The_case_for_LAA

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					London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                     Closer to You, Closer to the Market
                   Preface. London Ashford
                   Airport (Lydd) offers a fresh
                   choice to airlines looking to
                   serve the London and
                   southeast England markets
                                               London Ashford Airport (Lydd) is      In short, the airport (popularly known as LAA)
                                   ≥
                                               being developed especially for you,   represents a value-added aviation alternative
                                               the airline. The management team      that offers airlines a vast and constantly
                                   here fully appreciates the extent of your         growing catchment area, coupled with
                                   financial pressures, the result of working in     significant fuel savings.
                                   an ever more competitive market, many of
                                   which are outside your control.                   LAA is therefore ideally placed to serve the
                                                                                     ever-strengthening passenger demand for
                                   Accordingly, we are developing our airport to     easily accessible, time-efficient regional
                                   an effective cost vision, in a prime location     airports that offer ultra-modern services.
                                   that offers some of the shortest sector
                                   lengths from the UK to a wide range of            A proactive, not reactive management style
                                   European destinations on the Mediterranean        characterises the exciting changes that are
                                   and beyond.                                       currently taking place at London Ashford
                                                                                     Airport (Lydd). So if you represent an airline
                                   Our location is a huge asset. Free from the       that is looking to take the same people to the
                                   hefty air navigational charges that airlines      same places, whilst cutting costs and saving
                                   incur within the London Terminal                  fuel, then you might just want to consider
                                   Manoeuvring Area (TMA), the airport is well       switching your operations to LAA.
                                   placed to serve the massive southeast
                                   England catchment area, particularly the          Closer to You
                                   Kent and East Sussex markets.                     Closer to The Market
Photo: Roy Hinds
Location LAA.




             Reykjavik
                   ICELAND




                                              NORWEGIAN SEA


                                                                                               FINLAND
                                                                       SWEDEN

                                                          NORWAY
                                                                                              Helsinki
                                                             Oslo
                                                                                                   Tallinn        RUSSIA
                                                                              Stockholm       ESTONIA

                                                                                                   LATVIA
                                                                                                   Riga
             IRELAND                     NORTH SEA
                                                       DENMARK                BALTIC LITHUANIA
                   Dublin                                     Copenhagen       SEA        Vilnius
                                                                                   RUSSIA
                              UNITED
                                                                                                     Minsk
                             KINGDOM
                                           Amsterdam
                                London                                                                   BELARUS
                                             NETHERLANDS
                                                              Berlin           POLAND
                                              Brussels GERMANY                            Warsaw
                                          BELGIUM                                                                       Kiev
                                 Paris    LUXEMBOURG                   Prague                            UKRAINE
                                                                    CZECH REP.
                                                                             SLOVAKIA
                                                                    Vienna       Bratislava
                                 FRANCE
                                                  Bern
                                                                  AUSTRIA       Budapest
                                            SWITZERLAND
                                                              Ljubljana        HUNGARY
                                                                             Zagreb                ROMANIA
                                                           SLOVENIA
                                                                                                           Bucharest
PORTUGAL                                                         CROATIA Sarajevo Belgrade
                                                                      BOSNIA AND  SERBIA AND
             Madrid                                       ITALY      HERZEGOVINA MONTENEGRO                  BULGARIA
  Lisbon
           SPAIN                                                                                   Sofia
                                                              Rome     ADRIATIC                Skopje
                                                                         SEA
                                                                                 Tiranë    F.Y.R.O.M



                         MEDITERRANEAN SEA                                                GREECE AEGEAN
                                                                                                         SEA

                                                                                                         Athens
Welcome messages.




                                ≥           London Ashford Airport (Lydd) is
                                            located in the heart of one of the
                                            fastest growing regions of the UK.
                                We have invested in our airport heavily, and
                                continue to invest in the development of
                                modern air- and landside facilities, which
                                will provide the aviation industry with a new
                                opportunity to operate efficiently in the
                                southeast region of the UK, whilst providing
                                local communities with a convenient and
                                well-connected airport facility that meets all
                                their air travel requirements.

Zaher Deir                      Our investment will play a significant role in
Managing Director               the regeneration of Kent and establish new
London Ashford Airport (Lydd)   sources of employment and economic
                                development for many years to come. At the
                                same time, our management team is
                                working very hard to ensure that all aspects
                                of our continued development will be
                                conducted in a sound and environmentally
                                responsible manner.

                                We invite airlines to take a fresh look at
                                London Ashford Airport (Lydd). Incoming
                                carriers can be confident in our dynamic
                                progress and expansion, which is backed by
                                strong and reliable financial resources. All
                                stand to benefit from a business model that
                                is dedicated to serving the modern
                                requirements of the aviation industry.

                                I look forward to welcoming you to London
                                Ashford Airport (Lydd).



                                           The business community in this
                                ≥




                                           part of the Kent coast clearly
                                           relishes the prospects of Lydd
                                Airport's ambitious expansion programme.
                                Quite simply, it's all about jobs and the
                                subsequent prosperity they will bring to a
                                rural area that has been in decline for too
                                long.

                                The Channel Chamber of Commerce, along
                                with other key partners, has been working
                                closely with the management team to create
                                a dialogue with stakeholders at local, county
Peter Hobbs                     and regional level and I am delighted to
Chief Executive                 confirm that an overwhelming majority fully
Channel Chamber of Commerce     support the tremendous boost this initiative
                                will provide to our local economy.
GDP:Aviation
Space Solutions
Sefton Lane
Maghull
Liverpool L31 8BX
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0) 151 526 7788
F: +44 (0) 151 526 7799
E: mail@gdpeurope.com
www.gdpeurope.com

Consultant David Bentley
Project Director André Morrall
Editor Iestyn Adams
Graphic Design Andrew Cothliff
Managing Editor John Bannon
Administration Manager Paula Wildman
Managing Director Debbie Bannon
Project Co-ordinator Tim Gill (LAA)

Acknowledgements
The publishers would like to thank the
very many people at companies and
organisations who supplied information
and imagery in support of this
publication. Particular photographic
credit goes to Roy Hinds at LAA and to
Locate in Kent.

© Graphic Detail 2006

The opinions expressed within this publication are not
necessarily those of the publishers. No liability can be
accepted for any inaccuracies or omissions.

No part of this publication may be reproduced,
transmitted by any means, or stored in any information
retrieval system, without the written consent of the
copyright owners.

GDP:Aviation is a trade name of Graphic Detail (UK) Ltd.
Contents.




            8   Overview                                    42 Kent
                LAA is well placed to recapture its             Delivering a dynamic and multi-
                historically strong market share                faceted vision to transform Kent

            12 Airport fact file                            46 Regional vision
                Essential airport data for incoming             Developing London Ashford Airport
                carriers to consider                            (Lydd) will benefit local communities

            14 New route opportunities                      50 Corporate commitment
                Highlighting a few of the many                  Environmental issues and the efforts
                possible routes waiting to be taken up          made by LAA to resolve them

            16 Route development                            52 Biodiversity
                Presenting the case for a selection of          The airport will be an environmentally
                potentially lucrative services at LAA           sound neighbour in this unique region

            24 Voices of support                            53 Tourism
                ...from the Ashford Rural Trust and             Kent and East Sussex provide world-
                the Channel Corridor Partnership                class attractions for every taste

            25 Ancillary revenue                            56 1066 Country
                Non-aviation income streams at the              Immerse yourself in a uniquely
                airport will help to ensure profitability       historic and beautiful region

            28 Lydd FBO                                     58 Summary
                Highly luxurious and discreet services          LAA’s dynamic, but sustainable
                for the executive aviation market               expansion is great news for airlines

            30 First market mover
                On the benefits of being the first to fly
                here and the support you can expect

            32 Location, location, location...
                Profiling the dynamic UK southeast
                region on LAA’s doorstep

            34 Fuel efficiency
                No congestion, less pollution. Cost
                and environmental benefits

            36 Parsons Brinckerhoff
                The world-famous engineering firm
                that set out the airport’s future

            38 Foster Yeoman Contracting
                Who efficiently and cost-effectively
                carried out the runway rejuvenation

            40 NATS
                Profiling this leading air navigation
                service provider and LAA’s new ILS
                    8
                                             Overview. LAA’s rich heritage
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             and how incoming carriers
                                             can benefit from the airport’s
                                             many historic and location
                                             advantages
                                             ≥




                                                         The UK is fortunate to have many                                                                 despite the $55 billion earmarked for
                                                         commercial airports. Even the most                                                               infrastructure enhancements to European
                                                         isolated communities now have rapid                                                              airports over the next 20 years.
                                             access to air transport facilities that fulfil
                                             today’s business and leisure demands. The                                                                    The UK Government’s White Paper (strategy
                                             region encompassing London and Southeast                                                                     document) of November 2003, ‘The Future of Air
                                             England, the most populous part of the country,                                                              Transport’, stressed that, ‘there is scope for
                                             is particularly well served, with eight airports                                                             other existing southeast airports… and some
                                             transporting 130 million passengers every year.                                                              smaller airports, to help meet local demand,
                                                                                                                                                          and their further development is supported in
                                             So why would the region need another airport?                                                                principle, subject to relevant environmental
                                             The truth of the matter is that the better the           FAL Aviation is the                                 considerations’. Such statements from central
                                             existing facilities, the more demanding people           fixed base operator                                 government – occupied with national issues
                                                                                                      at Lydd
                                             become. Moreover, in a global village most                                                                   such as runway capacity at hub airports –
                                             people think locally and quite often one finds                                                               indicate a new way of thinking about air travel.
                                             that previously successful transport facilities        of September 2001, the SARS crisis, wars,
                                             that have become disused find a new life.              natural disasters and the price of oil, the latter    A report by the UK Civil Aviation Authority in
                                                                                                    of which the Director General of the                  February 2005 substantiates this change.
                                             London Ashford Airport (Lydd) has an illustrious       International Air Transport Association called        Passenger numbers using regional airports
                                             history, but through no fault of its own fell out of   ‘the 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse.’                 have more than doubled since 1990, the report
                                             favour while large hubs grew up in its vicinity –                                                            states, with the biggest growth in scheduled air
                                             Heathrow and Gatwick airports for example. Air         But that growth in itself presents a problem, as      services to Europe – a result of the
                                             travel has continued to grow, defying the              existing airports have found it difficult to handle   liberalisation of the European air services
                                             predictions of pessimists, who saw only                the huge numbers of people now travelling by          market, the creation of no-frills airlines and the
                                             stagnation, at best, arising from the terrorism        air. Congestion also remains a serious issue          changing nature of the short-haul business.


                                             A LyddAir three-engine
                                             Trislander shares the
                                             tarmac with Lydd’s private
                                             aviation community




                                                                                                                                                                                                               Photo: Roy Hinds
London is easily
accessible by efficient
ground infrastructure
from Lydd



But it isn’t only the low-cost airlines that have   Having acquired the airport in early 2003, the           The management is understandably ambitious,
added to this growth. Many regional airports        current owners embarked upon an ambitious                given the part LAA has played in aviation in the
now offer realistic alternative connections         investment programme. LAA is now pressing                past. The immediate plan now is to develop the
avoiding London, via European hubs like             ahead with major improvements, which, it is              airport to handle two million passengers
Amsterdam or Paris and, increasingly,               hoped, will take it up to two million annual             annually by 2014 – an ambition that is wholly
adventurous passengers appear to be                 passengers in less than 10 years and six                 consistent with existing District and County
formulating their own short-haul connections        million by 2021.                                         structure plans.
at airports where ‘point-to-point’ airlines
operate. In this radically changing aviation        £15 million has been spent already and it has            That ambition will also benefit the local
world, LAA has an important part to play.           rolled out a £7 million improvement                      community, delivering significant economic
                                                    programme that covers refurbishment and                  development opportunities. Expanding the
                                                    construction, the purchase of new aircraft               airport will stimulate inward investment, job
On the way, not out of the way                      handling equipment and the establishment of              creation, increased competitiveness and
The other key issue arising from the White          offices for Customs, Immigration and other               business opportunity and the facilitation of
Paper is bound up in that little two-word           appropriate authorities.                                 access, choice and growth for the community.
phrase with big implications – environmental
considerations.
                                                                                  World-class attractions
                                                                                  such as the mighty Leeds
LAA benefits from being both accessible and                                       Castle can be found on
off the beaten track, situated on a coastal strip                                 LAA’s doorstep

that has its own (beneficial) microclimate, but
within striking distance of wealthy, fast-
growing towns like Maidstone and Ashford
(home of a main Eurostar station), key Channel
ports like Folkestone and Dover and the
Channel Tunnel Link and heavily populated
areas of east Kent and East Sussex.

LAA describes itself as ‘the environmentally
acceptable and safe solution to runway and
airspace congestion in the southeast’. It is very
much on the way, not out of the way, just 25
minutes from the M20 motorway and equally
accessible by train via Ashford railway station
or by bus from Folkestone. Significantly, a
dedicated shuttle bus service is planned
between LAA and Ashford International.
                                                      Photo: Kent Image Library




Still, LAA is sufficiently isolated from housing
not to pose an environmental issue to the
regional population. How many airports can
claim that?
          10                                                         An illustrious history
                                                                     The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened Lydd
          The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                                                     Airport on the 5th April 1956. It was the first
                                                                     new post WWII airport in the UK and was built
                                                                     in less than six months for just £400,000. Few
                                                                     people know that on his outward journey to Le
                                                                     Touquet in France the Duke exported two cars!

                                                                     At that time, a decade or so before the era of
                                                                     mass vacation travel and as wartime frugality
                                                                     was becoming a thing of the past, vehicle air
                                                                     ferries were gaining popularity. Several
                                                                     entrepreneurs realised that converted wartime
                                                                     bombers could transport both vehicles and
                                                                     their owners to northern France, where they
                                                                     could commence leisurely motoring vacations,
                                                                     and that flying them there would avoid a long
                                                                     wait for sea ferries.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Photo: www.reflections-images.co.uk
                                                                     Naturally, these air-car ferries quickly became
                                                                     popular. One of the first pioneers was Wing
                                                                     Commander Taffy Powel, who set up Silver City                                             Silver City Airways
                                                                                                                                                               transformed the airport’s
                                                                     Airways, named after a silver mine in Broken                                              commercial profile with
                                                                     Hill, Australia. On the 7th July 1948, Taffy                                              its air-car ferry service
                                                                     Powel made the first British civilian flight
                                                                     carrying a car, from Lympne, 10 miles up the
                                                                     coast from Lydd, to Le Touquet, thereby                                             ensured that low prices are available at most                                           Lydd on their European adventures, making it
                                                                     opening a fascinating and innovative new                                            airports these days but the offer at that time                                          one of the busiest airports in Britain! In 1962,
                                                                     chapter in British aviation.                                                        was remarkable for the era: £4 per passenger                                            Silver City was taken over by British United
                                                                                                                                                         and £25 for the car, and on a schedule every bit                                        Airways (BUA) and its flamboyant Managing
                                                                     The service was a resounding success.                                               as comprehensive as that found in the highest                                           Director Freddie Laker (one of the first people
                                                                     However it soon became apparent that a more                                         utilisation budget airline today – from 7.30 in                                         to promote accessible air travel for everyone).
                                                                     suitable location would have to be found and                                        the morning to 11 at night!
                                                                     Silver City quickly relocated to Lydd, which it                                                                                                                             BUA was the largest independent UK-based
                                                                     called Ferryfield Airport, basing its fleet of                                      Between 1953 and 1957, 137,000 cars and half                                            airline during the 1960s and arose from a
                                                                     Bristol 170s there. Budget airlines have                                            a million passengers flew with Silver City out of                                       merger of Airwork and Hunting Clan Air in July

                                                                                                                                         Ilford
                                                              A40                                                                                                               A128                       A130
                                                                                                                                                                    M25                    A13
                       Uxbridge                                                                                                                                                                                                   Southend-on-Sea

                                                                            Ealing
                                                                                         LONDON                                                                                                               Canvey Island                                  THAMES ESTUARY
                                                                           M4                                                   Woolwich
   M4                                                                                                                                                                         Grays
                                                                                                                                                                                    Tilbury                                               Sheerness
                                                                    Hounslow
                                                                                                                                               Dartford                                 Gravesend
                                                                                                                                                                                                              A228                               Minster
                                                                                                                                                                      Northfleet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ISLE OF                                                    Birchington          Margate
        M25                                                                              Kingston Upon                                                                                                                                                                              Herne Bay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             SHEPPEY
                                                         M3
                                                                                         Thames                                          Swanley                                           Rochester         Gillingham                                                Whitstable               A299         ISLE OF
                                                                                                                    Croydon                                                                            Chatham                                                                                               THANET              Ramsgate
                                                                    Esher                                                                         M25
                                                                                                                                                                     M20                                                              Sittingbourne                                             A28
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Faversham
                                                                                 Epson
                                                                                                                        Biggin Hill                             M26                                                                        M2                            A2                              A257         Sandwich
        Woking                                                      M25                                                                                                                        A20                                                                                   Canterbury
                                                                    Leatherhead                          Caterham
                                                                                                                                M25                          Sevenoaks                                                       NORTH DOWNS
                                                                                                                                           Westerham                                     A26      Maidstone                                                                                                           A258
                                                                                                                          A25 Oxted                                  A227                                                            A20                                                                                       Deal
                                                                      Dorking          Reigate            Redhill                                                             A26                                                  M20                                                                       A250
         Guildford                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A251
                                                                     A25                                    M23                                               A21
                                                                                                                                                                           Tonbridge                                                                               Wye
                                                                                A24                                     A22                                                                                           A274
   Godalming                                                                                                                                                                   A228                           A229                                                                            A260
                                                                                               Horley                                                                                                                                                         Ashford
                                                                                                                                                 Southborough
          A281                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dover
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A28                          A20                            A20
                                                       Cranleigh                                                                                             A264         Royal
                                                                                                                                East Grinstead                            Tunbridge                                  A262
                                                                       A29             Crawley             M23                                                            Wells                                   Cranbrook                                                                          Folkestone
                                                                                                                                                                                           A21                                                                                        Hythe
                                                                                                                                                         A26                                                                         Tenterden

                                                                                   Horsham                                                    Crowborough                  THE WEALD                                        A28
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       A2070
                                                                                                                                       A22                          A267                                       A268
                                                                                                   A23
A283                                                                                                                            A275                                                                                                                               A259
                                                               Billinghurst             A281
                                                                                                        Cruickfield
         A272                                                                                                                                                                       A265                                                                             New Romney
                                                                                            A272                      Haywards
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   A268
                                                         A29                                                          Heath                                                Heathfield
                                                                                                                                                Uckfield                                                                             Rye
                                                                             A24
                                                         Pullborough                                             Burgess Hill                                                                                         A28
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     A259
                                                                                      Henfield                                                                  A267                                           A21
                                                           Storrington                                                                                 A22
        A29                                                                                                                             A26                                                          Battle
                                                                            A283
                                                                                                                                                                               A271
  SOUTH DOWNS                                                                                                              Lewes
                                                                                                                                                                           Hailsham                                     Hastings
         Arundel                                                                                                                                                                              A259             St Leonards
                                                                                                    Hove                                          A27          Polegate
                                                        A27               Southwick                                                                                                              Bexhill
                                                                                          Shoreham-              Brighton
                                                                                          by-Sea                         A259          Newhaven                                                                                                    ENGLISH CHANNEL
 A259                                                                  Worthing
          Rustington                                                                                                   Peacehaven
                                                                                                                                                                                Eastbourne
                                                                                                                                             Seaford           A259
1960. The merger was necessitated by the
monopoly of the state-owned airlines BEA and
BOAC (now British Airways).

BUA was particularly strong on Africa routes
but persevered with short-haul routes like
Gibraltar, the Channel Islands and Le Touquet.
By 1970 it was suffering financial difficulties
and merged with Caledonian Airways,
eventually becoming British Caledonian
Airways (BCal) in 1972. BCal itself was later
absorbed into British Airways.

This was the era when big meant best across
the entire travel industry, from aircraft
manufacturers to the distributors, the travel
agents and tour operators and the focus
moved increasingly to large hub airports.
Consequently regional airports became
sidelined, even though Lydd had gained other
destinations like Beauvais and Geneva.
                                                  LyddAir’s regular




                                                                                                                                                      Photo: Roy Hinds
                                                  services to Le Touquet
Transporting cars by air became unattractive      remain a firm favourite
when rapid cross-channel hovercraft services,     with holiday-makers

in addition to competitive roll-on/roll-off sea
ferries, rendered airfreight between the UK
and France uneconomic. Later, even faster         LyddAir
catamarans superseded the hovercraft              LyddAir, LAA’s resident operator, has a small fleet of two 18-seat Britten-Norman Trislanders
services between Dover and Calais. The last       (which serve the historic route between LAA and Le Touquet) and several smaller aircraft
Bristol freighter flew from Lydd in 1970.         employed for both business and leisure purposes.

The Le Touquet route hasn’t been forgotten        The three-engine Trislander takes its inspiration from tri jets such as the Lockheed L-1011 and
and the service continues to be flown by the      McDonnell Douglas DC-10. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 290 km/hour (156 knots), a
16-seat Britten-Norman Trislanders of             cruising speed at 75 percent power of 267 km/hour (144 knots) and a range of 1,610 km. There
LyddAir, though no longer with cars onboard!      is comfortable seating for 16 passengers.

Over the last three decades the airport has       Recently, LyddAir decided to replace the two Trislanders with three Piper PA-31 Navajo
enjoyed mixed fortunes under various owners,      Chieftain aircraft from the USA. The 10-seat, 220 mph cruising speed aeroplane has a long
principally as a General Aviation airport, for    fuselage with a strengthened floor allowing loading of cargo pallets. The acquisition of the
which it has built up a strong reputation.        Chieftains will allow LyddAir to continue the Le Touquet service while increasing executive and
                                                  specialised passenger charter and freight activities. Cities like Hamburg, Prague and Nice lie
LAA has carried on its excellent tradition of     within its range.
catering for private and business aircraft. The
airport and the BUA cross-channel car             There are weekend services during the winter months to Le Touquet, increasing to a full daily
transporter based there starred in the James      service from the beginning of June to the end of September. Prices for the round trip are from
Bond film ‘Goldfinger’ and celebrities who        £59.47 to £109.47 and include airport charges and free parking for day trips.
have graced the tarmac include the Queen
Mother, Diana Dors, King Faisal of Iraq,          LyddAir’s direct flights to Le Touquet have helped to keep going the cherished connection
Gregory Peck and Humphrey Bogart.                 between the two town-regions and to ensure that Le Touquet remains a firm favourite with
                                                  regional vacationers.
Lydd is also an important cargo airport.
Skyways Cargo Airline began operating at          Paris-Plage – every bit as fashionable as the Riviera
Lympne in 1971, with scheduled freight            Le Touquet Airport is only a short walk from the town centre. Situated on the coast, around 38
services to Antwerp and Beauvais. In 1974 the     miles south of Calais, Le Touquet became as fashionable as the French Riviera in the 1930s,
airline moved to Lydd following the closure of    when Noel Coward, P G Wodehouse and others entertained in villas amongst the pinewoods
Lympne. The Skyways operation was then            and luxury hotels were built for the English aristocracy.
renamed Dan-Air Skyways.
                                                  Today, Le Touquet is still the ‘Cannes of the Cote d’Opale'’ and continues to be known as
Over time, Lydd’s significance faded. But we’ve   ‘Paris-Plage’ for its role as the favourite beach resort for well-off Parisians. Its casino, chic
come full circle and air travellers are again     designer shops, art galleries, golf course, flower-trimmed lawns and wealth of cafés and
looking for the local airport with the local      restaurants makes Le Touquet an excellent and attractive choice for a civilised short break and
touch. The expansion proposals come at just       an ideal base for exploring Northern France. With the expansion of LAA, Le Touquet is bracing
the right time to tap into a growing market       itself for an upsurge in visitors from a wide area of southern England.
and even air-car ferries, which can penetrate
deeper into France than the coastal               LyddAir also offers the aviation equivalent of the ‘round the harbour’ restaurant cruise. This is
catamaran services, might become popular          the Fly’n’Dine Dinner flight, which operates on Saturday evenings from April to September, and
again. Who knows? As the saying goes,             at lunchtime year-round. LyddAir’s continuing faith in London Ashford Airport (Lydd) has been
stranger things happen at sea.                    well rewarded and it is now set to reap the benefits.
12
     Airport fact file.




