AEF discussion paper on what – on air pollution – needs to be in UK’s forthcoming “Aviation Strategy”

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AEF releases air quality recommendations ahead of aviation strategy consultation

In the last of our series of discussion papers on the key environmental questions we want to see addressed by the new Aviation Strategy, AEF sets out the air quality challenges posed by UK aviation. As the UK prepares its post-Brexit Environment Act, we consider the gap between currently legislated limit values for air pollution and the evidence on health impacts, what this could mean for aviation, and how both information and regulation should be improved.

The UK Aviation Strategy is due out for consultation by the end of this year, with a White Paper planned for next summer. The air quality policy should, we argue:

  • Clarify how airport planning decisions will help deliver air quality commitments,
  • Close the current information gaps with respect to air pollution from aviation, by
    • Setting out the evidence base in relation to aircraft air pollution outside the landing and take-off cycle,
    • Providing (a) updated mapping of air pollution levels around UK airports with respect to legal limit values and WHO recommended maximum levels for pollutant concentrations; and (b) an assessment of how any increase in aircraft emissions or airport-related emissions affects National Emissions Ceilings Directive (NECD) limit values, and
    • Setting out what approach individuals concerned about air pollution near their airport should take, and
  • Ensure the UK supports the setting of effective technology standards by assessing whether the current international standards are tough enough.

AEF has previously published discussion papers on noise and on climate change, by way of input to the draft strategy. Our latest paper can be viewed here

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Related articles

AEF discusses how aviation strategy can effectively tackle climate change

AEF launches noise discussion paper ahead of aviation strategy consultation

AEF responds to Government’s call for evidence on Aviation Strategy

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National Emissions Ceilings Directive (NECD)

Air pollution travels over long distances, affects human health, degrades buildings and other man-made structures and adversely affects the natural environment through acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone.  The European Community agreed to set emission ceilings through the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD) to protect its citizens, its man-made structures and its diverse environments.  The revised NECD (2016/2284/EU), which entered into force on 31 December 2016, sets new emission reduction commitments for each Member State for the total emissions of NOx, SOx, NMVOC, NH3 and PM2.5 in 2020 and 2030. The new Directive repeals and replaces Directive 2001/81/EC to ensure that the emission ceilings for 2010 set in that Directive shall continue to apply until 2020.  Member States have to report their emission inventories annually to the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission in order to monitor progress and verify compliance.  The reporting requirement is closely aligned with those for the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP), which include a common scope of reporting of pollutant inventories and similar reporting timeframe.  Under the revised NECD, each Member State is required to publish by April 2019 a National Air Pollution Control Programme, setting out the measures it will put in place to reduce emissions to meet the 2020 and 2030 emission reduction commitments.

http://naei.beis.gov.uk/about/why-we-estimate?view=necd

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Response by Government to PQ on Heathrow road traffic indicates a 29% increase with a 3rd runway

In a Parliamentary Question by Andy Slaughter (MP for Hammersmith), he asked the Secretary of State for Transport, “what assessment he has made of the number of (a) light goods vehicles, (b) heavy goods vehicles and (c) private cars that access Heathrow airport on a daily basis.” The reply by Jesse Norman, Minister of State at the DfT, said the figures for goods vehicles come from the Airports Commission [now fairly out of date] and the other figures for highway and public transport trips are from an October 2017 DfT document. Heathrow has often said there would be no more vehicles on the roads with a 3rd runway than currently. But the DfT figures indicate the trips by passengers and employees, by cars and taxis,  would be around 60 million in 2030 with no new runway, and about 77 million in 2030 with a 3rd runway. The numbers would be about 66 million by 2050, with no new runway; and about 85 million with a 3rd runway.  ie. a massive rise of around 29% above the number with no new runway, both in 2030 and in 2050. Mr Norman said, to try to overcome this difficulty,  “it will be for an applicant for development consent for the Heathrow Northwest runway scheme to submit a surface access strategy to the Planning Inspectorate alongside their application.”  He did not answer the question, about the current numbers.
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https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2018-11-09.189624.h&s=Runway#g189624.r0

Andrew Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the number of (a) light goods vehicles, (b) heavy goods vehicles and (c) private cars that access Heathrow airport on a daily basis.

Photo of Jesse NormanJesse Norman Minister of State (Department for Transport)

For goods vehicles, the Department draws upon the Airports Commission’s assessment of road freight numbers as published in their Appraisal Framework Module 4 – Surface Access Freight Impacts Study.

In October 2017, the Department published within its Updated Appraisal Report: Airport Capacity in the South East, details of the estimated surface access trips for both highway and public transport trips for each of the airport expansion options as inputs to its non-flight carbon assessment.

Details of the estimates for annual highway trips for the Heathrow Airportoptions are set out in the following table:

Annual highway trips (car and taxi) by passengers and employees at Heathrow, DfT17 central forecasts (millions)

Highway vehicle trips
2026 2030 2040 2050
No Expansion 57.5 59.4 62.7 66.3
LHR Extended Northern Runway 67.7 75.2 78.2 82.1
LHR Northwest Runway 67.7 77.7 80.7 85.5

Source: Department for TransportTable A.2 Updated Appraisal Report: Airport Capacity in the South East (October 2017)

As specified in the Airports National Policy Statement, it will be for an applicant for development consent for the Heathrow Northwest runway scheme to submit a surface access strategy to the Planning Inspectorate alongside their application.

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{Note:  this reply does not answer the question, which was about the current numbers. We do not know if the government has proper figures for these.

