Introducing environmental decision making
Introducing environmental decision making

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Introducing environmental decision making

5.2 The need for an ‘Aviation White Paper’

Since the liberalisation of air transport within the European Union in the 1980s (the privatisation of airlines and airport operators, and deregulation of air travel, e.g. removal of barriers for foreign airline operations), it was essentially left to the private sector to decide on and fund extra airport capacity. The lack of a national strategy in the UK, and the increasingly vociferous local opposition, meant that any new development was becoming practically impossible. For example, the public inquiry concerning the development of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 was the longest in British history. The inquiry lasted for over four years (1995–99) and cost in excess of £80 million (Thorpe, 1999). The aviation industry was therefore desperate to avoid a similar situation in future developments.

‘A special birthday? I know just the thing…’
Figure 13 ‘A special birthday? I know just the thing…’

In the year 2000, more than 180 million passengers flew from UK airports, with demand to fly having risen threefold since 1980. By 2001, the aviation industry was estimated to contribute £13 billion to the UK gross domestic product (the gross domestic product is a measure of the amount of economic production of a particular nation in financial terms during a specific time period. This is a measure of national income and output, and is frequently used as an indicator of a nation’s standard of living). Most calculations of the economic benefits of aviation use a methodology developed by the Federal Aviation Administration, which sums the direct, indirect and induced effects of aviation (I will discuss this in more detail later in the case study). But many UK airports are already nearing their capacity limits especially those surrounding the London area (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton – see Figure 14 for locations). This lack of capacity was seen to severely limit any future growth in passenger numbers and economic gain.

Map of main London airports
Figure 14 Map of main London airports

The pressure on the UK government by the aviation industry to provide a long-term strategic plan for air travel is exemplified by the following quote from a regional newspaper:

Jobs, business, tourism and the economy will all suffer unless aviation capacity increases, a new campaign group said today. The Freedom to Fly Coalition* said the Government must settle the problem of capacity in its aviation White Paper due soon.

(Holmes, 2001, p. 4)

*The Freedom to Fly Coalition combined a wide range of interest groups including airlines, airport operators, trades unions and businesses (represented by the British Chambers of Commerce which has a membership of 135,000 businesses).

The pressure on the British government to deliver a long-term strategy that guaranteed airport expansion had never been greater.

Activity 19 Comparing two aviation videos

This activity invites you to watch two video programmes. These have been chosen to portray two very different perspectives on the case study topic. Watch them critically. They are not intended to represent the views of the author or the module team. Their purpose is to illustrate contrasting positions in the air transport debate.

View the Reach for the Sky documentary produced by Undercurrents in 2005, an independent media production company. The video will illustrate the local, regional, national and international contexts of air travel and its various environmental impacts, representing many of the issues of concern to the environmental movement.

As you watch the video, try and focus on the social, spatial and temporal dimensions of the various issues presented.

  1. Which groups of people are involved?
  2. Where are they located?
  3. Over which time period are they involved and/or affected?

Note your answers to these questions – they may be useful later in the unit.

Download this video clip.Video player: Reach for the Sky
Skip transcript: Reach for the Sky (36 minutes 37 seconds)

Transcript: Reach for the Sky (36 minutes 37 seconds)

