Bristol airport hope to expand from 8 to 12 million annual passengers; 73% rise in CO2 emissions

Bristol Airport is hoping to expand. There is a consultation that started on 19th December, and ends on 26th January, on their plans. Details can be found here.  The headline application issue is a 50% growth in passengers – from the current 8.2 million per year, to 12 million by the mid 2020’s. Carbon emissions from flights are estimated to rise by 73% from 746 ktCO2 in 2017 to 1,290 ktCO2 with 12 million passengers, an increase of 73%. The increase in passengers will be achieved by de-restricting night flights up to 4,000 per year, expanding car parks, changing road lay outs, and building a multi-storey car park (persuasively capped with some wind turbines). There are further plans to raise passenger numbers to 20 million by 2040. There is a lot of local opposition, focused on issues such as congested roads, ‘parking blights’ (cars parked in lanes etc), other local environmental impacts, noise pollution – through the night and day. There are some minimal hyper-localised ‘Noise Insulation Grants’ (up to £5000 for glazing). The airport plans to get more income in from cafes, shops and car parking, to boost profits. Bristol Airport is entirely owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – it is not British owned at all.
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See more information from the local campaign, Bristol Airport Watch at

http://www.bristolairportwatch.org.uk/planning-application

with a lot of details about what people who want to respond can say, writing in their own words.

 

Local campaigners also say:

Local opposition is based around functional issues – congested roads, ‘parking blights’ – cars parked in lanes and locals’ spots, noise pollution – through the night and day (though some placating / bribery occurs through some hyper-localised ‘Noise Insulation Grants’ of up to £5000 for glazing), and local environmental impacts.

Additional attention on the difficult to monitor localised pollution of particulates and harmful gases is necessary, as well as the mostly locally-unacknowledged climate impact of greenhouse gases on creating runaway climate collapse in the coming decades.

Development of the airport is framed in ‘sustainable economic’ terms, creating employment at the airport and tourism income locally.

Reframing the economic picture to include localised health impacts (air quality, sound pollution affecting quality of life), congestion effects, impacts on the local environment in a green-belt area of natural beauty, with Bristol’s water supply being sourced nearby (in the Chew Valley Lake and Barrow Gurney Reservoirs immediately affected by particulate matter), and the unimaginable costs of climate collapse of which air travel is a major contributor is necessary.

Local criticism against the airport claims the growth in increased passenger numbers are mainly required to develop a more profitable retail and cafe operations and income from car parks (Bristol Airport Communities Parking Association in Chew Valley Gazette January 2019).

Bristol Airport is entirely owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Ontario Teachers’ owns a substantial portfolio of infrastructure assets including: 100% of Bristol Airport and minority stakes in other airports; the High Speed 1 rail line linking London with the Channel Tunnel; and international water and power utilities. Ontario Teachers’ also owns Camelot Group PLC, which holds an exclusive licence to operate the U.K. National Lottery. It has acquired a share of the Irish National Lottery in 2014. It seems Canadian teachers are gambling on our future!

 

The application can be found at 

https://planning.n-somerset.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=PJML85LPMKI00

It says:

Planning – Application Summary

18/P/5118/OUT 

Outline planning application (with reserved matters details for some elements included and some elements reserved for subsequent approval) for the development of Bristol Airport to enable a throughput of 12 million terminal passengers in any 12 month calendar period, comprising:

2no. extensions to the terminal building and canopies over the forecourt of the main terminal building;

erection of new east walkway and pier with vertical circulation cores and pre-board zones;

5m high acoustic timber fence;

construction of a new service yard directly north of the western walkway;

erection of a multi-storey car park north west of the terminal building with five levels providing approximately 2,150 spaces and wind turbines atop; 

enhancement to the internal road system including gyratory road with internal surface car parking and layout changes;

enhancements to airside infrastructure including construction of new eastern taxiway link and taxiway widening (and fillets) to the southern edge of Taxiway GOLF;

the year-round use of the existing Silver Zone car park extension (Phase 1) with associated permanent (fixed) lighting and CCTV; extension to the Silver Zone car park to provide approximately 2,700 spaces (Phase 2);

improvements to the A38; operating within a rolling annualised cap of 4,000 night flights between the hours of 23:30 and 06:00 with no seasonal restrictions;

revision to the operation of Stands 38 and 39; and landscaping and associated works. 

