk from Hammersmith Underground Station.


Speakers include Manuel Cortes, Gen Sec TSSA and Chris Baugh, Assistant Gen Sec PCS.


Organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group, with assistance from HACAN.  Open to all.




4th July: Seminar on Aircraft Noise and Mental Health


 3.00 – 4:30pm; Room Q in Portcullis House, Westminster*


Chair:  Dr Tania Mathias MP



Professor Dirk Schreckenberg, Centre for applied psychology, environmental and social science in Hagen, Germany, will explain the key findings of the NORAH study on noise and mental health


Chris Keady will talk about the impact on his mental health of living under the Heathrow flight paths and suggest practical solutions


Matt Gorman, Sustainability Director at Heathrow Airport, will outline the steps Heathrow is taking to provide respite from aicraft noise


There will be a good period of time for questions and discussion

*Please allow about 15 minutes to get through security


It is being staged by the Aviation Environment Federation* and HACAN*.  It is a follow-up to a report published last year on Aircraft Noise and Health – http://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Aircraft-Noise-and-Public-Health-the-evidence-is-loud-and-clear-final-reportONLINE.pdf.  There is growing concern about the impact on mental health of aircraft noise.  However, there is comparatively little research on the topic.  We are therefore delighted that the keynote speaker will be Professor Dirk Schreckenberg, one of the authors of the NORAH Study, a recent German study which included ground-breaking work on mental health and noise http://www.laermstudie.de/en/.





New Mayor against 3rd Runway

Sadiq Khan, the newly-elected Mayor of London, backs a 2nd rather at Gatwick rather than a 3rd runway at Heathrow.   We expect all the parties at the Greater London Assembly to continue their opposition to a 3rd runway but, over the summer, HACAN will be lobbying the new members.


Runway decision might be postponed until the autumn

It had been expected that the Government would make an announcement whether it was giving the green light to a 3rd runway at Heathrow or a 2nd runway at Gatwick in July but recent press reports suggest it may be postponed to the autumn due to the backlog that the will have built up due to minimal Government activity before the EU referendum.


Night Flights consultation on its way

The current night flight regime ends in October 2017.  The Department for Transport will need to start consulting shortly on a new regime as airlines need to be informed of any changes by March 2017.  We understand that the delay in producing a consultation is caused by uncertainty around the date of the runway announcement.


Airspace consultation

The Department for Transport is also planning to issue a national consultation on flight paths this year.  It will be a high-level consultation on airspace policy; not one that deals with individual flight paths.  It will deal with topics such as respite and an Independent Noise Authority.  Again, the timing seems to be dependent in the timing of the runway announcement.


Keep checking our website for all the latest news:  www.hacan.org.uk



Sent from Windows Mail



Major new report on aircraft noise and health commissioned by HACAN, launched yesterday in a packed Committee Room in the House of Commons, found the health of over 1 million people in the UK is at risk from aircraft noise. Read the report and the summary on our website:

Press Release 8/1/16, embargoed until 6am on 12th January, 2016 New Report: Health of over a million people at risk from aircraft noise Launch: Tuesday…




A message from John Stewart and HACAN.

That was the day that was!

It started with Plane Stupid blocking the tunnel to Heathrow for nearly 3 hours causing traffic chaos and generating massive publicity.

It then moved on to the debate in the House of Commons. I think you will be able to catch it on the Parliament Channel on i-Player.

It ended with Boris’s People’s Question Time in Hayes, where he posed with me and the ‘No ifs, no buts’ plane and then, quite astonishingly, led all the GLA members in a chant of ‘No if’s; no but’s, no 3rd runway’ at the People’s Question Time.Boris and GlA chant no if s, no buts

In between, the letters written at the excellent packed meeting in Chiswick the evening before were delivered to MPs Ruth Cadbury and Rupa Huq on College Green before the debate.



from the HACAN  Facebook page

Heathrow, HACAN – campaigning to cut noise and emissions


Heathrow Airport has been rapped over the knuckles by the Advertising Standards Authority over a prominent advert it used to promote expansion of the airport. Eight complainants challenged that the ad saying it was misleading , with its claim that ‘50% of local people’ were in favour of the airport’s expansion and featuring the text ‘those living around us are behind us’. The complaints have been upheld upheld, with the ads forbidden from appearing again in their current form.





John Stewart's photo.


















************************************************************************************************* HACAN – Against Heathrow Expansion

14 hrs ·

725,000 people are currently overflown by Heathrow aircraft. We don’t want that to increase by around another 250,000. Join or donate to our campaign here http://hacan.org.uk/join/

HACAN - Against Heathrow Expansion's photo.



John Stewart, the leader of HACAN, an anti-Heathrow expansion campaign group has slammed politicians for being “out of tune” with the public following a recent poll.

The independent survey by Ipsos Mori, published on July 24, revealed a majority of people in the UK want to see more airport capacity in the country, but support for athird runway was the lowest.

With 60% of people in agreement that Britain needs to either build a new airport or runway, a third of people are against any expansion at all.

Of those who favour expansion, 30% believe a new airport should be built, while 24% said Gatwick should be expanded by building a second runway, and 22% want a third runway at Heathrow.

However, when those who oppose all expansion are taken into account, support for a third runway at Heathrow falls to a mere 13%.

“Moreover, this independent poll shows Heathrow-commissioned polls do not tell the full story.”

Noise and environmental concerns topped the list of people’s biggest concerns when it comes to airport expansion making up 69% of the most important issues when considering further airport capacity.

In comparison, the impact of creating more jobs and economic growth struck a chord with only 15% of the people surveyed.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, which conducted the UK poll, added: “Most Britons want our airport capacity increased, but there is no clear consensus on the best solution – remembering that this poll covered the whole country, not just London and the South East.

“At the moment, the public’s view is dominated by concerns about environmental impact and noise rather than jobs or cost.”







