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Heathrow Airport

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1384W, on Heathrow Airport, (1) which technical studies and documents regarding Heathrow expansion proposals have been made available to key stakeholders since 2003; (209249)

(2) which key stakeholders have been given access to technical studies regarding Heathrow expansion proposals conducted by her Department since 2003.

The only stakeholders given access to the Heathrow work were those directly involved in providing technical input, namely the Civil Aviation Authority, NATS and BAA. It is not practicable to list all the documents which respective parties have seen since 2003. The outcome of the work is represented by the Heathrow consultation document and the series of supporting technical reports issued last November, seven of which were provided variously by NATS and the CAA.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the likely effect of Heathrow Airport expansion on the level of chargeable landing fees by the airport operator. (209272)

The costs and benefits of additional capacity at Heathrow airport are set out in annex B (impact assessment) of “Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport”, November 2007, available at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/closed/heathrow consultation/

Further details of the methods used to estimate these costs and benefits are set out in “UK Air Passenger Demand and CO2 Forecasts”, November 2007, available at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/environmentalissues/ukairdemandandco2forecasts/

No assessment of the likely effect of additional capacity at Heathrow airport on the level of landing fees charged by the airport operator has been made.

The level of landing fees charged by the airport operator with additional capacity would be a matter for the airport operator, airlines, and the CAA.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what basis and by whom the assumptions referred to in paragraph 2.47 of Annex B to the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport consultation document were made. (209277)

The assumptions are based on the Department for Transport future passenger forecasts with additional Heathrow capacity as set out in “Future of Air Transport White Paper supporting document Passenger Forecasts: Additional Analysis (December 2003)”. As stated in the consultation document, this analysis is preliminary and does not form part of the overall Heathrow net present value (NPV) calculations. The tourism analysis is currently being updated in line with latest information, feedback from consultation responses and input from the Heathrow impact assessment peer review process.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 18 March 2008, Official Report, columns 953-4W, on Heathrow airport, what role was played by BAA in developing the economic impact assessment on Heathrow expansion set out in Annex B of the Adding Capacity at Heathrow consultation document. (209305)

Annex B of the ‘Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport’ consultation document, which assesses the potential impacts of options for adding capacity at Heathrow airport, was prepared by Department for Transport officials in line with the Better Regulation Executive's impact assessment guidance. As such it draws upon information from a range of sources, including BAA.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) pursuant to the Answer of 2 April 2008, Official Report, column 1014W, on Heathrow Airport, which (a) existing guidelines and (b) long-term targets recommended by the World Health Organisation were taken into account when preparing options for expansion included in the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport consultation document; (209443)

(2) how many people live in areas of the UK where aviation noise is classified as dangerous by the World Health Organisation.

The reference in my earlier reply of 2 April 2008, Official Report, column 1014W, to WHO guidelines and long-term targets was in the context of noise policy generally, and was not specific to Heathrow.

The WHO guidelines for community noise (WHO, 1999) are essentially values for the onset of health effects. These are levels that would produce no significant health effects for the population at large. The WHO have recommended that the guidelines should be adopted as long term targets for improving human health which the Government have stated that they will take into account.

The WHO guideline targets and the Government definition of significant community annoyance are not incompatible but do not read across directly. The WHO values are set at the level below which there is no impact from annoyance on human health—the Government value is set in terms of community annoyance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if her Department will commission an independent assessment of the information provided by BAA for the preparation of the Adding Capacity at Heathrow consultation document. (209664)

No. I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave her on 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1383W.