     Airport codes:                                 Saudi Arabia-based conglomerate engaged in       Operational hours: 0900-1900 daily, 24-hour
     IATA code: LYX                                 a wide range of commercial activities such as    on request. Customs and Immigration facilities
     ICAO code: EGMD                                engineering and construction,                    also available 24 hours as required.
                                                    telecommunications, healthcare, financial
     Airport Operator:                              services, leisure, travel and real estate. FAL   Airport area: 122 ha
     London Ashford Airport Ltd                     Holdings now employs some 4,000 people
     Romney Marsh                                   worldwide.                                       Staff: 68
     Ashford
     Kent TN29 9QL                                  Chairman: Air Marshall Clifford Spink
     United Kingdom                                 Managing Director: Zaher Deir                    Runway statistics
     T: +44 (0) 1797 322 411                        E: zaher.deir@lydd-airport.co.uk                 Heading 03/21, 1,505 metres (4,937 feet)/LDA
     F: +44 (0) 1797 322 419                        Marketing Director: Robin Gordon                 1,470 metres by 37 metres, PCN 46/F/C/X/T,
     E: frontdesk@lydd-airport.co.uk                E: robin.gordon@lydd-airport.co.uk               Lighting: HI edge, ALS.
     W:www.lydd-airport.co.uk                       Marketing Manager: Tim Gill
                                                    E: tim.gill@lydd-airport.co.uk                   It is proposed to lodge a planning application
     London Ashford Airport Ltd is a wholly-owned   Project Manager: Roy Hinds                       to extend the runway to 1,799 metres (plus a
     subsidiary of FAL Aviation Ltd. The ultimate   E: roy.hinds@lydd-airport.co.uk                  150 metre starter extension), subsequent to
     holding company is FAL Holdings, a Riyadh,     Chief Consultant: Jonathan Gordon                the completion of a comprehensive
environmental impact assessment and a                                                                                  Landing and parking charges                                              13
revised scoping report. In fact, approval was




                                                                                                                                                                                          The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
given at a public enquiry carried out 10 years                                                                         Up to 1500kg                         £10 including VAT*
ago, but the approval lapsed, thereby requiring                                                                        1500kg to 2750kg                     £20 including VAT
a reapplication.                                                                                                       2750kg to 6000kg                     £50 plus VAT
                                                                                                                       *VAT = Value Added Tax
A 1,800-metre runway (1,950 metres including
the starter extension) would be a full 500                                                                             Landing/Handling Fees for heavy aircraft
metres longer than that of London City Airport,                                                                        Band Weight/Kg          Landing Handling
which has a much steeper angle of approach                                                                             1      6000-7999        £75        £45
and which is permitted to handle these                                                                                 2      8000-9999        £100       £60




                                                                                                    Photo: Roy Hinds
aircraft: ATR42, BAe146/Avro RJ70/85/100                                                                               3      10000-11999      £125       £75
family, BAe 41 Jetstream, DHC-6 Twin Otter,                                                                            4      12000-14999      £150       £90
DHC Dash 7, Bombardier Q series, DHC Dash-                                                                             5      15000-19999      £200       £120
8, Dornier Fairchild 288, Dornier Fairchild 328,                                                                       6      20000-29999      £300       £180
Embraer 135, Embraer 195, Fokker 50, Fokker         available at Ashford International Station, with                   7      30000-39999      £400       £240
70, Saab 340, Saab 2000 and Shorts 360-300.         connection times from Lydd of just 20 minutes.                     8      40000+           £500       £300
                                                                                                                       For every additional 10000kg (or part thereof) Landing + GB£100,
                                                                                                                       Handling + GB£60
Most popular business jets can operate from a       Hangarage: The T2 building has been fully
runway of 1,800 metres.                             refurbished, allowing up to BAe146 access with
                                                    more hangarage space planned for the future.                       Parking charges (First night free)
Airport position: 50°57´00"N, 000°56´00"E,                                                                             Band Weight/Kg                                        Parking
Elevation 3m (9ft)                                  Cargo Facilities: Capacity 20,000 tons                             1       6000-7999                                     £25
                                                    (44,092,000lbs), Transit Zone, Free                                2       8000-9999                                     £30
Air Traffic Control & Navigational Aids: NDB,       Port/Foreign Trade Zone                                            3       10000-11999                                   £35
DME, ILS (operational from June 2006), from                                                                            4       12000-14999                                   £40
which time LAA becomes a full-service               Environment & Noise: Noise abatement                               5       15000-19999                                   £50
international airport. The ILS permits safe         procedures in place                                                6       20000-29999                                   £75
landing in very poor weather.                                                                                          7       30000-39999                                   £100
                                                    Aircraft Maintenance: LAA is JAR 145                               8       40000+                                        **
In August 2005, the UK Civil Aviation Authority     approved. As an established fixed base                             * Based on maximum take-off weight
                                                                                                                       ** For every additional 10000kg (or part thereof) + £10
officially approved the newly upgraded Air          operation, LAA has on-site JAR 145
Traffic Control system, which considerably          engineering facilities, Jet A1 and Avgas fuelling
enhances the monitoring and control of flight       facilities, hangarage, passenger and aircraft                      To encourage future air service development,
movements around the airport.                       handling and catering.                                             LAA offers:

Safety & Security: Cat 5 RFFS (fire)                The base maintenance provider is Sky-Sure                          •    A three-year commitment to assist
                                                    Aircraft Engineering, a specialist in General                           carriers route development prospects
The airport’s security systems and passenger        Aviation work.                                                     •    Phased per passenger charges
handling facilities have been upgraded for          T: +44 (0) 1797 322 430                                            •    An innovative, partnership based approach
NASP compliance. The Aerodrome Fire Service         F: +44 (0) 1797 322 436                                                 to marketing
has been steadily improved and the airport
now has two major foam tenders plus one light
foam tender giving equipment capability able
to handle Category 6 or 7 aircraft.

The fire crew is on a continuous programme of
courses that have been upgrading its fire-
fighting skills to match equipment capability.

Annual Capacity: 250,000 passengers

Airport Services: 2 check-in desks, 1 gate, 250
car parking spaces, Restaurant, Cafeteria, Bar,
Tourist Help Desk, Car Rental available locally,
Taxi Service/Rank, First Aid, 20 aircraft stands.

A new terminal building is planned for,
depending on the outcome of the same
environmental impact assessment report as
that affecting the proposed runway extension.
Eventually 25,000 sq metres is to be built in
two stages for 500,000 and two million
passengers per annum respectively.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo: Roy Hinds




Minimum Rail Connection Times: Regular
domestic services to London and international
services via Eurostar to the continent are
Reykjavik




                                                                                                                            Sto




                                      Glasgow
                                                      Edinburgh

                                                         Newcastle
                                                                                       DENMARK
                                                                                                  Copenhagen
                      Dublin      Manchester


                                                          UNITED
                                                         KINGDOM
                                Cardiff                                                             Hamburg
                         Plymouth
                                                LAA
  Isles of Scilly                                                        Rotterdam                        Berlin

                                                                                     Düsseldorf
                    Channel Islands
                                                                                 Köln Bonn



                                                       Paris                                                       Prague




                                                                  Lyon



                                                                          Nice



                                           Barcelona
                                                                                      15
                            New route opportunities.




                            Destination       Possible Carrier   Nautical Air Miles
                            UK
ockholm                     Manchester        Flybe              186
                                              bmi regional
                                              Jet 2
                            Newcastle         Flybe              263
                   RUSSIA   Plymouth          Air Southwest      194
                            Edinburgh         Scotairways        338
                            Glasgow           Flybe              359
                            Channel Islands   Flybe              160
                                              Aurigny
                                              Blue Islands
                            Isles of Scilly   Skybus             283

                            Ireland
                            Dublin            Aer Arran          303

                            Belgium
                            Brussels          VLM                134
                                              SN Brussels

          Warsaw            The Netherlands
                            Amsterdam         Scotairways        164
                                              VLM
                                              KLM Regional
                            Rotterdam         VLM

                            France
                            Lyon              Brit Air           355
                                              City Airline
                            Nice              Régional           506

                            Spain
                            Barcelona         Air Nostrum        584
16
                                             Route development. LAA offers
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             a clean sheet for commercial
                                             route development, but with
                                             some important historical
                                             reference points
                                             ≥




                                                         The area already has a close bond       operated from Manchester, 250 miles north           2005, the typical per person French airport tax
                                                         with Northern France and this           (2004 passenger numbers 21 million).                was €13, compared with €1.5 in Spain, €5 in
                                                         region awaits further exploitation.     Secondly, the further east one goes, the            Germany, €6 in Italy and €7 in the UK.
                                             Airports along the southern English coast have      greater is the apparent appeal of France.
                                             traditionally benefited from the entente                                                                For this reason, Ryanair, which featured
                                             cordiale between the two countries, more so         The very proximity of La Manche (the English        France as the first country in its international
                                             then other British regions.                         Channel) seems to stimulate Francophile             network in 1997, says it is now a smaller
                                                                                                 tendencies amongst British travellers and,          destination for the airline than Germany, Italy
                                             Southampton Airport, for example, serves no         overall, France attracts around 15 million          or Spain, where it only began operations in
                                             less than 12 French city-regions – Angers,          Britons to its shores each year.                    2003! This despite the fact that France attracts
                                             Avignon, Bergerac, Bordeaux, Brest,                                                                     75 million foreign visitors a year – more than
                                             Chambery, Cherbourg, La Rochelle, Limoges,          Another factor that needs to be taken into          any other country.
                                             Paris, Perpignan and Rennes. Further west,          account is that, slowly but surely, French
                                             Bournemouth Airport offers flights to Lyon;         airports are starting to be privatised. Grenoble,   Small wonder, then, that several airlines
                                             Exeter, in the southwest, has regular flights to    Chambery and Angers are already in private          (especially budget carriers) are fearful of
                                             Bergerac, Brest, Chambery and Paris.                hands and proposals exist for up to 10 more         opening new routes to France in case they
                                                                                                 major French regional airports to be privatised     upset their investors. However, airlines flying
                                             Two facts are evident. Firstly, there is clear      if Aeroports de Paris is successfully listed on     to privatised airports have appreciated the
                                             demand from the entire south English coast          the stock exchange in 2006.                         service-cost offer available. Flybe generated
                                             for air services to a broad range of French city-                                                       25,000 new passengers in a year at Chambery
                                             regions. Compare, for example, the nine             Privatisation is important because French           and there appears to be a knock-on effect,
                                             scheduled routes operated out of Southampton        airports – mainly run by local Chambres de          with a greater appreciation by government
                                             Airport (2004 passenger numbers 1.5 million)        Commerce, under licence from the central            officials of the need to make a competitive
                                             to France, to the five scheduled routes             government – tend to levy high charges. In          offer to airlines at other airports.



                                                                                                    A service from LAA to Lyon,
                                                                                                    possibly by Brit Air or City
                                                                                                    Airline, would facilitate
                                                                                                    travel between many
                                                                                                    European destinations and
                                                                                                    Kent/East Sussex
LAA could present Flybe
with a perfect UK




                                                                                                                                                           Photo: Bombardier
southeast base from which
to continue its dynamic
network expansion




Flybe would be an excellent                          The Q400 – a perfect fit
operator at LAA                                      Blending jet-like speed, passenger comfort and fuel economy, Bombardier’s DHC-8 Q400
The main operator at both Southampton and            aircraft is a perfect fit for LAA. The order book for the Q400 stands at 163 aircraft. As of
Exeter (its base) airports is Flybe. We propose      September 30, 2005, 104 Q400 aircraft had been delivered to 12 operators in North America,
that Flybe would make an excellent base              Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
operator at LAA. ‘Best Low Cost Business
Airline’ and ‘Most recommended UK low fares          It is a 70-seat twin-engine turboprop usually powered by Pratt & Whitney PW150A engines. The
airline’ – the accolades are many.                   Q400 is fitted with Bombardier's NVS active noise and vibration system, which reduces cabin
                                                     noise to levels comparable to the CRJ jet, even when flying at maximum cruise speed (360
Flybe has expanded dramatically in the last few      knots) – as fast as most jets on routes of less than 800 km and with a climb rate to match.
years since its repositioning as a ‘some-frills’
airline – marrying good old-fashioned service        The Q400 is pitched at the short-haul regional airliner market for stage lengths of 550 km or
with low prices. This has proved popular with        less. Turboprops are usually more economical over shorter stage lengths and Bombardier says
business and leisure travellers alike and the        the Q400s breakeven load factor for a 360 km stage length is just 29 passengers. Its maximum
airline was voted ‘Best Low Cost Business            range with 70 passengers and reserves is 2,400 km, so one could fly from LAA to many popular
Airline 2005’ as well as ‘Most recommended           destinations in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.
UK low fares airline 2003’ (Holiday Which).
                                                     Turboprofits
Other airlines have tried to do the same             With speed and comfort matching regional jets, the remaining difference is economics. And
without success, but Flybe has found the right       here, Q400 operators like Flybe have an uncontested advantage. This allows Q400 operators to
formula, partly by avoiding high-cost city           generate what Bombardier calls ‘turboProfits’. Significantly lower fuel burns give the Q400 the
airports and favouring regional ones and by          lowest operating costs per seat in the regional aircraft market. The flexibility of the Q400 allows
stimulating demand through astute marketing.         it to operate profitably in a wide range of markets, from full-service to ultra low fare markets.

Flybe began life in 1979 as Jersey European          Bombardier also claims that the Q400 is truly a green machine. The Q400 respects the
Airways (JEA) and was taken over in 1983 by          environment by setting new standards for environmental protection. Compared to
the Walkersteel Group, parent company of             comparable aircraft performing the same mission, the Q400 offers:
Blackpool-based charter airline, Spacegrand.
The two airlines were amalgamated in 1985.           •   Community noise levels well below FAR 36 and ICAO Annex 16 Ch 3. requirements
JEA flew its first London route (from Guernsey)      •   Reduced noise exposure for ramp personnel and reduced engine emissions
in 1991 and in 1993 began operating jets. It         •   40 percent below Part 34 requirements for Smoke Number
also started to build up a franchise partnership     •   40 percent below ICAO Annex 16 requirements for gaseous emission
with Air France and in 1999 established London
City Airport as a base, thereby helping to           Flybe’s MD, Jim French, says: “They’re the mainstay of our fleet. The Q400 is delivering very
transform the airport’s fortunes.                    low operating costs which has allowed Flybe to become one of the largest low-cost operators
                                                     in Europe, competing successfully with narrow-body jet operators in our chosen field of
The new millennium saw JEA re-branded as             operation – European region to region service… By standardising on the Q400, we will drive
British European (BE), reflected the true size of    millions of dollars in operating costs savings.”
what was now the UK’s third-largest scheduled
airline. Like all airlines, BE was affected by the   Supporting Jim is Jeff Pinneo, President and CEO of the US’s Horizon Air, who said, “The Q400
shocking events of September 2001 and low-           has proven to be an effective tool that has enabled Horizon Air to restore profitability, even in
cost airlines subsequently took advantage of         the low fare arena.”
                                               Photo: Newcastle Gateshead Initiative/Roger Coulam




                                                                                                                                                                                                            Photo: www.britainonview.com
                                                                                                    Edinburgh and Newcastle
                                                                                                    (left) represent important
                                                                                                    domestic destinations
                                                                                                    that could be served
                                                                                                    successfully from Lydd



the new paradigm. By the summer of 2002, it                                                         modern Bombardier 50 seat Dash-8 aircraft           popular with its regular passengers. The D328
was forced dramatically to change its business                                                      (the Q400’s predecessor), which provide             has exceptional take-off and landing
model to survive.                                                                                   exceptionally low seat costs that enable Air        performance, allowing it to operate safely from
                                                                                                    Southwest to offer very competitive fares.          relatively short runways such as London City
Flybe was born and along with it a bright                                                                                                               and Dundee – and LAA. Once airborne, its
modern brand and changes to commercial,                                                             Air Southwest’s routes run from Plymouth,           power and efficient wing design gives the
fleet and operational policies that were to                                                         Newquay and Bristol to Manchester, Leeds,           aircraft a cruise speed of 350 miles per hour
transform the airline into what it is today.                                                        the Channel Islands, London, Dublin, Cardiff        and a maximum altitude of 31,000 feet.
                                                                                                    and Norwich. LAA might provide an alternative
In 2004 Flybe focused on France, with the                                                           to Gatwick for a wider area of the southeast        Aer Arran
launch of new ‘sun and ski’ routes, and                                                             and one that isn’t so accessible by alternative     Aer Arran is a Dublin-based commuter and
announced record half-year profits of £14                                                           modes of transport like rail and motorway. It       regional airline that has an extensive network
million. By now it was evident that new aircraft                                                    also raises the question of whether an ‘Air         connecting eight cities in Ireland, 11 in the UK
were needed to replace its ageing Bombardier                                                        Southeast’ could fill a similar role for the LAA    plus the Isle of Man, two in France – L’Orient
Dash-8s and Canadair Regional Jets and to                                                           catchment area.                                     and Angers – and Liege (Belgium).
expand the fleet.
                                                                                                    Scotairways                                         Aer Arran claims to be one of the world’s
So, in January 2005, Flybe signed a deal with                                                       Scotairways began life in the 1980s as Suckling     fastest growing regional airlines, with a yearly
Bombardier Aerospace for 20 of its Q400-78s                                                         Airways, when it operated from a grass airstrip     turnover in excess of €94 million and
and added Liverpool and Norwich to its UK                                                           at Ipswich to Amsterdam. Later, it moved to         passenger numbers of just under a million for
domestic operations bases – a new base has                                                          Cambridge, offering additional services to and      2004 (an increase of 62 percent on 2003).
been announced for Manchester in 2006. There                                                        from Manchester, which have since been
are now 36 aircraft, flying 100 routes that                                                         discontinued owing to intense competition.          Aer Arran has grown substantially over the
connect 40 airports in eight countries. Flybe                                                                                                           past year, opening nine new routes, increasing
expects to carry 5.5 million people in 2005/6.                                                      The carrier is based at Cambridge, but has two      flight frequency and adding two ATR72 aircraft,
80 percent of its routes are domestic                                                               key Scottish routes – Edinburgh and Dundee –        bringing its fleet total to 10 – a mix of 66-seat
(compared to 22 percent for easyJet and just                                                        to and from London City, as well as services        –72s and the smaller 50-seat –42s.
seven percent for Ryanair), confirming Flybe’s                                                      between Southampton and Amsterdam.
commitment to its core market.                                                                                                                          The logical route for Aer Arran would be Dublin
                                                                                                    Scotairways offers several intriguing               to LAA. In every part of the UK there is an
                                                                                                    opportunities at LAA and has experience of          ethnic Irish market waiting to be tapped and
Other airlines waiting in the wings                                                                 operating at smaller airports. In its early days,   Dublin is the magnet for the majority of British
Of course no airport should ever ‘put all its                                                       it was the sole commercial operator at Ipswich      tourists to the Emerald Isle. Aer Arran already
eggs in one basket’ and there are many other                                                        and became the sole operator at Dundee.             operates from Waterford to Luton, 30 miles
UK and European airlines that could take                                                            Evidently, the management does not shy away         north of the capital, and from Cork to
advantage of LAA’s excellent offer. Fortunately,                                                    from a challenge. It also has knowledge of the      Southampton. Yet there is a distinct network
the UK in particular is blessed with many                                                           Amsterdam market, which we propose as a             gap to the south and east of London.
successful regional airlines.                                                                       key feed airport for LAA. Finally, it also
                                                                                                    operates Scottish services, opening up the          Aer Arran tends to fly routes from provincial
Air Southwest                                                                                       possibility of a service to Edinburgh.              Irish cities to the UK. The carrier may be
Air Southwest is a new regional airline                                                                                                                 nervous of taking on the Irish super low-cost
dedicated to providing air services to and from                                                     Scotairways operates seven modern 31-seat           airline, Ryanair, in direct competition on major
Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. It operates                                                           Dornier 328-100 aircraft, which are very            routes to the UK.
                                                                                                                                                                                      19
However, it has experience of operating a                                                                                   Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia, offering a




                                                                                                                                                                                The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
Dublin-Sheffield City service, until that airport                                                                           distinct alternative to flights out of Heathrow.
closed to commercial flights in 2003. A Dublin-
LAA service would make sense, perhaps in                                                                                    Skybus
combination with an en route city like                                                                                      Based at Land's End, near St. Just and
Blackpool or Douglas (Isle of Man).                                                                                         Penzance in Cornwall, Skybus operates
                                                                                                                            seasonal and year-round domestic scheduled
Eastern Airways                                                                                                             services to the Isles of Scilly, with connections
Eastern Airways, based at Humberside Airport,                                                                               to Land’s End, Newquay, Exeter, Bristol and
has grown rapidly and now connects 17 UK                                                                                    Southampton. Its main base is Land's End
cities. It is particularly strong in the east,                                                                              Airport (LEQ), with a hub at Newquay Airport
where the majority of its airports are situated.                                                                            (NQY). Ticketing is via Isles of Scilly Travel.
In fact, Eastern Airways replicates many of the
routes flown by Air UK in the 1980s and 1990s.                                                                              Skybus operates the DHC-6 Twin Otter, a 20-
                                                                                                                            seat STOL feederliner and utility aircraft
Subsequently taken over by KLM, Eastern               as well as four 50-seat Saab 2000s. Again,                            developed by de Havilland Canada. The carrier
provides a valuable service along eastern             there is a noticeable gap in the route map in                         would be an appropriate operator at LAA, able
Britain and facilitates travel between major          England’s southeast corner, the nearest                               to draw tourism interest into the Isles of Scilly
ports and oil and manufacturing city-regions          airports served being Southampton and                                 from the lucrative south east UK market.
like Norwich (Great Yarmouth), Humberside             London City.
(Hull, Grimsby, Scunthorpe), Durham Tees
Valley (Middlesbrough, Stockton) and                  bmi regional                                                          Interest from Mainland Europe
Aberdeen. 85 percent of its traffic comes from        bmi regional is a wholly-owned subsidiary of                          VLM
the business community.                               bmi, Heathrow’s second largest airline. It                            The Belgium-based carrier VLM is a prime
                                                      operates from nine UK airports including                              candidate to serve LAA. Formed in 1993, VLM
Today, Eastern has no less than 10 routes into        Aberdeen, Jersey, Leeds-Bradford, Norwich,                            operates a fleet of 14 Fokker 50 aircraft (50
and out of Aberdeen and also flies thin west-         Nottingham East Midlands and Stornoway. bmi                           seats) with a maximum range of 2,400 km,
east cross-country routes like Manchester-            regional is a subsidiary of the £830 million                          mainly on business routes. For example, it
Norwich and Newcastle-Bristol. Apart from             turnover/10.5 million passenger carrier that is                       operates between London City Airport and
Aberdeen, the airline has no obvious hub and          based at Heathrow and Manchester.                                     Manchester, connecting England’s two major
is clearly prepared to seek the main chance.                                                                                financial centres and also from London City to
For example, in late October 2005 it announced        The smallest aircraft in the bmi fleet is the 37-                     Amsterdam, Brussels and Luxembourg. Its two
a new twice-daily service between                     seat Embraer 135, a suitable size for an                              airports in southern England so far are London
Southampton and Brussels, its first European          expanded LAA. Significantly, bmi only serves                          City and Southampton.
service and one vacated at short notice by            London Heathrow in southern England. With
Belgian airline VLM.                                  an appropriate aircraft in place, bmi regional                        VLM has been adventurous in recent years,
                                                      could provide feed to the Manchester-based                            making a bold attempt to build up an air
Eastern operates a mixed fleet of Jetstream 32        intercontinental services, which include                              service between London and Liverpool, one
(18 seats) and 41 (29 seats) aircraft, 21 in total,   Chicago, Las Vegas and, in the Caribbean,                             that has failed on several previous occasions.