Below is the press release sent out from HACAN following the letter and article – see link below – in The Guardian and Observer.

HACAN backs Frequent Flyers Levy to replace Air Passenger Duty as “both green and equitable”

Campaign group HACAN has given its backing to the plan for a Frequent Flyers Levy to replace Air Passengers Duty.  The proposal, released this weekend (1) and based on reports from the New Economics Foundation and CE Delft, suggests that each person is given one tax-free flight a year (if they want to take it) but that the tax rises with every subsequent flight taken (2).

Just days before the Airports Commission is due to publish its recommendation on whether a new runway should be built at Heathrow or Gatwick, the New Economics Foundation report suggests that no new runways would be needed if a Frequent Flyers Levy was introduced.  The growth in aviation would be curbed sufficiently to allow existing runways to cope with future demand.

The backers of the Frequent Flyers Levy argue that 85% of the British public would benefit from it:  Last year:

52% of us took no flights

22% took one flight

11% took 2 flights

Less than 15% of people took 3 or more flights

15% of people took 70% of flights.  These are the people identified as the frequent flyers. Their defining characteristics are that they earn more than £115,000 a year and have a second home abroad. Most of them come from the City of London, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Surrey.  And their most popular destination is tax havens!  These are predominately not business flights.  Business travel by the UK population is declining.  It is now just 12% of all flights.  It is leisure travel, particularly by the frequent flyers, which has soared.

Work commissioned from the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC) found that over 50% preferred the Frequent Flyers Levy to Air Passenger Duty

HACAN chair John Stewart said, “The beauty of this proposal is that it ticks both the equity and green boxes. It is a way of controlling the growth of aviation but still allowing ordinary families a holiday in the sun.”

Organisations backing the Frequent Flyers Levy include the Campaign for Better Transport the New Economics Foundation, the Tax Justice Network, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.






Are you one of the million?

MPs Boris Johnson, Justine Greening and Zac Goldsmith launch a map of areas that would be affected by aircraft noise for the first time should Heathrow get a third runway.

See the map using this link to this article:

A campaign highlighting new areas of London affected by Heathrow expansion will be launched this afternoon.


video clip from facebook (mjs)


MAY 27, 2015.

HACAN argues in its response to the Airport Commissions consultation on Air Pollution that it has failed to show beyond doubt that air pollution limits around Heathrow can stay within within the EU legal limits if a third runway were to be built.  Response submitted on 28th May 2015.

Read the full response:  Airports Commission air pollution consultation  the.case.against.the.expansion.of.heathrow.airport.06.01.13



Press Release

 10/5/15 for immediate use

 Protesters Stage Silent Air Pollution Demo in Terminal 5


Heathrow pollution protestAround 50 campaigners staged a silent protest against air pollution in Terminal 5 this afternoon.  The protesters donned masks and t-shirts to make their point that the high air pollution levels in the Heathrow area should rule out a third runway at the airport (1).  The protest comes just days after the Airports Commission announced a further consultation into air pollution at Heathrow (2)and a fortnight after the Supreme Court ordered the UK Government to produce plans by the end of the year on how it intends to tackle pollution across the country (3).

Heathrow pollution protesters lying down

The protesters at Terminal 5 included local people whose homes are threatened by a third runway, activists based at Transition Heathrow and residents whose lives are disturbed by aircraft noise.

Local resident Neil Keveren (4), whose home faces demolition if a third runway goes ahead, said, “Right now air pollution badly affects our communities.  In a number of our areas pollution levels are above the legal limits set down by the EU.  Heathrow Airport claims things are getting better.  But it simply cannot guarantee that, with a third runway and an extra quarter of a million planes a year, air pollution levels will come down so they meet the EU legal limits.  It is just wishful thinking.”

The EU legal limits, set out in the Air Pollution Directive, came into force in 2010.  Because countries across Europe have struggled to meet them, the EU has not fined member states for breaching the limits.  But it has indicated that it expects the member states to draw up plans outlining how they will meet them.  The UK Government had argued that it could take its time in drawing up the plans but ten days ago the Supreme Court ruled that it needed to have plans in place by the end of this year.

Since 2010 air pollution levels in areas around Heathrow have consistently breached the EU legal limits.  The pollution is caused by both the high traffic volumes on the surrounding motorways and the aircraft using the airport.  Heathrow is the only airport in the UK where air pollution is above the legal limit.  Even if a second runway is built at Gatwick, it will not exceed the limits.

The Airports Commission, set up in 2012 to look at the case for new runways, issued a consultation last week into further work it has done on air pollution.  The consultation closes at the end of this month and its findings will be included in the Commission’s final report which is expected to be published in June.  The Commission will either recommend a third runway at Heathrow or a second runway at Gatwick but the Government is not bound by its findings.


 Notes for editors:

 (1). Pictures above

(2). https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/airports-commission-air-quality-assessment

Protesters stage silent air pollution protest in Terminal 5


A report by Bryan Tomlinson

3-3-2015Bryan smiling - Copy UKIP  representative for Heathrow Villages
Live at Church House Westminster.
We’ve witnessed another great Mega Rally in support of Heathrow Villagers.
Great speeches by Steven Norris, John Randall, Adam Afriyie and now Andrew Slaughter the MP for Hammersmith  and Fulham.
All are sure that if the Davies Commission are corrupted in to supporting Heathrow  will be the fight of all fights.
All tell us that we will win because all political parties  are fighting together.
Thank you  to  John Stewart  and HACAN for organising such a superb and well attended meeting.
Apologies for quality of some of  the pictures.

for more information on HACAN go to “Campaigns we support ”

and click down to HACAN

hacanrallyhacannoThe audience are all of one mind  “No to Heathrow expansion” 

Cliff Dixon speakingcliffdixonrostrum

Political leaders representing Heathrow Villages unite to condemn the attack on their community.
John McDonnell Labour MP.
Cliff Dixon UKIP Chairman



John McDonnell MP  spoke




Rally Against 3rd Runway


HACAN host big names speakers in rally to fight the third runway 
March 3rd, 7pm Church House Conference Centre, Dean’s Yard, Westminster SW1P 3NZ 

As the Davies Commission continues to deliberate over future runways in the south-east, HACAN are hosting a rally in solidarity against the third runway with members from all sides of our coalition in attendance.


