Author: AEF (Aviation Environment Federation)
Date: December 2014
Length – 2 pages
Summary: The AEF has published a short, easy to read, briefing on air pollution in relation to a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick. It considers the importance of air pollution and how far the Airports Commission has gone to address the issue to date. The Commission says a full assessment and modelling of the local air quality impacts has yet to be undertaken. AEF says because air quality is a key issue for a new Heathrow runway, as the area already breaches legal air quality limits, the Commission should publish the modelling it will carry out of the local air quality impacts, including damage to human health. AEF says the future Government should assess the Commission’s recommendations in terms of their impact on human health. They should assess the risks to air quality legal limits from runway plans, and only permit a runway if it can be shown that legal limits on pollutants can already be met consistently, and are falling. The Commission is aware that improvements in aircraft engine emissions may take a very long time to happen; that reducing the amount of air pollution from road transport around Heathrow may take a very long time; and EU air quality standards may be tightened.