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The Joy of Consultation

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The Joy of Consultation

Old 17th Jun 2019, 14:45
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The Joy of Consultation

Just got my invitation through the letter box to participate in the Airport Expansion Consultation.

If its anything like HS2, it will be like Helen Keller meets Rotherham Social worker on journey to the centre of the earth - with the obvious double ticks, Audit Commission style, for the meeting of objectives.

That aside, I note that aircraft movements will increase from 480,000 to 740,000 a year (68%) and that whilst, it appears, that some effort has gone into describing the noise effects and mitigations, there 's absolutely no mention of the increase in carbon emissions or any measures to be taken to contain these.

Given that currently, due to the effects of Global warming, weather systems are static over South-East England for 95% of the year, with virtually no air movement to disperse airborne pollutants (In contrast to the late 1940s when Heathrow was originally built), one wonders what legitimate justifications of the change were used to site the airport expansion at Heathrow, rather than distribute the increase in air movements around the UK where aircraft movement numbers are less ?

The toll on the health of the London population will be dreadful - government criminal negligence on a mammoth scale.

Nick



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Old 17th Jun 2019, 15:24
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with virtually no air movement to disperse airborne pollutants
This should be fun

Only a couple of days ago the wind at LHR was 200/13 gusting 23kts and the forecast is for a strong SWl'y flow with fronts bringing rain and thunderstorms.
We live on a windy island with regular changes of airmass and thus benefit from some pretty good air quality.

Take a trip to Delhi when their high pressure system drops the viz to 450m in smoke then come back here to taste the difference.
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Old 17th Jun 2019, 15:31
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The only thing that is criminal is that it wasn't done decades ago.
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Old 17th Jun 2019, 17:14
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"The toll on the health of the London population will be dreadful - government criminal negligence on a mammoth scale."

740k movements a year equates to around 112 movements an hour for the +/- 18 hours that LHR operates. At least as many diesel trucks and vans pass along the adjacent 8 lane motorway in 5 mins.

Perhaps the Government should first look to increase the testing of emissions on vehicles more than the annual MOT check.
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Old 17th Jun 2019, 17:39
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Originally Posted by NAROBS View Post
Given that currently, due to the effects of Global warming, weather systems are static over South-East England for 95% of the year, with virtually no air movement to disperse airborne pollutants (In contrast to the late 1940s when Heathrow was originally built),
Nick
EGLL 171620Z AUTO 23012KT 9999 NCD 20/09 Q1016 NOSIG
So today must be one of the rare 5% of days when there is air movement over London to disperse the pollution.
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Old 17th Jun 2019, 17:40
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Originally Posted by NAROBS View Post
Just got my invitation through the letter box to participate in the Airport Expansion Consultation.

If its anything like HS2, it will be like Helen Keller meets Rotherham Social worker on journey to the centre of the earth - with the obvious double ticks, Audit Commission style, for the meeting of objectives.

That aside, I note that aircraft movements will increase from 480,000 to 740,000 a year (68%) and that whilst, it appears, that some effort has gone into describing the noise effects and mitigations, there 's absolutely no mention of the increase in carbon emissions or any measures to be taken to contain these.

Given that currently, due to the effects of Global warming, weather systems are static over South-East England for 95% of the year, with virtually no air movement to disperse airborne pollutants (In contrast to the late 1940s when Heathrow was originally built), one wonders what legitimate justifications of the change were used to site the airport expansion at Heathrow, rather than distribute the increase in air movements around the UK where aircraft movement numbers are less ?

The toll on the health of the London population will be dreadful - government criminal negligence on a mammoth scale.

Nick
So you come on a pilots forum to decry airport expansion and itís effect on the environment.

rather like a turkey coming on a Christmas forum.
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Old 17th Jun 2019, 17:45
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Given that currently, due to the effects of Global warming, weather systems are static over South-East England for 95% of the year, with virtually no air movement to disperse airborne pollutants (In contrast to the late 1940s when Heathrow was originally built),
Is that so ?
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Old 17th Jun 2019, 18:29
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I wouldn't take it too seriously, if i were you; I have fond memories of participating in the 3 years of work leading to "Future of Aviation" White Paper (2003) as a consultant, one of hundreds who shared about £300m helping the DfT produce a report that could have been written on a fag packet 3 years earlier with the only outcome that BAA would allow the Minister to have (support 1 new runway at each of LHR, STN and LGW, with LTN being expanded massively.)

The paper was buried the day after it was published, to be forgotten for ever, and I bought a nice new boat with my share of the £300m.

There have been umpteen reports since, with lots of new boats for consultants, but zero action on any of them. These consultations and reports are used solely as an alternative to actually making a decision.

Last edited by old,not bold; 17th Jun 2019 at 18:56.
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Old 17th Jun 2019, 19:09
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"A study revealed that ... " Just fill in the blanks, and a certain percentage of our population will lend it credence, because the problem/issue was "studied". For example, a study revealed that the reason a chicken crosses the road is pick up a copy of the morning newspaper. True 'fact', that.