If there is no proper current figure for the numbers, it would not be possible to hold Heathrow to a target of not increasing this ….   AW comment]


See Heathrow’s claim there would be no more airport-related traffic on the roads with a 3rd runway than now

https://your.heathrow.com/takingbritainfurther/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Transport-Fact-Sheet_FINAL2.pdf


See earlier:

Even with 55% of Heathrow passengers using public transport there could be 15 million more passenger trips per year by car by 2040 than now

The government claims Heathrow can meet air quality standards in future, even with a new runway and 50% more passengers, because it will (among other changes) ensure that there are no more road vehicles than now – and by around 2031 about 55% of passengers would use public transport.  So is that likely? Looking at passengers only, not freight, and the work done by Jacobs for the Airports Commission, it seems that (2012 data) there were about 70 million passengers, about 20 million of whom were transfers (ie. they did not leave the airport). That meant slightly below 50 million passengers travelled to and from the airport, using surface transport. In 2012 about 59% of these travelled by car (ie. about 29.5 million), 41% came by public transport (28% by rail and 13% by bus or coach).  But by 2030 with a new runway, there might be around 110 million passengers, and around 33% would be international transfers. That leaves around 74 million passengers, and if 55% of them use public transport, that means about 34 million using cars. By 2040, the number using cars might be about 45 million (ie. about 15 million more per year than now).  And about 9 million using bus/coach – which is of course also on the roads. There would have to be dramatic increases in electric vehicles and improved engine technology to ensure no higher emissions in the Heathrow area.  And that is not counting freight vehicles. Or staff.  Or other increased vehicle traffic associated with the 3rd runway.    

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2016/11/even-with-55-of-heathrow-passengers-using-public-transport-there-could-be-15-million-more-passenger-trips-per-year-by-car-by-2040-than-now/

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Cabbies say Heathrow does not care about air pollution, as they announce sky high taxi electric charging price

Heathrow has to try and get air pollution levels down, as they are already breaching legal limits. With a 3rd runway, they would only get worse. Heathrow has pledged, and tried to persuade the government, that it will do all it can to keep pollution levels down, and there will be (very, very hard to believe …) “no more” vehicles on the roads round Heathrow, associated with the airport, than now. One of the things Heathrow hopes will help is use of more electric vehicles, lowering local pollution. So one might have thought they would be keen to encourage taxis to use electricity as much as possible, to make their air pollution figures look better. Sure enough, there are now many electric charging points. But belatedly Heathrow has now announced that they will charge a very high price (31p per kW) for this charging. This is far higher than plug-in on street Polar for as little as 0.09p per KW, or even dedicated Transport for London taxi chargers at 22p per KW. Taxi drivers are saying they will not pay the 31p, and will instead use the petrol option on their hybrids for the trip back into London. By contrast, Gatwick has 8 charging points in short stay car parks, with free electricity, and free parking for up to 4 hours for this.
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“Heathrow don’t care about lowering emissions” says cabbie as sky high electric charging price announced

2 Nov 2018 (Taxi point)

Taxi drivers in London are angry at sky-high electric charging prices announced by Europe’s biggest airport Heathrow.

The airport have revealed the cost to charge an electric taxis at the feeder park rank will be a whopping 31p per KW.

Currently it is possible to plug-in on street with competitors Polar for as little as 0.09p per KW. Dedicated Transport for London taxi chargers charge 22p per KW respectively.

The price now makes Heathrow more expensive than the notoriously inflated motorway fuelling options.

Cliff Mahoney, a London Taxi driver who has purchased the new LEVC TX electric taxi and works from Heathrow said “Heathrow don’t care about lowering emissions”

He went on to say “Having know the price for months it appears they have left the announcement to within days of the implementation.

“This will make it not cost effective to charge these expensive Zero Emissions capable vehicles at the airport whilst going through the taxi feeder park. The general census of opinion is that drivers will not use the chargers at that price. This means that these iconic vehicles will be leaving the airport on range extender petrol engines rather than clean electric they were designed to use.

“Heathrow say these prices are cost and set by the CAA however Gatwick Airport who seem committed to lowering their emissions offer drivers not only free charging but up to 4 hours free parking.”

https://www.taxi-point.co.uk/single-post/2018/11/02/%E2%80%9CHeathrow-dont-care-about-lowering-emissions%E2%80%9D-says-cabbie-as-sky-high-charging-price-announced?fbclid=IwAR3YVWr48jiLik3QivyYBI4e_I7MS52e7XhoN2z6Wg6_b6r_6t69X_BacqI

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The Heathrow website on electric charging points (nothing made at all clear) is at

https://www.heathrow.com/company/community-and-environment/heathrow-2-0/partnerships/clean-vehicles-partnership/taking-action/electric-vehicles/charging-infrastructure

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and on electric vehicles, with application forms etc etc

https://www.heathrow.com/company/community-and-environment/heathrow-2-0/partnerships/clean-vehicles-partnership/taking-action/electric-vehicles

There is no mention anywhere of the cost.


It seems there are some free charging points for electric vehicles in Heathrow short stay car parks, but the parking has to be paid for. No charging points, as far as we can work out, in long stay carparks.  https://www.zap-map.com/pts/0j46o5r/  



The Gatwick airport website says:

Gatwick is working towards the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% before 2020.

To help towards our goal and to support greener methods of transport, we’ve installed eight charging points for electric vehicles. All of these are located in our short stay car parks where you can re-charge your vehicle free of charge and stay free for up to four hours*.

How to use the charging points

It’s very easy:

  1. Download the POD Point Open Charge app and register for a free account – it only takes a few seconds.
  2. Roll up, take your parking ticket and plug in your vehicle at one of our eight charging points. These are located in car park 3 (orange car park), level 1 in the South Terminal and in car park 5, level 3 in the North Terminal.
  3. Use the Open Charge app to find the correct charging point and confirm your charge within 15 minutes.
  4. Please go to the customer services office before you exit the car park. Show the Open Charge app and your car park ticket then drive away!
  5. You can check live availability of our charging points with POD Point, but no pre-booking is necessary.