Reach for the Sky

Female speaker 1
Now the world is in your hands with TV Travel Shop as we can you fly from airports all over the UK to destinations far and wide...
Narrator
Each year more of us are choosing cheap flights to travel on our holiday trips than ever before, but is aviation fuel responsible for creating the very weather we are trying to escape from?During this programme we will explore how the aviation industry has gone from pioneer to polluter in their quest to reach for the sky.
Ted Solomon
The Lysander was the plane that used to tow the drogue for target practice, they would go out over the sea and you continued to hear 'pop pop pop pop pop' like this and on one or two occasions the drogue was so badly shot at it would drop in the fields.
Narrator
Ted Solomon has lived here on the Gower Peninsular of South Wales his entire life. His passion for aircraft is equally matched by an intense love for his farm. Strewn across his farm lie the crumbling remains of a World War II airbase. To prepare for the Battle of Britain in 1940, the Air Ministry took control of his fields to train fighter pilots.
Ted Solomon
We had the airmen’s mess, the sergeant’s mess, from which I am speaking now and the officer’s mess, all put on our fields.
Narrator
For many generations his own and many other families had relied on their common rights to feed their animals on nearby Fairwood Common, but over the course of the war much of the rich and fertile soil disappeared under concrete runways, access roads and buildings.
Ted Solomon
We were looking forward to that huge central area of Fairwood to be given back and all the installations demolished, taken away.
Narrator
Despite written assurances that Ted’s farm would be returned intact, the Air Ministry instead abandoned the airbase leaving the buildings and runways to slowly decline.Eleven years after the end of the war, the Gower Peninsular was officially recognised as Britain’s first area of outstanding natural beauty, in that same year Parliament extinguished the grazing rights of all Fairwood commoners. As compensation, Ted was offered only fifty one pounds, five shillings and eleven pence. In return Ted would have to agree to waive away any possibility of future claims.The young farmer refused to sign.
Ted Solomon
So that’s how it stands today, they have taken the land and they have refused to pay us the price for it. The commoners being farmers, busy people, nobody has the time really to put into it to bring it to a head.
Narrator
Many other airfields have a similar history to Fairwood Common which prompted a coalition of farmers and environmentalists to launch a land rights campaign for Britain in 1995.
Male
Hopefully we will be able to drive the coaches right on to the airfields. So far there are no police around that we have heard of here, although there are some at Fleet.
Narrator
Many of the farmers surrounding Wisely airbase in Surrey had their common rights suspended when the Air Ministry took control of the land in 1943 and just as on Fairwood Common, grazing rights were never reinstated when the base was eventually abandoned.
George Monbiot
We have taken over the sight of Wisely airfield, it is now a disused airfield, it is wasted destroyed land.They are thinking of turning it back into an airfield at 35,000 flights a year here, we have taken it back for the people of Britain as land which is once more ours in the common domain.
Narrator
For seven days the campaigners built shelters, planted crops and trees while living on the airfield, their high profile occupation would later inspire dozens of similar land rights demonstrations across Britain.
Josh Terre
It is a worldwide issue, people are being – had their land and their rights to the land stolen from them and land rights is one of the worldwide environmental and social justice issues of the next century and it is important to have that fight here as well as other places. Just because the land got stolen a long time ago, doesn’t make the issue any less relevant here.
Narrator
Plans to reintroduce flights at Wisely airfield have since been abandoned. Meanwhile back on Fairwood Common this World War II airfield was put back into use, mainly for private flying lessons. Until 2002 when a high flying accountant stepped into the picture. Millionaire Roy Thomas purchased the lease of Fairwood airfield for an undisclosed sum adding it to his extensive list of properties in the nearby city of Swansea.
Aircraft
...Hotel route via the Mumbles to...
Narrator
Mr Thomas is also Chairman of his own airline company Air Wales which began using the airfield for commuting between London and Swansea. Mr Thomas hopes to expand the small airfield situated in the middle of a prime beauty spot into a fully commercial airport. By lowering journey times, Air Wales is challenging the other existing methods of transport in the race to London. However, as road traffic around the airport increases local residents are concerned about the impact a larger airport will have on their lives.
Radio presenter
Morning ... you are through to the hotline.
Radio voice (male #1)
I think instead of protesting against the airport, these people should be behind this man who is putting his own money into the airport.
Radio voice (female #1)
People around the airports are in danger of having £20,000 knocked off the value of their homes – if that is the bottom line for you and you don’t care about the environment, maybe you will wake up now.
Radio voice (male #2)
We have got to realise that we have to stop global warming and it is not nimbyish to do that.
Radio voice (female #2)
But I think we have to weigh up the advantages because any city without an airport is a second-class city.
Narrator
Tourism is the region's largest revenue earner and some business people fear that noise could damage its reputation as a first-class relaxation spot.
Marianne Walters
The people that come to Gower are mainly couples and families with young children and they come for the beaches, they come for walks and my guest book is full of remarks about how relaxing Gower is, how glorious the beaches are.People say well there won’t be big aeroplanes coming in, there doesn’t have to be big aeroplanes, the fifty seaters that are coming in now are very very noisy, propeller planes.
Narrator
Aircraft noise is only one concern. In the summer of 2003 Swansea City Councillors were summoned to the airfield to inspect the proposed site of a new aircraft hanger.Similar in size to 144 bedroom houses, nature lovers are concerned that the huge construction work could affect the surrounding award-winning countryside.
Roy Jones
We have been concerned about the airport for many years because it is completely surrounded by a SAC – that is a special area of conservation; it contains the marsh fritillary butterfly which is quite a rare species in Europe generally.They have considered it as an area of outstanding natural beauty, but that is not an ecological designation, that is a landscape designation and they haven’t looked at ecology at all.
Narrator
At the Guild Hall the councillors find public demonstrations as they arrive to make their decision about the construction of the enormous hanger.
Darlene McCullough
Any other development of this size would go through rigorous control, there would be environmental studies done, there would be impact on the local economy and the local environment, but this is not happening in this case and we feel it is a case where the council are actually in favour of something because a local businessman is supporting it.
Roy Jones
On three days before the planning committee when the papers became available, we had a meeting with one of the chief planners. I asked about the ecology of the site and he said that an ecological report had been prepared by one of the ecological people in his department, Judy Sharrock.So we asked the receptionist to contact Judy Sharrock to find out where the report was and the message came back that the report had been lost.
Narrator
Swansea Council later admitted that the report had only ever consisted of a hastily written email from their ecologist, the unsigned note was inserted into the file before being presented to the planning committee. Inside the council chambers only one counsellor spoke out against the airport and the plans for the hanger were passed.Controversial plans to erect barbed wire fences surrounding the common were also given the green light. Friends of the Earth continued to request a full report on how the airport expansion would affect the surrounding ecology.
Roy Jones
Eventually we had a reply and this must have been three months after the planning meeting and the report said there was no ecological report.
Interviewer
Do you feel that you have been lied to?
Roy Jones
Oh well we have been deceived we feel, we have been deceived.
Narrator
David Gill, Head of Swansea Planning for Major Projects, declined to be interviewed and supplied this statement instead:'It is adopted council planning policy to support the retention and development of the airport subject to there being no unacceptable adverse environmental impact.'
Interviewer
Is there a fundamental problem with the airport being – that it's in the wrong place?
Martin Caton
Clearly if you were establishing an airport to service South West Wales now you wouldn’t build it at Fairwood on Gower, it would be closer to the M4.Having said that there clearly is that infrastructure there, it would cost an awful lot now to close it down because compensation would have to be paid by presumably the local authority if it chose to go down that road, and it does not because it strongly supports the role of Swansea airport as a regional airport.