Cheers,
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 10:23
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I can't think that adding another 300,000 tonnes of carbon per year to atmosphere of London as a result of Heathrow expansion could in any way be regarded as beneficial to the many residents of London, irrespective of whether other industries are doing the same or worse - the latter is no justification.

Ditto the effect it will have on re-enforcing the concentration of economic activity in the South-East to the exclusion of the rest of the country.

Heathrow airport air movement is going to be different than the rest of London - the rest of London is covered in housing and presumably one of the factors why the original airport planners selected Hounslow Heath was because it was near to London, free of housing development and windy. The rest of London is located in a geological basin and is covered in high density housing and business premises. - the antithesis of an aid to free air movement.

Nowadays, due to global warming, the Atlantic weather systems are being locked in one pattern for long periods at a time, and for the most part of the year, South-East England is dominated by high pressure systems edging out from the continent . These systems are composed of falling, cold air and carry with them pollution from the continentand its well accepted that this effect traps pollution at lower levels in the atmosphere, and inhibits dispersion.

Certainly as a resident of Harrow for the last 60 years, I can see a distinct change in the type of weather experienced here, with windless days and reduced rainfall predominating now.

IMHO this decision will push London Air Quality back to pre-Clean Air Act levels for the majority of residents with the consequent bad effect on people's health.

Further, anybody who has to use the roads round Heathrow and the M25 will know that they are currently operating at the limit of capacity now, with no prospect of easily obtaining increased capacity.

Given these negatives, what sort of "Transport strategy" would conclude that Heathrow is the best place for expansion for the majority of the population of London and the rest of the country ?

Prime example of Daily Mail "We're in charge", "Benefit the few over the many" madness.

Nick
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 10:43
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The South’s-East needs another runway, and has for the last 20+ years. There have been numerous inquiries and reports, all used to kick the can down the road. We don’t need another.

Frankly, with the remaining consultations to be done, a new runway at LHR won’t be available for use for at least another 20 years - when we will need another one somewhere anyway. What we actually need is to approve additional runways at LHR, LGW and STN, to allow them actual to be built so they are there when they are needed.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 11:07
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People keep on spouting this mantra, that it needs to be in the south-east, but one can't help but feel that this is confirmation bias, given that the majority of passenger air transport facilities and workers are already here courtesy of previous historical London centric development.

What this decision says to me , loud and clear, is that successive governments have no long-term economic development policy that embraces the whole of the UK.

Global warming and the consequent change in weather patterns is now accepted as a proposition. So if, there must be a new airport in the south-east, why not put it to the far east of London, or on the south Coast, where the pollution might stand a chance of being dispersed better and where road transport capacity isn't already near full utilisation ?

There again, I haven't got years of double-ticking Audit commission experience under my belt - only Organisation and Methods and Work Study.

This web-page shows how London Centric aircraft movements already are :-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...United_Kingdom

Strikes me that re-distribution of the anticipated expansion in UK air traffic to regional centres could easily be achieved and at lower cost than the Heathrow expansion.

Nick

Last edited by NAROBS; 18th Jun 2019 at 11:23.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 12:14
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This will be the first of many consultations, as they will also be required before the airspace that is needed for the increased movements can be changed.

Changing the airspace to not only to cope with the third runway, but also to cope with the effect on the other London airports, is going to be quite a challenge.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 12:39
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This will be the first of many consultations,
No, no, it will be the umpteenth of many such consultations; see above! My direct involvement was in the 2003 Future of Air Transport, but there were many before that starting, I guess, with consultations and reports about the Maplin Sands proposal; memory fades, wasn't it the Roskill Commission in 1971?

And there have been many since; I wouldn't know, I was off in my boat.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 13:08
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I received that "consultation" aswell.
Shame it wasn't on cheaper paper to help set my fire alight.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 13:30
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The expansion is much needed in order to fly in more consultants to help solve the problem.
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Old 18th Jun 2019, 14:21
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Apparently, the EU Air Quality Directive (2008 ?) as translated into UK Law doesn't measure carbon dioxide concentrations in air.

Perhaps it should do given the effects of excess CO2 on the body :-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercapnia

Being a London resident and having a slight cardiac issue, I know, without consulting the pollution indexes, the days when pollution is high. And this is often confirmed on the pulse oxymeter I use . On a good air day in London, I get 97-98% oxygen saturation in my blood;On a poor day, it can be down to 94%. Using the same measuring instrument when visiting relatives in Devon, it averages 97-98% and on days out to Cornwall 99-100% is common.

Given that C02 is heavier than air, any emissions are going to go straight down to ground level, and in urban areas under wind-less, high pressure conditions, those accumulated emissions are going to stick at high levels at ground level for long periods.

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Old 19th Jun 2019, 12:58
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Steady on Narobs! you are in danger of falling into the NIMBY trap..
You don't seem to mind another runway in the south east, as long as it isn't near you!
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 13:11
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Originally Posted by Saintsman View Post
This will be the first of many consultations, as they will also be required before the airspace that is needed for the increased movements can be changed.