* Parking is only free for four hours, after that time the rate will be charged at the normal hourly rate.

https://www.gatwickairport.com/parking/other-parking-options/electric-charging-points/


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New map reveals – Slough and Windsor will be at the heart of pollution caused by Heathrow expansion

Slough Borough Council has been told it must protect its residents after it was revealed the town would be right in the epicentre of increased noise and air pollution, if a 3rd Heathrow runway is built.  The CAA map shows that Slough and Windsor will be at the heart of increased pollution, and community groups are very upset. The Colnbrook Community Association (CCA) said it was time for Slough Borough Council to ‘wake up and protect our residents’ following the publication. Slough Borough Council does not criticise Heathrow, as it hopes to get some benefits from the expansion, if it never complains. The Council says:  “We have been vigorously defending the local community not least in our cabinet discussions about road diversions through Colnbrook and securing a green envelope around Colnbrook.”  The quality of life for many residents will be diminished by the 3rd runway, regardless of some businesses making more money. CCA said: “The trouble is that gullible Local Authorities, Councillors, MP’s and media peeps swallow this misinformation and accept it as truth. Residents know it’s fake news; Heathrow’s PR knows it’s fake news (they make it up); media knows its fake news – but it doesn’t make headlines.”

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New map reveals – Slough and Windsor will be at the heart of pollution caused by Heathrow expansion

By Ryan GrayJunior Reporter
6th October

Heathrow expansion – Slough and Windsor could bear the brunt

Slough Borough Council has been told it must protect its residents after it was revealed the town would be right in the epicentre of increased noise and air pollution, following the Heathrow expansion.
A map, published earlier this month by the Civil Aviation Authority, shows that Slough and Windsor will be at the heart of increased pollution after the third runway’s completion, leading to criticism from community groups.

The Colnbrook Community Association said it was time for Slough Borough Council to ‘wake up and protect our residents’ following the publication.

Slough Borough Council responded to the criticism, saying they have been ‘vigorously defending’ the interests of their residents.

Leader of the coucil, James Swindlehurst, said: “Airspace consultation is independent of expansion at Heathrow and modernisation of airspace around the airport is already underway with Heathrow experimenting with new procedures for aircraft landing to try and reduce noise for those living under or nearby the flightpath.

“The principle of the ratio of planes flying over urban or rural areas is extremely important and Slough Borough Council will be responding to this consultation.

“We have been vigorously defending the local community not least in our cabinet discussions about road diversions through Colnbrook and securing a green envelope around Colnbrook.

“I continue to hold regular meetings with senior Heathrow officials where I will continue to put the concerns residents have raised me at the front of my discussions.”

Slough recently hosted a Heathrow summit in the town, where business owners and Heathrow executives spoke of the potential benefits the airport could bring to the town, but the Colnbrook Community Association criticised the council on Twitter and said their support for the third runway “will increase noise pollution throughout Slough. You must reconsider your support”.

They also accused the council of ‘swallowing fake news’ from Heathrow’s public relations team, saying: “The trouble is that gullible Local Authorities, Councillors, MP’s and media peps swallow this misinformation and accept it as truth. Residents know it’s fake news; Heathrow’s PR knows it’s fake news (they make it up); media knows its fake news – but it doesn’t make headlines.”

https://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/news/17008160.new-map-reveals-slough-and-windsor-will-be-at-the-heart-of-pollution-caused-by-heathrow-extension/?ref=twtrec

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See earlier:

Slough council critical of damage to borough from Heathrow revised plans for runway

Slough Borough Council, which is supportive of a 3rd runway, even though the borough is very close to Heathrow, have now criticised plans in the airport’s initial consultation.  They say a local school, homes and businesses will have to be demolished under revised plans for the expansion. Slough Borough Council said Pippins School in Colnbrook would be closer to the runway than previously thought. They also fear changes to the M25 would also affect a local trading estate, and lead to increased congestion and pollution. Slough fear that raising the runway above ground level as it crosses the M25 could have “serious impacts” on Pippins School and nearby homes because of “worsening noise and air pollution”. The school and nearby houses would be likely to be part of a compulsory purchase order, so Slough needs Heathrow to pay to rebuild the school at another, more suitable, location. The leader of Slough council, James Swindlehurst, said they were objecting to the wider proposals in the hope of “shaping the ideas” Heathrow were producing. Diverting the M25 by 150 metres to the west, he claimed, could involve the loss of homes at Elbow Meadow and buildings on the Galleymead Trading Estate in Colnbrook.  In the past, Slough signed a gagging order with Heathrow, preventing it complaining about the runway plans, in order for anticipated benefits from the airport once a runway was built.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/03/slough-council-critical-of-damage-to-borough-from-heathrow-revised-plans-for-runway/

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See earlier

Slough invites comment on its air pollution strategy – but gagging agreement prevents much mention of Heathrow …

Slough residents are being asked for their views on the draft Slough Low Emission Strategy (LES). Slough has high levels of air pollution that affect the health of residents. While several factors contribute to the borough’s air quality, the emissions from road transport vehicles are the most significant source – and much of this traffic is Heathrow-related. The strategy says it “recognises the challenges and opportunities that may arise from the construction of a 3rd runway at Heathrow.” The Slough council draft LES supports its new transport strategy and forms part of the Slough Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP). It lays out an integrated, year on year plan to improve air quality up to 2025, “reducing vehicle emissions by accelerating the uptake of cleaner fuels and technologies.”  The Slough Cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents and the people who visit and work in Slough is paramount ….”  The strategy says it will “Link and compliment with a potential Ultra-Low Emission Zone at Heathrow.” Slough signed an agreement with Heathrow in mid 2015, to get benefits from a runway, provided they always back the runway. “1.5  Slough Council’s Cabinet commits to publicly support the expansion of Heathrow Airport with immediate effect and until Heathrow is granted the DCO. ” The council does not dare to complain!