Bristol Airport North Side Road Felton Wrington BS48 3DP

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There are 172 documents associated with this application.

Chapter 17 of the Environment Statement deals with carbon emissions. It is at

Bristol airport carbon expansion

Other environmental documents are at

https://planning.n-somerset.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PJML85LPMKI00

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They seem to estimate a 9% increase in CO2 emissions from a 20% increase in number of flights, from 10 million p.a. to 12 million.  Why so low?  The rise overall is 73%.

The increase in carbon emissions from the current level would rise by about 60%, if there were 12 million passengers per year. (ie. from 746 ktCO2 up to 1,290 ktCO2).

 

Climate Change – Carbon and Other Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In 2017 aviation carbon emissions at Bristol Airport was 746.77 (ktCO2/yr) and in 2026 will be 1,183.87 (ktCO2/yr) an increase of 59%, to go to 10 million passengers. This figure could well be higher if the modern, less-noisy fleet of aircraft does not materialise. (REF: Environmental Statement volume 1, Ch 17 of the Bristol Airport planning application 18/P/5118/OUT at North Somerset Council).
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The carbon emissions with 12 million passenger per year are estimated to be 1,290.46 ktCO2/yr. That is 73% higher than the 746 ktCO2 per year estimated for 2017.

The 2017 figure of 746.77 ktCO2 is in a different table, in the document.
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In 2017 the current baseline figures for vehicle emissions were 184.45 (ktCO2/yr)
In 2026 the future baseline figures for vehicle emissions is 214.23. This is an increase of 16% in the annual level of vehicle emissions. (REF: Environmental Statement volume 1, Ch 17 of the Bristol Airport planning application 18/P/5118/OUT at North Somerset Council)
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38 Degrees petition, set up by Bristol Rising Tide:

There is a 38 Degrees petition to North Somerset Council, against the runway.  It is at
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Bristol Airport wants to introduce a free drop-off zone – but only if allowed to expand to over 10million annual passengers

Bristol Airport wants to bring back a free drop-off zone and create a new waiting area for taxis. The airport has not had a free drop-off zone since it removed its 10-minute ‘free’ period in May 2011. People now pay £1 for up to 20 minutes. The airport has now announced plans to introduce a free drop-off zone – but only if it gets planning consent from North Somerset Council to expand. People living near the airport complain about cars clogging up local areas, with drivers parking in lay-bys and residential roads to avoid paying to park at the airport. The airport’s expansion plans, with hopes of expanding from the current 8 million annual passengers up to 12 million, (its current cap is 10 million) would include a new authorised waiting area for taxis and a free drop-off area for other vehicles. It is not yet known how much time drivers will get for free. The plan is included in the airport’s proposals for the Section 106 Agreement, so is dependent on the plans being approved. The airport hopes to reduce opposition to its plans, by this small gesture towards helping with the local parking issue. And to please future air passengers.

Click here to view full story…

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Good news from Plan B Earth from legal pre-hearing, of the Heathrow runway JRs, at the Court yesterday.

Plan B Earth say the Government has now formally conceded it did not consider Heathrow expansion against the Paris Agreement temperature limit. “We now need to convince the Court that ignoring the boundary between humanity and catastrophe is not a great idea.” 

In total 1,582 people signed the petition for open justice & live-streaming of the trial (10 days from 11th March). On this, Plan B have got the Court thinking. They’ve asked for further submissions from Plan B on the issue and, given that this has never happened before in the High Court, they want to talk to other judges about the implications.  Judge Holdate indicated we should have a ruling on the issue 2 weeks before the start of the trial.

But that’s already a major step forward. Not just for this case. But for open justice in the UK.  We need the full hearings into the judicial reviews against the government’s approval of a 3rd Heathrow runway, to be live-streamed so people can see what is said. Otherwise only at most 150 people in the court (2 courts to be used) will be able to hear.