Narrator
Political support for the industry is so strong that in 2003 the Government launched their thirty year aviation plan, also known as the White Paper. The document supports the expansion of nearly every main British airport.However, to gain permission to expand at Heathrow, the airline industry has to first lower the levels of toxic air already hanging over its neighbours.If the pollution can somehow be lowered, 700 homes surrounding Britain’s busiest airport will be demolished to make way for a third runway. The expansion plans also called for the closure and demolition of three schools and will forcibly evict thousands of people.
John Stewart
From every point of view the Government’s White Paper is a poor document, it is as relied on as entirely for its claims about economics of work done by the aviation industry, it hasn’t seriously tackled global warming, it has dismissed noise, it hasn’t really considered air pollution and my prediction would be that long before the thirty years is out, the aviation White Paper will be seen as a redundant document.
Narrator
John Stewart’s organisation has been set up to inform and represent the views of communities opposing the expansion plans at Heathrow.Whilst Clearskies concentrate on legal challenges, other groups are turning to a more direct form of action.After completing the thirty metre climb, five activists began a week-long occupation of a Heathrow crane to highlight how airline corporations are being heavily subsidised by the Government.Each year aviation companies avoid paying nine billion pounds in taxes. The directors are not required to pay VAT when purchasing their aircraft, while most of the vast quantities of fuel they consume remains entirely free of tax.
John Stewart
If that was imposed and if aviation fuel was taxed the same way as petrol for cars, the demand would be damped down to such an extent there would be no need for any more runways even in the South East over the next thirty years.The government is artificially stimulating demand through these tax concessions.
Narrator
To curb the predicted growth in air traffic, many have pointed towards rail and particularly high speed trains as a more sustainable solution for our travel needs.
John Stewart
45% of the journeys people make in the Euro-controlled countries, that’s the wider Europe, are 500 km or less in length, that is about 3 hours on a train.There is enormous scope to switch from short haul flights to high speed rail, the sadness is the government hasn’t really investigated alternatives to this growth seriously in any way at all.
Narrator
Ever since the first aircraft touched down on South Wales soil back in 1912, authorities have been swayed by the glamorous appeal of aviation. Perhaps enjoying the prestige of being a city-hopping official during the 1960s or busy launching airliners in the 80s, politicians somehow overlooked the need to place expansion restrictions on airports.Concerns have been raised about the role of Swansea Council in funding a commercial airport situated in the middle of a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, particularly since the region is already well served by Cardiff International Airport just forty minutes a way.As construction begins at the Fairwood Common airfield not everyone is pleased by Swansea Council support for pouring over £800,000 of public funds into the private company.
Marianne Walters
As somebody that’s needed to use our own capital and our own assets to start up a business, I resent public money being used for what is basically a commercial enterprise and a profit-making enterprise.
Narrator
As air traffic at Swansea Airport grows, the danger of accidents may also increase. Here a helicopter trying to land has crashed just in front of the control tower.
Male
Do you know if anybody is hurt?
Female airport employee
I don’t know, that is why we are staying, we don’t know what has happened.
Narrator
Fortunately, no one was injured in this collision and emergency services were on the scene within minutes.
Radio voice
The airport is blocked by an incident, it is completely blocked.
Male eyewitness
Well we were just standing, we heard the clatter and when I looked over the building all I could see was the rotor blades and debris flying up.
Narrator
As the fire service left, ground staff found that a number of other aircraft had also suffered considerable damage by flying debris.While the reporters are picking up the story and airport staff are picking up the pieces, one of the most serious impacts of uncontrolled aviation is generally being overlooked.
News reporter (female # )
The hottest day in history.
News reporter (female #2 )
101 degrees Fahrenheit, it is the hottest day ever recorded in Britain.
News reporter (female #1 )
It’s never been hotter in Britain.
News reporter (female #3 )
Temperatures for the last week are already around 10 degrees above average.
News reporter (male #1)
So it’s clear that global warming is reality.
Narrator
The hottest years on record have all occurred since 1990 and the rise in temperature of our seas is creating extreme weather patterns worldwide.While it is accepted that this heating up may be a natural process, scientists are convinced that the addition of our own pollution is a cause for concern.
Professor Mike Hambery
What’s happening now is that it is being accelerated by the increased greenhouse effect as a result of pollution of the atmosphere, particularly the input of carbon dioxide and we are now seeing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which are higher than at any other time in the last two million years.
Narrator
Professor Hambery joins the majority of world scientists in agreement that increased carbon dioxide will raise the earth’s temperature by a minimum of 1.4 degrees over the coming decade. And while 1.4 degrees may seem like very little to be concerned about, we have to go back 15 million years to find a comparably warm client.
Prof Hambery
15 million years ago there were no northern hemisphere ice sheets, there was no Greenland ice sheets, there were no mountain glaciers or anything like that, that water was in the sea, resulting in higher sea levels at that time.
Narrator
As debate continues about just how fast the polar ice sheets are melting today, Professor Hambery raises concerns about the glaciers and ice caps close to home.
Prof Hambery
The smaller glaciers, particularly the mountain glaciers and ice caps in places like the Alps or Norway, North America, these are now rapidly disappearing, but if these melt we are talking about sea level rises predicted to be of the order of ¼ to ½ metre by the year 2100.
Narrator
The increased volume of water in our seas is already damaging our coastlines with knock on effects being felt further inland.In 2004 the Treasury Department calculated the national cost of global warming caused by air travel alone is 1.4 billion pounds every year. Yet the airline industry only contributes half of that amount back to the Treasury each year.In a bid to avoid paying the costs, a number of corporations have decided to deny the very existence of global warming.
Mark Lynas
Global warming is definitely with us now, I mean there is some very striking changes which you can see just in terms of the weather, somewhere like here in Britain for example there has been a big increase in the amount of flooding that we have been seeing in the winter months and actually it has been doubling since over the last 30 years and in other places, other parts of the world it has been getting drier as a direct result.
Narrator
During the research for his book, Mark Lynas travelled across five continents investigating the impact of global warming.Trekking in the Peruvian Andes he returned to a glacier which his own father had photographed back in 1980.
Mark Lynas
This glacier which I went back to to see what it looked like, had completely disappeared, I was expecting some kind of change but it had disappeared and the same kinds of impacts are being seen now on mountain ranges right across the world.It is a global phenomenon, this is a global change in temperature that is affecting all of the earth quite dramatically.
Narrator
Back in Wales, sea defences are now proving to be so inadequate that millions of pounds of public money is being spent on the construction of ever higher barriers.Cheaper airfares are encouraging more of us to fly each year and the resulting carbon dioxide pollution is growing at an alarming rate.Some fear that a conflict of interest may stop the government from supporting less polluting forms of transport.
John Stewart
The government is very close to the aviation industry, it sees the aviation industry as a key component of globalisation which it believes in, and also it is very aware that if it did try to stop cheap flights, it might be branded as stopping people having their holidays in the sun.
Narrator
But people are seeking out alternative ways of exploring our planet. When a young couple emigrated from Britain to Australia, they chose the most environmentally friendly mode of transport in the world to get them there.After thousands of miles in the saddle, the effects of burning fossil fuels was all too clear by the time they reached India.
Lowanna King
Kev and I have had earache, constant sore nose, swollen glands and we don’t have a cold we don’t have any illness, it is just that is how polluted it is here in Delhi. It is quite scary that people have to live here.