The potential exists for                                                                                                     Channel Islands
Aer Arran to open a route                                                                                                    The Channel Islands remain very popular
between LAA and Dublin,
perhaps stopping at                                                                                                          leisure and business destinations with British
Blackpool or Douglas en                                                                                                      travellers. LAA has the ability to feed the
route
                                                                                                                             southeast market efficiently into Jersey and
                                                                                                                             Guernsey – the aircraft types operated by
                                                                                                                             Flybe, Aurigny and Blue Islands are a perfect
                                                                                                                             fit for LAA.

                                                                                                                             Aurigny already serves Southampton and
                                                                                                                             London Gatwick, so the lower DOCs
                                                                                                                             available at LAA could prove very attractive.
                                                                                                                             Blue Island also operates equipment that fits
                                                                                                                             perfectly with LAA’s current capabilities, such
                                                                                                                             as the 19-seat BAe Jetstream 32EP, which
                                                                                                                             serves Bournemouth and the 9-seat Britten
                                                                                                                             Norman Islander, which serves both
                                                                                                                             Bournemouth and Shoreham. Blue Island also
                                                                                                                             operates the 16-seat Britten Norman
                                                                                                                             Trislander to Bournemouth and Shoreham.

                                                                                                                             Flybe operates from London Gatwick to
                                                                                                                             Guernsey and also to Jersey from London
                                                                                                   Photo: Eastern Airways




                                                                                                                             Southend and London Luton. The market for
                                                                                                                             connections from the southeast to the Channel
                                                                                                                             Islands is easily proven.
20                                           It has also announced an air service that will                                                                  against the influence of Paris. The home of
                                             connect the Isle of Man to London City and on                                                                   Interpol, the International Criminal Police
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             to Brussels. VLM has been quick to realise the                                                                  Organisation, is coming under surveillance
                                             potential for air services between major port                                                                   itself by several airlines keen to start or expand
                                             cities and operates between London,                                                                             operations there.
                                             Rotterdam (Europort) and Hamburg.
                                                                                                                                                             City Airline
                                             Of course one need not point out the potential                                                                  One such carrier is Sweden’s City Airline,
                                             attractions of marine business at Dover and                                                                     currently working closely with SAS, which
                                             Folkestone, with their ferry, cruise and cargo                                                                  operates to Lyon as part of a seven-route
                                             business.                                                                                                       network from Gothenburg. Two of those routes
                                                                                                   The vibrant city of
                                                                                                   Dublin – an enduringly
                                                                                                                                                             are to the UK – Birmingham and Manchester –
                                             Virgin Express/SN Brussels                            popular destination for                                   and City Airline has no southern UK services.
                                                                                                   British tourists
                                             These two Brussels-based airlines have                                                                          The carrier operates Embraer 135 (37 seats)
                                             recently merged to form a hybrid full-service                                                                   and 145 (50 seats).
                                             airline/low-cost carrier. Virgin Express’ routes    Brit Air is one of the leading regional airlines in
                                             are predominately south, to Portugal, Spain,        Europe and is an associate of Air France. It is             City Airline’s CEO has said that Lyon has ‘great
                                             Switzerland, Italy and Greece, with one             essentially a business airline, operating 260               potential’ and has hinted that an expanded
                                             eastbound route to Berlin. The fleet exclusively    daily flights: 210 under its franchise agreement            service between the two cities might include an
                                             comprises of the Boeing 737-400.                    and 50 directly for Air France.                             en route city in the UK. Although there is a
                                                                                                                                                             service from London Heathrow to Gothenburg
                                             SN Brussels, as befits a national carrier, has a    All airlines featured here have unique selling              (from the congested Terminal 3), there are
                                             comprehensive network of around 56 European         propositions that link them to LAA. For Brit Air,           currently none from either London Gatwick or
                                             destinations, plus a wide range of flights to       it is the Lyon hub, which receives three waves              London City. Furthermore, London Ashford
                                             Africa and Asia. Most of the airline’s European     of interconnecting flights daily, with connecting           Airport (Lydd) would fit City Airline’s strategy of
                                             routes are flown by AVRO RJ85, AVRO RJ100 or        times under 35 minutes, and links a network of              flying to and from secondary airports.
                                             BAe 146 aircraft. SN Brussels Airlines has          29 French cities, four in Spain, four in Italy,
                                             about 14 Avro RJ85 aircraft at its disposal.        three in Germany and one each in Belgium and                So it can be seen how a little imagination in
                                                                                                 Denmark. Brit Air links Southampton to Paris                combining route possibilities can produce a
                                             SN also has 12 AVRO RJ100 and 6 BAe 146             and London to Lyon and Strasbourg.                          potentially viable new service that would satisfy
                                             aircraft, with 97 and 84 seats respectively.                                                                    the ambitions of all the stakeholders.
                                             These aircraft may be appropriate to                Critically, the Lyon hub links to Barcelona,
                                             operations at LAA. A connection to Brussels,        Madrid, Rome and (via an Air France                         Air Nostrum
                                             the political capital of Europe and home of         connection) Venice. A service from LAA to Lyon              Spain’s Air Nostrum (Iberia Regional), also
                                             NATO and many other organisations, is               would therefore potentially open up four                    known as Iberia 8000, is a regional airline that
                                             essential to the prospects of a regional airport.   important European cities to south Kent/East                offers the potential for direct services to Spain.
                                                                                                 Sussex travellers, whilst ensuring another key
                                             Brit Air                                            French Connection to build on.                              Air Nostrum has an extensive network serving
                                             The Brittany-based Brit Air is on the fringe of                                                                 France, Germany and Italy. Presently, its only
                                             potential operators at LAA. The airline operates    Lyon’s stock in Europe is rising steadily as the            UK route is London-Menorca. Air Nostrum has
                                             Canadair RJ50 and RJ70 and Fokker 100.              French regions begin to assert themselves                   a presence at 24 Spanish cities, particularly at


                                             VLM’s tradition of
                                             operating air links                                                                                             The (old) world is LAA’s oyster.
                                             between port cities                                                                                             These are, of course, only examples of eminently
                                             makes LAA a natural
                                             choice for Dover and                                                                                            viable routes that could be opened to and from
                                             Folkestone                                                                                                      London Ashford Airport (Lydd); many other
                                                                                                                                                             routes within Europe could be flown profitably
                                                                                                                                                             from LAA.

                                                                                                                                                             The trick is to identify what sort of airport LAA
                                                                                                                                                             can and should be in advance of any serious
                                                                                                                                                             promotional activities. There will almost
                                                                                                                                                             certainly be a demand for some point-to-point
                                                                                                                                                             services connecting Southeast Kent/East Sussex
                                                                                                                                                             with regional airports in the UK and further a-
                                                                                                                                                             field.

                                                                                                                                                             However, it is likely that a maximum of three of
                                                                                                                                                             four of these routes will be initially viable. Once
                                                                                                                                                             they have successfully proved themselves, other
                                                                                                                                                             routes can be added.

                                                                                                                                                             The slow but steady progress made at Liverpool
                                                                                                                                                             John Lennon since easyJet set up there in 1997
                                                                                                                                                             is a good reference point. That airport is now a
                                                                                                                                                Photo: VLM




                                                                                                                                                             major base for easyJet and both Ryanair and
                                                                                                                                                             Flybe set up bases within the last two years.
                                                                                                                                           Munich. In the past, it has operated Newcastle-           21
                                                                                                                                           Copenhagen for SAS. The fleet consists of five




                                                                                                                                                                                               The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                                                                                           ATR 42s, six ATR 72s and three CRJ200 jets.

                                                                                                                                           European Air Express
                                                                                                                                           Finally, another useful airline acquisition
                                                                                                                                           would be Germany’s European Air Express
                                                                                                                                           (EAE). EAE has five ATR 42s connecting five
                                                                                                                                           cities in Germany, two in Switzerland and one
                                                                                                                                           in the Netherlands. The logical route would be
                                                                                                                                           to Cologne/Bonn or Berlin. Cologne would
                                                                                                                                           offer the opportunity of connecting flights to
                                                                                                                                           Nuremberg and Geneva. Another route worth
                                                                                                                                           investigating is Munster/Osnabruck, still a
                                                                                                                                           significant place of entry and exit for the UK
                                                                                                                                           and US armed forces that remain in Germany.




                                                                                                Photo:www. berlin-tourist.information.de
                                                                                                                                           Calling on the business
                                                                                                                                           community for support
                                                                                                                                           Some of these routes will be outright business
                                                                                                                                           services, calling on the local business
LAA-Berlin has huge
potential, particularly for                                                                                                                community for support. Apart from the Dover
European Air Express                                                                                                                       docks company, the Kent community
(EAE)
                                                                                                                                           embraces such multinational companies as
                                                                                                                                           Pfizer, the pharmaceuticals multinational
four main hubs – Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia       Lisbon, Portugal’s capital and principal port, is                                       (Sandwich), one of the largest global buyers of
and Seville. Apart from Madrid, most UK-Spain      increasingly popular with short breakers and                                            business travel.
services focus on Barcelona (or Gerona, it’s       offers connections with TAP to South America.
‘budget’ airport), which is popular with city-     PGA also flies to Porto (the Manchester service                                         The life of British Energy’s Dungeness B
breakers as well as being Spain’s commercial       flies a circular route that connects Lisbon and                                         nuclear power station at Romney Marsh has
capital, and Alicante (Costa Blanca), home to      Porto as a domestic leg) and to the Atlantic                                            recently been extended until 2018; business
almost 100,000 British ex-pats.                    islands. There is, therefore, the opportunity to                                        and technical services travel to and from the
                                                   offer the LAA catchment area vacation breaks                                            facility remains significant and will continue to
Air Nostrum’s 61-strong fleet comprises            to mainland Portugal, the islands and even up-                                          support air services beyond the plant’s
ATR72, Fokker 50, Dash-8 and CRJ 200s, most        and-coming destinations like the Cape Verde                                             eventual closure date and throughout the
of which would admirably suit an operation out     islands, which are served by both TAP and                                               lengthy decommissioning process.
of LAA. The ATR, Fokker 50 and Dash-8 could        TACV Airlines of Cabo Verde from Lisbon.
comfortably handle a Barcelona service.                                                                                                    Other major employers include the fragrance
                                                   Régional                                                                                manufacturers Quest International (Ashford),
Portugalia                                         A subsidiary of Air France, which primarily                                             P&O Ferries (Dover), Saga Group (Folkestone
Portugalia (PGA), Portugal’s second airline that   services ‘thin’ inter-regional European routes,                                         and Margate), Smiths Industries (Hythe),
co-operates with the state airline TAP, is         Régional operates a fleet of Embraer 135s,                                              logistics company Amethyst Group (Itochu) at
frequently praised for its proficiency and was     which is perfectly suited to LAA. Nice has                                              Tunbridge Wells, AXA PPP Healthcare (also
named ‘Best Regional Airline Company in            proven to be a very popular leisure destination.                                        Tunbridge Wells), paper manufacturer
Europe’ in 2005 for the fifth consecutive year.    for the southeast market, with easyJet and                                              Kimberley Clark (West Malling) and brewers
Since 1987, PGA has established itself on the      British Airways operating services from                                                 Shepherd Neame (Faversham).
European market as a private innovative airline    London Gatwick. Nice is served by Régional on
with a reputation for high standards, just as      the Amsterdam route, yet there is no service                                            Of these, LAA has great potential to serve the
LAA does in the airport sector.                    by Régional to London.                                                                  Saga Group’s expanding air charter and
                                                                                                                                           scheduled air transport needs, and
PGA’s fleet is based on six Fokker 100s, an        Cimber Air                                                                              complement the company’s already strong
ageing but comfortable aircraft kitted out with    An air route to Denmark would be an                                                     aviation capabilities. One prime opportunity
leather seats. Supporting the F100 are eight       extremely valuable addition to LAA’s route                                              would be a charter service from Manchester to
Embraer 145s, two Saab 2000s and one               network. Apart from the clear business and                                              LAA, perhaps a convenient fly-cruise package
Beechcraft 1900D.                                  touristic attractions of Copenhagen, with an                                            to transport passengers to the Port of Dover.
                                                   improved road and rail network the entire
LAA to Lisbon is some 975 miles on the Great       country is now easily accessible by surface                                             Also featured is an array of Small & Medium
Circle Route (the shortest distance between        connections, as is southern Sweden. Moreover,                                           Enterprises and their supporting organisations
two points on a globe), comfortably within the     SAS offers a very comprehensive network of                                              like Chambers of Commerce and Business
range of all three aircraft; the Saab 2000 is      inter-Scandinavian services and                                                         Links. In East Sussex, these companies
perhaps best suited because of its take off and    intercontinental connections.                                                           comprise Parker Pen, West Pharmaceutical,
landing characteristics and seating capacity.                                                                                              General Dynamics and Hastings Direct
                                                   Formed in 1950, Cimber Air operates 10 routes                                           amongst their number. East Sussex is
PGA is strong in Spain, France and mainland        of which six are domestic. It also seeks out                                            becoming a popular location with businesses
Europe. There is only one UK route presently       innovative foreign routes and flies to Warsaw,                                          looking to locate in the UK. Recently, a
(Manchester), but that has been successful, so     Basel and Bucharest as well as operating a                                              successful bid secured money to develop
it could be time to consider more options.         German domestic route between Kiel and                                                  Inward Investment in Rives Manche, France. A
22                                           little further a-field are BOC, Glaxo Smithkline,                                                      and ferry companies, not to mention Channel
                                             Schering Health Care, Thales and Unilever –                                                            Tunnel Group and Eurotunnel Freight, hints at
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             some of whose executives may well find LAA to                                                          how big this business could be for the right
                                             be a more convenient airport.                                                                          airline, or even as belly freight in small
                                                                                                                                                    passenger airlines.
                                             Some companies have very large travel
                                             budgets and particular destinations they visit                                                         Dover is the 10th largest UK port by tonnage
                                             frequently – the site of a subsidiary or major                                                         handled, processing 18.8 million tonnes in
                                             client, for example. But the choice of airline                                                         2003/4 out of a UK total of 557 million tonnes
                                             may be restricted to their executives by                                                               and the Terminal is used by many top carriers.
                                             corporate deals signed with major airlines, the                                                        (The Medway ports are 11th with 15.6 million
                                             sort that are more likely to operate out of                                                            tonnes). It has roll on/roll off facilities, one of
                                             Heathrow or Gatwick.                                                                                   the fastest growth segments of the port
                                                                                                                                                    industry with a 40 percent increase in units
                                             All regional airlines face this problem, which                                                         handled nationally between 1996 and 2004.
                                             has been mitigated somewhat by the success          On the other hand, such is the breadth of the
                                             of budget airlines. Thanks to this trend, both      network offered by Air France at Paris Charles     The holiday cruise market is expanding fast in
                                             travellers and administrators now realise that      de Gaulle airport and SN Brussels at Brussels      Kent, with the Port of Dover recently opening
                                             small, local and regional are nowadays key          National airport that an LAA schedule to both      a second cruise terminal. Dover catered for
                                             words in their air travel search criteria.          may be justified on the strength of that           some 140 cruise vessels in 2005 and officials
                                                                                                 network alone. Occasionally, offering a route      expect that number to increase in the years
                                             Multinationals in particular require feeder         like this identifies supplementary marketing       ahead. Given its close proximity to the port,
                                             flights to major hubs like Paris, Brussels,         possibilities that would otherwise remain          LAA would be a natural choice for passengers
                                             Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Just as important,         hidden. For example, as a result of a peculiar     seeking a fast and easy trip to their ship.
                                             businesspeople will go out of their way to avoid    set of circumstances, at the time of writing
                                             certain hubs (Heathrow is one), if they can use     (October 2005) there is no air service between     Dover is a 24-hour port with no locks or tidal
                                             ‘single roof’ continental alternatives, even        London Gatwick and any Paris region airport,       restrictions; vessels can berth at any time,
                                             though this adds at least one more flight to        and that has been the case for over a year.        day or night in as little as 40 minutes. Situated
                                             their itinerary.                                                                                       at the closest geographical point to the
                                                                                                 So, London Ashford Airport (Lydd) has the          Continent, close to all the main shipping lanes,
                                             The strength of Eurostar at Ashford indicates       opportunity to develop a small number of           Dover is also directly connected to the M2 and
                                             that point-to-point traffic from LAA to Paris       sustainable point-to-point routes and has the      M20 motorways, which connect to the M25
                                             and Brussels may be limited by direct               potential to add frequency and successful new      London orbital route, giving fast and smooth
                                             competition and, initially at least, Amsterdam      services in line with the management’s             access to central London and all other parts of
                                             may therefore offer a better route alternative –    business plan.                                     the UK. And Dover is just one of seven ports
                                             for both origin & destination and hubbing                                                              that lie within LAA’s two-hour road travel
                                             travellers. Amsterdam is also a very popular                                                           catchment area.
                                             destination from the whole of the UK east           Airfreight
                                             coast and KLM, together with its subsidiaries,      Globally, airfreight has been growing more         But it isn’t only sea-to-air and vice versa
                                             has efficiently supported regional UK airports      quickly than passenger traffic. The proximity of   freight that offers potential. As the nearest UK
                                             for many years.                                     the Dover Docks and the supporting freight         airport to the continent LAA could have a role


                                                                                                   The opportunities from
                                                                                                   LAA are many and
                                                                                                   include domestic cities
                                                                                                   like Manchester and
                                                                                                   international hubs such
                                                                                                   as Brussels (left)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Photo: www.britainonview.com
as place of landing for a range of perishable         Airport at Manston when that airport was                                  These could take the form of single or series                23
and instant use goods, from speciality foods to       functioning for passenger traffic, simply                                 tours arranged by local companies. The very




                                                                                                                                                                                       The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
foreign newspapers. With a large population           because, for the first time, they existed. Cited                          existence of a ‘local’ airport is often the spur for
and a good road infrastructure, mail services         amongst these are Dublin and Spanish cities.                              entrepreneurs in the neighbouring travel
could feature prominently.                                                                                                      community to arrange and advertise their own
                                                                                                                                tours and for tour operators based elsewhere to
                                                      Cruising into the sunset                                                  consider the new opportunities suddenly
Vacations unlimited                                   One of the major growth areas of the tourism                              presented to them.
It is coincidental, but hardly surprising, that the   industry is international cruise. The UK is the
Saga Group and its Saga Leisure subsidiary            second most important market for cruise                                   Yet another opportunity arises in the form of
should be headquartered in nearby Folkestone.         passengers after North America and the UK’s                               private hire of business jets for high net worth
England’s south coast is home to a growing            ports receive about 725,000 passengers each                               individuals or groups for vacations. This is
number of ‘Greys’ – middle aged or older              year, up by 50 percent in five years.                                     becoming increasingly popular almost directly
people, some of whom have taken early                                                                                           in relation to the continuing expansion of
retirement, with time on their hands and              Growth is expected to continue in the medium                              budget airline services.
disposable income.                                    term, following investment by cruise operators,
                                                      the increasing popularity of cruise travel                                One of the main operators is Jeffersons, which
Greys can be adventurous consumers and any            amongst younger people and increasing                                     arranges one to four night short break and
of the destinations mentioned here might come         demand both for shorter and cheaper cruises.                              ski/sport vacations to up-market city
up on their collective radar, particularly city                                                                                 destinations. Jeffersons will fly from any airport
breaks. Many southern English people own or           All this points to the possibility of fly-cruise                          with sufficient demand and adequate
rent homes in Spain (primarily Murcia and             operations at ports close to LAA. In fact the                             infrastructure, which is certainly true for LAA.
Alicante) and France, the latter already a            airport already receives occasional visits by
popular destination from LAA!                         chartered aircraft bringing passengers to join                            The advantage offered by LAA to companies like
                                                      ships at Dover.                                                           this is the existence of a fixed base operation
The French Connection is there to be exploited.                                                                                 geared towards private jets and the proximity of
Indeed, Saga Holidays itself has a French Short                                                                                 the airport to areas of high disposable income.
Break offer using hotels, chateaux and rural          Charter options
cottages.                                             Charter operators such as TUI (Thomson),
                                                      Monarch and MyTravel tend to use jet engined                              Domestic routes – the backbone
According to local travel agents, vacationers in      aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and 757 series                            of an airport’s offer
Kent and East Sussex choose destinations that         and the Airbus A320 family on short and                                   Domestic routes are very important to most UK
blend low costs with convenience. For example,        medium haul charter flights to Europe. In the                             airports. Despite the fact that the UK is fairly
long-haul passengers would consider a longer          immediate future such aircraft will not be                                small and has a comprehensive rail and road
air journey via somewhere like Amsterdam if           appropriate to LAA.                                                       network, air is still the first choice for many.
the price reduction justified it and as long as
they were not inconvenienced by a very long           But opportunities exist for ad-hoc charters                               This is largely because road building and
wait at the intermediate airport.                     using smaller aircraft, especially turboprops,                            development of the national rail network
                                                      which are making a comeback owing to their                                continue to lag behind other European
They also report that certain destinations            economical operating characteristics over                                 countries and consequently road journeys can
became very popular from Kent International           shorter distances.                                                        be both long and tiring.

                                                                                                                                Southeast Kent and East Sussex are some
 The airport could act as a
 premier fly-cruise                                                                                                             distance from other parts of the country. A trip
 destination, particularly                                                                                                      by car to northern England, for example, would
 in conjunction with the
 expansion of cruise                                                                                                            take most of the day – and time is money.
 services at Dover

                                                                                                                                Travelling by air and then by hired vehicle for
                                                                                                                                business to cities beyond the airport served can
                                                                                                                                be cost-effective, for example, Manchester for
                                                                                                                                Leeds-Bradford, Liverpool or Sheffield,
                                                                                                                                Edinburgh for Glasgow/Silicon Glen. And air
                                                                                                                                travel to all these regions has the added bonus
                                                                                                                                of avoiding the tiresome necessity of changing
                                                                                                                                between rail stations in London.

                                                                                                                                Finally, the increasing propensity for
                                                                                                                                immigrants from East Europe and beyond to
                                                                                                                                settle in the area around the Channel Tunnel
                                                                                                                                and Kent Ports needs also to be considered.

                                                                                                                                Presently the tendency is manifested in terms
                                                                                                                                of containment, dispersal and policies to handle
                                                                                                                                social problems, but in the absence of any
                                                                                                                                fundamental change in government policy the
                                                                                                         Photo: Port of Dover




                                                                                                                                potential will arise in time for immigrants to be
                                                                                                                                regarded as clients of airlines at LAA, both in
                                                                                                                                and outbound.
24
                                             Voices of support. Both the
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             Ashford Rural Trust and the
                                             Channel Corridor Partnership
                                             back the airport’s sustainable
                                             development objectives
                                             Ashford Rural Trust                                                                                                      the airport developed alongside other major
                                             Ashford Rural Trust, an organisation set up to                                                                           projects like the high-speed rail link into Kent.’
                                             help protect the region from damaging and
                                             excessive development, backs the upgrading                                                                               Janice underlined the CCP’s firm commitment
                                             and modernisation of London Ashford Airport                                                                              to playing a key role in helping London Ashford
                                             (Lydd). The Trust campaigns to ensure that the                                                                           Airport (Lydd) efficiently ‘plug into’ the many
                                             rural character of Ashford is not lost.                                                                                  other public and private sector bodies that are
                                                                                                                                                                      active in the region.
                                             Some 30 members of the Trust made a special
                                             visit to the airport in October 2005 to listen to a                                                                      ‘There are all sorts of issues, like skills



                                                                                                                                              Photo: Locate in Kent
                                             presentation given by Marketing Director Robin                                                                           shortages and training, that we are addressing
                                             Gordon. Among the points raised were the                                                                                 and we will bring the airport into discussions
                                             proposed lengthening of the main runway, the                                                                             that we are co-ordinating with other local
                                             safe removal of newts to a nearby location and                                                                           business networks,’ she added.
                                             the erection of a new terminal and terminal
                                             building, coupled with parking facilities for         organisation is on stimulating economic growth                     Zaher Deir, managing director of London
                                             aircraft.                                             and following our visit we now believe that                        Ashford Airport Ltd, said: ‘We were very
                                                                                                   there is a strong case to be made in support of                    encouraged to see that the Board members of
                                             Trust Chairman Ian Grant explained that:              the airport’s role in encouraging new                              the Channel Corridor Partnership came here
                                             ‘There have been many claims and counter              employment and stimulating the regional                            with an open mind and were prepared to
                                             claims about the proposed development of the          economy. We want to ensure that Lydd Airport                       debate all the issues surrounding our plans to
                                             airport at Lydd and our members were keen to          is part of a co-ordinated long-term approach to                    develop the airport. We look forward to working
                                             visit the site and learn the facts for themselves     infrastructure development and we want to see                      closely with the Partnership in the future.’
                                             before forming an opinion. Overall, we believe
                                             the modernisation of the airport will provide
                                             benefits for the region.’