This case is of huge importance to the UK’s carbon targets in coming decades, and the UK’s ability to take its responsibilities to the Paris Agreement seriously. (Saying the right thing is not enough – the UK government has to show, by its actions, it is serious about reducing UK CO2. In this case, CO2 from the aviation sector).
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See Plan B Earth on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ThereIsAPlanB/

Plan B Earth website

https://planb.earth/?fbclid=IwAR0UZUZRuFn6s6DiWM0tlhNSCGM8ze9Yk_buAxLTF-fBB32-gC1muJnttt0
Plan B combines mobilisation and litigation to hold power to account for climate breakdown, fighting for the future for all people, all animals and all life on earth.

“We’re taking the UK Government to court over its dangerous climate targets and reckless plans to expand Heathrow Airport. Join us!”


Lots more details about the Heathrow case at
https://planb.earth/plan-b-v-heathrow-expansion/
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including their amended grounds of claim at
https://planb.earth/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Grounds-amended-Plan-B-Final.pdf
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Campaigners protest Heathrow expansion outside High Court

By Sam Tobin (Morning Star)
15.1.2019
CAMPAIGNERS protested outside the High Court today against much-criticised plans to expand Heathrow.
A coalition of councils, residents, environmental charities and London Mayor Sadiq Khan are challenging the government’s decision to approve the building of a third runway at the airport west of London.
Dozens of supporters staged a demonstration outside the Royal Courts of Justice ahead of a pre-trial hearing.
Speaking outside court, Green Party London Assembly member Caroline Russell said: “There are many, many reasons, in terms of air pollution and noise pollution, that Londoners might oppose Heathrow expansion.
“But obviously the most important reason is climate breakdown, and if we now press ahead with any expansion … we will be utterly failing in our global responsibilities to our planet and the people who live on it.”
At the hearing, environmental charities Plan B and Friends of the Earth will ask Mr Justice Holgate to order that the substantive two-week hearing, which begins on March 11, be streamed live.
Plan B director Tim Crosland said the case “raises issues of exceptional concern to the population at large” and that there was “therefore an inherent democratic value” in live-streaming proceedings.
Support from Labour MPs helped push through the proposals to expand Europe’s busiest airport with an overwhelming majority of 296 in a Commons vote in September.
A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman said: “Expansion at Heathrow is a critical programme which will provide a boost to the economy, increase our international links and create tens of thousands of new jobs.”
Construction could begin in 2021, with the third runway operational by 2026.
In a statement ahead of the hearing, Laura MacKenzie from Friends of the Earth said: “The government should never have entertained the idea of a climate-wrecking third runway, with Heathrow already the UK’s single biggest source of emissions.
“Support for airport expansion ignores the severity of the climate crisis and the harm that it is already inflicting on people and nature around the world, including right here in the UK.
“The government should cancel the third runway and adopt fair and equitable policies to keep aviation demand within environmental limits.”
https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/campaigners-protest-heathrow-expansion-outside-high-court
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Government tries to deny its climate responsibility to aim for 1.5C temperature rise, in pushing for 3rd Heathrow runway

The pre-trial hearing for the series of legal challenges against the Government’s decision to expand Heathrow takes place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday 15th January.  In legal correspondence between the defendant (Government) and one of the claimants, Plan B Earth, the Government argues that “[Plan B] is wrong to assert that “Government policy is to limit warming to the more stringent standard of 1.5˚C and “well below” 2˚C’.  This means that the Government is effectively denying that its own policy is to limit warming to the level that has been agreed internationally is required to avoid climate breakdown. The legal challenge brought by Plan B Earth and Friends of the Earth assert that the Government decision to proceed with Heathrow expansion was unlawful as it failed to appropriately consider climate change. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell described the case as “the iconic battleground against climate change”.  The Committee on Climate Change had previously expressed surprise that neither the commitments in the Climate Change Act 2008 nor the Paris Agreement (2015) were referenced in the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement (aka. the plans for a 3rd Heathrow runway).This is a huge inconsistency.
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GOVERNMENT TRIES TO ‘TRUMP’ ITS OWN CLIMATE POLICY

14th January 2019  (No 3rd Runway Coalition)

  • ASSERTS THAT DELIVERING PARIS AGREEMENT IS NOT POLICY
  • DENIES INTENTION TO LIMIT WARMING TO 1.5˚C 

The pre-trial hearing for the series of legal challenges against the Government’s decision to expand Heathrow takes place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday 15th January (1).