Speakers will include:

Vince Cable MP: Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Natalie Bennett: Leader Green Party
Steven Norris: Former Conservative transport minister

John Sauven: Chief Executive Greenpeace

Andy Atkins: Chief Executive Friends of the Earth

Ravi Govinda: Leader Wandsworth Council

Manuel Cortes: General Secretary TSSA Union

Chris Baugh: Assistant General Secretary PCS Union

Jill Seymour MEP: UKIP national transport spokesman

Caroline Pidgeon: Liberal Democrat Leader Greater London Assembly

Christian Wolmar: Labour mayoral candidate



MPs Zac Goldsmith, John McDonnell, John Randall, Mary Macleod, Andy Slaughter


This is a great opportunity to show our solidarity and hear from politicians and other groups about why the third runway still needs to be stopped.



HACAN Press Release – Tuesday 3rd February


Heathrow insulation scheme: “more generous than we have seen before but a sign of how eager the airport is to get a third runway”.


Campaign group HACAN has welcomed today’s proposals by Heathrow Airport to provide residents with more noise insulation as “more generous than we have seen before but a sign of how eager the airport is to get a third runway.”


Heathrow Airport announced that, if a new runway goes ahead, it will extend its noise insulation scheme to cover everybody living within the area where noise is officially a problem (1).  It means that people living over 15 miles from the airport, in places such as Clapham, will get financial help to install noise installation; around 160,000 households in total.  The airport has set aside £700 million pounds for the purpose.


HACAN chair John Stewart said, “There is no doubt that this is much more generous than anything we have seen before and it brings Heathrow into line with other major European airports.  But it does show how eager the airport is to get a new runway.  It also suggests that residents have been short-changed in the past”.


Heathrow is dividing the area where people are eligible for insulation into the inner and outer zones.  Those living in the inner zone will get 100% of their costs covered.  Those in the outer zone will get a grant of up to £3,000.


The announcement by Heathrow comes a day before the end of the consultation by the Airports Commission into whether a new runway should be built at Heathrow or Gatwick.





Posted Monday 26th January 2015

A message from HACAN’s John Stewart –

Meeting at Westminster to mark the end of the Airports Commission Consultation

JohnStewartDear All,


I have just heard from the Police that the photo-call outside No 10 has been confirmed for 2pm on the 3rd February.  They say that no placards, banners, loud hailers or fancy dress or any props will be permitted in the photo-call.


We will be handing over a letter to David Cameron to remind him of his promise: “No ifs; no buts; there will be no third runway’.   3rd February marks the closing of the Airports Commission’s current consultation.


All MPs and peers who wish are invited to come to the photo-call, along with 5 invited campaigners.


A larger group of campaigners will gather outside the gates from about 1.30pm.


John Stewart




Heathrow can thrive without a 3rd Runway – The view from HACAN

HACAN BRIEFING —————————————————–

The evidence is clear.  Heathrow does not need a third
runway in order to survive.

Heathrow will continue to be
one of the world’s busiest airports even if the controversial
new runway is not built. People will continue to want to come to London in
very large numbers.  At present more air passengers terminate in London than in
any other city in the world.
London is a magnet for people from all over the world.  They are
attracted by everything it has to offer; from its thriving economy
to its famous tourist attractions.  Over the coming decades even
more people will want to come, particularly from newly prosperous countries like China, India and Brazil.  It flies in the face of reality to suggest Heathrow will close if it does not expand.  There will always be a market for Heathrow.  In fact, a recent report found Heathrow would continue to boom even if a second runway was built at
Gatwick.  The research, commissioned by the London boroughs of Hounslow, Ealing and
Slough Borough Council from Parsons Brinkerhof and Berkeley Hanover Consulting, found that a second Gatwick runway would have a ‘negligible’ impact on jobs at Heathrow.

London is a magnet for people from across the world

Heathrow Airport has a clear financial interest in promoting a third runway.  Along with Back Heathrow, the lobby group it funds, it may be tempted to claim it is a third runway or die!  Not true!  Beware false prophets!
This Briefing has been published by HACAN, the long-standing organisation which speaks for many residents under the Heathrow flight paths.  We are an independent body, largely funded by our members.  It is the first in a series of short briefings we will be releasing to help inform the debate.

We can be contacted at info@hacan.org.uk ; or by phone 0207 737 6641.  You can check out our website  www.hacan.org.uk

September 2014
72% say NO to a 3 rd runway
The message couldn’t be clearer.  In borough-wide referenda carried out in Hillingdon and Richmond last year 72% of people opposed a third runway.
A Hounslow poll got a similar result.  There have been subsequent (telephone) polls commissioned by Heathrow which suggest there may be more support for a third runway than the boroughs found but the evidence from MPs surgeries continues to suggest there is still widespread opposition.  ——————————————————————————–

Heathrow 747

The 3rd Runway: a General Election issue
All the political parties are expecting a third runway will again feature at the General Election.  Labour went into the 2010 Election backing a new
runway.  The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats were opposed.  One of the Coalition Government’s first acts was to announce that it would not back any
new runways in London and the South East during this Parliament.

In 2012 it set up the Airports Commission, under Sir Howard Davies, to consider whether
any more runways would be required and, if so, where they should be.  In its Interim Report last December the Commission argued one new runway would be
required by 2026.  It shortlisted Gatwick and Heathrow as possible options.