Changing the airspace to not only to cope with the third runway, but also to cope with the effect on the other London airports, is going to be quite a challenge.
Wouldn't it be sensible to have an agreed airspace plan in place before deciding to build new runway/s? What if no safe airspace plan can be found to accommodate all the new flights from Heathrow and the second runway planned for Gatwick?

Chickens and eggs come to mind.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 14:43
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I get it.

Well spotted. It is in my backyard and that's why I'm concerned.

Don't people in SA get concerned for similar reasons ?

Is mortality in jeopardy no defence against airport expansion and increased pollution ?

I seem to recall SA residents got very concerned about one particular issue a few years back.

I would point out that many of the WW1 GHQ generals had a carefree attitude to casualties, but one can't help feel that this attitude was conditioned by being located 400 miles behind the battle lines, with little prospect of ever being within 20 miles of a trench.

Unless you actually live here now, you won't know the starting price. The UK isn't the "Old mother England" of empire fame and fortune, scones, cream teas and fair play cricket (Makes you wonder, after the Umboto gorge demonstration yesterday - the ICC obviously haven't heard of handicapping).

As a resident of Harrow for the last 60 years, I can say that both the weather experienced here has changed substantially and the air pollution has increased by the same measure, particularly in the last 10-15 years.

The EU has issued an Air Quality Directive (2005) subsequently given legal effect in the UK. They don't do something like that purely to pass the time of day.

There are real air quality issues in European cities witness the well-published recent action taken by the French on their major cities.

Any wonder , as vehicle ownership in the UK has increased 7 fold to 35 million since 1960 and, I would imagine, that passenger air miles in and out of UK have increased by a greater amount ( 4m in 1960 to 85 million now ?) and most motive power today is hydrocarbon based and total loss.


And frankly, UK is behind the rest of Europe in dealing with this issue.You know the long-standing British attitude, ignore it and hope it will go away, especially if its going to cost "The people that matter" any dosh - that's applied for time in memorial, across subject areas, whether the issue is the return of British war dead to home soil, to the continuing god-awlful state of British housing, to this issue.

So you won't be surprised to learn that a sizeable number of the statutory air quality measuring devices required by EU and National legislation, particularly those in cities, even now, find themselves repeatedly out of service for long periods. So come the opening of the airport extension, they must be in the frame for a surprise cyber attack.

My issue is not so much with the expansion of air travel, but with the over concentration of it in the South-East. And the London Heathrow expansion is yet another example of the totally biassed and unjustifiable London centric economic decisions made by the British Establishment. The consequential pollution following this decision, will near enough, double the atmospheric CO2 load in the West London area, and the pre-existing changed local weather patterns (due to Global warming) will just act to concentrate, rather than disperse it.

That said, if the polluter was really made to pay, and a substantial carbon-emission economic test was applied in financial terms to anyone wishing to undertake business travel, I think that you'd find that a third of business travel would drop away as being nugatory/economically ineffective for the organisation and not required. Something which could be easily substituted on a 1 out of 3 basis by electronic face-to-face. Same applies to road travel.

Also, recent experience of large local project management doesn't fill one with overwhelming confidence that things are being done for the correct economic motives, let alone environmental ones.

Take the £86 billion HS2 railway project for example.
The southern most underground tunnel for which emerges at West Ruislip, 5 miles away from me and about the same distance from Heathrow. I recently found out that the plans include laying in a 8Km 33Kv underground cable from the tunnel site to a 1930s domestic power substation not a mile and a half away from me, for the supply of power to the Tunnel Boring Machine and, after construction, the tunnel services, despite the fact that there are nearer substations of similar design in Uxbridge and Rickmansworth and a 275Kv national grid line not more than 2 mile away. These connections could be made over open farmland, rather than ploughing up vast swathes of suburbia. The cost of excavating the trench for the 8 Km line will cost £20 million and take at least 8 months, transversing many suburban streets. And I would raise doubts whether the equipment in a 1930s substation could cope with a cable demanding 33Kv of additional output to a single supply. Apparently, when the local residents associations attended one of these consultation sessions, they were either ignored or given some BS answer. When they asked why the main contractor could not use another power source e.g. the 275 Kv line or generators to supply the TBM, they said it wasn't possible. They contractors reps even told them that loss of power to the TBM would cause tunnel collapse. Absolute BS - surely the risk of power loss is the same no matter what the power source. At the very least,this 8 Km line will blight the local area with Hall-Effect electromagnetic interference on local services and have health effects to some. I reckon a sorter connection or hired generators would cost no more than £10 million.

So, just taking this one instance in this large project, there is a possible £10 million or 100% cost saving of planned over expenditure. If this applies uniformly to the rest of the project, then there's 40 billion squids that could be saved.

Of course, a month later, I'm still waiting for a response to my letter to the contractor.

On this basis, its hard to be confident that any other of these top-down, Eton City boy sponsored projects will have any better outcomes.

N

Last edited by NAROBS; 19th Jun 2019 at 15:11.
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