In legal correspondence between the defendant (Government) and one of the claimants, Plan B Earth, the Government argues that “[Plan B] is wrong to assert that “Government policy is to limit warming to the more stringent standard of 1.5˚C and “well below” 2˚C’ (2).

This means that the Government is effectively denying that its own policy is to limit warming to the level that has been agreed internationally is required to avoid climate breakdown.

The legal challenge brought by Plan B Earth and Friends of the Earth assert that the Government decision to proceed with Heathrow expansion was unlawful as it failed to appropriately consider climate change. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell described the case as “the iconic battleground against climate change” (3).

The Committee on Climate Change had previously expressed surprise that neither the commitments in the Climate Change Act 2008 or the Paris Agreement (2015) were referenced in the Airports National Policy Statement.

Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition said:

 “The Government appears to be trying to contradict its own policy, agreed at an international to seek to avert climate catastrophe. The evidence for action is overwhelming, agreed by the scientific community and nation states alike.

“Yet, it appears that Government is happy to deny this policy when it becomes inconvenient to the delivery of their pet project of Heathrow expansion. It is time for the Government to pursue sustainable alternatives and not continue to lock the UK into carbon intensive infrastructure.”

 

ENDS.

Notes:

  1. High Court, Court 76, 10.30am                               https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/court-lists/list-cause-rcj
  2. https://planb.earth/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/REPLY-TO-DGR.pdf
  3. John McDonnell MP outside the High Court, 4 October 2018

 

For more information:

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/8b8ad1_737e62cee9a44560ac1a629fc27d5945.pdf


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See Michael Gove speech on climate change (26.11.2018) and the UK at 

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/michael-gove-speech-on-uk-climate-change-projections

which says:

“This is why we are aiming to limit warming to well below 2 degrees – but the environment agency is preparing for 4 degrees when planning flood defences. We know that every half a degree makes an enormous difference to outcomes. Keeping warming to 1.5˚C rather than 2˚C, as the Paris Agreement urges us to attempt, spares up to 10million people from being exposed to the risks of rising seas, according to the IPCC.”


See also

 

Pre-trial hearing on 15th January of the 5 legal challenges against ‘unlawful’ Government decision to approve 3rd runway

Campaigners are taking the government to court in a bid to overturn the “unlawful” decision to approve a 3rd Heathrow runway. The pre-trial hearing for Friends of the Earth’s case will take place on Tuesday at the High Court, when the activists will lay out their opposition based on several grounds. There are 5 separate legal challenges being brought by a range of organisations, on  grounds of climate, air quality and harm to the wellbeing of local residents.  It would be virtually impossible for Britain to meet its obligations to cut emissions under the Paris climate agreement if a new Heathrow runway is built [or for that matter, one at Gatwick either]. The Government’s advisory body on climate change, the Committee on Climate Change, has warned the expansion also threatens the government’s own legally binding pledge to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Transport secretary Chris Grayling said, without any justification for his belief, that he was “confident” that technical innovations would cut aviation CO2 emissions enough, so expansion could happen without breaking the targets. Hopes that either biofuels or electric planes would enable aviation to become a low carbon means of transport are unrealistic.      Click here to view full story…

 

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See  earlier:

 

Heathrow Airport expansion: Transport secretary dismisses warning that climate change targets will be smashed

Independent committee is poised to warn that soaring emissions from third runway will destroy Britain’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments

Rob Merrick Deputy Political Editor  (Independent)

@Rob_Merrick
Monday 25 June 2018

The transport secretary is on a collision course with climate change experts after denying the expansion of Heathrow Airport will smash the UK’s legal commitments.

An independent committee is poised to warn that the controversial third runway will – through soaring emissions – destroy hopes that Britain can meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) will say that UK aviation must not exceed its pre-recession peak of emitting 37.5m tonnes of CO2 in 2005, if the targets are to be hit.