The Commission will decide later this summer whether to add an Estuary Airport to
those options.  The Commission is required to produce its final report in Summer 2015, shortly after the next General Election.  It seems likely that both Labour
and the Conservatives will not commit before the Election, arguing they will wait to see the Airports Commission report before making any final decision.

The Liberal Democrats are expected to maintain their opposition to a third runway.  UKIP and the Greens are firmly opposed.   However, given the impact a third
runway would have in London and the South East, it would be a big surprise if it was not a big issue in the key constituencies.



HACAN Clearskies BLOG

Populus, Heathrow’s favourite pollster, are in trouble over their methods


By John Stewart

 Populus, Heathrow’s favourite pollster, are in trouble.  Their questionable methods have been exposed in a poll they did for the fracking industry. Thie poll published on Monday, carried out for UK Onshore Oil and Gas, was described by a polling expert as ‘one of the most misleading poll findings I’ve ever seen’.

And today the pressure on Populus has increased with the publication of a Government-funded survey which shows markedly different results to the Populus poll.  The Government survey found  that only 25% of people supported fracking compared to the Populus poll which claimed 57% support.

The headline in today’s Times gets to the heart of it: Public back fracking . . . depending on how you ask the questionhttp://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article4174476.ece …  Ben Webster, the Times environment editor, puts it like this in his article: “The questions about fracking in the two surveys were posed in very different ways. The survey commissioned byUK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) asked several questions aboutBritain’s need for investment and greater energy security before the key question on fracking.  The question included a long preamble explaining the “tiny fractures” involved and how shale gas could “heat theUK’s homes for over 100 years”.  The energy department survey included a brief explanation of fracking as “a process of pumping water at high pressure into shale”,then asked people to state their level of support for it”.

 Polling expert Leo Barasi wrote in Noise of the Crowdhttp://www.noiseofthecrowd.com/this-fracking-poll-finding-is-one-of-the-least-convincing-ive-ever-seen/  about the Populus poll: “Short of faking results or fiddling the weights or sample (which this poll doesn’t), there are two ways to get a poll to give the answers you want. You can ask a series of leading questions that get respondents thinking the way you want them to, then ask the question you’re really interested in. Or you can word the questions so respondents only see half the argument. This poll does both”.

Barasi says: “This isn’t an attempt to find out what the public think about fracking. It’s message testing. That’s what political candidates or businesses do before launching a campaign. They fire a load of messages at respondents to see how much support they could gain in a theoretical world where only their view is heard, and which arguments are most effective. It’s a useful technique for finding out how people might respond to your arguments.  But it’s not supposed to represent what people actually think now”.

The criticism of Populus has important implications for Heathrow.  The airport has consistent commissioned polls from Populus in an attempt to show support for a third runway is growing.

In May 2014 Heathrow Airport claimed, on the basis of a Populus poll,  that there was more support now for a 3rd runway than when it was proposed by the last Labour Government.  The poll claimed to show 48% were in favour of a third runway while 34% opposed.  http://www.populus.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Heathrow-Borough-Poll-March-2014.pdf

In an uncanny parallel with the fracking results, these Populus results were flatly contradicted by referenda and surveys carried out by Hillingdon, Richmond and Hounslow local authorities which found around 72% of residents opposed a 3rd runway:http://www.richmond.gov.uk/100000_say_no_to_heathrow_expansion

All the polls done by Populus for Heathrow must now be regarded with suspicion.  In December last year Heathrow claimed “people inWest London are more likely to vote for their MP if they support Heathrow expansion than if they oppose a third runway according to new research from independent polling company Populus”.http://mediacentre.heathrowairport.com/Press-releases/One-quarter-of-West-London-more-likely-to-vote-for-their-MP-if-they-back-Heathrow-expansion-77e.aspx .  This is in flat contradiction to what MPs are telling us they are hearing on the doorstep and reading in their mail.

Heathrow need now to publish not just the questions Populus are asking people but also the ‘spiel’ leading up to the questions.  Unless they can convince us all that they are not leading people to their chosen answer, their results can only be regarded as fiction rather than fact…..to be filed alongside this entertaining incident from Yes Minister http://youtu.be/G0ZZJXw4MTA 




(Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise)

campaigning against aircraft noise

You can find us on twitter: HACAN1

And you can check out and use our Facebook Group

You will be able to get instant news and updates on our Facebook page

Also check out our blog

If you want to contact your MP, MEP, local councillors or London Assembly members click here

In July 2011 Fight the Flights, the organisation which fought the expansion of City Airport, merged with HACAN. HACAN Eastwill take up issues around City Airport ? read more


Regular Update

It’s a busy time. We are compiling some highlights of recent and forthcoming campaigning by HACAN and others on the major airport issues. Read the latest (May) update here. (Previous update here)

Heathrow’s Noise Claims ‘blown out of the water’

New figures published by the London Mayor ‘blow out of the water’ Heathrow Airport’s oft-repeated claim that overall noise levels will fall if a third runway is built.  They show that Heathrow’s claims assume the new runway will be only operating at one-third capacity.  They also argue that Heathrow is also over-optimistic about the introduction of quieter aircraft.

Read the HACAN Press Release for more detail

18th June: Gala Night at Richmond Theatre – Join us!

Join our Gala Night (free!) at Richmond Theatre on 18th June when the (anti) 3rd runway video competition will be shown and judged by a top panel of celebrities including Hugh Grant, Giles Brandreth and the ward-winning film-maker Nick Broomfield. Details at the: no-ifs-no-butssite.

Question Time at Heathrow T2

BBC Question Time is coming from Heathrow Terminal 2 on 29th May. The panel has not yet been announced but this a big PR coup for Heathrow Airport. To get tickets to be in the audience and have a chance to ask a question or make a comment email www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime.