Narrator
Arriving in Iran they felt sure of their decision to try a different method of transport other than the aeroplane.
Kevin Doye
Well I am standing in the middle of Isfahan’s famous Zayandeh River, or at least I am standing where the river used to be, there hasn’t been any rain in some parts of Iran for over two years and the views from the tea house under the bridge aren’t quite as green and pleasant as they used to be.With local fears about global warming and climate change, it has confirmed to us our decision to cycle and not fly back to Australia.
Narrator
Shortly after the couple left Iran, flash floods swept across the country killing 120 people. It is this unpredictable nature of our change in climate which has finally brought governments of the world together.Since 1991 the United Nations climate talks have been trying to negotiate agreed targets for the reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.Despite thousands of people dying in landslides, floods and heat waves every year, and over one million plant and animal species facing extinction, a decade of discussion has produced little in the way of a workable solution.
Protestors
No more blah blah blah, action now!
Narrator
Every climate change conference held in every country has seen public demonstrations urging governments to implement real solutions.
Male protestor
We have to stay here until they can decide something for real and not just blah blah blah.
Narrator
In London climate campaigners are now targeting businessmen who they believe have been involved in hindering the climate change agreements.[Sir Mark Moody Stuart is hit by a cream pie thrown by a protestor]
Interviewer
What do you think Mr Stuart? What is your reaction?
Sir Mark Moody Stuart
Surprised, people are welcome to express their opinions, I hope they got the right person.
Narrator
Climate activists have pointed out the former chairman of Shell Oil, claiming his influence is allowing multi-national corporations to dodge responsibility for climate change.All across Europe, activists from campaign group Rising Tide have been using videos to encourage community groups, individuals and organisations to take more direct forms of action in tackling climate change.
George Marshall
Every year thousands of people fly from around the world to go to what is enormous jamboree climate change talk shops and then they all fly back.Very, very little is changing as far as I can see the main beneficiaries of this international process at the moment are the companies who fly them there.
Narrator
The financial world’s response to the crisis has been to invent a scheme for turning our pollution into profit.Planned to begin in 2005, their carbon trading scheme will allow each country to produce a legal amount of carbon dioxide pollution each year, go over the limit and heavy fines will be imposed, but any country that does succeed in reducing its emissions, can sell its carbon credits to balance the levels of the more polluting nations.
George Marshall
On the face of it carbon trading seems like quite a good idea; everybody gets an amount that they are allowed to pollute and people who manage to reduce below that level get to trade the difference. So you could say well it is an incentive for reducing.The problem is that by setting that level, we are setting in concrete the principle that those people are allowed to pollute in the first place.
Narrator
Granting industries the right to legally pollute is just one of many concerns about the scheme.Carbon trading may also allow large corporations to take ownership of our atmosphere.
George Marshall
As soon as you start allocating the property rights, you are actually privatising the atmosphere and really what you are creating is a vast new speculative carbon market and the ultimate beneficiaries of that are not going to be the climate, they are not going to be the developing countries, they are actually going to be the world’s financial community.
Narrator
George and his colleagues in the Rising Tide network have been taking their message directly to the people attempting to profiteer from climate change.Representatives from the United Nations and the government met with the oil companies in a hotel basement to discuss the implementation of carbon trading, instead the delegates received a presentation they hadn’t planned on.
George Marshall
The big issue that really faces all of you is we hear many many times the argument that well we have to have this, we have to have this because it is the only way that we can go ahead, the simple fact of the matter is that we believe this is not going to work and what you are discussing here is simply not going to work – it is diversionary tactic to draw attention from the real needs whilst at the same time it isn’t going to work.This is a protest because we actually believe that there is a right to express some kind of emotional engagement with this as well and we also didn’t seriously believe that if we did this any other way that you would actually listen to our point.
Male official
Excuse me Sir, can I stop you there...
George Marshall
We are totally in denial about climate change about what it means, every scientist is telling us that this is a huge crisis, every scientific institution is telling us we have to do something about it and yet nothing changesIt is like people who are suffering from lung cancer and they just keep smoking, we keep doing it.
Male official
Ladies and gentleman, I am very sorry for that, you have our apologies.
Narrator
In the Netherlands the largest single producer of carbon dioxide is Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. When construction was set to begin on its fifth runway, climate activists broke into the airport just before dawn.Concerns about global warming are so strong that previous demonstrations even forced the national airline to ground its aircraft; on this occasion the Dutch environmentalists blockaded a main runway, forcing the airport to shut down its operation.[Male protestor speaks in Dutch with on-screen captions] When Manchester Airport planned to put a second runway through this valley, the public launched the largest civil disobedience campaign against aviation ever seen across Britain.People from all over the country came to defend the forests. Anne Wynne-Jones even left her job in North Wales to live amongst the trees.[Anne Wynne-Jones speaks in Welsh with on-screen captions]
Male protestor
Mindless vandalism is what has been committed by the people that want to build this runway, what we are doing maybe classified to them as criminal damage, but it is morally justified and morally defensible.
Narrator
Masked men were hired in an attempt to bring a swift end to the demonstrations, however, the protest still continued on for two years costing the airport over 7 million poundsBut did the demonstrations and the destruction of the countryside persuade Manchester Airport to rethink its expansion plans?
Sally Sykes
I would take issue with the notion that we are destroying the countryside, I mean clearly putting a runway down does involve some disruption but the reason why we have got our planning permission is because an inspector concluding his planning report said the case for the second runway was overwhelming.
Narrator
The second runway at Manchester was eventually built, but protests against airport expansion had continued elsewhere such as in Swansea.As construction continues at the airport on the Gower Peninsular, local people are being trained by activists from Manchester to take more radical steps in their protest.
Ian Williams
There seems to be no route for us to go through the proper channels, the council is not listening to us, I have written three letters to assembly members with no answer at all, I think it is time to upgrade what we are doing, to take a stronger action.
Female protestor
That’s great.
Larch Jukes Maxey
'One thing you might want to do is what you did then, which is the person with the key then goes off away somewhere so actually they can’t check you for the key but we can access it if we need to.'Everyone knows that it is bad to drive a car, but what people don’t realise is that aviation is actually far more polluting, it is the most polluting way to travel. We are trying to get that message across as well as directly opposing expansion of Swansea airport, so I am here to help train these people, these local people and show that if everyone does something, we can actually stop it.
News reporter
Air Wales is closing its operation in Swansea and moving services to Cardiff, the company says not enough people were making the most of the cheap flights from Swansea Airport to places like Amsterdam and Dublin.
Narrator
In the history of powered flight, we have advanced rapidly from that first twelve second journey in 1903 to the enormous fuel burning airliners of today.Within that short time we have produced enough pollution to dangerously alter our fragile atmosphere.If aviation is to continue serving us, the airline industry will have to accept the true cost to our planet and the cost to a generation of people not yet born.
End transcript: Reach for the Sky (36 minutes 37 seconds)
Reach for the Sky (36 minutes 37 seconds)
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Now, have a look at the video produced by the British Airports Authority (BAA) in 2005 on Heathrow Terminal 5. (Note this video is presented as eight separate short sequences.) How does this video compare to the Reach for the Sky video in terms of social, temporal and spatial dimensions?