                                             Boosting economic regeneration
                                             The development of London Ashford Airport
                                             (Lydd) will have a positive impact on
                                             employment and economic regeneration in
                                             Kent. That’s the conclusion of an influential
                                             group of business and local authority leaders.

                                             The Channel Corridor Partnership is a private
                                             and public sector organisation set up to
                                             promote and improve economic prosperity
                                             along the M20 corridor council districts of
                                             Shepway, Ashford and Maidstone.

                                             The Partnership held its December 2005 board
                                             meeting at Lydd, giving members the
                                             opportunity to find out more about current
                                             proposals to modernise and upgrade the
                                             airport. Board members received presentations
                                             from airport Managing Director Zaher Deir and
                                             Senior Consultant Jonathan Gordon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Photo: www.kentimages.co.uk




                                             The Partnership’s executive director Janice
                                             Wason said: ‘We were there to learn about the
                                             plans to develop Lydd. The main focus of our
                                                                                                                                                             25
Ancillary revenue. Airports




                                                                                                                                                       The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
throughout the world make
their money in several
different ways, many of which
might surprise you
≥




           Traditionally, they have done so       especially retail shopping and food and               International Airport that offers public
           from fees connected directly to the    beverage, through the expansion of                    flights in ex-military fighters
           landing and take-off of aircraft and   concession facilities. Some have been able to     •   Loyalty cards, pioneered by Bahrain,
the processing of their passengers, supported     tip the balance of revenue generation as              Vienna and Bristol Airports and now
by parking and hangarage fees, possibly office    much as 60:40 in favour of non-aeronautical           commonplace
accommodation charges and navigational            income and that is now considered an              •   On-site gambling. Las Vegas McCarran
services.                                         achievable target. Their methods include:             airport is reputed to earn $25 million from
                                                                                                        this activity and up and coming airports
They also relied on highly profitable Duty and    •   On-site supermarkets and factory                  like Blackpool will aspire to do the same if
Tax Free sales to boost revenues, as did most         (discount) shopping outlets                       the town is granted the UK’s only licence
of the airlines.                                  •   Business parks                                    for a super casino
                                                  •   Restaurants, either within the terminal
But Duty Free sales before, on or after               building or along perimeter roads             However, in recent years it has been the
European flights have been abolished for          •   A motor dealership (Auckland Airport)         smaller regional airports that have become the
several years and, in the face of pressure from   •   Discotheques, for example Frankfurt,          trailblazers as they sought ever more
airlines to reduce fees (especially from the          Munich and Dresden                            imaginative ways to generate income.
budget airlines), airports have had to be much    •   Sport facilities, such as golf (Hong Kong’s
more imaginative and develop co-investment            SkyCity development) and motor racing         The methods they have used include terminal
opportunities.                                        (Kuala Lumpur)                                concession income, car parking income, real
                                                  •   Theme Parks, like Canada’s Calgary            estate income and market making – creating
At first it was the major airports, like London       Airport (a Coca Cola sponsored theme park     revenue sources out of operational areas that
Heathrow, Frankfurt and Rome, which                   called Kidscape) and Thunder Bay, an          were not previously considered appropriate to
ratcheted up their non-aeronautical sales,            aviation attraction at Cape Town              profit generation.



Car parking represents a
major revenue stream at
most airports, including
Germany’s low-cost
trailblazer, Frankfurt-Hahn




                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo: Frankfurt Hahn Airport
The new departure lounge
at LAA, one of many
landside infrastructure
improvements



Much can be done within the bounds of the            Wide-open spaces                                     In the longer term, once a critical mass of
terminal building itself, from the provision of      Of course, many of these revenue generators          commercial air services is achieved there is
appropriately sized retail opportunities             would not be appropriate to LAA, but there are       potential for CIE, with the possibility of
(newsagent/bookstore, bar/restaurant, post           opportunities for the airport to turn itself into    combining meetings with incentive events such
office, tourist bureau), via advertising to car      an attraction in its own right. The airport          as orienteering, karting, water sports and
parking.                                             benefits from its location in a largely              themed activities such as ‘aviation’ (pleasure
                                                     uncongested area, but equally within close           flights/flight training) or ‘military’ (typically
LAA has a large area of flat land on which to        proximity to towns with substantial population.      manoeuvres or use of firing ranges). These
provide further car parking beyond the current                                                            activities could be promoted in advance of the
250-vehicle limitation and has little need in the    In fact LAA has already begun to promote itself      build up of commercial flights.
immediate future to build multi-storey facilities.   to the multi-million dollar conference, incentive
Advertising and promotion can be a very useful       and event (CIE) industry, taking advantage of        For high value groups, high standard
form of subsidiary revenue.                          publicity surrounding the expansion of the           accommodation facilities would be needed on
                                                     business jet operation and VIP Terminal by FAL       site, at least international three-star standard,
London City Airport, for example, makes good         Aviation. In the short term the plan is to attract   with equivalent quality meeting facilities
use of its location to demand high revenues for      business visitors with their own aircraft and        included to provide flexible and convenient
advertising contracts and is often used by film      those that can take advantage of corporate           networking. Plans have already been approved
and television companies as a setting for scene      aviation services, to hold business meetings in      to build a new £7.5 million four-star hotel to
shooting. Almost every airport has something         a relaxing atmosphere with easy access, and          support the Lydd Golf Club. However no firm
to offer advertisers and film directors!             also those that can get to the airport by road.      build date has yet been agreed.

An architectural vision of
the proposed £7.5 million
hotel development at
Lydd Golf Club
                                                                                                                                                                   27




                                                                                                                                                             The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                                                        Lydd Golf Club
                                                                                                        A fine 18-hole Links style golf course is
                                                                                                        located right on LAA’s doorstep. Since
                                                                                                        opening in 1994, Lydd Golf Course has
                                                                                                        worked alongside the airport and today
                                                                                                        offers passengers, particularly those in the
                                                                                                        General Aviation sector, with the ideal
                                                                                                        environment in which to unwind in style
                                                                                                        between flights.

                                                                                                        The course has matured well over its first 12
                                                                                                        years, its championship quality design
                                                                                                        ingeniously taking advantage of the natural
                                                                                                        terrain to provide challenging greens and
Lydd Golf Club can act as                                                                               fairways that test all players’ abilities.
an incentive for
travellers to use the
airport – its facilities are                                                                            With 10 lakes for water hazards and a
available for many
different kinds of event                                                                                blustery wind that often blows in from the
                                                                                                        sea, bringing with it ever-changing weather
                                                                                                        conditions, no two rounds are alike.
The further development of existing golf              airports have factory outlets or major chains
facilities presents another opportunity, in that      such as Ikea located within their boundaries.     Small wonder, then, that the course is widely
the various CIE amenities can be merged with          The development of aviation services and other    regarded as one of the finest golfing venues
it into one offer. The same company that              aerospace related businesses where there is       in Kent, on a par with the area’s more
operates the airport owns the Lydd Golf Club.         an appropriately sized land bank is part of the   established courses.
The tough course has already been used for            business planning for small regional airports.
championships and the arrival of new air              Not only do they help the airport earn            Regular fixtures held here include the British
routes will help spread further its reputation.       additional income; they also enhance the          Boys Championship Plate, as well as
                                                      economic competitiveness of the areas in          Professional fixtures and County Matches,
Golfers are always looking for a challenge –          which they operate.                               but availability is rarely an issue – the flexible
they even flock to Iceland and Greenland to                                                             tariff policy operated at Lydd Golf Course
play at midnight with fluorescent orange golf         One UK regional airport operator, for example,    means that you really can fly in for a round,
balls or to the Middle East to play on courses        has based its strategy on the provision of        choosing a package that complements your
that resemble huge sand bunkers!                      General Aviation services for private aircraft,   individual travel calendar.
                                                      business jets and helicopters, supporting fuel
The combination of golf facilities, a high-class      farms, also flying schools and training and       The course also has a 24-bay floodlit driving
hotel, a professional destination management          maintenance facilities – even where it is         range and a five-hole academy course for
company organising meetings and events and            successfully attracting low-cost airlines!        beginners and those who wish to improve
much easier access will really put the Romney                                                           their short game. A resident golfing
Marsh area on the corporate map.                      The experience of the military is that where      professional is on hand for expert one-on-
                                                      such a cluster of aviation experience builds up   one advice, covering everything from
A further opportunity is ‘green’ tourism.’            it is easier to attract other industries, for     technique to types of equipment.
Birdwatching in particular is much in demand          example specialised vehicle manufacture, to
through dedicated tour operators worldwide            the area. This would be of benefit not only to    Lydd Golf Course boasts all the facilities you
that serve small numbers of relatively high           LAA, but also to the regional economic            would expect from a modern golf club,
spending vacationers, appropriate to a niche          development plan.                                 including a warm and intimate clubhouse,
airport like LAA and its surrounding environs.                                                          plenty of parking, disabled facilities, full
                                                                                                        hospitality services for up to 140 people, a
On a slightly more mundane level there is the                                                           club restaurant, lounge and fully-equipped
opportunity to provide retail services for the                                                          professional shop.
local population not linked directly to air travel,
for example in the form of a factory outlet                                                             Lydd Golf Club and Driving Range
store or mall. Kent has a population of almost                                                          Romney Road
1.4 million, of which Dover, Folkestone and                                                             Lydd
Ashford alone count 270,000 consumers.                                                                  Romney Marsh
                                                                                                        Kent TN29 9LS
Kent’s consumers are keen shoppers, as
testified by the success of the 330-store                                                               T: +44 (0) 1797 320 808
Bluewater shopping complex in the north of                                                              F: +44 (0) 1797 321 482
the county. Non-terminal retail is big business                                                         E: info@lyddgolfclub.co.uk
in Australia, a good case study where many                                                              www.lyddgolfclub.co.uk
28
                                             Lydd FBO. Kent’s very finest
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             executive aviation facility is
                                             already well established at
                                             LAA – closer to you, closer to
                                             the market
                                                                                                                                                   Location – a key factor for
                                             ≥




                                                         If you are looking for an alternative
                                                         fixed base operation (FBO) located                                                        FAL Aviation
                                                         in the UK southeast that is assured                                                       This exceptional situation was instrumental in
                                             to be quiet, discreet and 100 percent focused                                                         the choice of the fixed base operator (FBO),
                                             on the needs of the executive aviation industry,                                                      FAL Aviation, to locate at London Ashford
                                             then look no further than London Ashford                                                              Airport (Lydd) in the summer of 2005. The new
                                             Airport (Lydd) for a fast, efficient and cost-                                                        FBO features a sumptuous 64-sq metre
                                             effective executive airport gateway.                                                                  lounge, complete with state-of-the-art
                                                                                                                                                   conference facilities.
                                             The airport is open for business seven days a
                                             week, from 9am until 7pm (all hours are based                                                         The company provides handling services with
                                             on local time). Movements at other times can,                                                         its new ground equipment, fuel, landing and
                                             however, easily be arranged by obtaining prior                                                        parking services, as well as exclusive use of a
                                             permission – just telephone ATC on +44 (0)                                                            VIP lounge, for corporate, business and
                                             1797 320 881.                                                                                         private aviation clients who own or charter
                                                                                                 LAA represents a friendly, efficient and          small jets. Additional services include:
                                             Located only 53 miles south of central London       welcoming FBO that provides all the exclusive
                                             and less than 10 minutes by air to France, LAA      services required by the passengers and crews     •   Conference rooms
                                             represents a superb, value-added location that      in the Corporate Aviation sector – without the    •   Flight planning room
                                             offers considerable sector length and fuel          stress, slots or waiting time often encountered   •   Crew rest areas
                                             savings to a host of international destinations     at London’s city airports. First opened in the    •   Customs & Immigration
                                             in France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal and      summer of 2005, the facilities are brand new,     •   Aircraft ground support
                                             the southern Mediterranean coast, to name           comprehensive, tailored to modern market          •   Crew transportation
                                             just a few.                                         demand and, of course, highly efficient.          •   Crew accommodation arrangements



                                                                                                   Friendly, efficient and
                                                                                                   comprehensive executive
                                                                                                   aviation services come as
                                                                                                   standard at Fal Aviation
                                                                                                        Location and access                                      29
                                                                                                        By train




                                                                                                                                                           The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                                                        London Ashford Airport (Lydd) is situated 22
                                                                                                        km south of Ashford in Kent. Visitors
                                                                                                        travelling by train should travel to the airport
                                                                                                        by rail (to Ashford International Station) and
                                                                                                        then take either a bus or taxi for the last
                                                                                                        section of the journey. Ashford is
                                                                                                        approximately 13 miles from the airport.

                                                                                                        A feasibility study is underway to reinstate the
                                                                                                        Lydd-Appledore railway line across Romney
                                                                                                        Marsh, which passes close by the airport.

                                                                                                        This could enable connections to be made
                                                                                                        from Ashford International to a proposed LAA
                                                                                                        rail station. As an interim measure coach
                                                                                                        services might operate from and to Ashford
                                                                                                        International.

                                                                                                        By bus
                                                                                                        Regular local bus services are operated by
                                                                                                        Stagecoach East Kent. Bus services from
The 64-sq metre lounge                                                                                  Folkestone stop at the airport terminal and at
exudes style and comfort,
with everything that                                                                                    the end of the approach road.
executive travellers need
close to hand
                                                                                                        By car
                                                                                                        Exit the M20 at Junction 10 and join the A2070
•   Catering arrangements                            London Ashford Airport (Lydd) from June 2006,      southbound. The airport is well signposted
•   Slots & permit arrangements with ATC &           underlining the airport’s unwavering               from this road. Take the A2070 to Brenzett,
    Eurocontrol                                      commitment to its aviation partners and            from there take A259 to Romney Marsh and
•   Secure Parking located immediately next          providing airlines (and their passengers) with     finally the B2075 to Lydd and the airport.
    to the terminal                                  the very highest levels of operational safety at
                                                     all times.                                         Motorway to Terminal journey time is
FAL prides itself on offering a friendly and                                                            approximately 20 minutes and from London
loyal service. Its clients are all treated                                                              approximately one hour 20 minutes.
individually and FAL aims to cater for every         Maintenance and repair
requirement.                                         In Sky-Sure Aircraft Engineering, LAA has its      Apart from the A2070, the other major road in
                                                     very own base maintenance provider. The            the area is the coastal road A259, which runs
As well as all the usual handling services for       company can be contacted on +44 (0) 1797           between Folkestone and Hastings, going on to
the aircraft, such as fuel, repositioning and        322 430 and offers airlines:                       Eastbourne, Brighton and beyond, and which
sanitary needs, FAL offers a vast array of                                                              passes close by the airport.
personal services, from chauffeur-driven             •   The annual 50-hour check
vehicles, limousines, helicopter charter and         •   Aircraft re-sprays                             The airport has car parking adjacent to the
luxury sky catering to floral arrangements,          •   Interior services                              Terminal Building. Day parking is free and
accommodation, conference facilities – even          •   High quality cloth or leather refits           long stay parking is only £3 per night.
those last-minute gifts clients may have             •   An engine exchange program
forgotten to buy while on a business trip.                                                              The airport also has its own golf course. Lydd
                                                     Members of the executive aviation industry         Golf Club is an 18-hole Links style golf course
Aircraft crews are also pampered and taken           looking for a world-class FBO offering             with a 24 bay floodlit Driving Range. The golf
care of, with a designated rest area, showers,       superior quality and service levels should         club adds to the ambiance of LAA and offers
transport, accommodation arrangements and            contact:                                           executives an ideal place to meet and relax
flight planning area.                                                                                   either before or after a flight.

FAL Aviation exhibits at a number of business
aviation shows and conferences annually,
including EBACE and the Business Travel
Show in London.

The launch of FAL Aviation marked the
successful completion of a £400,000 project of       FAL Aviation UK Ltd
works, aimed specifically at upgrading London        London Ashford Airport
Ashford Airport (Lydd)’s existing passenger          Kent TN29 9QL
terminal to cater for every possible 21st            United Kingdom
century air travel requirement.                      T: +44 (0) 1797 322 480
                                                     F: +44 (0) 1797 322 481
The latest model Instrument Landing System           E: info@falaviation.com
(ILS) is now installed and is fully operational at   www.falaviation.com
30
                                             First market mover. Don’t
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             hesitate! Come and talk to us
                                             and reap the many benefits of
                                             being the first carrier to
                                             operate here
                                             ≥




                                                          Although all airlines have a lot to do   the last decade (for example Luton Airport        •   Designated economic growth area
                                                          to build new routes there are clear      grew by 245 percent in 10 years and Stansted      •   Excellent surface transport links
                                                          advantages in being the first one to     by 600 percent), a recent survey by the Greater   •   Closest proximity to mainland Europe
                                             fly them. At larger airports this often manifests     London Authority concluded that the majority      •   Well-established local and regional
                                             itself in the obtaining of ‘grandfather rights’ on    of Londoners still tend to use an airport close       tourism attractions and infrastructure
                                             the allocation of slots.                              to where they live.                               •   Attractive operational characteristics in an
                                                                                                                                                         uncongested region
                                             The wider advantage, especially at a smaller          This explains the even bigger growth
                                             airport, is the opportunity to establish the          experienced at London City Airport over the       A start-up airline at LAA still has a challenge
                                             airline as an innovator. Innovatory airlines tend     same decade – a staggering 700 percent.           as it would elsewhere, despite all these
                                             to chime in with the thinking of innovatory           Pitching its attraction at business people,       benefits, especially in the selection of routes.
                                             consumers – those with adventurous minds              London City has also successfully generated       But help may be on hand.
                                             and the disposable income necessary to satisfy        outbound leisure travel to consumers in both
                                             their desires.                                        the richer and poorer areas of East London.       LAA actively involves the local community in its
                                                                                                                                                     development plans. Managing Director Zaher
                                             Southeast England has many of these people            London City has few budget airline flights,       Deir says: “In preparing our development
                                             amongst its population; the region consistently       suggesting that an airport does not have to be    plans for London Ashford Airport (Lydd), we
                                             has the highest propensity to travel by air in        locked into one business model to succeed.        have involved residents, local authorities and
                                             the UK, despite a higher cost of living than          The opportunity is there for regional airlines    other interested bodies every step of the way
                                             most other UK regions.                                to take first advantage of LAA’s strong offer:    during the consultation process.”

                                             It’s also worth mentioning that despite the           •   A broad and relatively uncontested            “We have an airport consultative committee
                                             huge growth of budget airline services during             catchment area                                and we also promote an open-door policy so



                                             Intense negotiation and
                                             the establishment of a
                                             route development forum
                                             were key factors at
                                             Bergen Airport Flesland,
                                             on the Norwegian Fjords
that anybody with an interest in LAA is               (BAFDF), which held its first meeting in                                      ordinated marketing support and tailored                 31
welcome to visit and find out for him or herself      January 2005. As a consequence, Bergen                                        assistance throughout every aspect of the




                                                                                                                                                                                       The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
what our business plans involve.”                     Airport Flesland stepped up a gear in its                                     route marketing process.
                                                      mission to deliver new cost-efficient routes
We are keen to encourage an extension of              into the airport and support carriers interested                              Airlines undertake considerable due diligence
consultative committees into the business of          in opening routes there.                                                      before embarking on any new route. Each
route development, believing that the best                                                                                          BAFDF member appreciates the complexities
people to decide on the routes necessary for          It was felt that the establishment of a                                       of route development and their role to support
long-term success are local stakeholders.             dedicated networking forum had long been                                      the airport marketing process, from budget
                                                      overdue. After all, focused marketing of the                                  spending, marketing and advertising strategies
Those routes need to be cost-effective, both to       fjords and cruise line business has been                                      to data gathering and reporting.
the airline operator and to the passenger, so         extremely successful in establishing Bergen
that they offer economic benefits to all parties.     firmly on the cruise itinerary map.                                           Although still in its early stages, the forum,
There is little point having an air service that is                                                                                 now managed by Bergen Chamber of
withdrawn after a couple of months and that is        Networking and marketing groups have given                                    Commerce and chaired by an executive of
something that happens all too often in an era        significant support to the cruise line industry                               Deloitte & Touche, will provide valuable
of budget airlines with a very portable product.      and inbound tour operators, at the same time                                  assistance to new airlines and will also work
                                                      as promoting the fjords as a strong                                           within the wider transport plan for the region.
In Canada, all the major airports are set up as       international brand and ensuring positive
‘not-for-profit organisations’, run by and on         image placement throughout the worldwide                                      The process at Bergen Airport Flesland has
behalf of their stakeholders, which include           travel industry.                                                              certainly been successful – the BFADF has
municipalities, business and commerce, trade                                                                                        helped to develop 15 new aviation routes in just
unions, pressure groups and even pension                                                                                            under two years and bring a number of new
funds. However, perhaps it is more pertinent to       Many heads better than one                                                    airlines to the region.
look at an example closer to home.                    Bergen’s development forum is an all-inclusive
                                                      initiative that comprises important regional
Bergen Airport Flesland in Norway bears some          stakeholders from politics, tourism and                                       Parties recognise they all have a
similarities with LAA. It’s much further from         business. As Bergen Airport Flesland embarks                                  part to play
Oslo than LAA is from London but its                  on an aggressive campaign to secure new                                       Today, the forum is in its early stages, but
immediate passenger catchment area is                 airline routes it is safe in the knowledge that                               already there is much stronger focus on the
similar and Bergen has a cruise ship business         carriers will receive information culled from a                               airport amongst the local community.
where LAA has the ferry (and cruise) ports of         wide variety of sources to help reach critical                                Stakeholders recognise that it is not just
Folkestone and Dover. However, we can’t really        route development decisions.                                                  Avinor’s (the state airport operator)
compare the Norwegian fjords to the White                                                                                           responsibility to generate traffic growth at
Cliffs of Dover!                                      The BAFDF structure was designed to have                                      Bergen Airport Flesland.
                                                      member contacts across every conceivable
The airport in Bergen, working in co-operation        aspect of the airline, airport and passenger-                                 Political, tourism and economic leaders also
with critical stakeholders, established the           handling value chains so that it can provide up-                              have an important role to play in the process.
Bergen Airport Flesland Development Forum             to-date tourism and economic data, co-                                        So how would it work at London Ashford
                                                                                                                                    Airport (Lydd)?

                                                                                                                                    Clearly, many public bodies and individuals
                                                                                                                                    would be interested in participating, from
                                                                                                                                    Parish Council level, through District and
                                                                                                                                    County (including Ashford Borough Council
                                                                                                                                    and East Sussex County Council), to the
                                                                                                                                    regional South East England Development
                                                                                                                                    Corporation (SEEDA) and Kent & Medway MPs
                                                                                                                                    and MEPs.