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/11/slough-invites-comment-on-its-air-pollution-strategy-but-gagging-order-prevents-much-mention-of-heathrow/

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Slough Council secret deal with Heathrow includes gagging order, making it impotent in fighting for a better deal from Heathrow for 3 – 4 years

Residents of Colnbrook, close to Heathrow and due to be badly affected by a 3rd runway, submitted a FoI request to get the details for the secret, but legally binding, deal done between Slough Borough Council and Heathrow airport. The details of the deal are worrying. As well as finding out that Colnbrook, and help for the residents, do not feature in the deal, it has emerged that  Slough Council has accepted what amounts to a self-imposed gagging order, unable to criticise Heathrow for the next 3 to 4 years,until Heathrow is granted a Development Consent Order (DCO).  As well as a boost for investment in the town and improved access from central Slough to the airport, the secret agreement sees Heathrow commit to supporting the Council’s representations to Government to seek compensation for lost business rates, put by the council itself at up to £10 million earlier this year.  In return, however, Cabinet is legally bound to giving public support for the airport until final permission, is granted.  A Development Consent Order is at least three years away, possibly four.  Residents expected that their council would have argued for “world class” compensation and mitigation.  
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This states:  
“1.5 Slough Council’s Cabinet commits to publicly support the expansion of Heathrow Airport with immediate effect and until Heathrow is granted the DCO.”

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Campaigners fighting Gatwick expansion issue “State of Emergency” for the Sussex countryside

CPRE Sussex has taken the unprecedented step of declaring a “Countryside State of Emergency” in response to Gatwick Airport’s new expansion ‘Master Plan’, published on October 18th.  The Master Plan details the airport’s proposal to expand from one to potentially three runways. A 2nd runway created from Gatwick’s existing emergency runway could result in an estimated 14 million extra passengers travelling through Sussex to/from the airport every year. A 3rd runway to the south – on the “safeguarded” land – would add millions more passengers and require “significant changes to the airport and surrounding roads”.  “This plan would have a devastating impact on our countryside,” says CPRE Sussex Chair, David Johnson. “It would change the landscape and rural character of Sussex forever – scaring our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and deeply damaging the tranquillity and ecology of our National Park.” He commented: “It would be unthinkable to allow Gatwick to urbanise Sussex in this way, so we will be joining with all other community and conservation groups to oppose these plans”. We need to give our National Parks and AONBs more, and better protection – not risk ruining them with the impacts of developing an airport about the size Heathrow is now. 
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Campaigners fighting Gatwick expansion issue “State of Emergency” for the Sussex countryside

22.10.2018  (CPRE Sussex press release)

CPRE is the Campaign to Protect Rural England

CPRE Sussex has taken the unprecedented step of declaring a “Countryside State of Emergency” in response to Gatwick Airport’s new expansion ‘Master Plan’, published last week (Oct 18).

The Master Plan details the airport’s proposal to expand from one to potentially three runways. The figures show that a second runway created from Gatwick’s existing emergency runway would result in an estimated 14million extra passengers travelling through Sussex every year. A third runway to the south would add millions more passengers and require “significant changes to the airport and surrounding roads”.

“This plan would have a devastating impact on our countryside,” says CPRE Chair, David Johnson. “It would change the landscape and rural character of Sussex forever – scaring our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and deeply damaging the tranquillity and ecology of our National Park.”

“For this reason we are declaring our first ever ‘Countryside State of Emergency’ to protect what we hold dear – our rural communities and the natural beauty and tranquillity of our county. It would be unthinkable to allow Gatwick to urbanise Sussex in this way, so we will be joining with all other community and conservation groups to oppose these plans”.

Gatwick published details of its Master Plan last week when it announced the start of a 12 week consultation process (due to end January 10 2019). The document predicts that, with a second runway, the airport could be handling between 68 and 70 million passengers by 2032 – a figure not far behind Heathrow, which handled 78 million last year. In addition to this the airport also wants to safeguard the site for its third runway, “to meet longer term demand”.

“It is ironic that at a time when one Government department is looking to expand the protection of our beloved and treasured countryside another department could be allowing its destruction,” says David Johnson.

Earlier this month (October) the government launched its National Parks Review, pledging to enhance statutory protection for Britain’s National Parks and AONBs to “ensure designated landscapes are fit for the future”.

“We do not believe that the destruction of wildlife, our tranquillity, our dark night skies and clean air can be justified by the expansion of Gatwick,” adds Mr Johnson. “

CPRE Sussex has now written to the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove MP to detail its emergency campaign to safeguard Sussex’s rural communities, AONBs and National Park from Gatwick Airport’s Master Plan.

 

Notes for Editors:

 

For more information please contact:

 

David Johnson, Chair, CPRE Sussex:  07738 860256

 

Useful Links:

 

https://www.gatwickairport.com/globalassets/business–community/growing-gatwick/draft-masterplan-consultation-doc_18oct.pdf

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-parks-review-launched

 

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See earlier:

Gatwick opens 12 week consultation on using its emergency runway, for some take-offs, adding 30% + more flights

Gatwick has announced its draft “Master Plan” which (quote) “sets out how Gatwick can grow and do more for Britain.”  In order to cram more flights into a one-runway airport, they hope to make more use of their emergency runway, parallel but close to the main runway. It is too near to be used properly as a second runway, on safety grounds.There will now be a 12 week consultation period on the plans, and Gatwick hopes to finalise its plans some time into 2019. The plans also include how the airport hopes to “meet future aviation demand with sustainable growth” (sic) into the 2030s. Under its 40-year current planning agreement, Gatwick’s existing standby runway is only used when the main runway is closed for maintenance or emergencies. But Gatwick hopes it “could potentially bring its existing standby runway into routine use for departing flights, alongside its main runway, by the mid-2020s.”  This could mean a maximum of 390,000 flights annually (P. 88) compared to 290,000 in 2016, (ie. about 34% more.). That could mean up to 70 million annual passengers, compared to 43 million now – and a current theoretical maximum of 61 million (ie. about 15% more). “We would be able to add between 10 and 15 additional hourly aircraft movements in the peak hours.” (P.10)   Oh …. and  with no extra noise …. obviously….