Download this video clip.Video player: Heathrow Terminal 5 – Passenger experience
Skip transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 – Passenger experience (3 minutes 54 seconds)

Transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 – Passenger experience (3 minutes 54 seconds)

Narrator
Terminal 5 is not the beginning or end of a journey, but a point of transit in a longer journey. That said it would be a very spectacular point providing the passenger with a special experience in travel.The first wow factor will surely be the breathtaking glazed façade and sweeping wave form roof over the spacious terminal building. But what will really wow passengers will be the way that Terminal 5 combines beauty with accessibility and ease of use.The whole terminal has been designed as a public transport interchange, that seamlessly combines rail, bus, coach and taxi services. BAA’s vision is that up to 50% of service journeys to T5 will be made by public transport, so public transport has been given a top priority.Passengers arriving by rail on the Heathrow Express or the Piccadilly Line, will alight to a stunning new rail station under the main terminal building and with the construction of two additional platforms, provision has even been made for potential future high speed rail links. High speed lifts and glazed walkways lead to the departure check-ins and security areas.Once there, fast track facilities such as the option of customer activated check-ins will provide autonomy and choice, whilst the intuitive customer friendly layout will allow passengers to proceed directly from check-in, through security to the magnificent departures lounge and gates. All this whilst enjoying superb views of the world’s busiest international airport.Arriving passengers too will experience easy access to the terminal to public transport options beyond. In front of the terminal building is a beautifully landscaped interchange plaza where all the modes of transport intersect, this 30 metre wide pedestrian area will provide a landscaped open space between the multi-storey car park and terminal façade.In addition to the express lifts to the rail stations, glazed link bridges spanning the interchange area will connect to bus, coach and taxi facilities to be found integrated into the forecourts of the new multi-storey car park. Access to and from the 4,000 space car park will be from a brand new dedicated spur from the M25.As well as the main terminal building, Terminal 5 will have two satellites, the first of which will open at the same time as the main terminal in 2008. The design of the satellite building will echo that of the main terminal and the two will be linked by a track transit system, an automated driverless people mover.The satellite building is marginally longer but half the width of the main terminal, built on seven levels, three below apron level and four above; the satellite will serve as the main transfer baggage hub for British Airways South East operation. The whole of Heathrow and connecting passengers will benefit from this superb addition to the world’s busiest international airport.Terminal 5 will free capacity and therefore enable the redevelopment of the existing terminals. The icing on the cake will be a brand new control tower to serve the whole airport. It will be equipped with the very latest technology and offer controllers one of the best views from any control tower in the world.
End transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 – Passenger experience (3 minutes 54 seconds)
Heathrow Terminal 5 – Passenger experience (3 minutes 54 seconds)
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
Download this video clip.Video player: Heathrow Terminal 5
Skip transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 – Health, safety and welfare

Transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 – Health, safety and welfare