Yet a report published on the department for transport website last week said aviation emissions would hit 43m tonnes of CO2 by 2030 if Heathrow expansion goes ahead.

However, Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, rejected the fears – insisting modern planes were “breaking new frontiers” by cutting fuel use, emissions and noise.

“The Airports Commission came to a very clear view that we could expand Heathrow airport and still meet our climate change obligations,” Mr Grayling claimed.

They gave it the thumbs up, they did lots of detailed analysis on this and they said ‘yes we can do this’.”

Challenged, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, on the likelihood that CO2 emissions would rise, Mr Grayling replied: “I think technology, over the next 20 or 30 years, is going to make a big difference in aviation.

“It’s happening already, if you look at the new aircraft. That’s going to make a huge difference to fuel consumption and emissions and noise at airports.”

Ministers are facing accusations that they are “fixing” the Heathrow vote, by staging it three days before the climate change committee’s report is published.

It is expected to warn that aviation and other emissions are growing so fast that homeowners and businesses may have to sacrifice gas cookers, central heating boilers and petrol cars for Britain to meet its targets.

The UK emitted 800m tonnes of CO2 in 1990 and ha pledged to cut this to 344m tonnes by 2030 and 160m tonnes by 2050 – an 80 per cent reduction.

Lord Deben, the CCC’s chairman and a former Tory minister, has written to Mr Grayling, warning of the perils of expanding aviation, The Sunday Times reported.

Labour has condemned the timing of the vote tonight, Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, calling it “outrageous”.

“MPs will be voting in ignorance of the key facts about emissions from aviation. It’s a free vote but I am recommending all Labour MPs oppose Heathrow expansion,” he said.

Environmental groups warn that expanding aviation will in effect take Britain out of the Paris agreement on climate change.

James Beard, a climate specialist at the World Wide Fund for Nature, said: “We can live up to our commitments to tackle climate change or we can build a third runway. It’s almost impossible to do both.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/heathrow-airport-expansion-vote-chris-grayling-climate-change-third-runway-transport-secretary-a8415326.html

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Pre-trial hearing on 15th January of the 5 legal challenges against ‘unlawful’ Government decision to approve 3rd runway

Campaigners are taking the government to court in a bid to overturn the “unlawful” decision to approve a 3rd Heathrow runway. The pre-trial hearing for Friends of the Earth’s case will take place on Tuesday at the High Court, when the activists will lay out their opposition based on several grounds. There are 5 separate legal challenges being brought by a range of organisations, on  grounds of climate, air quality and harm to the wellbeing of local residents.  It would be virtually impossible for Britain to meet its obligations to cut emissions under the Paris climate agreement if a new Heathrow runway is built [or for that matter, one at Gatwick either]. The Government’s advisory body on climate change, the Committee on Climate Change, has warned the expansion also threatens the government’s own legally binding pledge to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Transport secretary Chris Grayling said, without any justification for his belief, that he was “confident” that technical innovations would cut aviation CO2 emissions enough, so expansion could happen without breaking the targets. Hopes that either biofuels or electric planes would enable aviation to become a low carbon means of transport are unrealistic. 

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Heathrow: Activists begin legal challenge against ‘unlawful’ decision to build third runway

‘Government should never have entertained the idea of a climate-wrecking third runway,’ say critics

The pre-trial hearing for Friends of the Earth’s case will take place on Tuesday at the High Court, when the activists will lay out their opposition based on climate change targets.

It is one of five legal challenges against the third runway being undertaken by organisations and individuals on the grounds of climate, air quality and harm to the wellbeing of local residents.

MPs approved the new development at Europe’s busiest airport in June, with the runway set to open in 2026.

In its challenge, Friends of the Earth says the decision is unlawful as it does not consider climate change and sustainable development goals.

Government advisory body the Committee on Climate Change has warned the expansion also threatens the government’s own legally binding pledge to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

However, transport secretary Chris Grayling said he was confidentthat technical innovations would clean up the sector sufficiently so that expansion could happen without breaking these targets.