Click here to view full story…

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Teddington TAG shows London Assembly data proves Heathrow NOx travels far, far away from the airport (not just Grayling’s “2km”)

The Airports Commission had, as its study area for the effects of Heathrow expansion, an area of just 2 kilometres from the boundary of the expanded airport. Chris Grayling wrote to the Chair of the Transport Committee on the 23rd February 2018 saying that this area “captures over 98% of additional emissions that could occur from expansion”. Teddington TAG asks if this figure of 98% emissions captured within 2 km of the boundary is true. They located air pollution data from the London Assembly, available by Borough. It apportions how much of the NOx in different areas is from vehicles, aviation and other sources. This shows that in Richmond Old Deer Park, according to the Data Apportionment Tool, about 77% of the NOx is from aviation. In Kew / North Sheen, 11km from touch-down, about 57% is from aviation.  At Putney, which is under the flight path but is over 15 km from touch-down at Heathrow, about 33% of the NOx is from aviation. Putney is worse off than Kew as total emissions are greater. And all that is just from 2 runways! Aviation apportionment readings stretch back to Clapham Junction and beyond. So why did Grayling tell the Transport Committee that 98% was within 2km.  Ignorance of the facts? Failure to be properly informed?
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WILL HEALTH EFFECTS FROM EMISSIONS FROM HEATHROW EXPANSION BE FELT JUST WITHIN 2 KILOMETRES?

13TH OCTOBER 2018  (From Teddington Action Group)

The Airports Commission had as its study area, for the effects of Heathrow expansion, an area of just 2 kilometres from the boundary of the expanded airport. Chris Grayling wrote to the chair person of the Transport Committee on the 23rd February 2018 letter here  saying that:  “The DfT’s approach assessed the health impacts on populations living within 2km of the expanded airport using updated relationships between pollutant concentrations and mortality, published by DEFRA …………..The study area, which captures over 98% of additional emissions that could occur from expansion, was determined by the Airports Commission’s consultants to include those locations where expansion was expected to make a significant contribution to ambient pollution levels”
Is this figure of 98% emissions capture within 2 km of the boundary true or false?
Well; the London Assembly have collated a lot of air quality data, which has been in the public domain for some years. King’s College London have been instrumental in collating much air quality data. The data is available by Borough and as an “apportionment tool” to tell us the relevant sources (including aviation) of pollution at any spot in the greater London area. The website is athttps://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/llaqm-bespoke-borough-by-borough-air-quality-modelling-and-data?resource=e770d524-dd30-46db-bc2e-e8c4da8902a4Go into Richmond Old Deer Park and you might think that the majority of NOx there is from nasty smelly diesel lorries roaring down the A316 to the M3. You would be wrong. According to the Data Apportionment Tool, no less than 77.7% of NOx in Richmond Old Deer Park by the side of the A316 comes from aviation. So; let’s go a bit further away from Heathrow and see what happens:

Let us go to Kew / North Sheen, 11km from touch-down and look forward to 2020:

Put the co-ordinates into the tool and:

We are shown that 57.7% of NOx comes from aviation. There is a pie chart too:

The legal limit is an annual mean of 40 micrograms per cubic metre. There is a NOx map:

and a map of NO2 only

which show that in 2020 there will be areas particularly close to the roads that will breach the legal limits. That is with two runways at Heathrow and 57% of the NOx coming from aviation.

 

Let us go further away to Putney, which is under the flight path but is over 15 kilometres from touch-down at Heathrow:

Put in the co-ordinates to the calculation tool and:

 

We find that aviation is still contributing to 33% of the NOx emissions. Putney is worse off than Kew though because total emissions are greater and therefore the breaches are more severe. The total emissions, of which aviation contributes 33%, is bigger. The NO2 map is:

and the NOx map is:

 

Heathrow itself is way over the permitted limits and is predicted to be so in 2020 and 2030.

The 2020 map:

and the 2030 map is only a little better:

And all that is just from two runways!

Aviation apportionment readings stretch back to Clapham Junction and beyond

So Mr Grayling: why are you telling us and the Transport Committee that 98% of emissions from an expanded Heathrow would be captured within 2 kilometres of the airport boundary?

http://www.teddingtonactiongroup.com/2018/10/13/will-health-effects-from-emissions-from-heathrow-expansion-be-felt-just-within-2-kilometres/

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The misleading Grayling letter

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/transport/Letter-from-Chris-Grayling-MP-to-Committee-Chair-re-Airports-NPS-revised-draft-23-2-2018.pdf

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See also earlier:

Grayling emissions omission admission: Heathrow air quality costs 2-4 times higher than previously thought

The Commons Transport Committee is currently assessing the Heathrow proposals for a 3rd runway. One of the issues in which they have taken a particular interest is whether the right numbers have been used for the cost to human health of air pollution, and if the costs of pollution beyond a 2km band around the airport have been properly considered. Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary, has now written to the Committee to clarify the government position, and has confirmed that the DfT omitted (in error) to consider the emissions beyond 2km. By contrast the DfT’s own impact appraisal had noted impacts well beyond this 2km boundary, in terms of additional vehicle traffic.  The total figure for the extra cost to health, from Grayling’s admission, is now thought to be 2 to 4 times higher than the one published in the official appraisal document.  That means the “net present value” of the scheme, previously assessed as minus £-2.2 to plus £3.3 billion over 60 years (so already potentially negative) could drop to as low as minus £-2.6 to plus £2.9 billion under the new estimate.  The cost of the damage to human health from additional air pollution, associated with a new runway, is one of the two ways the DfT assesses the cost-benefit analysis of the proposal.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/03/grayling-emissions-omission-admission-heathrow-air-quality-costs-2-4-times-higher-than-previously-thought/
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Launch of “Stay Grounded” network – organisations around the world opposing unsustainable aviation/airport expansion

