Heathrow rail service strike 4th June
May 30th, 2014 by elisa

A 24 hour strike on the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services has been announced for 4th June.

Rail union RMT has instructed all Heathrow Express members to take strike action from 03.00 hours on Wednesday June 4, 2014 until 02.59 hours on Thursday June 5, 2014 in response to an ongoing dispute over cuts.

The union claims 201 jobs are now under threat of redundancy because of the rail service’s plans to re-organise its workforce in order to save £6 million over the next five years.

It says the attack on jobs and working conditions are a result of the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to cut £600 million from Heathrow Airport’s budget over the same period.

Heathrow plans passenger price hike
Feb 15th, 2013 by elisa

Heathrow Airport has applied to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to increase charges by nearly £8 per passenger in order to fund a £3 billion investment programme.

If approved, the tariff charged to the airlines will gradually rise from the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger in 2012/13 to a maximum of £27.30 in 2018. The money will then be used to help fund the opening of the new Terminal 2 in 2014 and on improved check-in and baggage facilities, as well as the construction of new taxiways and stands so that the airport can accommodate the latest aircraft.

However, some of the airport’s largest airlines, including Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, are opposed to the price increases. 

A BA spokesperson said: “Heathrow Airport’s charges have already tripled over the past 11 years. The charges must be reduced significantly over the coming years, especially when the airport is cutting investment by around 25 per cent from next year onwards.

“Any investment plans between 2014 and 2019 should be targeted and efficient. We believe Heathrow Airport can make significant savings to its inefficient cost base while still investing £3 billion in improving the overall customer experience.”

Heathrow said it believed its plans would be beneficial to passengers and offer good value. It said: “Our investment will deliver a better journey for passengers, more efficient and reliable infrastructure for airlines, and additional jobs, trade and economic activity for the UK.”

The CAA will consider the application, and develop and consult on its own proposals. It will deliver its verdict on airport charges in January next year.

Heathrow Airport travel disruption over Christmas
Dec 19th, 2012 by elisa

Passengers may experience travel disruption getting to, or from, Heathrow Airport on Boxing Day.

A combination of Tube strikes by drivers’ union ASLEF and planned Crossrail improvement works by Network Rail on the same day means travel to the airport will be difficult.

The planned rail improvement work means that there will be no Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect services, so passengers are advised to plan their alternative journeys in advance and leave plenty of time to get to the airport.

A statement on the Heathrow Express website says: “Due to essential Crossrail improvement works, Heathrow Express will not be running any services between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport on December 25 and 26.

“Our inter terminal transfer service between Heathrow Terminal 4 and Terminals 1 & 3 will continue to run in line with the planned timetable.We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”



Steeper landing descents could reduce noise levels
Dec 10th, 2012 by elisa

Aircraft coming in to land at a steeper angle could reduce noise disruption for those living under flight paths at Heathrow by as much as 15-20%, claims Emirates.

The concept, promoted by the airline for its fleet of A380 aircraft, could bypass current regulations on the capacity of night-time flights presently allowed. Currently, aircraft descend into Heathrow at an angle of three degrees, meaning that they are flying at around 1,600ft above the suburb of Richmond. However, if the angle were increased to 5.5 degrees, the aircraft would be flying over the suburb at nearly double the height, which would significantly reduce noise levels.

At present, anything over the three degree standard sanctioned by global aviation rule-setting body ICAO is only permitted for obstacle clearance.

The concept is being seriously considered by UK air traffic control, NATS. Chief executive of NATS, Richard Deakin, spoke about the possibility to the UK Transport Select Committee today: “I don’t believe there are any A380s anywhere that fly those steep angles into airports thresholds. We would need to do some technical modelling around the feasibility of that. Clearly more work needs to be done by ourselves and with the CAA, the airport and the airlines,” he said.

If adopted, the reduction in noise would still not apply to those who live much closer to the airport.



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