                                                                                                                                    Apart from the airport operator itself, service
                                                                                                                                    providers would need to be represented, plus
                                                                                                                                    travel agents and freight forwarders and at
                                                                                                                                    least one participant from industry, commerce
                                                                                                                                    and leisure.

                                                                                                                                    The main point about these forums is that
                                                                                                                                    rather than adding to bureaucracy, they can
                                                                                                                                    actually help to cut across it. They are set up
                                                                                                                                    for a very specific purpose that has fixed and
                                                                                                                                    agreed objectives.

                                                                                                                                    Once those objectives are achieved – usually
                                                                                                   Photo: Bergen Flesland Airport




                                                                                                                                    when the airport reaches the point where its
                                                                                                                                    optimum operating capacity is (or clearly can
                                                                                                                                    be) attained – the forum is disbanded and is
                                                                                                                                    only reinstated if there is a major unforeseen
                                                                                                                                    change in circumstances.
32
                                             Location, location, location...
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             Only these three things
                                             matter, as the saying goes,
                                             and LAA is well placed for
                                             London and the UK southeast
                                                         This is Britain’s wealthiest area,      Right place                                                     60 minute drive time
                                             ≥




                                                         close to London and the European        Considering that the English Channel forms a                    Private households                           483,943
                                                         continent – and, significantly, its     boundary to the east and south, LAA’s                           Usually resident population                  1,114,680
                                             inhabitants have the greatest propensity to fly     catchment area is considerable and it will                      90 minute drive time
                                             of anyone in the UK. As far as location goes,       undoubtedly attract passengers travelling to or                 Private households                           1,798,188
                                             London Ashford Airport (Lydd) is the right          from districts outside the immediate vicinity.                  Usually resident population                  4,150,606
                                             airport, in the right place, at the right time.                                                                     Drive time populations (2003). Source: MapInfo
                                                                                                 Almost all of Kent lies within a one-hour drive
                                                                                                 of LAA. Perhaps surprisingly, a much bigger                     Of course not everyone in this enormous
                                             Right airport                                       area lies within a two-hour drive. This is                      catchment area will wish to use LAA. There are
                                             As we stress throughout this route                  because of the M20, which links directly into                   plans to expand Stansted and Luton airports,
                                             development prospectus, LAA will be the sort        the London orbital motorway, the M25, itself                    for example, and to add an extra runway and
                                             of airport that today’s increasingly                connecting with arterial motorways (M1, A1                      even a sixth terminal at Heathrow. LAA can,
                                             sophisticated traveller seeks – one that is both    [M], M3, M4, M11 and M40), running north and                    though, aim to offer services to niche
                                             handy and convenient, hosting regular air           west of the capital.                                            destinations, with a friendly and welcoming
                                             services to whichever destinations are                                                                              atmosphere that certainly can attract
                                             required, uncongested, easy to move through         In fact the two-hour drive time stretches as far                passengers from further a-field – especially
                                             and offering a range of comfortable and             as Colchester in Essex, Stevenage in                            where people from different regions wish to
                                             modern facilities.                                  Hertfordshire, Bracknell in Berkshire, Alton in                 travel together, which can happen both for
                                                                                                 Hampshire, Haslemere in Surrey and                              business and leisure reasons.
                                             Easily accessible by private vehicle, public        Littlehampton in West Sussex. It embraces all
                                             transport is being improved so that it, too, will   of London’s commercial airports and a region                    Further development of transport in the sub-
                                             provide a viable option for passengers to get to    of close to 15 million people – the same                        region, including the placement of LAA within
                                             and from the airport.                               population as that of the Netherlands.                          the overall scheme, is currently undergoing a
                                                                                                                                                                 period of consultation, led by Kent County
                                                                                                                                                                 Council under the auspices of the Southeast
                                             The recently refurbished                                                                                            England Regional Assembly.
                                             and grooved runway
                                             already allows for a
                                             diverse range of regional                                                                                           It is a major piece of work being carried out by
                                             aircraft and jets
                                                                                                                                                                 the Assembly and will set out a vision for the
                                                                                                                                                                 region through to 2026 in the areas of housing,
                                                                                                                                                                 transport, economy and the environment.

                                                                                                                                                                 The full plan will be submitted for Government
                                                                                                                                                                 approval in Spring 2006. Once it has
                                                                                                                                                                 Government approval it will become a legal
                                                                                                                                                                 document that local authorities and other
                                                                                                                                                                 government agencies in the region will have to
                                                                                                                                                                 follow. District and Unitary Councils will still
                                                                                                                                                                 deal with local planning applications, but they
                                                                                                                                                                 will have to ensure their decisions do not
                                                                                                                                                                 conflict with the principles in the Plan.



                                                                                                                                                                 Right time
                                                                                                                                                                 Time is money, as the saying goes, and LAA
                                                                                                                                                                 can help the traveller to save time in two ways.
                                                                                                                                                                 Firstly, the airport is easily accessible and
                                                                                                                                                                 passengers need not worry about having to
                                                                                                                                              Photo: Roy Hinds




                                                                                                                                                                 park their car well away from the terminal
                                                                                                                                                                 building and catching a bus just to get to the
                                                                                                                                                                 check-in desk.
                                                                                                                         The London TMA (Terminal                               33
                                                                                                                         Manoeuvring Area)




                                                                                                                                                                          The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                                                                         This air traffic control region covers all
                                                                                                                         airfields in the southeast of England,
                                                                                                                         westwards to Southampton, south and east
                                                                                                                         to the coast and northwards almost as far
                                                                                                                         as Birmingham. It is responsible for all take
                                                                                                                         off and landing activity at commercial
                                                                                                                         airports and business airfields and for all
                                                                                                                         airspace activity up to 25,000 feet.

                                                                                                                         These congestion factors play havoc with
                                                                                                                         timetables and, worse still, cause the
                                                                                                                         burning of excessive amounts of fuel on the
                                                                                                                         ramp and taxiway.

                                                                                                                         It isn’t unusual to wait 20 minutes to take
                                                                                                                         off from Heathrow after the aeroplane has
                                                                                                                         been given the all clear to depart, or to
                                                                                                                         circle it for 30 minutes waiting to land.
Airspace issues faced at
airports within the




                                                                                                     Photo: Bombardier
London TMA area – such                                                                                                   In Malaysia, the low-cost airline AirAsia
as London City – can be
largely avoided by
                                                                                                                         calculated that the total cost of operating at
carriers servicing LAA                                                                                                   Kuala Lumpur International Airport rather
                                                                                                                         than at the smaller Subang Airport was 30
Heathrow and Gatwick airports are hopelessly      capable of matching the offer of Stansted and                          percent greater – and brought about by
congested, as their regular users will testify.   Luton. LAA is the obvious choice.                                      excessive delays at peak periods resulting
But smaller regional airports continue to take                                                                           in greater fuel burn.
away their market share. Take this example.       Figures for specifically European (including UK
                                                  domestic) passengers at the main London                                No such problems are envisaged at LAA,
In 1987, the market share of the four main        airports are also interesting to compare. In                           which is situated well away from London
London airports was 92 percent in favour of       2004, London Heathrow managed an increase                              area approach and take off tracks and
Heathrow and Gatwick, with just six percent       of 6.4 percent over 2003 in passengers to and                          offers airlines rapid direct approach and
using Stansted and Luton. Not much had            from Europe and Gatwick 13.5 percent. Luton’s                          departure over the English Channel, with
changed by 1997, with 94 percent market           increase was 13.25 percent and Stansted’s 18                           only occasional need for noise abatement
share at the two big airports. But by 2003 that   percent. London City managed an impressive                             operating restrictions. All this, of course,
share was down to 79 percent.                     28.3 percent, thus confirming the continuing                           enables airlines to maximise their daily
                                                  swing in favour of regional airports.                                  rotations.
Until now there has been no comparable
regional airport to the south of London                                                                                  And of course it should not be overlooked
                                                  The ATC conundrum                                                      that London Ashford Airport (Lydd) is the
                                                  Secondly, there are benefits to the airlines.                          closest airport to the European continent.
   London area market share, 1997                 The biggest problems facing airlines operating                         Many of the destinations we refer to in this
                                                  into the London TMA are the regular changes                            prospectus can be reached just as quickly
                      6%
                                                  of approach to avoid congested sectors,                                (and often more quickly) on a turboprop
                                                  stacking of aircraft waiting to land and the                           aircraft from LAA as they can from other
                                                  delays encountered on the ground while                                 airports by jet – and that’s without taking
                                                  waiting to park and again take off again – even                        into consideration the additional customer
                                                  delays on the ground are classified as ‘ATC’                           benefits of greatly reduced access, parking
                                                  (air traffic control).                                                 and check-in times.


                                     94%          There is nothing worse for a passenger than                            Departing from LAA, aircraft must join the
                                                  the long trek along a taxiway followed by a                            ATC system somewhere of course but flying
                                                  lengthy wait for a gate to become available.                           from a regional airport to other regional
   London area market share, 2003                 The nature of the congestion has meant that                            airports they will be able to avoid the main
                                 21%              issues of safe separation between aircraft,                            air lanes, whether within the UK or on the
                                                  especially those coming into land, have also to                        Continent.
                                                  be brought into the equation.
                                                                                                                         By way of example, Ryanair has been able
                                                  Congestion remains aviation’s biggest long-                            to exploit these secondary air routes into a
                                                  term challenge. It causes delays and                                   lattice-like network that avoids any hiatus
                                                  unreliability for passengers, reduced efficiency                       except at major bases such as Stansted and
                                                  and massive waste of energy and materials.                             Dublin. Flying these routes additionally
              79%                                 The extra fuel required could mean an aircraft                         offers airlines a greater opportunity
                                                  burns 20 to 30 percent more fuel than it ought                         legitimately to cut corners, with attendant
          Heathrow and Gatwick
                                                  to during the flight. British Airways alone                            fuel and time saving.
          Luton and Stansted                      burns up to 25,000 tonnes of fuel each year
                                                  just by circling London Heathrow.
34
                                             Fuel efficiency. Hand in hand
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             with time savings is the
                                             thorny subject of pollution
                                             and noise – on every count,
                                             LAA passes the test
                                                         Throughout Europe, North America                                                        Aircraft entering a carrier’s fleet today are
                                             ≥




                                                                                                 Noise exposure to more than 65dBA
                                                         and now Asia, local communities                                                         typically 20 dB quieter than comparable
                                                         are putting airport expansion under                          1.7% 1%                    aircraft in service some 30 years ago, which in
                                                                                                                                7.3%
                                             the microscope and making increasingly tough                                                        practice corresponds to a reduction in noise
                                             demands on management; not surprisingly, as                                                         annoyance of about 75 percent (Source: ATAG -
                                             the noise of aircraft taking off and landing                                                        Air Transport Action Group).
                                             along flight paths of major airports can exceed
                                             100 dBA.                                                                                            Air transport contributes only one percent to
                                                                                                                                                 the nuisances superior to 65 dBA, at which 80
                                             Sound levels are typically measured in decibels                                           90%       million people of European Union are exposed
                                             (dB). Humans hear sound within a limited                                                            (road transport contributes 90 percent).
                                             frequency range, which is reflected in a value
                                             known as A-weighted dB, or dBA. According to                                                        80 million people of the European Union’s
                                             community noise guidelines published in 1999                                                        population are exposed to continuous day-time
                                                                                                   37%
                                             by the World Health Organisation, for a good                                                        outdoor noise levels caused by transport above
                                                                                                                                       63%
                                             night’s sleep background sound levels should                                                        what are generally considered to be
                                             not exceed 30 dBA.                                                                                  acceptable, more than 65 dB(A). An additional
                                                                                                                                                 170 million citizens are exposed to noise levels
                                             In outdoor living areas, sounds above 50 dBA                                                        between 55-65 dB(A), which is the level at
                                             are annoying to humans. Jet engine noise                                                            which people become seriously annoyed
                                             comes predominately from two sources. An                  Air transport            Road transport   during the day time.
                                             approaching jet creates a high-pitched whine
                                             as the fan pulls air into the engine. As the jet          Rail transport           Other sources    Road transport is the dominant source,
                                             passes by, a low-pitched rumble is created by                                                       accounting for nine tenths of the proportion of
                                             exhaust leaving the engine.
                                                                                                  The rise of air transport
                                             The advantage to the local community of the          at the airport, especially
                                                                                                  using turboprops, makes
                                             expansion of London Ashford Airport (Lydd) in        good environmental and
                                             terms of better transport, improved economic         economic sense
                                             prospects and tourism opportunities is not
                                             negated by any significant downside in terms
                                             of either noise or pollution.

                                             To put the matter into perspective it should be
                                             pointed out that aviation is by necessity an
                                             efficient industry. Efficiency is a first step on
                                             the road to sustainability and this is the key to
                                             minimising aviation’s environmental impact.
                                             Compared to other means of transport,
                                             aviation has an enviable environmental record,
                                             but this is still too much a well-kept secret!

                                             For example, it is considerably less polluting
                                             than other forms of transport and industry
                                             sectors, as shown in the charts (above right).



                                             Noise
                                             Fleet renewal based on the use of improved
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo: Bombardier




                                             technology has significantly reduced total noise
                                             exposure around airports despite the
                                             cumulative market growth.
the European Union’s population exposed to          Nations and the European Commission for the         Sources of pollutant emissions                        35
levels of noise over 65 dB(A). As for rail, 1.7     introduction of an environmental tax on
                                                                                                                             3%




                                                                                                                                                        The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
percent of the population – and air transport a     aircraft, which may or may not be related                                       6%
further one percent – are exposed to these          directly to these gaseous emissions. The latter
high levels.                                        wants to apply it to all flights within the EU.
                                                    The timetable and even the ideology remains
                                                                                                                                               25%
                                                    vague at this time but already some countries
The turboprop is the ideal                          have taken unilateral action of their own, such
regional airport aircraft                           as Sweden, which will introduce an €8 (£5)              64%
While it is true that early turboprops were         ‘green’ tax in 2006.
noisy, newer versions have noise/vibration                                                                                               12%
reduction systems and are at least as quiet as      BA is running a voluntary scheme, probably to
                                                                                                               Air                    Other transport
regional jets, in many cases more so.               test public reaction. Already some low-cost
                                                    airlines have withdrawn from routes because                Rail transport         Road
The type of aircraft that we envisage operating     schemes like this have been introduced.
                                                                                                               Energy
at LAA is a modern turboprop such as the
French-Italian ATR-42 and –72, which is             What is certain is that the cost will be passed
operated by 120 airlines – one out of every         on to the customer. It seems that the typical       A study to measure emission levels,
three turboprop-powered aircraft in the world       charge per passenger will be between €1 and         comparing different transport modes with
– and that are all equally keen to minimise fuel    €6 per sector; not a great amount but one that      emissions coming from industry and energy
emissions and protect the environment, an           will add to the already impressive tax burden       sources, revealed that only three percent is
especially important concern to safeguard the       borne by air travellers.                            attributable to air transport.
planet and to respect the Kyoto agreement.
                                                    If such a scheme is introduced, fairly, it should   Energy consumption
The low fuel consumption of these                   benefit turboprop operators because of their        Aviation consumes about 12 percent of the oil
‘environmentally friendly’ aircraft meets both      lower emissions.                                    supplies used by the entire transport
external noise and gaseous emission level                                                               industry. Significantly, the generation of
regulatory requirements with ample margins,         Most airlines are yet to articulate an official     aircraft being produced today is about 70
with short-field capability.                        position on aircraft emissions taxes but there      percent more fuel efficient per passenger/km
                                                    is an underlying concern that legislation, which    than those of 40 years ago.
Turboprop aircraft in general can justify their     has an adverse impact on profitability, might
view that they are already respecters of the        lead to postponement of further investment          Emissions
environment and good neighbours for airlines        into environmentally acceptable aircraft.           Today, aviation is responsible for less than
and airport communities.                                                                                three percent of world annual additions to
                                                    In view of the ever-declining resources of the      greenhouse gases and less than three
As far as noise is concerned, the noise             world, the catalyst for low emissions – low fuel    percent of the production of nitrous oxide-
footprint at 90 EPNdB (a measure that               consumption – is equally important. On a 200-       type gas.
introduces the duration of a noise event) of a      mile sector, ATR calculates that the –500 uses
modern turboprop like the ATR 72-500 is only        11 percent less fuel per passenger than a           Climate change
1.2 sq miles (3.5 sq kilometres) compared with      typical European car and 41 percent less than       Aircraft emissions contribute an estimated
2.1 sq miles (5.4 sq kilometres) for a modern       a jet. Or, to put it another way, it uses as much   3.5 percent to the overall climactic effects
regional jet.                                       fuel as a B747 does in 10 minutes taxiing!          resulting from all man-made activities.

Statistics for 30-year old aircraft demonstrate     As aeroplanes operating from LAA can expect         Infrastructure improvements
how times have changed. A turboprop of that         20 minutes of fuel saving each way on a short       The accelerated introductions of
age has a noise footprint of 5.2 sq miles (13.5     journey like this over those operating at           communications, navigation, surveillance and
sq kilometres) and that of a jet, a huge one of     Heathrow for example, this can amount to 1.6        air traffic management (CNS/ATM) systems
11.3 sq miles (29.3 sq kilometres). And most        tonnes saved, per sector. And with oil regularly    and additional infrastructure could enable
aircraft these days are modern – the average        exceeding $70 a barrel and projected by some        airlines to fly the shortest distances and
age of European Regional Airlines’ fleets, of       forecasts to go over $100 in the years ahead,       reduce fuel consumption.
which 55 percent are turboprops, is just seven      this miserly fuel consumption must help keep
years. One take-off by a Boeing 727 is the          air ticket prices down.                             Improvements in air traffic management
noise equivalent of 100 take-offs by new                                                                could reduce fuel burn per trip by between
regional aircraft.                                  Finally, one other benefit of the turboprop is      six percent and 12 percent for today's global
                                                    worth mentioning that has little in common          air fleet.
The most recent measure of pollution, by the        with these technical features. They are far
Air Transport Action Group, demonstrates that       more readily accepted now by passengers             Fuel efficiency
advanced turboprops operate more efficiently        because of the improvements in particular in        Airlines have doubled their fuel efficiency
on short routes. They emit 20 percent less CO2      cabin noise levels, but also because their          over the last 30 years. Further improvements
(carbon dioxide) per passenger-kilometre than       design profile often means they have a wider        in efficiency are expected to reduce
newer jets and up to three times less than          cabin profile and so can be quite comfortable       emissions growth to around three percent a
older ones! Not only that, emissions of NOx,        on board and they also afford a better view as      year, compared to a forecast growth of five
(Nitrogen Oxides) by all regional aircraft are at   they do not usually fly as high as jets.            percent in traffic.
low altitudes, well below the levels at which
ozone depletion is a major concern.                 So London Ashford Airport (Lydd), the right
                                                    airport at the right place at the right time,
CO2 emissions are of particular concern             should prosper by playing host to the right
because there are proposals within the United       aircraft… to the benefit of all concerned.
36
                                             Parsons Brinckerhoff.
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             Authors of the 2004 Master
                                             Plan that set out the vision for
                                             the dynamic development of
                                             London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                             ≥




                                                        To be successful, all airports need     Significantly, this impression had already been   To do so, LAA had to import its infrastructure
                                                        to plan strategically for their long-   confirmed that year by the Government White       so that it could respond efficiently to this major
                                                        term development, even if a             Paper: Future of Air Transport.                   capacity shortfall and attract suitable new
                                             succession of short-term changes keep the                                                            airlines and other operations.
                                             management constantly on its toes, coping          Equally as important for Parsons Brinckerhoff
                                             with contingencies!                                was the significance of the airport to the        In order to take this clear opportunity forward,
                                                                                                economic development prospects of this part of    Parsons Brinckerhoff had rapidly to put a
                                             The renowned consultants Parsons                   the country. As a regional wealth and             practical, comprehensive and proactive Master
                                             Brinckerhoff (PB Ltd Aviation), a world-leading    employment generator, the airport clearly had     Plan into operation.
                                             planning, engineering and programme and            much to offer.
                                             construction management organisation, was                                                            The Parsons Brinckerhoff report was
                                             appointed by London Ashford Airport (Lydd)         From their side, LAA’s managers wished to         concerned with identifying a development
                                             back in 2003 to prepare a Master Plan that         plan the proposed expansion of the airport        strategy that would provide the facilities
                                             would set out the future development of the        infrastructure in an orderly, careful and cost-   necessary to satisfy traffic levels forecast in the
                                             airport over a 10 year period.                     efficient manner, so as to be able to respond     LAA Business Plan over the medium term.
                                                                                                quickly to the current and future demands of
                                             Parsons Brinckerhoff initially concluded that      air transport.                                    Conceptualising these facilities also permits
                                             although LAA had become almost dormant as                                                            expansion beyond the limits of the initial
                                             a commercial and cargo airport in the wake of      Parsons Brinckerhoff quickly understood how       Business Plan, should this be required in the
                                             hovercraft and catamaran services, which took      the airport’s superb geographic location          short term.
                                             away its air-car ferry business, additional        offered a rare opportunity for LAA to take good
                                             runway capacity was still greatly needed in the    advantage of the severe capacity saturation at    The Master Planning document was
                                             southeast of England – and LAA was well            London’s main airports and particularly at        presented to the management team early in
                                             placed to take advantae of this shortfall.         Heathrow and Gatwick.                             2004, following which the LAA management



                                             With the first phase of
                                             development complete,
                                             the door is open for other
                                             carriers to join LyddAir at
                                             the airport




                                                                                                                                                                                                        Photo: Roy Hinds
Looking down over the
airport’s runway and
current air- and
landside infrastructure




extended Parsons Brinckerhoff’s                    areas within the site that are designated as        The first development phase alone has
appointment to include Design and Contract         SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest: an     revealed the airport’s massive potential and
procurement responsibility for the first phase     area of special interest, as designated by the      changed the fundamental nature of its
of the airport’s development.                      Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981).              infrastructure offer. This has given LAA the
                                                                                                       opportunity to promote its advantages and
This included:                                     By paying the utmost attention to protecting        begin to compete on an even footing with other
                                                   these areas, the company ensured that               European airport operators.
•   Strengthening the existing runway              environmental considerations were (and will
•   Creating new apron areas                       remain) paramount throughout the airport’s          Parsons Brinckerhoff will continue to play an
•   Installing taxiway and apron lighting          current development and beyond.                     extremely important role at LAA, using its
•   Resurfacing the one mile long access road                                                          unique planning, engineering and construction
•   Carrying out all associated drainage work      At the same time, all works were designed           management expertise to create a highly
                                                   specifically to keep the airport operational with   efficient commercial airport that can
Incumbent upon Parsons Brinckerhoff at all         minimum disruption to existing traffic patterns     accommodate the needs of all 21st century
times has been the need to recognise the two       in the greater Ashford region.                      airlines and airline travellers.