The Stay Grounded network has been officially launched. It now has over 130 signatories (including the No 3rd Runway Coalition, and others in the UK) and more than 80 member organisations. Stay Grounded aims to reduce the environmentally and socially damaging impact of aviation, by stopping its fast rate of expansion across the world. The industry has privileged status in many ways, including its out-of-control increasing carbon emissions. The Stay Grounded network has published a position paper outlining 13 steps for a transition towards a transport system that is more socially just and ecologically sustainable. Many non-violent actions took place in countries around the world, in a recent week of action. These were directed against airport infrastructure projects, many of them leading not only to rising CO2 emissions, but also noise and health issues, loss of homes, biodiversity and fertile lands.  Around the world there are about 1200 airports planned to be built or being expanded. Stay grounded will also highlight the industry’s inadequate “greenwashing” strategies, which will lead to increasing pressure on ecosystems, local farming communities, and indigenous peoples, particularly in the Global South.

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In the week of action, a total of 27 actions took place in 11 countries (3 continents) to counter airport expansion and to demand a just transport system. There is a video here  and more on  FacebookTwitter
There are photos of the actions here.   Stay Grounded is working to spread information and understanding about the illusion of “green growth” for the aviation sector.  The movement needs to build pressure on our politicians, across countries, to cut the privileges of the aviation industry.

Press Release: Stay Grounded international network launched to counter aviation

1st-12th October – 2 weeks of protest events to be held around the world

Contact:
Magdalena Heuwieser & Mira Kapfinger / coordinators of Stay Grounded
Mail: info@stay-grounded.org 
Phone: 0043/6503773102

1st October 2018 – This week marks the official launch of Stay Grounded, a global network of organisations and activist groups working to curb the unrestrained expansion of the aviation sector that is causing ever increasing damage to the climate and local residents. Supported by more than 100 civil society organisations, like Friends of the Earth International, the network has published a position paper outlining 13 steps for a transition towards a transport system that is more socially just and ecologically sustainable.

The Stay Grounded network will organise protest events around the world in the coming two weeks to raise awareness of the ongoing massive wave of airport infrastructure expansion: They will take place in Denmark, the UK, Mexico, the Netherlands, Austria, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil, France and New Zealand.

The actions are directed against airport infrastructure projects, many of them leading to noise and health issues, loss of homes, biodiversity and fertile lands”, explains Mira Kapfinger from Stay Grounded, pointing out a map of airport conflicts. Around the world, about 1200 airports are planned to be built or being expanded. The protests will also throw a spotlight on the industry’s inadequate “greenwashing” strategies, which will lead to increasing pressure on ecosystems, peasant communities, and indigenous peoples, particularly in the Global South.

Aviation Emissions and Greenwashed Climate Strategies
The protests are just in time: At the end of October, International Aviation will decide on its climate strategy called CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation). It proclaims the goal to achieve “carbon neutral growth” after 2020 by buying cheap and ineffective carbon credits from offset projects in the Global South. These supposedly “green” projects have a record of fuelling land grabbing and human rights violations.

Instead of assuming responsibility for the harmful impact of its reckless growth path, the industry is trying to buy its way out at the expense of vulnerable populations who are at risk of losing their livelihoods due to these offsetting projects”, Mira Kapfinger adds.

“CORSIA is not only a greenwashed cloth attempting to polish aviation. It is also being used as a diversion tactic to block any effective regulation of the sector”, explains Magdalena Heuwieser from Stay Grounded. The European aviation industry is recently trying to lobby EU officials to abolish existing regulation of aviation emissions, like the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and ticket taxes, by pointing to an alleged overlap with CORSIA.

Mira Kapfinger from Stay Grounded said: “This year’s summer of record temperatures, droughts and forest fires, has been another warning sign that it is now most urgent for us all to resist the growing greenhouse gas emissions from aviation.” Aviation is by far the mode of transport with the biggest climate impact, as well as being one of the fastest growing sectors in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

Stay Grounded demands effective regulations on aviation

Stay Grounded rejects greenwashed aviation strategies like CORSIA, carbon trading and tanked biofuels and instead fosters effective solutions to the climate crisis and rising aviation emissions. “For decades, the aviation industry has enjoyed many privileges. For example, flight tickets and kerosene still remain untaxed, in contrast to car fuel or train tickets. Now is the time to wake up. “Techno-fixes” and offsets are illusions. Rather than fueling further expansion, air traffic urgently needs to be controlled and reduced, before we get locked in to their unaffordable emissions. This process needs to be socially just,” Mira Kapfinger concludes.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/gp/164860673@N04/EfNB56

Further information:

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https://stay-grounded.org/press-release-stay-grounded-international-network-launched-to-counter-aviation/ 

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Stay Grounded will send their position paper together with an introductory letter to the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) on October 26th, just before the start of their next Council meeting. In this meeting they will decide on the criteria for carbon offsets and biofuels – the main pillars of the international climate strategy CORSIA, and hugely dangerous because they don’t help fight climate change and push land grabbing. Find more information on the current international policy debates and problems involved in this article and in the study “The Illusion of Green Flying” (GE, EN, FR). 

Stay Grounded is encouraging people and organisations to write to their environment, climate change and transport ministries, asking that they make public their reservations about the ICAO CORSIA scheme, (which is a token scheme to give the impression of cutting aviation carbon emissions, while in reality doing the least possible, and not having an effective impact on aviation CO2 for decades).  Letters should be sent before 1st December. Though it is unlikely that the CORSIA scheme will be stopped, or made effective, it is important that EU states express their concerns about CORSIA so it does not lead to the EU ETS regulation being stopped, and replaced by the (ineffective) CORSIA.  Find here the contact details of EU ministers and a new CORSIA briefing by Transport & Environment, and find here some bullet points that can be used for your letter.