Heathrow unveils revised plans for 3rd runway

See HACAN blog for an assessment

Read our summary of the proposals with HACAN’s initial comments

Read the HACAN Press Release

Increase? What increase in support of a 3rd runway?

Figures unearthed by campaign group HACAN cast doubt on the claims by Heathrow Airport that support for a third runway is growing amongst local residents.

Read the HACAN Press Release

Heathrow Chief admits M4 would need to be diesel-free if 3rd Runway went ahead

Heathrow Airport’s outgoing chief executive Colin Matthews has admitted that the M4 would need to be diesel-free if a 3rd runway was ever built at the airport. Matthews told the aviation specialists Flightglobal that “to fix air quality at Heathrow [you need to] replace the fleet of diesel engines coming down the M4 [motorway]”. It is the first time that a senior Heathrow official has been so frank about the air pollution problems the airport is facing.

Read HACAN Press Release

Read original article

Third Runway Video Competition Launched

HACAN has teamed up with Zac Goldsmith MP to launch a nation-wide video competition to highlight opposition to the third runway at Heathrow. Entrants to the competition will be asked to submit a video, no more than 2 minutes in length, outlining the reasons why a third runway should not be built at Heathrow. The shortlisted entries will be judged by a celebrity panel, headed up by Hugh Grant, at a gala night in the Richmond Theatre in front of 800 guests on 18th June. There will be a £10,000 prize for the winner. The closing date for video entries is 1st June

More details about the competition can be found at http://www.no-ifs-no-buts.com

Protests Continue in Frankfurt

What respectable residents get up in Frankfurt every Monday evening in the airport terminal. For their 94th protest in the terminal they destroyed a mock up of the hated 4th runway. Spectacular and entertaining video. http://bambuser.com/v/4473498 The 4th runway was opened in 2011. The new flight paths put in place to service it have generated weekly protests ever since with up to 5,000 residents occupying the terminal. The protests have succeeded in getting a ban on night flights.

New report: People affected by noise at lower levels than admitted

A new report from mvaconsultancy shows that people are affected by much lower levels of aircraft noise than the Government has admitted. It challenges the whole basis of aircraft noise policy.

Read the report

Reasons to oppose a 3rd runway

HACAN has published an easy-to-read guide outlining the social, environmental, economic and political objections to a 3rd runway.

Read the guide here

HACAN dismisses Heathrow 3rd runway consultation as ‘a PR exercise’

HACAN has dismissed the six week consultation Heathrow Airport is embarking on on 3rd February as ‘a PR exercise’. The consultation is not about whether or not people want a 3rd runway but on how they think Heathrow’s plans for one can be improved!

See details in the HACAN press release

Coalition re-forms to oppose 3rd runway

A coalition has been formed to oppose any plans for a third runway at Heathrow. The Airports Commission, set up by the Government, is looking at two options for a 3rd runway at Heathrow, in addition to the option of a 2nd runway at Gatwick. Still on the table is the option of an Isle of Grain airport on the Kent Coast. The Commission is currently doing further work on all these shortlisted options. It will ask for further comments in the autumn. Its final report will be out in summer 2015 but, whatever its recommendation, the final decision will be up to the Government of the day.

Read about the options in more detail in the HACAN newsletter.

Keep checking this website for details of the emerging campaign against the third runway.

Below is a list of Public Meetings already organised:

4th March: Meeting on 3rd Runway at Langley, Langley Academy, Langley Rd, SL3 7EF, 7.30pm. Amongst the speakers are Heathrow and John Stewart, Chair HACAN.

11th March: 7.30pm at the Church Hall, rear of Cranford Baptist Church, 1 Firs Drive, Cranford, TW5 9TD.

HACAN End of Year Quiz

We look back – and look forward at the start of new campaigning year 2014. To start things off:

In what year did David Cameron first say “No ifs; no buts; no third runway”?

Have a go at the full HACAN Quiz to check your recollection of this and the rest …

Davies options – campaigners vow to fight any expansion at Heathrow

Angry campaigners branded the Airport Commission’s Interim Report, issued today (17/12/13) as ‘the trigger to 18 months of intense campaigning against Heathrow expansion’. The Commission argues that there will be the need for one new runway in London and the South East by 2030, pointing to either Heathrow or Gatwick. The report sets out a short list of options. Although the Davies proposals focus less on Heathrow than had been rumoured, the expansion battle is back.

Read the HACAN Press Release with more details of the report

Sign a petition against 3rd runway

New night flight regime postponed until 2017

The Government announced today (11/11/13) that it is proposing no significant changes to the night flight regime at Heathrow until 2017. Originally, it planned changes next year but it argues it would be sensible to wait until after the Airports Commission, which is looking possible expansion on London and the South East, reports in Summer 2015.

Read the HACAN reaction

Read the details of the consultation

Read the HACAN Briefing that helps those wanting to respond to the consultation

Men behind ‘Heathrow Hub’ proposals unmasked

The men behind Heathrow Hub, which recently launched a national advertising blitz to promote its plans for a four runway airport, stand to make millions on land sales if its scheme goes ahead. It has been revealed that the scheme, fronted by a former Concorde pilot ‘Jock’ Lowe, would make the money through the creation of a new terminal and transport hub to be built on a 200-acre site north of Heathrow. Heathrow Airport has made it clear that it does not back the Heathrow Hub proposals.

Read the full revelations in the Guardian

Read the HACAN press release

20% more chance of dying of stress-related diseases under Heathrow flight path

A new study, to be published today (9/10/13), has found that deaths from stroke, heart and circulatory disease are 20% higher in areas with high levels of aircraft noise than in places with the least noise. Researchers at Imperial College London and King’s College London compared data on day- and night-time aircraft noise with hospital admissions and mortality rates among a population of 3.6 million people living near Heathrow airport. The findings are published in the British Medical Journal. The study covered 12 London boroughs and nine districts outside of London where aircraft noise exceeds 50 decibels – about the volume of a normal conversation in a quiet room.