PB in Brief
One of the world’s oldest continuously             Other major projects followed – including           services for Austin Bergstrom International
operating engineering firms, Parsons               charting a 1,000-mile railroad in China from        Airport (Texas), opened in May 1999.
Brinckerhoff (PB) provides its leading planning,   Hankow to Canton. Then, in 1906, Parsons
engineering and programme and construction         joined forces with the pioneering highway           PB defines success by the sustainable value it
management expertise to several of the             engineer Henry M. Brinckerhoff… and PB was          offers its clients, communities,
world’s largest and most important public          born.                                               employees/owners and its profession.
works projects.
                                                   A long period of evolution and expansion            From promising beginnings, the company has
Clients include Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel,    followed, which continues to this day. Now, PB      developed into a worldwide provider of major
Network Rail in the UK, the Sabiya power plant     is widely regarded as one of the world’s            cutting-edge infrastructure services and will
in Kuwait, Cairo’s Metro and Singapore’s Deep      foremost transportation engineering firms,          continue to shape much of the world’s most
Tunnel Sewerage System.                            providing comprehensive services for all types      noteworthy infrastructure systems for many
                                                   of infrastructure projects, including power,        years to come.
The company’s roots extend all the way back to     buildings, environment and
1885, when the engineer William Barclay            telecommunications.
Parsons first opened his office in downtown
Manhattan, New York City. From the start, his      PB has completed thousands of high-profile
projects were deliberately ambitious –             projects and today helps its clients serve the
Parsons’ very first task was to design the New     public in nearly 80 countries around the world.     For more information about Parsons
York City subway, the IRT, which was                                                                   Brinckerhoff and its global competence
completed in 1904.                                 Recent achievements include the Delhi Mass          base, go online at www.pbworld.com, which
                                                   Rapid Transit System, the BART (Bay Area            also has specific information on the company’s
The system remains the world’s most heavily        Rapid Transport) San Francisco Airport              Aviation UK capabilities. Alternatively, you can
used rapid transit system.                         Extension and full programme management             phone +44 (0) 161 200 5000
38
                                             Foster Yeoman Contracting.
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             The specialist aggregate and
                                             asphalt company that
                                             transformed LAA’s outdated
                                             airside infrastructure
                                             ≥




                                                         Founded in 1923 at Dulcote near
                                                         Wells (Somerset, UK), Foster             An aerial view of London
                                                                                                  Ashford Airport (Lydd)’s
                                                         Yeoman Contracting Limited (FYC)         new 1,505-metre runway
                                             is widely considered to be one of the world’s
                                             most innovative and successful quarrying and
                                             logistics businesses. Customer-focused and
                                             solutions-driven, this family-run company has
                                             consistently led the way in the supply of
                                             aggregate and asphalt products for such high-
                                             profile projects as the Thames Barrage, M25
                                             motorway and Channel Tunnel.

                                             The company has played an equally important
                                             role at London Ashford Airport (Lydd), following
                                             LAA’s decision to engage Parsons Brinckerhoff
                                             to set out (and then undertake) a major
                                             programme of works that would modernise
                                             and upgrade the existing airside infrastructure,
                                             thereby allowing the airport to meet its goal of
                                             handling up to two million passengers by 2014.

                                             2004 saw the £3 million construction contract
                                             at LAA for Phase One of the redevelopment go
                                             out to competitive tender. Out of the 10
                                             bidders, the client opted for Foster Yeoman’s
                                             bid, which clearly provided the best value for
                                             money. In brief, the contract called for:

                                             •   The resurfacing of the main runway and
                                                 associated taxiway in a manner that would
                                                 allow for the continued use of the airport
                                             •   The development of a new 24,000-sq metre
                                                 apron, to enable improved access to airport
                                                 facilities, comprising of the reuse of part of
                                                 the second runway and associated
                                                 taxiways, new apron construction and
                                                 associated drainage
                                             •   Additional airport lighting upgrades
                                             •   New airfield markings



                                             Constructing innovations
                                             The project design was for a traditional
                                             engineering specification that included
                                             importing primary material and disposing of
                                             unsuitable material. FYC proposed value-
                                             added alternatives to the project specification.
                                             In particular, their tender including using in-
                                             situ material, which would be recycled on site,
                                             and stabilising the existing subsoil with
                                             cement and lime – reducing the need to import
                                             primary aggregates by some 35,000 tonnes.
                                                                                                                                                          Photo: Roy Hinds
FYC rejuvenated the
runway and constructed a
new apron – all without
disrupting air activity



Despite the cost and environmental savings,                                                             vehicle movements of around 14 miles each
there would be no compromise on quality. To                                                             way – a saving of 49,000 vehicle miles. If the
ensure that this work would match or exceed                                                             existing subsoil had been removed from the
the requirements of the traditional                                                                     site, another 1,250 vehicle movements would
specification, whilst reducing the overall                                                              have been required.
impacts of the project, all proposals were sent
to the designer, Parsons Brinckerhoff, for                                                              Throughout its involvement at LAA, Foster
verification, before forming part of the                                                                Yeoman adhered firmly to its sustainability
specification and final contract award price.                                                           agenda, recycling and reusing all old materials
                                                                                                        so that nothing would have to be sent to
Work began in September 2004, with the                                                                  landfill sites.
installation of a Parker Black mobile asphalt
plant, capable of manufacturing 80 tonnes of                                                            Significantly, FYC explained and demonstrated
asphalt per hour for the duration of the                                                                to the client and designer the overall benefits
project.                                                                                                of using recycled materials and alternative
                                                     with the middle 505-metre section resurfaced       technologies to reduce primary aggregate use,
A Goliath mobile crusher and Foamix plant            at night so that the airport could remain fully    whilst proving through testing that the overall
also arrived on site to handle the recycling         operational during the day.                        performance requirements of the contracts
element of the operation, which involved                                                                would not be compromised.
breaking up the old disused second runway to         Construction of the new 24,000-sq metre
make a cement-bound material that would              apron began with ground stabilisation, as an       Both client and designer have been extremely
form the base of the new apron.                      alternative to type one sub base. Material from    positive about the price and quality of this
                                                     the secondary runway was crushed, screened         large-scale infrastructure redevelopment,
It took 11,400 tonnes of bitumen and some            and graded to produce a recycled 200 mm            which has transformed the airport’s
30,000 tonnes of asphalt to rejuvenate the           layer of cement bound base. The new apron          commercial air transport capabilities.
main 1,505-metre long runway, taxiway and            surface comprises a 60 mm Marshall binder
existing apron, which were already over 50           course and 40 mm surface course.
years old.

After crack treating the aged runway and             Sustainable development
overlaying the old surface with a nominal            Significant cost savings were achieved using
thickness of 50 mm of 20 mm Marshall binder          the recycled aggregate and soil stabilisation on
course and 40 mm of 14 mm Marshall surface           site, rather than importing 35,000 tonnes of
course, the project called for surface grooves       imported aggregate. Normally, type one
to be cut into the newly laid surface to aid         material would have come all the way from
water disposal and increase runway surface           Somerset, by train to an existing railhead 14      Further information on Foster Yeoman
friction, with the grooving at right angles to the   miles from LAA.                                    Contracting and its many products and
centre line of the runway.                                                                              services is available online at www.foster-
                                                     The reuse of recycled aggregates meant             yeoman.co.uk. Alternatively, you
The asphalt resurfacing work on the main             significant rail depot and transport cost          can call the General Enquiries line: +44 (0)
runway took place in three 500-metre sections,       savings, eliminating the need for some 1,750       1373 451 001
40
                                             NATS. With over 40 years of
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             experience of air traffic
                                             provision, NATS is a world-
                                             leading Air Navigation Service
                                             Provider (ANSP)
                                                          Throughout its long and                                                                              to relocate and commission the airport’s
                                              ≥




                                                          distinguished history, the company                                                                   Instrument Landing System (ILS). ILS is used
                                                          has successfully delivered cutting-                                                                  to guide approaching aircraft down to the
                                             edge air traffic solutions in some of the world’s                                                                 landing runway.
                                             most demanding operational environments. So
                                             it is hardly surprising that when airports need                                                                   The ILS at LAA was originally installed in
                                             innovative and reliable air traffic services and                                                                  2003/4, but unfortunately because of the
                                             technologies they choose NATS.                                                                                    complexity of the surrounding airspace the
                                                                                                                                                               original system design could not be
                                             NATS provides a wide range of en-route and                                                                        accommodated and the ILS never entered
                                             airport-related air traffic services, both in the                                                                 operational service.

                                                                                                                                            Photo: Roy Hinds
                                             UK and overseas. Our airport operations
                                             extend to ATC and related engineering                                                                             As it does with every client, NATS worked
                                             services, which are currently provided at 16                                                                      closely with the management team at LAA and
                                             airports, from Gibraltar to Aberdeen.                                                                             the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to deliver
                                                                                                 requirements to installation, commissioning                   an appropriate design solution that could
                                             In supporting the airport business NATS             and in-service support of all communication,                  accommodate nearby areas used by the
                                             maintains dedicated engineering project and         navigation and surveillance systems.                          military and areas that could potentially
                                             maintenance support teams at Heathrow                                                                             present a hazard to aircraft executing a missed
                                             Airport.                                                                                                          approach.
                                                                                                 ILS relocation at LAA
                                             By rigorous application of safety management        It was with our experience of navigation                      The solution was to ‘offset’ the localiser
                                             NATS engineers provide through-life support         systems that we were able to assist London                    approach – the localiser is an element of the
                                             to all major airport systems, from developing       Ashford Airport (Lydd) with their requirement                 ILS – and LAA negotiated with the MOD to



                                             A close up of the NATS
                                             ILS system at London
                                             Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                                                                                       was assembled with an offset and was aligned               41
                                                                                                                                       to intersect with the physical centreline in front




                                                                                                                                                                                            The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                                                                                       of the runway threshold on the approach path.

                                                                                                                                       The ILS decision height was fixed to a range of
                                                                                                                                       1.5 NM and was designed by the Civil Aviation
                                                                                                                                       Authority (CAA) – the UK’s nationwide aviation
                                                                                                                                       safety regulator – to allow for a port engine
                                                                                                                                       failure on a missed approach. This range
                                                                                                                                       would allow the aircraft to make a missed
                                                                                                                                       approach safely and avoid the Dungeness and
                                                                                                                                       Lydd military training areas.

                                                                                                                                       On completion of the Localiser work, the
                                                                                                                                       Glidepath (another critical element of the ILS
                                                                                                                                       system) was checked over and set up ready for
                                                                                                                                       the mandatory flight inspection. When this
                                                                                                                                       inspection was completed, only one
                                                                                                                                       adjustment was required to the ILS.

                                                                                                                                       This was a centreline adjustment on the
Photo: Roy Hinds




                                                                                                                                       Localiser, which was found to be just outside
                                                                                                                                       the specified CAT 1 limits for commissioning.
                                                                                                                                       The Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) was
                                                                                                                                       also adjusted to provide zero range to the
                   reduce the size of one of the military training                 NATS survey teams firstly laid out the position     theoretical threshold of the offset localiser.
                   areas, to allow a modified instrument                           and orientation of the new Localiser site and
                   approach for LAA.                                               then drew up a full set of detailed installation    The CAA came to the airport to witness the
                                                                                   and construction drawings, which were               Flight Inspection and Site Acceptance Testing
                   LAA retained NATS to provide a full turnkey                     produced in time for the civil contractor to        and the project was then formally handed over
                   project service. This included civil work                       start work at the site.                             to our client, LAA, on the 2nd February 2006 –
                   aspects, the physical relocation of the localiser                                                                   a full two weeks ahead of the original project
                   equipment and the flight inspection and                         The NATS ILS installation team’s first task was     deadline.
                   commissioning services.                                         carefully to dismantle the existing localiser and
                                                                                   to move the equipment to the new site.              For further information about NATS and its
                   Also included were the safety management                                                                            many large-scale projects and highly
                   aspects of the project, including the provision                 The re-construction of the localiser took eight     innovative services, please visit
                   of a supporting system safety case. The                         days to complete including the installation of      www.nats.co.uk or contact Christopher Oake –
                   contract was placed in December 2005 with a                     new fibre optic cable for the remote control        NATS Bids & Proposals Manager at
                   challenging 10-week completion deadline.                        connection to the control tower. The localiser      christopher.oake@nats.co.uk.



                                                                                   NATS – The Headlines                                Other recent projects
                                                                                   •   In August 2001, NATS was established as a       •   Procurement, installation and
                                                                                       Public Private Partnership (PPP), jointly           commissioning of all the ATC systems
                                                                                       owned by the UK Government (49%),                   associated with the new control tower
                                                                                       Airline Group (42%), BAA (4%) and                   building at Edinburgh Airport
                                                                                       Staff (5%)                                      •   ATC Systems Designer and Integration
                                                                                   •   NATS turnover in the year to March 2005             specialist for the provision of the new
                                                                                       was £639 million                                    control tower building at Heathrow Airport
                                                                                   •   Last year, NATS handled 2.3 million flights,    •   EFPS (Electronic Flight Progress System)
                                                                                       which carried some 200 million                      provision at Stansted and Gatwick Airports.
                                                                                       passengers                                      •   ILS replacements at Edinburgh, Aberdeen
                                                                                   •   NATS currently employs over 5,000 ATC,              and Gatwick Airports
                                                                                       Engineering and Support Staff                   •   SMGCS (Surface Movement Guidance &
                                                                                   •   As well as supporting our traditional ATS           Control System) provision at Heathrow and
                                                                                       business, NATS provides many additional             Gatwick Airports
                                                                                       client services. These include Project &        •   SMR (Surface Movement Radar) provision
                                                                                       Maintenance Engineering Services,                   at Glasgow Airport
                                                                                       Safeguarding, Capacity Studies &                •   VCCS (Voice Communication and Control
                                                                                       Simulations, Safety Management, ATCO &              System) replacement at Birmingham,
                                                                                       Engineering Training, Consultancy,                  Cardiff and London City Airport
                                                                                       Software & Systems development and              •   MET Systems (SAMOS / IRVR) Heathrow,
                                                                                       Instrument Procedure / Airspace Design              Manchester, Aberdeen and Edinburgh
                                                                                                                                       •   TAAM (Total Airspace & Airport Modeller)
                                                                                                                                           modelling at Stansted, Birmingham,
                                                                Photo: Roy Hinds




                                                                                                                                           Manchester and Heathrow Airports
                                                                                                                                       •   System Safety Case development
42
                                             Kent. A growing population
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             and a challenging
                                             development strategy are
                                             fuelling dynamic change
                                             in Kent
                                                        As one of the strategic growth areas                                                                                                realise the full economic potential of growth.
                                             ≥




                                                        in England’s South East, identified                                                                                                 The South East Regional Economic Strategy,
                                                        by the Government as part of its                                                                                                    the Channel Corridor Partnership Area
                                             Sustainable Communities Plan, Ashford is set                                                                                                   Investment Framework, Ashford’s Community
                                             to grow quickly in the years ahead and to                                                                                                      Plan and the strategies of the other partners in
                                             double in population by 2031.                                                                                                                  Ashford’s Future lie behind these objectives.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Naturally, working in partnership is critical to
                                             Currently, 57,000 people live in the town of                                                                                                   its success.
                                             Ashford and 102,000 in the wider borough. The
                                             town’s population is set to rise to 110,000 by                                                                                                 The vision for Ashford is that it will become…
                                             2031, by developing 31,000 new homes and

                                                                                                                                                                    Photo: Locate in Kent
                                             28,000 new jobs in the area through                                                                                                            •   A strong, self-sustaining and growing
                                             redevelopment and development of new sites                                                                                                         town, recognised as a world-class
                                             for housing, community and commercial uses.                                                                                                        exemplar location combining an
                                                                                                                                                                                                environment rich in resources with a
                                             A partnership of the key strategic agencies                              Ashford’s Future is made up of a range of                                 technologically enabled, knowledge based
                                             involved in the growth of Ashford has been                               public and private sector partners, who are                               learning economy
                                             established (‘Ashford's Future’) to drive                                firmly committed to delivering Ashford’s                              •   Recognised for the excellence of its
                                             forward the growth agenda with financial                                 economic vision.                                                          physical, cultural, economic and digital
                                             support from the Office of the Deputy Prime                                                                                                        connectivity with its surrounding region,
                                             Minister, which is responsible for housing,                              The partners seek to ensure that these actions                            the UK, Europe and the wider world
                                             local government, regeneration, planning and                             complement and actively promote the Greater                           •   The preferred location in the South East
                                             urban and regional issues. The board of                                  Ashford Development Framework (GADF) and                                  where, given the quality of the built



                                                                                                                         Looking down over the Port
                                                                                                                         of Dover, one of the UK’s
                                                                                                                         primary maritime hubs




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Photo: Locate in Kent
                                                                                              Photo: Locate in Kent
                                                                                                                                        5. To improve the ability of property markets:            43
                                                                                                                                            industrial, commercial, office and




                                                                                                                                                                                            The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                                                                                            residential to support Ashford’s future
                                                                                                                                            needs
                                                                                                                                        6. To revitalise the town centre as a venue for
                                                                                                                                            living, retail, leisure, business and related
                                                                                                                                            activities
                                                                                                                                        7. To improve significantly the provision,
                                                                                                                                            uptake and completion of education,
                                                                                                                                            learning and skills programmes within
                                                                                                                                            Ashford
                                                                                                                                        8. To retain a larger share of Ashford’s 15 to
                                                                                                                                            34 year old age group to live, work, study
                                                                                                                                            and pursue their careers in Ashford and to
                                                                                                                                            attract members of that age group from
                                                                                                                                            outside
                                                                                                                                        9. To identify and support initiatives to
                                                                                                                                            enhance the quality of life for residents and
                                                                                                                                            visitors in Ashford
                                                                                                                                        10. To grow Ashford as a community with
                                                                                                                                            active participation, enabling all to take
                                                                                                                                            advantage of the opportunities offered by
         Photo: Locate in Kent




                                                                                                                                            growth, ensuring that local
                                                                                                                                            transformations benefit all segments of
                                                                                                                                            the population, particularly those in
                                                                                                                                            greatest need of economic inclusion
                                                                                                                                        11. To build on the strong base of small
                                     environment and the quality of life, people      2. To develop a unique identity and economic          business, attracting more businesses to
                                     of all ages aspire to work, study, live, relax      brand to promote Ashford                           locate in Ashford, facilitating new firm
                                     and visit, and can fulfil their potential        3. To grow Ashford’s economy in a way that            creation through the provision of enabling
                                                                                         considers the views of the existing                infrastructure and encouraging the
                                 To support the direction given by the vision 11         community and is complementary to those            development of Ashford’s reputation as the
                                 strategic objectives have been identified. In           of the surrounding towns and coastal               best place to do business
                                 summary the strategic objectives are:                   areas, bringing benefits to the sub-region
                                                                                         and region more broadly                        To achieve these objectives, four themed action
                                 1. To have in place strong political,                4. To ensure that Ashford’s infrastructure of     plans have been implemented under the
                                    community and business leadership to                 road, rail and other physical as well as       headings of Enabling Leadership, Place
                                    create an environment conducive to                   digital infrastructure is exemplary in order   Making, Developing Communities and Creating
                                    realising Ashford’s vision                           to support and drive forward growth            Competitive Businesses.



                                  Business is booming in
                                  Kent. An ever improving
                                  road, rail and air
                                  infrastructure is needed to
                                  continue this trend
Photo: Locate in Kent
                                                                                                                                                         Photo: Locate in Kent
Enabling Leadership deals with developing         Vibrant Town Centre describes how it will be        maximising opportunities arising from the
strong leadership with clear strategic            revitalised into a ‘pole of attraction’ for         cultural heritage and location of the town.
direction, cultivating a well-defined identity    residents, investors, domestic and
that differentiates Ashford from its              international visitors.                             The level of skills and training will be
surrounding area, and ensuring sub-regional                                                           increased to provide Ashford’s existing and
integration.                                      Developing Communities explores learning and        growing population with the necessary tools to
                                                  skills development, youth retention, quality of     survive in an increasingly competitive and
Place Making has three sub-themes: Physical       life and community engagement.                      knowledge intensive economy. This will serve
and Digital Infrastructure, Property Markets                                                          as a magnet for retaining Ashford's missing
and Vibrant Town Centre:                          Ashford has a generous endowment of assets          generation of 15 to 34 year olds, and attracting
                                                  and further initiatives to enhance the quality of   young people from other parts of the region,
Physical and Digital Infrastructure is            life for residents and visitors are encouraged,     the rest of the UK and abroad.
concerned with job creation and property
development, which are equally dependent on
                                                     The quality of life available
the existence of a strong supportive                 in Kent suits people of all
infrastructure, the quality of which will            ages and interests

differentiate Ashford.

At present there are significant physical
infrastructure constraints impacting upon
development which must be unblocked to
realise Ashford’s economic potential: Ashford
is well positioned to develop as an exemplary
regional transport node linking road (M20, M2),
rail (Channel Tunnel Rail Link international
and domestic) and air (London Ashford Airport,
Kent International Airport).

There are also digital constraints but Ashford
is well positioned to develop as an e-enabled
town, with exemplary fibre and wireless
technologies incorporated within its
developments.

Property Markets refers to the removal of
factors constraining the supply of space,
boosting confidence within the market and
                                                                                                                                                                             Photo: Locate in Kent




promoting sustainable solutions, to support
Ashford’s need to attract high quality private
sector investment.
                                                                          Kent Prospect (Consultation Draft, March 2006)                                                             45
                                                                          Kent Prospects 2006 to 2012 provides a framework to influence, guide and co-ordinate the




                                                                                                                                                                               The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                          delivery of economic development and regeneration activities, thereby adding detail to the
                                                                          Kent Partnership’s Community Strategy – the Vision for Kent. The framework takes a range of
                                                                          countywide initiatives and strategies into account, including the Kent Agreement, the
                                                                          Supporting Independence Programme, the Kent and Medway Structure Plan, Local Transport
                                                                          Plan and Kent Environment Strategy.

                                                                          First produced in 1996 and updated in 2002, the 2006 review highlights the continuing
                                                                          relevance of the ’20-year’ mosaic economy scenario, which proposes a Kent of thriving,
                                                                          diverse enterprises, towns and neighbourhoods:

                                                                          •   Where existing strengths and new opportunities are developed
                                                                          •   Where regeneration issues are addressed
                                                                          •   Where the county’s environment and quality of life is safeguarded

                                                                          To make the best use of Kent’s assets, location, opportunities and people, the Vision for Kent’s
                                                                          long-term economic success objectives are gathered together in four thematic headings:

                                                                          Enterprise and competitiveness, which focuses on developing the skills base and knowledge
                                                                          economy; attracting inward investment and high quality jobs; supporting enterprise, in
                                                                          particular Kent’s diverse range of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs); promoting
                                                                          innovation; providing workspace; developing an enterprise culture; promoting key clusters
Photo: Locate in Kent




                                                                          and market opportunities, including tourism; and developing international links.

                                                                          Regeneration, which highlights Kent’s diverse range of towns, neighbourhoods and rural
                                                                          communities. This necessitates a multi-faceted approach to issues and opportunities in the
                                                                          Thames Gateway Kent and Ashford growth areas; the rural areas; East Kent and the coastal
                        A critical element will be to grow Ashford as a   towns, North Kent, West Kent and the Channel Corridor.
                        community with active participation in creating
                        the future, enabling all to take advantage of     Scope also exists to use the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics as a catalyst to change external
                        the opportunities offered by growth, ensuring     perceptions of Kent and attract inward investment. A key requirement is the securing of
                        local transformation benefits all segments of     additional funding from Government and new sources for infrastructure investment.
                        the population, particularly those in need of
                        economic inclusion.                               Pathways to sustainable prosperity, which relates a growing urgency to address climate
                                                                          change and environmental issues, to smart growth opportunities, through: better design and
                        Finally, in the arena of Creating Competitive     sustainable construction; greater resource efficiency and productivity; energy efficiency and
                        Business measures will be taken to stimulate      renewable energy production; and more informed decision-making that takes into account
                        business formation, specifically to build on      environmental and social considerations.
                        Ashford’s existing base of small businesses by
                        facilitating new firm creation through the        Accessibility and connections, which highlights Kent’s economic development and
                        provision of enabling infrastructure, high        regeneration opportunities. These need to be supported by investment in Kent’s
                        quality tailored advice and support networks      infrastructure and smarter use of existing resources and assets.
                        that enhance the development of Ashford’s
                        reputation as the best place to start and         A key requirement in this regard is further support from Government and new sources of
                        develop a business.                               funding. Issues considered include: accessibility and integrated transport; Kent’s European
                                                                          gateway location; the enabling role of ICT; and investment in utilities and services, particularly
                        Development of indigenous firms and               in growth and regeneration areas.
                        facilitating of additional ‘clustering’ will
                        underpin the image that Ashford is a vibrant      More information is available online at www.kentprospects.org.uk
                        and active business community and ensure it
                        is a powerful magnetic force.