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Air pollution by NOx linked to much greater risk of dementia

Research published in the BMJ indicates there is an increase in the chance of developing dementia. About 131,000 patients in London aged between 50 and 79 were followed for 7 years, with air pollution exposure estimated by post code. People over 50 in areas with the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air showed a 40% greater risk of developing dementia than those with the least NOx pollution, according to data from London. The observational study cannot establish that air pollution was a direct cause of the dementia cases, but the link between higher pollution and higher levels of dementia diagnosis could not be explained by other factors known to raise risks of the disease.  Air pollution has already been linked with cardiovascular and respiratory disease, but this is one of the first studies to examine links with neurodegenerative illness.  It is possible that perhaps 60,000 of the total 850,000 dementia cases in the UK may be made worse by air pollution.  This adds to the body of research on the wide-ranging effects of air pollution, including evidence that particles of pollutants can cross the placenta – an evidence from  China of a “huge” reduction in intelligence associated with breathing dirty air, equivalent to losing a year’s education.

 

If the UK government lets the 3rd Heathrow runway go ahead, it is almost inevitable that there will be far worse air pollution over a wide area – around the airport, and also near roads and flight paths used by Heathrow.

Duty of government is to protect its citizens – not condemn tens or hundreds of thousands of them to an incurable illness, that removes individuals’ abilities to live decent lives, causes immense suffering, and also imposes immense costs on society.

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Air pollution linked to much greater risk of dementia

Risk in over-50s increases by 40% where highest nitrogen oxide levels exist, study shows

Air pollution may increase the chance of developing dementia, a study has suggested, in fresh evidence that the health of people of all ages is at risk from breathing dirty air.

People over 50 in areas with the highest levels of nitrogen oxide in the air showed a 40% greater risk of developing dementia than those with the least NOx pollution, according to the research, based on data from London.

The observational study, published in the BMJ Open journal on Wednesday, cannot establish that air pollution was a direct cause of the dementia cases. However, the authors said the link between higher pollution and higher levels of dementia diagnosis could not be explained by other factors known to raise risks of the disease.

A ground-breaking study from China recently found a “huge” reduction in intelligence associated with breathing dirty air, equivalent to losing a year’s education.

The Kings College London study adds to previous research suggesting a link with dementia, but scientists warned that the results must be taken cautiously because the observational study could not closely track other possible causes such as lifestyle factors or the relative economic deprivation of the patients studied, or the amount of air pollution each was subject to individually.

Martie Van Tongeren, a professor of occupational and environmental health at Manchester University, who was not involved, said: “There is a growing body of evidence of the link between air pollution and brain health, including dementia and Alzheimer’s. This study adds to this body of evidence and fits with some of the previous studies. As most people in the UK live in urban areas, exposure to traffic-related and other air pollutants is ubiquitous. Hence, even a relatively small increase in risk will result in a large public health impact.”

The paper’s authors said a link between poor air quality and dementia could begin early in life. They wrote: “Traffic related air pollution has been [linked to] poorer cognitive development in young children, and continued significant exposure may produce neuroinflammation and altered brain innate immune responses in early adulthood.”

Campaigners called on the government to take urgent action on air pollution. Simon Alcock, head of UK public affairs for ClientEarth, which has repeatedly taken the government to court over its failures on air quality, called for a national clean air bill backed by an independent watchdog, and clean air zones in the most polluted areas. He said: “Air pollution is damaging our health from the womb to old age. It is unacceptable in 2018 for people to be risking dementia just by breathing.”

Road traffic should be the focus of efforts to clean up our air, as it is the leading cause of the health problems, added Aaron Kiely, air pollution campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “Efforts to clean up our cars, vans and lorries must be put in the fast lane – we can’t afford to wait until 2040 for most new vehicles to be zero-emission,” he said. “Greater investment is also needed in alternatives to motor vehicles, such as safer cycling infrastructure, and affordable and convenient public transport.”

A Defra spokesperson said levels of air pollution, including NOx, had fallen and the government was taking further action: “By ending the sale of conventional new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040, we are acting faster to tackle air pollution than almost every other major developed economy.”

Labour slammed ministers for failing to address air pollution, which regularly exceeds legal limits in many areas, particularly in London.

Sue Hayman, shadow environment secretary, said: “It is simply not good enough for Michael Gove to shunt this problem on to cash-strapped local councils, publish strategies on wood burners and drag his feet on new legislation. [We] would bring forward a new Clean Air Act and a network of clean air zones to tackle the UK’s illegal levels of air pollution in the quickest time possible.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/18/air-pollution-causes-jump-in-dementia-risk-study-suggests

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Air pollution particles found in mothers’ placentas

 

 

Air pollution particles found in mothers’ placentas

New research shows direct evidence that toxic air – already strongly linked to harm in unborn babies – travels through mothers’ bodies

Scientists have found the first evidence that particles of air pollution travel through pregnant women’s lungs and lodge in their placentas.

Toxic air is already strongly linked to harm in foetuses but how the damage is done is unknown. The new study, involving mothers living in London, UK, revealed sooty particles in the placentas of each of their babies and researchers say it is quite possible the particles entered the foetuses too.

“It is a worrying problem – there is a massive association between air pollution a mother breathes in and the effect it has on the foetus,” said Dr Lisa Miyashita, at Queen Mary University of London, one of the research team. “It is always good if possible to take less polluted routes if you are pregnant – or indeed if you are not pregnant. I avoid busy roads when I walk to the station.”

series of previous studies have shown that air pollution significantly increases the risk of premature birth and of low birth weight, leading to lifelong damage to health. A large study of more than 500,000 births in London, published in December, confirmed the link and led doctors to say that the implications for many millions of women in polluted cities around the world are “something approaching a public health catastrophe”.

