Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Airports sue RAF Northolt over expansion into commercial flights

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Airports sue RAF Northolt over expansion into commercial flights

    Two UK business jet airports are suing RAF Northolt after the military airport expanded into civilian flights to raise cash for the Ministry of Defence.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/8a7e8...#axzz3GlJDEkvo
    sigpic

    #2
    Paywall, copy and paste?

    Comment


      #3
      Two UK business jet airports are suing RAF Northolt after the military airport expanded into civilian flights to raise cash for the Ministry of Defence.

      Biggin Hill and Oxford claim that, because Northolt is operated by the MoD and therefore taxpayer funded, it should not be competing against business airports in the London area, which also include Luton and Farnborough.

      Deep cuts to the defence budget as the coalition government attempts to bring down the UK’s deficit have led to Northolt adopting a more commercial approach to secure its future.

      In March last year the military airport said it would begin to expand, more than doubling civilian flight movements – take-offs and landings – from a self-imposed cap of 7,000 to 17,500 by 2016. Of that total, military movements will remain at about 5,500 a year.

      The northwest London airport is attractive for private jet users because it is the closest airport to the capital’s West End. It is the base of 32 (The Royal) Squadron, which provides air transport for the royal family and the government and has previously been mooted as an option to increase flight capacity in the congested southeast.

      “They’re marketing themselves as London’s premier business aviation airport, and in May we were treated to the sight of fully paid up members of the Royal Air Force exhibiting at a trade fair in Geneva,” said Will Curtis, managing director of Biggin Hill. “We, like Oxford, like Farnborough, have all been through a very tough time and they’ve pulled the rug from underneath us. It’s not a level playing field.”

      Small airports have had a difficult time in the past few years after passenger numbers dropped sharply following the financial crisis.

      Biggin Hill estimates it has lost business worth about £4m each year, a 5 per cent reduction in market share. It handled 11,411 commercial civilian flights in 2013. Oxford airport handled 8,025 flights in the same period.

      The airports allege that Northolt, which has about 15 per cent of the London market in business aviation, makes cost savings by not having to adhere to the same safety standards as commercial airports.

      As well as being granted a judicial review that will be heard next month, Biggin Hill and Oxford airports have also taken their case to the European competition authority.

      The decision to expand Northolt has prompted anger from London mayor Boris Johnson, who fiercely opposes the expansion of Heathrow, west London’s main airport. Mr Johnson is to stand for election next May in the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, in which Northolt is located.

      “Northolt is in the heart of the suburbs, surrounded by tens of thousands of homes, and that means this decision goes against the mayor’s desire to reduce the number of Londoners exposed to potentially harmful levels of noise, congestion and poor air quality caused by aviation,” a spokesman for Mr Johnson said.

      To save money, the defence department has outsourced contracts worth billions of pounds, has been selling prime properties such as its Deepcut barracks estate in Surrey, and has cut the army from about 100,000 to 80,000.

      It denied that it was operating unfairly in expanding Northolt. “We do not deliberately undercut private enterprise and RAF Northolt adheres to Treasury rules,” the MoD said.

      “We regularly review our charges against other commercial aerodromes to ensure they are representative of market rates. In addition, commercial flights have for many years operated from Military Aviation Authority regulated military aerodromes and have an excellent safety record.”

      Additional reporting by Joel Lewin
      sigpic

      Comment


        #4
        Great for the West End. Not so good for the financial hub of the City and Docklands
        Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can borrow mine.
        I DON'T SUPPORT LABOUR!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by firestorm View Post
          Great for the West End. Not so good for the financial hub of the City and Docklands
          I've got an idea, let's close down Heathrow, Gatwick, Northolt and every other f*ckin' airport around London, then the s can all ride their f*ckin' bicycles to Paris to sit down with the rest of the multi-national company tossers in order to figure out who they are gonna f*ck over next and the poxy eyed bast*rds who bought their houses LONG AFTER the airports were put in place can live in quiet isolation while they drink their G&T's and puff away on their Havana cigars. These whining f*cks make me sick, we get the same sh!te going on here, f*ckin' homeowners whose houses were built in the last five years belly aching about the noise from an airfield that has been there since shortly after WW1. F*ck 'em.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Gord View Post
            I've got an idea, let's close down Heathrow, Gatwick, Northolt and every other f*ckin' airport around London, then the s can all ride their f*ckin' bicycles to Paris to sit down with the rest of the multi-national company tossers in order to figure out who they are gonna f*ck over next and the poxy eyed bast*rds who bought their houses LONG AFTER the airports were put in place can live in quiet isolation while they drink their G&T's and puff away on their Havana cigars. These whining f*cks make me sick, we get the same sh!te going on here, f*ckin' homeowners whose houses were built in the last five years belly aching about the noise from an airfield that has been there since shortly after WW1. F*ck 'em.
            So I take it you DIDN'T ACTUALLY READ the article then Gord?

            Its about Airport economics and how certain BizJet airfields ate complaining about Northolt expanding into their market and having a percieved unfair advantage as its exempt regulations they have to adhere to.
            sigpic

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by FOMz View Post
              So I take it you DIDN'T ACTUALLY READ the article then Gord?

              Its about Airport economics and how certain BizJet airfields ate complaining about Northolt expanding into their market and having a percieved unfair advantage as its exempt regulations they have to adhere to.
              Its people like you, bringing facts into it, that ruin a good rant.
              Or even a bad one.
              .
              .

              If anyone wants me, i`ll be here

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by FOMz View Post
                So I take it you DIDN'T ACTUALLY READ the article then Gord?

                Its about Airport economics and how certain BizJet airfields ate complaining about Northolt expanding into their market and having a percieved unfair advantage as its exempt regulations they have to adhere to.
                Yes, I did read the article mate, I also further read the bit about your mate Boris belly achin' about noise pollution from Heathrow and how since he will be representing the area that Northolt is in, should he be elected, he would probably take a dim view about that particular airfield increasing it's flights. That's what prompted me to make the comments I did, not whether or not Biggin Hill etc can compete with Northolt.

                Comment


                  #9
                  BoJo the liar is just pandering to his prospective constituents. I usually take whatever he says with a lorry load of salt anyway.

                  When I said "great for the West end" I meant for access.
                  Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can borrow mine.
                  I DON'T SUPPORT LABOUR!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Rocket_Ronster View Post
                    Its people like you, bringing facts into it, that ruin a good rant.
                    Or even a bad one.
                    67% of people know that.
                    Good food, good accomodation and good pay are the 3 pillars for keeping people happy in the RAF (WO Catering, Inside Brize Norton, Thursday 19th Dec 2013) roll on the day that ever happens.........

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X