                        Ashford will seek to attract a greater share of
                        inward investment by promoting and
                        positioning Ashford’s ‘offer’, taking advantage
                        of opportunities in key growth sectors.

                        The key issues relating to the delivery of the    For further information please contact:
                        growth agenda are the implementation of           Kent County Council, Regeneration & Economy Division
                        domestic services on CTRL in 2009, the            Environment & Regeneration Directorate
                        improvements to Junction 9 and 10 of the M20      Invicta House
                        motorway to enable the growth to take place,      County Hall
                        the remodelling of the ring road in Ashford       Maidstone
                        Town Centre and implementation of a new link      Kent ME14 1XX
                        road at Victoria Way, and the implementation      T: +44 (0) 1622 694048
                        of an integrated public transport system to       F: +44 (0) 1622 691418
                        service the new development areas.                E: r&einfo@kent.gov.uk
46
                                             Regional vision. In an
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             increasingly global economy,
                                             effective transport links help
                                             to stimulate economic growth
                                             and business development
                                              ≥




                                                        However, as the Department of                                                                                                       second runway. The key factor at LAA is that
                                                        Transport’s White paper ‘The Future                                                                                                 the existing runway would merely be extended
                                                        of Air Transport’ (November 2003)                                                                                                   slightly and even that is not critical to the
                                             highlighted, the need to balance economic and                                                                                                  expansion of regional services.
                                             environmental issues with airport expansion is
                                             also paramount.                                                                                                                                LAA’s investors saw a similarly under-utilised
                                                                                                                                                                                            solution at Lydd, which could solve the
                                             That document made it clear that a third                                                                                                       pressures of airspace congestion and landing
                                             runway for London Heathrow, the world’s                                                                                                        slots in the UK southeast and at the same time
                                             busiest international airport, and any further                                                                                                 make a positive environmental contribution.



                                                                                                                                                                    Photo: Locate in Kent
                                             terminals after Terminal 5, would be
                                             contingent on the airport operator meeting
                                             stringent environmental limits, irrespective of                                                                                                The success of LAA will bring
                                             the economic consequences.                                                                                                                     significant economic benefits
                                                                                                                                                                                            to the region
                                             The economic side of this equation is             utilise existing infrastructure, rather than to                                              On-going investment plans include the
                                             considerable. The aviation industry directly      establish new airports or build new runways.                                                 development of a new terminal building and a
                                             supports 200,000 jobs in the UK and half the                                                                                                   runway extension. This investment has already
                                             country’s entire population gets on a plane at    On the opposite side of London to LAA, the                                                   created a four-fold increase in direct
                                             least once a year.                                owners of London Luton Airport argued that its                                               employment at the airport and provides the
                                                                                               under-used facilities could offer an alternative                                             basis for good regional transport links, notably
                                             It is therefore essential for the UK economy      to the further development of Heathrow.                                                      for the town of Ashford, which has been
                                             that growth can be sustained and logically the    Unfortunately, that proposal was not accepted                                                selected as the growth town of choice in the
                                             best way to accommodate future growth is to       when it was linked to the construction of a                                                  southeast region over the coming decade, by
                                                                                                                                                                                            marrying affordable accommodation with the
                                                                                                                                                                                            more affluent suburbs that already exist.
                                             Several high-profile IT and
                                             technology-driven
                                             companies have settled in                                                                                                                      Airports Council International, the
                                             Kent in recent years
                                                                                                                                                                                            organisation representing over 1,500 of the
                                                                                                                                                                                            world’s leading airports, calculates the job
                                                                                                                                                                                            creation potential for every one million
                                                                                                                                                                                            passengers at an airport, using input from
                                                                                                                                                                                            specialist agencies and consultants.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The latest calculations (using 1998 and 2004
                                                                                                                                                                                            statistics) indicate a consistent relationship
                                                                                                                                                                                            between job creation and airport throughput,
                                                                                                                                                                                            as demonstrated here:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1998       2004
                                                                                                                                                                                            Direct employed                1,100      950
                                                                                                                                                                                            Indirect and induced           1,100      1,050
                                                                                                                                                                                            Catalytic                      1,800      1,800
                                                                                                                                                                                            Total                          4,000      3,800

                                                                                                                                                                                            There are often variations in these
                                                                                                                                                                                            calculations. For example, between very urban
                                                                                                                                                                                            and very rural areas, and figures can also vary
                                                                                                                                                                                            in accordance with the particular ‘multiplier’
                                                                                                                                                                                            used by the academic calculator. Furthermore,
                                                                                                                                            Photo: Locate in Kent




                                                                                                                                                                                            while the ‘Direct’ and ‘Indirect/Induced’
                                                                                                                                                                                            categories are clearly understood – for
                                                                                                                                                                                            example ‘Direct’ usually refers to on-airport
jobs and ‘Indirect/Induced’ to off-airport ones                                                             development strategies whilst also helping to              47
like taxi drivers working mainly at the airport,                                                            fulfil Kent’s ‘European Gateway’ role.




                                                                                                                                                                 The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
air cargo warehouse staff and travel agents –                                                               In purely economic development terms the
the ‘Catalytic’ (i.e. ‘spin-off’) category is a little                                                      growth of the airport would help to deliver the
vague and its accuracy sometimes challenged.                                                                County Council’s ‘Vision for Kent’ by facilitating
                                                                                                            inward investment, creating employment and
Nevertheless there is a clear rule of thumb                                                                 generating wealth by complementing business
here that for every one million passengers                                                                  development strategies in the area. In addition,
using an airport, 1,000 direct or indirect jobs                                                             by focusing upon the Channel Tunnel Corridor
will be created and retained. Throughout                                                                    in particular it will be both complementary to
Europe there are consistent examples that                                                                   and separate from development plans at
sustain the theory.                                                                                         Manston Airport on the North Kent coast,
                                                                                                            helping to provide choice in transport to both
On this basis, and including the catalytic jobs,                                                            business and the community.
LAA estimates that the two million annual
passengers using the airport by 2014 will                upgraded rail link that already exists on the      Ashford
support 1,852 direct, 2,047 indirect and 3,510           airport’s doorstep and you have a complete         As Ashford is the nearest large town to LAA we
catalytic jobs, totalling 7,409. Even with the           transport infrastructure for the region.           need to consider just what a ‘Regional Growth
possibility of the UK losing the strong                                                                     Area’ is and what interplay it will have with the
economic position it has attained in the last            Timely                                             airport. Ashford, recently described in a
five years (and even entering a recession), that         The timeframe proposed by the Kent Structure       television documentary as one of the 10 best
is a very positive development for the area.             Plan and LAA’s plans in particular complement      places to live in the UK, has been identified as
                                                         the proposed spatial development of ‘The           the Growth Town of Kent and is one of Central
                                                         Channel Tunnel Corridor’ – one of the four         Government’s key areas targeted for economic
LAA’s development is good for                            sub-regions identified by the Structure Plan –     expansion in the South East of England.
the County and the District                              which potentially links the Lydd region directly
Complementary                                            to the development of Maidstone, Ashford and       Throughout the UK, ‘growth towns’ have gone
LAA complements regeneration and economic                Shepway DC areas.                                  hand-in-hand with airport development, be
development in East Kent and the County as a                                                                they small towns or large cities like
whole by helping to spread the location                  Relevant                                           Manchester (which based its bid to host the
advantages enjoyed by the eastern part of the            The LAA proposals would complement                 Commonwealth Games of 2002 and previous
county. These location advantages include                Ashford’s development as a Regional Growth         Olympic Games largely on its airport),
proximity to London and mainland Europe.                 Area and support the development of                Liverpool and Leeds.
                                                         Folkestone and Hythe as Priority Areas for
LAA will complement the expansion of rail                Regeneration and Romney Marsh as a Rural           Stansted Airport has spawned the enormous
services at Ashford, an existing International           Priority Area.                                     growth of Bishop’s Stortford from a village into
rail gateway and one that is scheduled to                                                                   a thriving town. Blackpool, a fading holiday
receive a considerable boost by virtue of its            European Gateway                                   resort, has been reinvigorated by new airline
new high-speed rail link to London and beyond            In all of these cases LAA can contribute to        services at its privately-owned airport and
when it opens by 2009. Combine this with an              County and District urban, rural and coastal       could be set to become the location of Britain’s


 Commercial services to
 and from LAA will
 complement an already
 diverse regional transport
 infrastructure




                                                                                                                                                                                                              Photo: www.britainonview.com
                                                   Photo: www.kentimages.co.uk




                                                                                     Kent’s unique history,
                                                                                     beauty and culture are
                                                                                     and will remain valuable
                                                                                     assets in the years ahead




only Super Casino. The area around                                                                                                   Corridor is above that benchmark. The number
Nottingham East Midlands has become a                                                                                                of companies in knowledge-driven production
significant freight distribution centre, growing                                                                                     is slightly higher than the national average,
in line with the airport’s air cargo business.                                                                                       while those in knowledge-driven services is
                                                                                                                                     slightly lower.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the
Regional Planning Guidance for the South East                                                                                        Kent’s economic development is expressed in
identified Ashford in March 2001, when it was                                                                                        the scenario of a ‘Mosaic Economy’ – a county
formally noted as one of four South East areas                                                                                       of thriving and diverse enterprises, whose
where significant growth would be encouraged.                                                                                        economic success is based on an up-to-date
It was designated as suitable for massive                                                                                            and innovative approach to the traditional
expansion, and the South East England                                                                                                sectors whilst harnessing and safeguarding
Development Agency (SEEDA) was tasked with                                                                                           the many environmental and social strengths
creating 31,000 new homes and 28,000 new                                                                                             of the county.
jobs by 2031.
                                                                                 Gateway (London City and Stansted), London-         The Mosaic Economy is made up of individual
This ambition is set within the wider context of                                 Stansted-Cambridge-Peterborough (Stansted           components, all of which are important and
a wider goal – to establish 45,000 homes and                                     Airport) and Milton Keynes-South Midlands           distinctive in their own right and, when put
84,000 jobs in the Thames Gateway region by                                      (Birmingham, Coventry, Luton and Stansted           together, add up to form a larger complete
2021. In July 2005 Prime Minister Tony Blair                                     airports). The exception, until now, has been       picture. This approach recognises that each
updated that commitment to 120,000 homes                                         Ashford. LAA’s time has come.                       distinctive area has a vital but different part to
and 180,000 jobs by 2016.                                                                                                            play – including, of course, the provision of air
                                                                                                                                     services that help sustain that economy.
SEEDA joined forces with Kent County Council,                                    The mosaic economy
English Partnerships, Ashford Borough                                            Kent is certainly a growing county. In only one
Council, the Environment Agency, The Housing                                     of the 13 administrative districts has there        French companies are well
Corporation, the Government Office for the                                       been a decline in population during the last        established here
South East (GOSE) and a host of others to put                                    decade and in the county overall population         Kent is quite rightly identified in ‘Kent
in place the targets set within the Sustainable                                  has risen by 4.4 percent in that period. Kent is    Prospects’, the Vision for the region (2002) as a
Communities Plan.                                                                the 13th most prosperous sub region of Britain      gateway to and from mainland Europe in the
                                                                                 (of 53), but with a wide variation in incomes.      expectation of closer European Union market
Separately, the Government announced a £200                                                                                          integration, including impact of the Euro. In
million fund for transport projects that would                                   The average income in Thanet for example is         particular, the Vision identifies Kent’s
bring forward new housing development in the                                     less than half that of Sevenoaks. With an           European regional context, recognising it as a
four Growth Areas. In the Ashford area, the                                      employment rate of over 76 percent, the county      regional partner with the Nord-Pas de Calais
initial focus was on remodelling the town’s ring                                 fares better than the national average, but         region of France (capital, Lille). In view of this,
road, to regenerate the central area together                                    slightly worse than the southeast region.           a project has been initiated, ESAN, to research
with other upgrading, to provide access for                                                                                          policy development and delivery across this
3,400 homes.                                                                     For skills and qualifications, Kent ranks 29th in   ‘Transmanche Euroregion’.
                                                                                 Britain with a score just below the national
Significantly, three of the four Growth Areas                                    benchmark. However, there are sub-regional          There are already 61 French-owned companies
are close to established airports – Thames                                       variations and the score in the Channel             in Kent, employing 8,300 people and a further
                                                                                                      EC state aid guidelines don’t apply here!                                                                 49
                                                                                                      A great deal of unease was voiced by many regional airports and their supporting airlines in




                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                                                      2005 about legally binding Guidelines issued by the European Commission (EC) concerning the
                                                                                                      application of state aid by local, regional or central government to airlines wishing to operate
                                                                                                      at regional airports. These subsidies traditionally take the form of marketing support to the
                                                                                                      airline or reductions in landing and other user fees, even to the point where no charges are
                                                                                                      levied at all. In extreme cases, the airport might even end up subsidising the airline!

                                                                                                      These arrangements aren’t unusual. The air transport business is extremely competitive and
                                                                                                      every angle must be considered to attract and retain airline services. In a small number of
                                                                                                      cases there has been a degree of notoriety, when airlines, usually ‘flag carriers’ or those
                                                                                                      operating at primary airports, have complained about state support at other, nearby regional
                                                                                                      airports (usually to ‘low-cost airlines’) and where this has ultimately led to court proceedings.

                                                                                                      The best-known case of this is Charleroi/Brussels South airport in Belgium, where Ryanair
                                                                                                      was forced to repay subsidies and the airport to pay tax on the value of the support – a
                                                                                                      judgement the airline continues to contest through the European Court of Justice.

                                                                                                      The EC has brought in these guidelines to create a level playing field and, in its own words, to
                                                  Photo: www.kentimages.co.uk




                                                                                                      ‘encourage the development of regional airports’. They mainly cover airports with less than five
                                                                                                      million passengers a year and declare that aid would only be acceptable if it covered no more
                                                                                                      than 30 to 50 percent of the additional costs incurred in establishing new operations at
                                                                                                      regional airports. The service benefiting from the aid must prove profitable, and quickly,
                                                                                                      because aid is restricted to three years, or five in the case of disadvantaged or remote regions.

                                                                                                      Reactions to the Guidelines have varied immensely. The Association of European Airlines, a
18 in neighbouring East Sussex. These include                                                         body largely representing state airlines using primary airports, takes the view that start-up aid
Bouygues SA, Aventis SA, AXA, Vivendi                                                                 distorts competition and that public bodies must carry out analysis of the impact of new routes
Environmental SA, La Farge, Michelin and the                                                          on existing ones: “AEA supports the fact that the application of taxpayers money must be
hotel company Group Evergure, which is                                                                strictly controlled and limited in duration, intensity and scope”.
responsible for the Bleu Marine, Kyriad,
Campanile, Premier Class and Louvre brands                                                            On the other hand, the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the political forum and
with over 900 hotel and restaurant locations in                                                       organisation of the European regions and the Forum of European Regional Airports (FARE), are
Europe.                                                                                               ‘seriously worried’ by the impact that the Guidelines will have on the development of regional
                                                                                                      airports and their effect on regional economies.
Foreign investment is a key to the future
prosperity of Kent. There are already over 400                                                        AER and FARE consider the time limitations for start-up aid to be too short and rigid, and that
foreign-owned businesses in Kent and in                                                               they deny small airports the degree of flexibility, which is necessary to negotiate new air
2003/4 they were responsible for the most                                                             services in today’s highly competitive market. They accuse the Guidelines’ authors of
valuable investment projects, accounting for                                                          demonstrating ‘remoteness’ from real commercial air transport practices, of ignoring the right
some 75 percent of the £86.5 million capital                                                          of EU citizens to mobility, of neglecting the needs of islands and other isolated regions and
investment attracted.                                                                                 even of favouring train over air transport.

                                                                                                      The airlines affected are coming to terms with the fact the Guidelines might have a very
                                                                                                      negative effect on their strategic plans. One of them calculates it may cost the airline €100
                                                                                                      million of business. Whatever the reasons for the decision, it is clear that the regulations
                                                                                                      concerning air route development at these airports will become a minefield.

                                                                                                      But there is good news. Despite the widespread privatisation of airports, many remain under
                                                                                                      municipal control. There is a sound argument for government-owned airports to shed their
                                                                                                      historical baggage and face the future with the drive, management experience and financial
                                                                                                      acumen of committed private owners – the Guidelines’ minefield offers a further incentive.
                                                                                                      Privatisation is happening even in France, where until recently almost all airports outside of
                                                                                                      Paris were operated by local Chambres de Commerce, under licence from central government
                                                                                                      – benefiting in particular the low-cost airline industry, which was badly underdeveloped there.

                                                                                                      The good news is that LAA, as it is under private ownership, does not fall directly within the
                                                                                                      influence of these EC guidelines. The only way in which it might is if regional development
                                                                                                      funds (RDF) for air route development were specifically allocated to it. That is not envisaged as
                                                                                                      a function of the Route Development Forum that we suggest elsewhere.

                                                                                                      These partnerships between the public sector, airlines and airports are a voluntary version of
                                                                                                      the Public Service Obligation (PSO) route support instruments that have existed in thinly
                                                                                                      populated regions of Europe for many years. There are a number of such RDFs in existence in
                                                                                                      the UK, but none is as yet envisaged for this region.
                                                                                Photo: 1066 country




                                                                                                      So if the airport management could cut a mutually attractive deal with an airline, there is
                                                                                                      nothing to stop it. In many ways, private is best and this is fast proving to be the case here!
50
                                             Corporate commitment.
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             Never before has the impact
                                             of environmentalism been so
                                             paramount to the affairs of
                                             airport operators
                                               ≥




                                                          Increasing numbers of airports                                                                                    mitigation to ensure that future growth can be
                                                          around the world are being sold by                                                                                sustained. Changes in the fundamental nature
                                                          governments and private investors.                                                                                of economic regulation mean that private
                                             The value placed upon these assets is                                                                                          airport operators cannot ignore issues of
                                             determined by the extent and profitability of                                                                                  public interest, especially those of
                                             their existing operations and their potential for                                                                              environmental concern.
                                             growth. This, in turn is affected by the airports
                                             infrastructure capacity and the likelihood of                                                                                  Indeed, far-seeing airports have employed




                                                                                                                                              Photo: www.kentimages.co.uk
                                             approval being granted for further capacity                                                                                    departments dedicated to sustainable aviation
                                             enhancement.                                                                                                                   since the 1980s.

                                             Environmental issues can significantly affect                                                                                  The reasons for this are evident. Pressure
                                             the operation and growth of airports and                                                                                       groups such as the British charity the Royal
                                             therefore alter their market value. The                                                                                        Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
                                             implications of climate change for the future                                                                                  commission their own reports whenever a
                                             development of aviation in general, and             Local environmental issues can give rise to                                piece of legislation is proposed and the RSPB
                                             individual airports in particular, are only just    operational constraints and have resulted in                               has been instrumental in helping to kill off
                                             beginning to feature in market assessments.         failure to achieve planning approval for further                           plans to build new airports facilities in wetland
                                                                                                 development. This has significant implications                             areas that are also bird habitats – for example,
                                             However, the local impacts associated with          in terms of the potential financial return that                            the proposed new airports for London at Cliffe
                                             airport operations have for some time had a         can be expected from the asset and requires                                (also in Kent) and close to the Severn Estuary,
                                             significant impact upon the value of airports.      considerable investment in environmental                                   near Bristol.



                                             Aircraft will not have to
                                             wait to land at LAA, which
                                             provides significant fuel
                                             savings
                                                                                                                                                                         Photo: www.kentimages.co.uk
Located close to Romney
Marsh, LAA is well aware
of its environmental
responsibilities



The many environmental issues and pitfalls                       assessing future air quality around               appreciate the benefits the airport offers over
facing airport operators include:                                Heathrow and this single issue may                the perceived threats to their quality of life.
                                                                 prevent planning approval for a
•   Aircraft noise capacity and restraints: the                  third runway at this important airport.           Some of the best examples of this are to be
    frequency and noisiness of aircraft                      •   Third party risk and safety: the risk of          found at (noisy!) military airfields, many of
    movements and the proximity of                               aircraft crashing into an urban or semi-          which are being transferred to commercial
    communities to the airport’s boundary and                    rural area with (actual or threatened)            use. In fact it’s often forgotten that the Lydd
    its departure and arrival flight paths.                      attendant injury or loss of life. In the UK       and Romney Marsh area has a long association
•   Local air quality: determined by the car                     this has happened in the last decade at           itself with the military.
    (often the biggest source of pollution),                     London Stansted (a Boeing 747 freighter)
    aircraft emissions and apron activities                      and Coventry airports (a Boeing 737               Quite often, in examples as far apart as
    such as refuelling. The UK Government is                     freighter), close to Leeds-Bradford airport       Doncaster and Culdrose (Cornwall) in England
                                                                 and on a motorway in the Midlands. These          and Hahn in Germany, not only have local
                                                                 incidents are few and far between but             people become accustomed to the hustle and
                                                                 cause considerable, disproportionate and          bustle of military aviation activity, but they have
                                                                 lasting alarm to people living near airports.     been able additionally to benefit from good
                                                             •   Ground surface water contamination: from          aviation and non-aviation jobs arising from it as
                                                                 apron and de-icing activities and waste           the military moved out and business moved in.
                                                                 disposal sites.
                                                             •   Habitat protection: airports by their very        Even so, the LAA management has had to face
                                                                 nature cover large areas of land and create       up to objections put forward by local residents,
                                                                 a habitat that is either hostile to wildlife or   who have set up a pressure group to try to
                                                                 a monoculture (such as grassland). The            curtail expansion, even though the plans were
                                                                 surrounding areas can, however, be of             approved 10 years ago by a public enquiry.
                                                                 considerable ecological value, particularly
                                                                 if the airport is located in a green belt
                                                                 surrounding a major urban conurbation.            What is the LAA management
                                                             •   Infrastructure and environmental capacity:        doing to allay these fears?
                                                                 The capacity of an airport is directly related    According to Zak Deir, Managing Director of
                                                                 to its airspace, runway, taxiway and apron        LAA, the environmental pressures on aviation
                                                                 capacity, the size of its terminals and           will continue to grow and LAA is uniquely
                                                                 landside services and the capacity of its         placed to allow aircraft to reach optimum fuel
                                                                 ground access facilities. A number of             burn cruising altitude more quickly than any
                                                                 environmental issues can constrain airport        other airport in the South East, by virtue of its
                                                                 operations – airport operators can invest a       uncongested airspace.
                                                                 great deal of money in new infrastructure,
                                                                 but not have the environmental capacity to        Another key contribution will be made to the
                                                                 allow it to be put to full use.                   environment by the reduction in surface
                                                                                                                   journeys made by many residents of the
                                          Photo: Roy Hinds




                                                             It’s often found that people living near busy         southeast region, who currently travel north to
                                                             airports get used to the daily goings-on.             the airports of Heathrow, Stansted and Luton
                                                             Despite initial fears, they quickly come to           to make journeys south to mainland Europe.
52
                                             Biodiversity. The airport’s
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             close proximity to Romney
                                             Marsh and Dungeness Point
                                             and environmental measures
                                             for their protection
                                             ≥