Link to the study

Link to the HACAN press release

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: John Stewart

Sent: Wednesday, 2 April 2014, 9:40
Subject: Colin Matthews to step down


Surprise news announced yesterday that Colin Matthews is to step down as CEO of Heathrow Airport.  Quite a good assessment of his tenure from the Telegraph below and, below that, a shorter piece in the Times with a short quote from me.





By Alistair Osborne, Business Editor

8:39PM BST 01 Apr 2014


It is something Colin Matthews could not have pulled off six years ago.

On Tuesday, just hours after bowing out as boss of Britain ’s premier airports group, he pitched up at the British Chambers of Commerce annual shindig to launch a new report. Its title? Heathrow: a national asset.

Things must have changed. “National disgrace” was the favoured epithet for Heathrow back in March 2008, when Matthews showed up as chief executive of BAA, then the owner of seven UK airports. Fittingly, his first day was engulfed by a media storm – even if it was jointly of British Airways’s making.


Matthews had arrived for the opening of Terminal 5, Heathrow’s whizzy new facility for the flag-carrier that was 20 years in the planning and cost £4.3bn to build. Within hours, chaos reigned as 500 flights were cancelled and 23,000 bags went missing.

Nobody was much surprised. BAA had been doing a pretty good impression of a business out of control – both financially and operationally – ever since a consortium led by Spanish construction group Ferrovial had bought the airports group in 2006. It had paid £10.3bn, or £16bn including debts, at the height of the M&A boom, and had pretty much borrowed all the money to do the deal.

As the financial crisis loomed, BAA’s financial structure looked increasingly precarious. The company’s regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, had hammered the group’s returns, with its five-year settlement costing it £150m a year of annual cash-flow. Credit agency Standard & Poor’s had cut BAA’s corporate rating to junk.

And, to make matters worse, the Competition Commission was threatening to break up the company privatised in 1987, via the forced disposals of Gatwick and Stansted airports, as well as one of its Scottish trio.

Meanwhile, MPs, passengers and airlines lined up to lambast BAA for the security queues, lost bags, late flights and blocked lavatories at its airports. Even when it installed new Dyson kit in the loos at Gatwick, the improvement took a comic turn, with a BAA spokesman forced to admit “there was a man caught with his genitals in one of the hand-dryers”.

Into this maelstrom came Matthews, ex of British Airways, Hays and Severn Trent – and BAA chairman Sir Nigel Rudd’s replacement for the ousted Stephen Nelson. Matthews, with his hesitant, technocratic style, did not make the most consumer-friendly of starts.

Hauled in front of the Transport Committee to explain the T5 fiasco, he could not match the breezy mea culpa from BA boss Willie Walsh, who admitted he had taken a “calculated risk” in pressing ahead with the opening knowing that the building was not fully ready.

By contrast, Matthews came across as shifty. “I have not yet made the time available to find out who knew what when,” he told exasperated MPs. “You seem to be rather complacent. You give the impression that there are questions you could have asked people but you didn’t want to,” shot back Labour MP Eric Martlew.

As things turned out, “complacent” would be an unfair charge for Matthews’ tenure. Mark McVicar, an analyst at Nomura, says: “I think he’s done a pretty good job. He managed the business through the downturn, improved service levels at Heathrow and the Terminal 2 project has gone well. He also fought his corner over the disposals of Gatwick and Stansted, so at least he wasn’t selling them at the depths of the recession.”

Matthews was put into BAA to fix Heathrow operationally – a focus he signalled with a management shake-up only two months into his reign. And even the airlines, with whom he has had various run-ins, would testify to improvements at an airport today handling 72m passengers a year but with a theoretical design capacity for far fewer.

It was only six months ago that Walsh, now head of BA’s parent IAG, was calling for Matthews to be “replaced” if he could not deliver a £2.9bn investment plan without a near 6pc increase in landing charges. But yesterday, Walsh said: “Colin has transformed Heathrow’s operations and made it a world class airport. I wish him well in the future”.

There was only one major operational screw-up: the snow disruption at Christmas 2010 that brought Heathrow to a near-standstill. In typical style, Matthews blamed that on the “wrong” amount of snow – 16cm at some parts of Heathrow versus the 6cm the airport had prepared for. “This was not a snow plan we cooked up by ourselves in a corner,” he insisted at the time. “We consulted with our airline customers”. No great comfort, though, for the half a million disrupted passengers.

Snow aside, the operational improvements came through, leaving Matthews to focus on two main issues. First, getting as good a price as he could for the airports he was forced to sell – Gatwick (sold for £1.5bn in 2009), Edinburgh (£807m in 2012) and Stansted (£1.5bn in 2013).

And second, tirelessly promoting a third runway at Heathrow until the option made the shortlist of Sir Howard Davies’s Airports Commission – a campaign Matthews turned into a naturally self-interested championing of Britain ’s need for a hub airport.

But as one industry source points out: “The challenge for the chief executive of Heathrow has changed from two years ago. It’s no longer about operations but politics and Colin has always tried to duck that, saying he’s just a humble engineer, not a politician. He’s never been comfortable in this situation and there are heaps of politicians now ranged up against the third runway. Who wants to be the Heathrow chief executive who loses the runway argument?”

Indeed, there is a risk Heathrow will lose it to Gatwick, an operation described by one industry player as a “PR machine with an airport attached”.

Matthews’ opposite number at Gatwick, Stewart Wingate, seems much more comfortable. “We must have Heathrow rattled and I think we have got them on the run,” he declared last September after a rare attack from Matthews over the hub issue.

To have been forced to sell Gatwick, see its new owners take out a £330m special dividend only 15 months later and then potentially witness the Sussex airport win Britain ’s first new full-length runway since the Second World War would not be a happy outcome for Matthews.