Health, Safety and Welfare

Narrator
Setting new standards for construction is at the heart of the Terminal 5 project, nowhere more so than in the areas of health, safety, training and welfare. At peak, Terminal 5’s 4.2 billion pound construction programme will employ some 5,000 site workers and take an estimated 37 million man hours to construct. That is 37 million man hours during which BAA considers that even one accident or injury is one too many. The aim is to create a culture where safety is considered a core value by everyone working on T5.Before starting work, new employees must attend Terminal 5’s award winning pre-employment induction course. Terminal 5 also boasts the UK’s first on-site test centre for the construction skills certification scheme (CSCS). A valid CSCS card provides employees with an industry recognised health and safety skills accreditation. Many other skills can be acquired through on the job NVQ training; honing of everybody’s skills benefits the project and the individual’s CV.Each project and sub project has different requirements so additional inductions and training for specific work areas have been developed. Regular top up or tool box talks provide opportunities for health and safety refreshers and updates.BAA has also introduced a new culture change programme called Incident and Injury Free. This is a drive to eliminate even the possibility of an accident. IIF is not just about reducing the number of accidents, it is about changing attitudes and behaviour to prevent long established methods being blindly followed.100% safety record is the aim of the team and to achieve this everyone working on T5 attends courses and workshops to enable this vision to become as close a reality as humanly possible.The welfare of T5’s huge workforce is also high on the agenda. There are six separate site compounds each with first class changing rooms, showers and a canteen, the largest of the canteens can feed 400 people at each sitting.At the Occupational Health Centre, a dedicated team comprising of seven nurses, an occupational health doctor and visiting GP, provide an exceptional service including regular health awareness campaigns as well as emergency response.Site workers are also offered free medicals or can just pop in for advice.
Angie Young
I think what singles T5 out as special is that BAA had the foresight to actually decide that they were going to provide the occupational health service themselves; it's a service that is going to bring in advice to designers, advice to procurement, pre-employment medicals for people who have safety critical jobs – so the approach that this has taken is, I think quite visionary because it is giving them a whole scope of services that they wouldn’t have on any other construction job in the UK and maybe even Europe.
Narrator
BAA would like people to go home each day safe and preferably healthier than when they started.
Mike Evans
Achieving better health and safety standards is not a technical problem, it is a case of getting commitment from everyone involved.If it can’t be done safely, don’t do it; that has to become more than just a slogan on T5, people have to believe that we're serious about it.
End transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 – Health, safety and welfare
Heathrow Terminal 5 – Health, safety and welfare
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Skip transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5- Training and education

Transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5- Training and education

Training and Education

Narrator
As well as providing on site training for Terminal 5 workers, BAA has an eye to the future.Its aim is to ensure that local people benefit from the employment opportunities that T5 and Heathrow provide.Commitment to training starts pre-employment and BAA has a training and skills strategy which is focused on its local labour market.The local labour strategy is delivered through the Heathrow Employment Forum, comprising BAA Heathrow, the Learning and Skills Council for Berkshire, West London and Surrey, and other key agencies responsible for planning and for funding recruitment and training. Through the forum BAA is investing £150,000 a year in training initiatives.
Joe Hardman
And the role of the forum is to really deliver the local labour strategy, and by bringing those agencies together it actually means we can have a far larger impact, that we can draw down far more substantial, financial resources in particular, so that the £150,000 that we put into the process, that’s very much a sequel. The total amount of investment that the other partners bring to bear, probably total several million pounds each year.
Narrator
Already four construction training centres have been set up in the local community for 14–16 year olds with a fifth due to open shortly.In addition, BAA is supporting ten local schools in their bids for specialist status and has created a bursary scheme which supports five students each year to study construction related disciplines at university.
Joe Hardman
What you can see behind me here is the Heathrow Construction Training Centre, this is a specialist construction training centre for apprentices which is the 16–19 age group.It takes in around 80 young people each year and puts them through a programme which leads to a full apprenticeship qualification which is the industry standard and it is up to NVQ level 2 or NVQ level 3.The aspiration of this centre is that actually we serve to increase the pool of construction workers for the future.
Paul Rutherford
The key skills and qualifications that the guys need to have which is the CSCS card. They won’t be allowed on site without it because it is geared towards their health and safety, so by the time they leave here they should be, like, really qualified trainees so to speak, well they'll be professional by the time they leave here, hopefully.
Apprentice
I always enjoy working with my hands and in the carpentry and in the building so I thought I would come here, it's good.I have done the health and safety test and passed that which is important.
Joe Hardman
Terminal 5 itself opens in 2008, then that in itself will create new employment and new training opportunities for local people. It is a few years away, but we need to start planning now, so we have already started to work for example with some of the retailers at Heathrow and we can make sure too that local people can benefit from those opportunities to the fullest.
Apprentice
I am hoping to work at Terminal 5.
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Skip transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Logistics

Transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Logistics

Logistics

Narrator
Heathrow Terminal 5 is currently Europe’s largest and most complex infrastructure programme.At 260 hectares, the T5 site is about the same size as London’s Hyde Park. However, it is physically constrained in its location between two of the world’s busiest runways, with existing terminals to the east, Europe’s busiest motorway interchange to the west and a local residential community.Within this space, 36 different work areas handle construction of terminal buildings, tunnels, support services, road and aircraft stands. The project needs a reliable and efficient supply of materials daily, but there is very little room to store materials on site.Environmental considerations have also been taken into account to minimise congestion that could be caused by the volume of site traffic and deliveries.To meet these challenges, T5 has implemented innovative logistic solutions that include as much off-site prefabrication and reassembly as possible, two off-site logistics or materials consolidation centres, web-based production control software, and a single well-managed entrance and exit plaza.Examples of off-site prefabrication include lining segments for seven of the project's nine tunnels, wall units for two new river channels, roof cassettes for the main terminal building and fully equipped building services modules, the largest of which are 130 tons.Prefabricated units are sometimes delivered directly to site when they arrive by rail or road at the nearby Colnbrook Logistics Centre, which was designed and built to purpose by BAA. Bulk materials such as cement, pulverised peel ash and aggregate are brought in by rail, stored for up to a few days and delivered to site when and where required.Colnbrook also boasts the state of the art rebar facility for fabrication of steel reinforcement into pre-assembled cages. The factory offers a safe weatherproof environment which at peak has produced 500 tons of rebar per day.A second consolidation centre, Heathrow South Logistics Centre, has a further rebar facility dedicated to the automated manufacture of pile cages needed for the heavy civils phase of the construction programme. As the T5 project moves from the civils phase to buildings and fit out phases, this consolidation centre will be used primarily for the assembly of materials into work packages ready for delivery to site.The well-equipped entry and exit plaza can, at peak, cope with one delivery every thirty seconds. Key to all this activity is the web-based project flow software, this is used to control the work flow across the project and to ensure that the exact quantities of materials are delivered to the right places at just the right times. No waste, no delays. No need to store materials on site.BAA logistics strategy is: to respect the community, to look after the environment by minimising traffic movements and eliminating waste, to create safer working conditions, to control quality and to improve the reliability and efficient use of materials.This approach is delivering productivity levels that are an unprecedented 15-25% higher than a typical UK construction site. With such a complex construction programme, this logistics strategy will ensure that Terminal 5 opens on time in March 2008.
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Skip transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Archaeology

Transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Archaeology

Archaeology

Narrator
Changing use of the land is nothing new at Heathrow.New evidence has shown that ways of life have changed many times over thousands of years.In building for the future, Terminal 5 has presented a unique archaeological opportunity to better understand the past and preserve the ancient history of Heathrow for future generations.Archaeology and construction don’t usually make good bedfellows, but BAA and its construction partners have pioneered a seamless integration of the two activities. In April 2002 a team of 80 archaeologists set to work, harnessing satellite technology to map the site before excavating the relevant areas, which would in turn be handed over to construction teams.On-site facilities have been provided including the traditional shed for cleaning and sifting artefacts and sophisticated IT resources for real time analysis of data.
Ken Welsh
We have excavated nearly 100 hectares which really is a very large area, and that is 100 hectares of a prehistoric and Roman landscape, and because we have dug such a lot, instead of just as archaeologists normally do, just see a key hole, they might see a small bit of a settlement here or part of a field here, we have been able to see the whole landscape, so we have seen all the settlements, how they relate to each other, how the track ways run between the settlements and how that landscape has changed over the years, how people have modified it, dug new ditches, built new buildings, and that gives us a real insight into the way people lived.
Narrator
Excavations have revealed that the area was inhabited from the middle of the Mesolithic age circa 6000 BC and that the earliest farmers appeared to be from the Neolithic or New Stone Age period dated from 4000 to 2400 BC.
Archaeologist
Well one of the most important monuments on this site is the monument known as Stanwell Cursis – this is a monument which spans for about 3½ miles and was constructed about 5000 years ago as some sort of processional causeway across the landscape where the Neolithic people could visit the site’s important event in the landscape.
Narrator
During excavations over 80,000 artefacts have been found dating throughout history and including a bronze age finger ring, pottery 3½ thousand years old, Neolithic arrow heads, and Roman and Saxon broaches.
Archaeologist
Some of the really nice things that we have found have been in waterholes and the wet conditions in the bottom of the waterholes preserves wood and leather and other sort of organic material which normally gets destroyed over time. And so we have found Bronze Age axe halves, wood axe halves and wooden bowls, ladders that people actually got up and down into the water holes and so you know it has been fantastic.
Narrator
The waterhole being excavated here is on the site where two rivers have been diverted ahead of the construction programme. Whilst on either side of the area construction work continues apace on land that has already been researched and documented.
Archaeologist
It is a real privilege to be part of it here, because you really get a feeling that we are rewriting history and the understanding of human inhabitation in this part of London.
End transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Archaeology
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Transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Rivers

Rivers

Narrator
One of the most time-critical sub projects of the Terminal 5 construction programme has been the twin river diversion scheme.Until April 2004 two rivers ran right through the middle of the site, literally bisecting it. It was imperative that the rivers be sensitively moved at the earliest opportunity. The Duke of Northumberland’s river, is manmade and was constructed in the 1530s to divert water from the River Colne to feed the River Crane and the royal residence at Syon House. The Longford River also manmade, was built in 1638 by Charles I to feed the fountains at Bushey Park and to take water to Hampton Court Palace. The Duke of Northumberland’s river belongs to the environment agency and the Longford River to the crown. BAA worked closely with the Environment Agency and the Royal Parks Agency to agree a scheme that would both improve the rivers and divert them into two new channels around the western perimeter of the airport. This meant also diverting 4 kms of the airport’s western perimeter road without causing disruption to local traffic or site delivery.On-site, the original rivers had run in tunnels under the northern and southern runways and in open channels through what was then the sewage treatment works.When construction began the rivers were protected from the surrounding T5 construction by a 10 metre exclusion zone and endangered wildlife species were carefully relocated.The newly-built river channels are 3 kms long, longer in fact than the original rivers. 2/3 of the channels have been created in some vertical concrete walls and the other 1/3 enjoys natural river banks.Locally-sourced materials including clay and terrace gravel were used to line the new channels and in-channel enhancements were introduced to improve the ecology and flow of the rivers. These include reclaimed timber and stone filled baskets to provide new habitats for fish, plants and macro invertebrates.When everything was in place the new channels were filled with water from the original rivers. Fresh water duck muscles, about a thousand of them were translocated from the old river beds to the new. Thousands of fish too including pike, dace, perch and even eels were carefully caught and then set free in the rivers to naturally repopulate the new channels.Silt and gravels from the original rivers, rich in macro invertebrates such as shrimp and snails, were also translocated to the new channels. Pallets of pre-grown native plants were placed on the river beds and on banks to provide additional ecological value. The area has also been carefully landscaped with trees, shrubs and plants to provide a high quality landscape.Just 18 months after work commenced, both the Longford and Duke of Northumberland rivers were switched to the new channels. Back on site the old river channels could then be made available to T5's archaeology team for further exploration; an unmissable opportunity before eager construction teams complete the works between the main terminal and the first satellite building.The new rivers are now thriving.
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Skip transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Partnership – risk management

Transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Partnership – risk management

Partnership-Risk Management

Narrator
At a cost of 4.2 billion pounds, Terminal 5 represents a huge programme of construction work.At the outset, BAA recognised that an infrastructure project of this scale and complexity represented a sizeable risk, it would inevitably be an uncertain environment so completing Terminal 5 on time, safely, to a high quality and within budget would require a fresh approach to project management.To enable all parties to work effectively together, applying best practice across the entire project, BAA established a contractual partnership with its key suppliers known as the T5 agreement. This contract is unique in construction.
Tony Douglas
The T5 agreement in principle is very simple. It acknowledges that BAA holds all the risk, all of the time, it acknowledges that BAA is both the clients, the project manager and at times also a team member and it acknowledges that we can only truly deliver a programme of this scale and this complexity with partners.
Narrator
With the burden of risk lifted, the many suppliers and contractors working on T5 are able to put their joint effort and energy into creating solutions.Risk is being effectively managed, enabling BAA and its suppliers to avoid the traditional UK construction culture of blame and litigation in the face of difficulties. This is a first in UK construction history.Under the T5 agreement, all parties work together as a single integrated team to make the best possible use of expertise and resources. A good example of how this has worked is the innovative design, fabrication and erection of the terminal roof. From the earliest stage architects and designers met regularly with fabricators and constructors, enable each to understand the other’s aspirations and requirements, nothing has been left to chance. The 22 abutments that support the roof are a good example, as they are particularly complex. So to ensure the best possible quality and safe efficient construction, a trial run was commissioned – at a cost of £4 million, one of the abutments was manufactured ahead of programme and then erected offsite in the Yorkshire countryside.One of the challenges was learning how to manage complex lifts within permitted heights so as not to interfere with airport radar. BAA and its partners learnt over 140 lessons from the exercise, designs were refined and construction methods modified before the structure was disassembled and transported to the T5 site at Heathrow where the same team would construct the entire roof. The expensive delays and modifications often incurred on major projects has been avoided as successive 2500 ton roof modules have been raised between the abutments.But the terminal roof is just one sub project within this massive undertaking.Terminal 5 has been broken down into 16 projects with over 170 sub projects. UK best practice is a minimum target to be improved upon wherever possible and key milestones have been set with incentive schemes to reward teamwork and achievement.Results of the pioneering T5 agreement won’t be fully recognised until the terminal opens in March 2008, but examples of its success are already visible.
End transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Partnership – risk management
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Skip transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Summary

Transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Summary

Summary

Mike Davies
The challenge has been to produce a building which is dynamic, robust, sustainable, and flexible, which is a delight for passengers to walk through, a place they really want to go through in preference to other airports and which is a memorable place whilst being efficient and effective at its job.
Tony Douglas
Working for T5 is great; the enthusiasm on everybody’s face, the urgency that has now emerged in the project is simply overwhelming, I don’t know frankly whether there has ever been another project quite like this and I can’t wait to see the project complete in 2008.
End transcript: Heathrow Terminal 5 - Summary
Heathrow Terminal 5 - Summary
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Discussion

To me, the Reach for the Sky documentary provides a very comprehensive coverage of social, temporal and spatial dimensions. It outlines the historical developments of aviation (post-World War 2) to the present day, the local and global impacts of aviation, and the wide range of social units involved. The last include the perspective of individuals, environmental non-governmental organisations, private businesses and local, regional and national government bodies, not only in the UK but from other countries in Europe and beyond.

BAA’s Heathrow Terminal 5 video focuses, however, on the local social, economic and environmental aspects, with limited consideration of the regional, national and international context and impacts of such a development.

You should now have a flavour of the contrasting pressures the UK government was under during the ‘Aviation White Paper’ process and the complex issues of scale that it had to contend with. The next section will illustrate the steps taken by the UK government and the contribution of a range of stakeholders towards the development of the Aviation White Paper.

Activity 2 should have given you an indication of the various scales in operation. At the most basic level, there are individuals deciding whether or not to fly and/or oppose or promote the aviation industry. At a higher organisational level, there are private enterprises who have a financial imperative while at the same time attempting to deal with pressures from clients, shareholders and government (through regulations) (see Box 1). At a more complex organisational scale, there are governments themselves developing national strategies and negotiating at local, regional, national and international level. Although this case study focuses on a national government’s decision-making process, the other scales of operation should not be forgotten.

Box 4 BAA’s Environmental Management System

BAA was one of the world’s first airport operators to establish an Environmental Management System (EMS) to monitor and control the environmental impacts of its operations. An EMS can be used as a tool to ensure compliance with environmental legislation, where the worst infringements may result in fines, licence revocations and imprisonment. Other benefits of an EMS include cost reductions through increasing efficiency and an improvement in public image. By 2001, BAA had established an informal EMS integrating environmental health and safety management programmes with annual publications stating environmental objectives and targets, which were audited independently. A UNEP/Sustainability Ltd survey published in 2000 identified BAA’s EMS as one of the most comprehensive and ambitious in the world (UNEP/Sustainability, 2000).

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