Scientists are increasingly finding that air pollution results in health problems far beyond the lungs. In August, research revealed that air pollution causes a “huge” reduction in intelligence, while in 2016 toxic nanoparticles from air pollution were discovered in human brains.

The new research examined the placentas of five non-smoking women who all delivered healthy babies. The researchers isolated macrophage cells, which are part of the body’s immune system and engulf harmful particles such as bacteria and air pollution.

Using an optical microscope, they found 72 dark particles among 3,500 cells and then used a powerful electron microscope to examine the shape of some of the particles. They looked very like the sooty particles found in macrophages in the lung, which catch many – but not all – of the particles.

While further analysis is needed for final confirmation, Dr Miyashita said: “We can’t think of anything else they could be. It is very evident to us they are black sooty particles.” Earlier experiments have shown that particles breathed in by pregnant animals go through the bloodstream into placentas.

“We do not know whether the particles we found could also move across into the foetus, but our evidence suggests this is indeed possible,” said Dr Norrice Liu, also at Queen Mary University of London and part of the team. “We also know that the particles do not need to get into the baby’s body to have an adverse effect, because if they have an effect on the placenta, this will have a direct impact on the foetus.”

The research is being presented Sunday at the European Respiratory Society’s (ERS) international congress in Paris. “This research suggests a possible mechanism of how babies are affected by pollution while being theoretically protected in the womb,” said Prof Mina Gaga, who is ERS president and at the Athens Chest Hospital in Greece.

Unicef executive director Anthony Lake recently warned of the danger of air pollution to babies: “Not only do pollutants harm babies’ developing lungs, they can permanently damage their developing brains – and, thus, their futures.”

Separate research, also presented at the ERS congress, found that children with early onset and persistent asthma fared far less well in education than those without the condition. Asthma in children has long been linked to air pollution.

The study, conducted over 20 years in Sweden, showed that children with asthma were three and half times more likely to leave school at the age of 16 with only basic education and were also twice as likely to drop out of university courses.

Dr Christian Schyllert, at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, said: “This study suggests [these] children have worse life chances when it comes to their education and their future jobs.” He said one possible reason could be that children with asthma are known to have lower school attendance.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/16/air-pollution-particles-found-in-mothers-placentas
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Data shows the NOx produced by Heathrow planes is over double that produced by road vehicles

There is a widely held belief that Heathrow’s NO2 air pollution is largely due to road vehicles, and as long as measures can be taken to reduce these a bit, then a 3rd runway could be allowed. However, research indicates that the aircraft are producing even more NOx than the road vehicles, and there is far less that can be done to cut these emissions. Indeed, if there were to be almost 50% more Heathrow flights, the amount of NOx generated by the aircraft alone would mean a massive increase locally. That is not taking into account all the extra road traffic that would inevitably be generated by a larger Heathrow, including businesses etc that locate near the airport and all their traffic. The 2013 figures from a study for Heathrow, by Ricardo-AEA Ltd show the amount of NOx emitted from planes up to 1000 metres altitude was 2761 tonnes NOx/ year, and 1524 tonnes from aircraft on the ground (ie a total of 4285 tonnes/ year). Also 274 tonnes/year from other airport sources. Then 350 tonnes/year from Heathrow associated trips on main roads in a 11km x 11km area, and 1661 tonnes/ year from non-Heathrow associated traffic in that 11x11km area. (ie. a total of 2011 for all road traffic). So the amount from planes is way over twice the amount from road vehicles. And that ignores the NOx from planes in the wider area, over 1000 metres altitude.
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Heathrow Airport 2013 Air Quality Assessment

Report for Heathrow Airport

By Ricardo-AEA/R/3438 Issue Number 1

Date 16/01/2015

http://www.heathrowairwatch.org.uk/documents/Heathrow_Airport_2013_Air_Quality_Assessment_Detailed_Emissions_Inventory.pdf

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There is a lot of detail in the paper, but below are a couple of quotes.

 

This report presents an assessment of air quality in the neighbourhood of Heathrow Airport in the year 2013.

It considers the impacts of the operation of the airport (including road traffic to and from the airport), as well as non-airport sources of air pollution, in order to estimate both the overall picture of air quality and the airport’s contribution to it.

Broadly speaking, near Heathrow there are three main categories of air pollution:

 Road traffic, some of which will be travelling to or from the airport;

 Heathrow Airport itself, especially aircraft engines and the ground support vehicles and equipment that service the aircraft;

 Other sources both local and more distant, such as domestic and commercial heating, industrial processes, and other vehicles and equipment powered by combustion engines. The study was designed with these purposes in mind. The work falls into three main parts:

 First, an emissions inventory is calculated to estimate how much of each pollutant is emitted from the different sources.

 Second, dispersion modelling calculates how the emissions are carried through the air, due to meteorological conditions such as wind speed and direction, and the resulting concentrations of pollution in the air.

 These modelled concentrations are then compared with monitoring data as a check on the accuracy of the model.

The final total concentrations are also compared with the air quality limit values to see if there is a risk of them being exceeded.

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They conclude on NOx:

Aircraft make a dominant contribution to the airport NOx emissions. It should be borne in mind that this is for aircraft emissions in the LTO cycle (so cruise emissions are excluded because they have no impact on local air quality), and road network emissions are presented only on major roads within the 11 km × 11 km area around the airport. Choosing a larger road network area would change the balance of calculated emissions.

On PM10 particles :

Focusing on airport-related sources, emissions from airport-related traffic on the road network are roughly equal to aircraft emissions, in contrast to NOx where aircraft emissions were dominant. However it should be repeated that choosing a different road network area would change the balance of calculated emissions.

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