An honourable exit now on his own terms must have looked tempting – even if it did entail Matthews giving up his fight with the CAA over the latest five-year settlement that will see a real 1.5pc annual cut in charges out to 2019. All sides insisted it was Matthews’ own decision to go, leaving Heathrow scrambling for a new boss at a crucial moment.

Typically, Matthews has timed his departure to coincide with his latest big operational improvement: June’s opening of the £2.5bn Terminal 2, dubbed The Queen’s Terminal. It is, he said, the right time “to pass on the baton”.

He must know a difficult job may yet get trickier still.


  • 2 Apr 2014
  • The Times
  • Andrew Clark, Robert Lea

Matthews cleared for take-off from Heathrow after six years



The chief executive of Heathrow is to leave the airport at the height of a bitterly fought battle over the location of London’s next runway.

Colin Matthews will stand down in the summer, when the rebuilt Terminal 2 opens, after six years as head of Heathrow, in an announcement that took colleagues, rivals and anti-runway campaigners by surprise.

His departure will come before Sir Howard Davies delivers the results of an official review, due in 2015, on whether to build an extra runway at Heathrow or pursue other options, including expansion of Gatwick or a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

Mr Matthews’ resignation follows a recent financial setback for the airport, which was ordered by the Civil Aviation Authority to cut its landing charges for airlines — a decision that disappointed Heathrow’s shareholders.

“We’ve had a great deal of success over the last six years,” Mr Matthews said, listing smooth operations during the Olympic Games in 2012 and the airport’s high-tech Terminal 5 among his achievements. “We’ve delivered more than I thought possible.”

A former boss of the Severn Trent, Mr Matthews took the top job at BAA in 2008. He has come under repeated attack from passengers over the airport’s handling of winter weather and has clashed publicly with British Airways on the airport’s efficiency.

Since he joined, BAA has been dismantled through sales of Gatwick, Stansted and Edinburgh airports. The remaining Heathrow Group is owned by a consortium of investors, including Ferrovial, and sovereign wealth funds from Qatar, Singapore and China.

Those investors expressed dismay in January when the CAAordered Heathrow to cut its airline charges by 1.5 per cent annually in real terms for the next five years. Heathrow had argued for price increases of 4.6 per cent.

One industry source said: “Colin was completely taken aback by how adverse those findings were — and, unfortunately, he allowed that to be known.”

Mr Matthews emphasised that his departure was of his own volition. When asked whether he had faced investor pressure to stand down, he replied “no”, adding: “You find a regulatory pricing review where investors ever get what they want.”

Possible successors include John Holland-Kaye, the airport’s director of capital projects, who is credited with presiding over the renovation of Heathrow’s second terminal, which is to be renamed The Queen’s Terminal when it comes into use in June.

One of Heathrow’s leading local critics expressed surprise at the change. John Stewart, the chairman of Hacan ClearSkies, which opposes expansion of the airport, said he believed that Heathrow had been unsettled by the strength of lobbying by Gatwick as an alternative runway location.

Heathrow has a rocky relationship with British Airways, its biggest customer. Last year, Willie Walsh, the head of BA’s parent company IAG, said that Mr Matthews “should be replaced”, accusing him of running an airport that “rips off” passengers. IAG declined to comment yesterday.



Doing nothing about noise at Heathrow is not an option

Posted on 


by John Stewart

I’ve written about it before.  But last week brought it home to me once again.  Doing nothing about noise at Heathrow is not an option.

On Tuesday evening I chaired a meeting in Brockley, 20 miles from Heathrow in South East London.  As I stood outside the church hall before the meeting started, I could hear a plane one every two minutes or so, turning to join its final approach path to Heathrow.

I saw the same manoeuvre taking place on the screen last Friday when I visited the headquarters of NATS (National Air Traffic Control) in Swanwick and.  NATS are impressive.  They run an effective, efficient organisation that, it must be said, has improved significantly since they were privatized.  But the question I was left pondering was whether they are being asked to do the impossible at Heathrow.  They are required to mange safely and efficiently over 1300 planes landing and taking off each day but also are keen to assist residents under the flight paths.

 Which brings me back to Brockley.  As I sat with the air traffic controller watching his blank screen light up with planes approaching Heathrow, nowhere shone more brightly than the dazzling white line of aircraft on their final approach path, many having joined 20 miles from the airport.  More than one million people live within those 20 miles.  Around a third of those – the people living closer to the airport inWest London– get a half day’s break from the noise when the planes change runways at 3pm.  The rest, like Brockley, get no relief.

 And make no mistake the noise can be a real problem in those areas further from Heathrow.  A report published by the respected acoustics form Bureau Veritas in 2007 found that in many of these areas “aircraft noise dominated the local environment.”http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/st0699.pdf   http://www.hacan.org.uk/resources/reports/hacan.flight.paths.study.pdf (summary).

 Doing nothing cannot be an option.  But my visit to  NATS showed me that doing something is difficult.  Quieter planes on their own won’t do it because the number of aircraft is the big problem.  Steeper descent approaches would help somewhat.  Predicable respite periods can be managed before 6am when there are fewer planes but NATS would struggle to introduce them during the day when they need to land as many as 45 planes an hour.

The most useful solution for “the squeezed middle” – those living some distance from the airport under the final approach path – would be for planes to join the approach path much closer to Heathrow.  The bright lights on the NATS’ screens – the planes – would be shared around more equitably.  The former Concorde pilot Jock Lowe, the man fronting the Heathrow Hub bid for a third runway, believes it can be done.  NATS are not ruling it out as more of the precision technology becomes available.

NATS are more hopeful of improving things more rapidly for residents under the take-off routes.  There is more scope for giving respite.  Aircraft also have an increasing ability to ascend ever more steeply.