                                                        According to Thomas Ingoldsby                                Nowadays Romney Marsh is a quiet and            Set up to support what it calls the ‘Silent
                                                        (aka the Reverend Richard Harris)                            peaceful, mostly agricultural area, full of     Majority’ in the Lydd region, FLAG promotes
                                                        in his book ‘Ingoldsby Legends in                            quiet lanes and fields dotted with sheep and    LAA as an important Regional Airport
                                             the 1840s,’ the world is divided into Europe,                           is rich with its own special flora and fauna.   Infrastructure, in line with District, County
                                             Asia, Africa, America… and Romney Marsh.                                                                                and Government integrated transport
                                                                                                                     The nature reserves at Dungeness are full of    policies.
                                             Anyone who has visited the bleak landscapes                             wildfowl and waders for most of the year and
                                             of Dungeness Point, with its nuclear power                              the airport estate itself has Barn Owls         With due regard to Air Travel Safety and
                                             station, shingle deserts, wood cabins, fishing                          breeding and hunting on its grasslands and      environmental impact, FLAG encourages and
                                             boats and the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch                                Skylarks pouring forth their beautiful song.    defends the development of LAA, which will
                                             Railway will appreciate this designation of                                                                             generate new jobs, both at the airport itself
                                             Romney Marsh as a fifth continent – although                            LAA intends to be an environmentally sound      and throughout the region.
                                             what became of Australia is anyone’s guess.                             neighbour within its local community and will
                                                                                                                     take all the appropriate consultation and       As a result of the improved transport links,
                                             The 100-sq mile marsh began to be                                       environmental impact procedures to ensure       other companies will be attracted to Romney
                                             reclaimed from the sea after a severe storm                             that this is the case now and in the future.    Marsh, while local business will improve
                                             in the 13th century, when New Romney was a                                                                              because more people will be in work.
                                             thriving Cinque Port, trading wool from
                                             Romney Sheep for French brandy and wines.                               Friends of Lydd Airport Group                   FLAG intends fairly to represent the factors
                                                                                                                     Based in Lydd, the ‘Friends of Lydd Airport     that will affect the area regarding the
                                             Its 925-year old church of St Nicholas was                              Group’, otherwise known as FLAG (www.f-l-       number of flights likely, the true flight paths
                                             started by Bishop Odo, half-brother of                                  a-g.co.uk), has several thousand supporters,    these aircraft will take, the levels at which
                                             William the Conqueror, in 1080 and wool                                 to counter the ‘scaremongering and half         they will fly, a true reading of the low decibel
                                             smuggling, known as ‘owling’, was a local                               truths’ being circulated by misinformed         level these 3rd and 4th generation jets
                                             obsession right until the mid 19th century.                             opponents of the airport’s development.         achieve and a realistic volume of road traffic.
                                                                                       Photo: www.kentimages.co.uk




                                                                                                                     The declining Skylark
                                                                                                                     still sings its beautiful
                                                                                                                     song on the Romney
                                                                                                                     Marsh
                                                                                                                                                                                        53
Tourism. The many world-




                                                                                                                                                                                  The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
class tourist attractions
situated close to the airport
equal the very best that
Britain can offer
≥




            Four million tourists discover                                                                                   connections!), Lydd attracted wealth and this is
            England’s ‘secret garden’ every year                                                                             believed to be one of the reasons why it is
            and almost a quarter of them come                                                                                home to the largest church in Kent. All Saints
from overseas. Collectively they contributed                                                                                 Church is more commonly known as the
£1.2 billion to the economy in 2004.                                                                                         ‘Cathedral of the Marsh’ – an impressive 60
                                                                                                                             metres (200 feet) long by 40 metres (132 feet)
A wealth of opportunities awaits visitors old                                                                                high, and with a tower that partly dates back to
and new to the Garden of England and East                                                                                    AD 740. In fact Lydd is full of historic buildings
Sussex areas when they are able to access                                                                                    including the Guild Hall, the (reputedly
them so easily via London Ashford Airport                                                                                    haunted) George Hotel and the Beehive, once a



                                                                                               Photo: www.kentimages.co.uk
(Lydd)! There are more castles and historic                                                                                  pub renowned for bare knuckle fighting.
houses here, for example, than in any other
part of the UK – always a sure-fire draw for                                                                                 Those with a passion for history and military
foreign visitors.                                                                                                            affairs might want to check out the region’s
                                                                                                                             military connections. These go back a long
Those opportunities start right outside the                                                                                  time; the town of Lydd gave its name to lyddite
airport’s doors at Lydd and the Romney Marsh        During this period, smuggling began to flourish                          (picric acid), an explosive used to fire shells
and continue through the Garden of England          and continued to be recorded until well into the                         during the South African War and WWI. It was
into south and east London and westwards            19th century, with several notorious smuggling                           first tested at the military camp in Lydd in 1888.
through historic ‘1066 Country’. It is a complete   gangs using the Marsh. Many Marsh smugglers                              During WWII ‘sound mirrors’ for the detection
vacation destination in its own right.              fought and died in pitched battles with customs                          of enemy aircraft were trialled at Lydd, before
                                                    officers, and the memorial stones for some can                           the advent of radar. They didn’t work, but the
The Saxon town of Lydd, the most southerly in       be seen in All Saints’ graveyard, Lydd.                                  strange looking domes can still be seen near
the whole of southeast England, is at the centre    As it has been an active port for so long (and                           Dungeness. Lydd was also instrumental in the
of ancient Romney Marsh, the third largest          possibly because of its smuggling                                        Pluto (Pipeline Under the Ocean) project to
coastal wetland in Britain at 100 sq miles and a
mysterious and enchanting region of Kent, rich
                                                       A spectacular panorama
in history and legend. The Marsh and nearby
                                                       of the magnificent Leeds
Dungeness is a place of outstanding natural            Castle at Maidstone and
beauty, famous for the diversity of its habitats,      surrounding scenery

geomorphology, flora, fauna and wildlife and is
recognised as being of international scientific
importance.

Sometimes referred to as ‘the fifth continent’,
The Marsh is alive with history. Man was
present in the area in the Mesolithic era (8300-
5500 BC) and axes dating back to
approximately 2300-800 BC found in gravel
workings near Lydd show activity continuing
into the Bronze Age.

Human habitation of the Marsh increased in
Roman times (AD 43-409) and Roman burial
remains; pottery and bricks have been found at
sites in Lydd and Dymchurch. During the Saxon
period (AD 410-1065) and the Norman age, the
region’s rivers and proximity to mainland
Europe saw Romney Marsh develop as a key
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Photo: 1066 country




trading area, with many towns becoming key
English ports and several (including Lydd)
granted the privileged status of Cinque Ports.
                                             Photo: 1066 country




                                                                                                                                                                         Photo: 1066 country
                                                                    Kent and East
                                                                    Sussex – a perfect
                                                                    holiday destination
                                                                    for all the family




deliver petrol to allied forces in London, aided                   Bishop Odo, the half-brother of William the        Plan your own pilgrimage
by the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway.                        Conqueror. Made from stone imported from the       There’s Whitstable, the ‘pearl of Kent’ famous
At various times in the war German spies                           Caen area in France St. Nicholas’ Church took      for its oysters, Sandwich, a picturesque village
visited the town, but were eventually caught                       over 50 years to build.                            full of historic architecture and Broadstairs,
and several enemy bombers were fooled into                                                                            with its quaint cottages and seaside ways.
thinking they were over occupied France by                         Clearly there are attractions to keep visitors
dummy radar installations, only to land at Lydd                    occupied just within sight of the airport, but     Canterbury is home to the world-famous
and be captured by the Home Guard or ‘Dad’s                        they don’t end there. There are castles –          Cathedral, where Thomas Becket was
Army’ as it was popularly known.                                   Rochester, Upnor, Walmer, Sissinghurst, Dover      murdered in 1170 and the site of Chaucer’s
                                                                   and Leeds.                                         Canterbury Tales. Kent Tourism entices visitors
The world famous Romney Hythe and                                                                                     to ‘plan your own pilgrimage’ and a million
Dymchurch Railway is just a few minutes from                       Leeds Castle, at Maidstone, has been               tourists visited the cathedral in 2004.
the town, where visitors can examine and ride                      described as ‘the loveliest castle in the world’
on a scaled down, but fully operational, steam                     and in addition to its 2,000 year history, Dover   And all this set in a landscape of rolling hills
railway. Once known as ‘The World’s Smallest                       Castle fascinates old and young alike with its     and wooded valleys, orchards and vineyards –
Public Railway’ it is 13.5 miles of mainline                       sound and light show ‘Siege Experience’,           English countryside at its best.
track in miniature and an attraction to railway                    secret wartime tunnels and atmospheric tour
enthusiasts all over the world.                                    deep into the White Cliffs to the underground         Special events are
                                                                   hospital where Sir Winston Churchill planned          held at many of the
                                                                                                                         region’s historic
Those seeking a little more adventure can try                      the evacuation of Dunkirk in the darkest days         landmarks. This is
jet skiing, water-skiing, speed boating and                        of the Second World War.                              Rochester Cathedral
paint balling, or karting at one of the top three
tracks in Europe.                                                  There are woodland discovery and wild animal
                                                                   parks, museums, caves, stately homes and
Nearby, New Romney has its own attractions.                        gardens, a historic steam train ride between
Granted the status of Cinque Ports in 1278 the                     Kent and East Sussex and historic naval
town enjoyed important privileges for over 200                     dockyards at Chatham, where the 200th
years, during which it and the other Head Ports                    anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar was
provided the Sovereign with a fleet of ships for                   commemorated in a Nelson and Napoleon
defence – and which also served as private                         exhibition during 2005.
transport for the King.
                                                                   In the once fashionable resort of Margate,
During the 13th century the town suffered its                      culture is being used to change the fortunes of
own version of latter-day tsunamis and storm                       the town with the building of the £25 million
surges, during which the harbour was lost and                      Turner Contemporary galleries, scheduled to
shingle and mud were swept up into the town,                       open in 2007.
severing its links with the sea and raising the
ground level.                                                      Fancy a drink after all this? Kent has its own
                                                                   vineyards and you can take a tour of Britain’s
                                                                                                                                                                                               Photo: 1066 country




This is evident at St. Nicholas’ Church, whose                     oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, with the
western edge is lower than the road. Its                           opportunity to sample the award winning ales
construction commenced in 1080, started by                         and lagers.
                                                                          the abbey that King William later built to         Sporting types will welcome the two                         55
                                                                          commemorate the event, you can imagine             championship standard golf courses in the




                                                                                                                                                                                   The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                          you’re standing on the very spot where the         county and for simple relaxation who can beat
                                                                          defeated King Harold fell.                         elegant Eastbourne, one of the UK’s favourite
                                                                                                                             holiday resorts and home of the famous
                                                                          The battlefield and abbey were purchased for       Beachy Head, a 162-metre (530 feet) high
                                                                          the nation in 1976 and today a substantial         chalk sea cliff, the tallest in Britain.
                                                                          portion of the abbey buildings remains. A free
                                                                          interactive audio tour re-creates the sounds of    On a clear day it will be possible to see aircraft
                                                                          the battle, as you stand at the point where the    taking off and landing at LAA, 40 miles away.
                                                                          Saxon army watched the Normans advancing
                                                                          towards them.
                                                                                                                             Accommodation to suit
                                                                          Among the other notable attractions at the site    every pocket
                                                                          is the Discovery Centre, a fun, activity-based     Of course, despite the presence of a modern
                                                                          exhibition. There’s also an exhibition, ‘The       airport and interesting attractions, the success
                                                                          Prelude to Battle’, and a children’s themed        of any tourism offer depends equally on the
                                                                          outdoor play area. Close by is a virtual tour      local infrastructure – accommodation, places
                                                                          through the last 100 years at Yesterday’s          to eat and drink and surface transport.
                                                                          World.
                                                                                                                             In this respect both Kent and East Sussex are
Photo: 1066 country




                                                                          East Sussex isn’t only about history. Budding      not found wanting. There is a wide range of
                                                  The glorious gardens
                                                   at Herstmonceux in
                                                                          astronomers like Sir Patrick Moore (who lives      quality accommodation on offer, from camping
                                                             full bloom   locally) will find the Observatory Science         and caravanning for the more adventurous to
                                                                          Centre at Herstmonceux near Hailsham, and          attractively priced Bed & Breakfast
                                                                          once the home of the Royal Greenwich               guesthouses, hotels from two to four stars and
                      1066 Country                                        Observatory, fascinating.                          an array of self-catering cottages. Business
                      Across the county boundary in East Sussex                                                              visitors will find both room and event facilities
                      there is also a myriad of attractions. This, of     Herstmonceux also boasts its fine castle, set in   that cover every need.
                      course is ‘1066 Country’, a region whose            550 acres of glorious parkland and Pevensey
                      history had implications for the whole of           Castle with its towers and dungeons is great       Good road and rail facilities are to be found
                      Britain and beyond.                                 fun for children. Lovers of the great outdoors     throughout the region. High standard primary
                                                                          will take like ducks to water to Bewl Lake, the    roads connect the main urban areas, winding
                      The Battle of Hastings was fought here on 14th      southeast’s largest, on the Kent border near       through attractive scenery, and the close
                      October 1066 – a date that changed the course       Royal Tunbridge Wells.                             proximity of London ensures that commuter
                      of British history, it being the last time the                                                         rail services are fast and frequent.
                      country was successfully invaded and                There are numerous steam railways and, for a
                      conquered.                                          radical change of transport mode, the Bentley      The main road artery is the M20, placing the
                                                                          Motor Museum at Lewes. The City of Hastings        capital and its attractions less than an hour
                      The actual battle site is just southwest of the     has many attractions including the first           away from LAA – not that London will be high
                      town of Battle, five miles northeast of Hastings    Norman Castle, smugglers’ caves and                on the wish list of visitors with so much to see
                      and some 15 miles from LAA. In the ruins of         Underwater World.                                  and do here!


                      How LAA’s development will benefit Kent’s Tourism Alliance Strategy
                      The tourism brand strategy for Kent was set         The Kent brand, which differentiates it from the   can disembark anywhere but are more likely to
                      in 2001 by the Kent Tourism Alliance.               competition in target markets, was identified      continue to their ultimate destination – and
                      According to the strategy, the target markets       as including Countryside & Gardens; Maritime       London, for example, is a highly attractive and
                      were identified as:                                 Coast; Historic destinations and attractions;      magnetic destination. There is little
                                                                          Accessibility to and from London; Base for trips   encouragement offered by rail operators to
                      •   Empty nesters (people with children that no     to the Continent. All under the strap line ‘Kent   stop en route.
                          longer live at home)                            – the Garden of England’.
                      •   Dual income no kids (those with a joint                                                            What LAA will do is to help establish Kent (and
                          income in excess of £50 thousand per            Of course, foreign visitors have the option to     East Sussex) as the final destination. It will also
                          annum)                                          use the available train services (whether local    encourage direct experience of the ‘emotional’
                      •   Caring parents social class ABC1,               or Eurostar) or sea ferries, to access the Kent    elements of the branding – relaxing, enjoying,
                          interested in their children’s education        region. However, ferry travel has been             being inspired, being uplifted spiritually, as
                                                                          declining for some time, owing largely to          much as the rational ones (the actual tourist
                      Secondary target segments were:                     aviation competition, primarily coming from        features). The need to be or to feel revitalised
                                                                          low-cost airlines.                                 is a common theme promoted to the intended
                      •   Professional affluent singles, aged between                                                        target markets.
                          20 and 35                                       As Associated British Ports recorded in its 2004
                      •   Wealthy retired couples, between 55 and 75      Annual Report, international ferry passenger       Not only that, it will also open up the region to
                                                                          volumes declined by 15.5 percent from 1999 to      a range of potential clients, for whom the
                      These key target markets were identified            2003.                                              sheer distance and remoteness of the region
                      through research and geographically reside in                                                          from their place of residence previously
                      urban and suburban areas of the UK, France,         The disadvantage of rail is that it is by nature   negated any attempt to ply them successfully
                      Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.               linear rather than point-to-point. Passengers      with the emotional brand elements.
56
                                             1066 Country. An enticing
The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)




                                             blend of historic monuments,
                                             rich culture and events,
                                             beautiful natural scenery and
                                             glorious sandy beaches...
                                                        Travel just a short distance west                                                                          1066 Country’s rich culture extends into the
                                             ≥




                                                        from London Ashford Airport (Lydd)                                                                         present and high-profile events include arts
                                                        and you will find yourself immersed                                                                        festivals, a half-marathon, a large-scale May
                                             in one of Britain’s most historic, beautiful and                                                                      Day celebration and several carnivals.
                                             friendly regions.
                                                                                                                                                                   The 940th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings
                                             Blending dramatic monuments, castles and                                                                              will be celebrated on the 14th October 2006
                                             manors; tranquil woodlands and gardens; and                                                                           and the whole weekend of 14th/15th October
                                             unspoiled historic towns and villages – not to                                                                        will be marked by a massive re-enactment of
                                             mention some of the best weather in the UK –                                                                          the battle at Battle and a spectacular torchlight


                                                                                                                                             Photo: 1066 country
                                             1066 Country is a distinct, memorable and                                                                             procession and firework display in Hastings.
                                             superbly varied holiday destination that is
                                             equally suitable for day trips, short breaks and                                                                      When you add its natural attractions, such as
                                             longer stays.                                                                                                         the fine golden beaches of Camber Sands and
                                                                                                                                                                   verdant gardens at Hurst Green, for example,
                                             The area, of course, is most famous as the         north of Hastings, and its imposing abbey that                     it’s clear that there really is something for
                                             setting of William of Normandy’s invasion of       marks the exact spot of Harold’s death almost                      every taste in 1066 Country.
                                             England in 1066, his victory over Harold and       1,000 years ago.
                                             coronation as the first Norman King of                                                                                So whether you’re searching for a peaceful
                                             England. 1066 Country is a spectacular             Several well-preserved castles can be found                        location for a relaxed break, an escape from
                                             combination of coast and countryside,              nearby – at Pevensey, Herstmonceux and                             the pressures of everyday life, or a base from
                                             scattered with historic relics and ruins.          Bodiam – as well as the towns of Rye and                           which to sample a great selection of the
                                                                                                Bexhill-on-Sea, underpinning the region’s                          country’s finest historic treasures, clean,
                                             Today’s visitors can get a real flavour of the     credentials as a leading brand in the historical                   golden, award-winning beaches and beautiful
                                             past at the colourful market town of Battle,       experience sector.                                                 rural landscapes, 1066 Country has it all.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo: 1066 country




                                             Watch 1066 come to life
                                             before your eyes as
                                             enthusiasts keenly
                                             recreate the Battle of
                                             Hastings
                                                                                                                                             attractions and events, as well as our online         57
                                                                                                                                             booking system, can be easily explored by




                                                                                                                                                                                             The Case For London Ashford Airport (Lydd)
                                                                                                                                             visiting our the 1066country.com website,”
                                                                                                                                             Boorman concludes.

                                                                                                                                             For further information please contact:

                                                                                                                                             Battle Tourist Information Centre
                                                                                                                                             Battle Abbey Gatehouse
                                                                                                                                             High Street
                                                                                                                                             Battle
                                                                                                                                             East Sussex TN33 0AD
                                                                                                                                             UK
                                                                                                                                             T: +44 (0) 1424 773271
                                                                                                                                             E: battletic@rother.gov.uk

                                                                                                                                             Hastings Tourist Information Centre
                                                                                                                                             Queens Square
                                                                                                                                             Priory Meadow
                                                                                                                                             Hastings




                                                                                                                       Photo: 1066 country
                      The region is well known                                                                                               East Sussex TN34 1TL
                      for its long, warm                                                                                                     UK
                      summer days and perfect
                      golden beaches                                                                                                         T: +44 (0) 845 274 1001
                                                                                                                                             E: hic@hastings.gov.uk

                      International focus                                   Netherlands, Germany and France,” continues                      Rye Tourist Information Centre
                      “We primarily market ourselves as an all-year-        Boorman. “However, we know that France has                       The Heritage Centre
                      round short break destination and particularly        massive potential and continue hard to develop                   Strand Quay
                      target affluent cash-rich time-poor residents         that market.”                                                    Rye
                      within a three-hour travel time,” says Kevin                                                                           East Sussex TN31 7AY
                      Boorman, Manager of 1066 Country Marketing.           “We attract visitors from near-Europe through                    UK
                                                                            consumer advertising,” he explains, “through                     T: +44 (0) 1797 226696
                      Significantly, this does not only mean those          attendance at public and trade shows and our                     E: ryetic@rother.gov.uk
                      living in southeast England, but also                 work with the travel trade, particularly
                      incorporates many north European markets –            overseas journalists. We have had some                           Rother District Council
                      markets that will become even closer and              notable successes with the latter, attracting                    Town Hall
                      easier to penetrate when London Ashford               some excellent coverage in French, Belgian                       Bexhill-on-Sea
                      Airport (Lydd) begins to fulfil its huge potential.   and Dutch magazines and on French TV.”                           East Sussex TN39 3JX
                                                                                                                                             UK
                      “In order of magnitude, our most important            “This year we are investing a lot more time,                     T: +44 (0) 1424 787 878
                      overseas markets are Belgium, the                     money and effort into e-marketing; our key                       F: +44 (0) 1424 787 879


                                                                            Top 10 countdown
                                                                            1. Battle Abbey marks the spot of King                           6. Pevensey was the landing point for the
                                                                               Harold’s death and the actual battle site is                      Romans in the 4th century and William the
                                                                               located nearby (English Heritage). Battle                         Conqueror in 1066. Pevensey Castle is one
                                                                               also offers a fascinating local history                           of 1066 Country’s finest historic relics.
                                                                               museum, Yesterday’s World museum and                          7. A maze of medieval and Georgian
                                                                               even its own organic vineyard!                                    buildings overlooking the Romney
                                                                            2. The De La Warr Pavilion, located at the                           Marshes, Rye is a vibrant market town
                                                                               Edwardian resort of Bexhill-on-Sea (the                           that’s alive with history.
                                                                               birthplace of British Motor Racing), a                        8. Pashley Manor Gardens at Hurst Green
                                                                               unique Modernist gem that today hosts                             surround a Grade I timber-framed manor
                                                                               contemporary art exhibitions and live                             built in 1550 and blend romantic
                                                                               performances.                                                     landscaping, stunning planting and fine
                                                                            3. Bodiam Castle is the perfect image of a                           old trees, fountains and ponds.
                                                                               medieval castle, complete with                                9. Set in beautiful parklands, Herstmonceux
                                                                               battlements, portcullis and moat.                                 Castle is simply magnificent. Nearby
                                                                            4. Camber Sands is renowned for its                                  attractions include the Observatory
                                                                               awesome natural beauty, with mile after                           Science Centre.
                                                                               mile of perfect golden sands and safe                         10. Lovers of the Jungle Book should head
                                                                               bathing.                                                          straight for Batemans, the atmospheric
                                                                            5. Besides being home to Europe’s largest                            stately house that once belonged to its
                                                                               beach-launched fishing fleet, Hastings                            author, Rudyard Kipling.
Photo: 1066 country




                                                                               has a picturesque old town, an ancient
                                                                               Norman castle, an array of high quality
                                                                               museums and a fun-packed seafront.
58
     Summary. London Ashford
     Airport (Lydd) has all the
     right credentials to become a
     dynamic southeast UK air
     transport facility
     ≥




               Kent, the ‘Garden of England’, and      A total of £35 million is being invested in
               the neighbouring county of East         London Ashford Airport (Lydd) by 2014 to
               Sussex are well known to tourists,      transform the airport into such a modern
     but we are now seeing huge business growth        facility, one capable of handling two million
     here too.                                         passengers annually and stimulating up to
                                                       4,000 additional jobs that are clearly related to
     Major companies have moved their                  the investment.
     headquarters to the region and a number of
     small and medium sized enterprises from           London Ashford Airport (Lydd) is poised to
     countries such as France and Belgium have         expand, with a strong emphasis on
     found it advantageous to locate here.             sustainability. Local inhabitants need not fear
                                                       another Stansted on their doorstep, nor
     The British Government is investing in future     blocked roads and sleepless nights, and the
     growth through its ‘Thames Gateway’               strict environmental criteria that must be
     development, including a major transformation     satisfied leave no room for half measures.
     of Ashford, which will see the addition of tens
     of thousands of jobs and homes and there is       The opportunities are there to build on this
     already a fast rail infrastructure in place.      already dynamic facility and greatly enhance
                                                       the image of the region, measured against the
     But growth regions function best when there is    realities of the air transport industry in the
     a complementary modern and efficient airport,     new millennium.
     both to facilitate travel by the indigenous
     population (be it for work or pleasure) and to
     encourage others to visit.




                                                                                                           Photo: Roy Hinds
frontdesk@lydd-airport.co.uk
www.lydd-airport.co.uk




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