I didn’t ask NATS about the impact of a third runway at Heathrow.  I didn’t really need to.  If 480,000 flights a year severely restrict NATS room for manoeuvre, 740,000 would light up the air traffic controller’s screen with a brightness yet unseen.  Wouldn’t they?  




From: John Stewart <johnstewart2@btconnect.com>
To: Sent: Monday, 10 March 2014, 9:52
Subject: Today’s Times; today’s Standard


Very useful story in today’s Times.  And also this in the Standard: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/heathrow-bosses-admit-third-runway-is-divisive-as-public-consultation-closes-91808




News Heathrow expansion would reduce number of flights, says secret study


Philip Pank

A fourth runway at Heathrow would significantly reduce the number of flights in the South East, according to confidential analysis that has been described as a “game-changer” by opponents of the airport’s expansion.

In a private submission to the Airports Commission, Nats, the air traffic control service, calculated “conflicting arrival and departure flows” and concluded that building a fourth runway in West London would reduce the combined capacity of Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Birmingham, City and Southend airports by 9 per cent.

It would cut capacity relative to a three-runway Heathrow by 18 per cent because of the disruption to flight paths to the other main airports.

Those against Heathrow expansion said that the analysis, seen by The Times, was a “game-changer” in the debate over airport expansion as it undermined the long-term case for doubling the size of the country’s biggest airport.

Opponents, including Boris Johnson and local residents’ groups, claim that a third runway would be a “Trojan Horse” opening the way for another and subjecting more than a million people to unacceptable noise pollution.

The government-backed commission that will decide where to build the next runway has put two possible configurations for a third runway at Heathrow and a second runway at Gatwick on its shortlist. Sir Howard Davies, head of the commission, said that a third runway could be built by 2030 but it would be full by 2050.

The commission has excluded a fourrunway Heathrow from its shortlist, but the airport’s £31 billion blueprint for expansion includes options to build two new runways. In its submission, Heathrow said that a third runway would meet the demand for air travel to 2040 but that from 2030 a decision would have to be taken on a fourth. Mr Johnson said: “A third runway at Heathrow would be followed by a fourth as surely as night follows day, and if our air traffic experts believe that will result in less overall aviation capacity rather than more, then that is yet another starkly obvious reason why expansion at Heathrow is a total no-go.”

The Nats report, submitted to the commission last November, concluded that construction of a fourth runway would cut the maximum possible number of flights into the main airports to 1,550,000 from 1,680,000.

Flights at Gatwick, Stansted and Luton would be reduced by 50 per cent. London City would see a 25 per cent reduction.

John Stewart, chairman of the campaign group Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, said: “The fear locally must be that if demand does increase, a third runway will effectively become a Trojan Horse for a fourth runway. That is genuinely a new fact which could be a game-changer.”

The Nats analysis highlights the difficulties of turning Heathrow into a “megahub” airport, but also points to potential limitations of a new hub in the Thames Estuary. It could increase total airport capacity by just 6 per cent, because of the closure of Heathrow, City and Southend airports. However, if runways were tilted to run northeastsouthwest, the airport would increase total capacity by 24 per cent.

Supporters of the scheme say that Nats has underestimated the potential benefits because it assumes that a new hub would face the same constraints as Heathrow, operating between 06:00 and 23:00. Because far fewer people would be affected by noise, it could operate 24 hours a day, resulting in a far greater capacity increase, they argue.

Sir Howard will make his final recommendation three months after the 2015 election.




Dear Friends,


Sorry to get an unsolicited email from me but I am writing to all our members to see if you would like to be part of the ‘5 Minute HACAN Action’.  The idea behind it is that we would email you about once a week to suggest an email action that would usually take you only a minute or two – and guaranteed to take no more than 5 minutes!


The next 18 months is a critical time for us to make our collective voice heard.  The Airports Commission is examining again the arguments for a 3rd runway.  It is possible HeathrowAirport may get permission to experiment with more flights before 6am.  They may also get permission to run some flights out-of-alternation during the day to prevent delays building up, thus eating into the half day’s break from the noise that many of you enjoy.


If you would like to be part of the ‘5 Minute HACAN Action, email me to let me know.


With my thanks,


John Stewart

Third Runway


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In July 2011 Fight the Flights, the organisation which fought the expansion of City Airport, merged with HACAN. HACAN Eastwill take up issues around City Airport – read more


Davies options – campaigners vow to fight any expansion at Heathrow

Angry campaigners branded the Airport Commission’s Interim Report, issued today (17/12/13) as ‘the trigger to 18 months of intense campaigning against Heathrow expansion’. The Commission argues that there will be the need for one new runway in London and the South East by 2030, pointing to either Heathrow or Gatwick. The report sets out a short list of options. Although the Davies proposals focus less on Heathrow than had been rumoured, the expansion battle is back.

Read the HACAN Press Release with more details of the report

Sign a petition against 3rd runway

New night flight regime postponed until 2017

The Government announced today (11/11/13) that it is proposing no significant changes to the night flight regime at Heathrow until 2017. Originally, it planned changes next year but it argues it would be sensible to wait until after the Airports Commission, which is looking possible expansion on London and the South East, reports in Summer 2015.

Read the HACAN reaction

Read the details of the consultation

2 thoughts on “HACAN Clearskies

  1. The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn’t fail me as much as this particular one.
    After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, nonetheless
    I really believed you would probably have something useful to
    say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you can fix if you were
    not too busy searching for attention.

  2. Hi Barrett. We don;t just moan, we get out there with the various campaign groups and try to fix it. Have a look at the main UKIP website and our transport policy – we don’t need Heathrow expansion when we have underused airports across the UK, just a grown up solution to put in the necessary ground transport links to make them more viable. After all, cities like New York operate with multiple hubs and so can London. Make Heathrow more efficient and it will flourish whilst other airports in the region can grow, create jobs and ease the pressure on surface infrastructure

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