Others have dismissed these claims, pointing out that air travel has proved notoriously difficult to decarbonise.

One recent report produced by campaign group Fellow Travellers concluded that electric air travel, for example, is not likely to be implemented on a significant scale in the near future.

With this in mind, many green groups have argued that, despite demand being high, the UK simply cannot sustain any more air travel.

“The government should never have entertained the idea of a climate-wrecking third runway, with Heathrow already the UK’s single biggest source of emissions,” said Laura MacKenzie, climate change campaigner at Friends of the Earth.

“Support for airport expansion ignores the severity of the climate crisis and the harm that it is already inflicting on people and nature around the world including right here in the UK.

“The government should cancel the third runway and adopt fair and equitable policies to keep aviation demand within environmental limits, such as a frequent flier levy.”

Further challenges are coming from mayor of London Sadiq Khan, local authorities and Neil Spurrier, a resident of Twickenham.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Expansion at Heathrow will provide a boost to the economy, increase our international links and create tens of thousands of new jobs.

“As with any major infrastructure project, we have been anticipating legal challenges and will robustly defend our position.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/heathrow-third-runway-legal-challenge-friends-of-the-earth-climate-change-a8726006.html

that link includes video of the announcement of the vote in the Commons in June 2018, and the dissatisfaction by Justine Greening of only 4 hours being given to  the whole debate on the Heathrow runway,.

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The session is in Court 76 starting at 10.30am. Anyone coming should go through the Strand/Fleet Street entrance into the Law Courts, through security. The Info desk will be able to tell you where Court 76 is.

COURT 76
Before MR JUSTICE HOLGATE
Tuesday 15 January, 2019
At  half past 10

APPLICATION(s)
CO/3089/2018 The Queen on the application of London Borough Of Hillingdon & others v Secretary Of State For Transport
CO/3149/2018 The Queen on the application of Plan B Earth v Secretary Of State For Transport
CO/2760/2018 The Queen on the application of Spurrier v Secretary Of State For Transport
CO/3071/2018 The Queen on the application of Heathrow Hub Limited v Secretary Of State For Transport
CO/3147/2018 The Queen on the application of Friends Of The Earth Limited v Secretary Of State For Transport

See also

The 5 legal challenges against a 3rd Heathrow runway will be heard over 2 weeks in March 2019

Five legal challenges against the Government’s plans to expand Heathrow have reached the next legal hurdle and will proceed to a full judicial review in March 2019. Justice Holgate today (October 4th) confirmed, in a hearing at the High Court, that the cases lodged by five different parties would be heard over 10 days in March 2019.  Due to the size of the cases, amount of paperwork involved, and the public interest in the case, the hearings in March will be heard by two judges and will be heard in the largest courtroom at the Royal Courts of Justice. It was also noted that a separate courtroom may have to be used as overspill, with a TV link to the main proceedings, also due to level of interest. Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, said: “These legal challenges are of the Government’s own making. It is not insignificant that the judge has permitted all five claimants to proceed to judicial review. In addition to the claim from several councils and the London Mayor, the four other claims raise some serious points of law. If the government had not ignored available evidence in their blinkered enthusiasm to expand this already highly disruptive airport, parliament would not have supported the proposal, and these actions would not have been necessary.”

Click here to view full story…

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See  also:

We need live-streaming of the Heathrow 3rd runway legal challenges.  

Please sign. Before the 14th January.

The various bodies that have brought legal challenges against the 3rd Heathrow runway are trying to get lots of signatures, in order to ensure the court proceedings in March are live-streamed.

You can sign here    Before the 14th January.

The legal challenges against the Government’s decision to back a 3rd Heathrow runway, will be heard for 10 days from 11th March.  This is a key legal case, and of relevance – in terms of aviation carbon emissions – for everyone, and not just those opposing the Heathrow runway. The climate change implications are of very general interest and concern.

At present the proceedings are due to be heard in the largest court available, at the Courts of Justice. The court knows there is huge interest, so are already arranging that the proceedings are streamed into a second court room. However, that would only be to about 150 people, in total, at most.

One of the legal challengers, Plan B, have organised a simple e-action, asking that people add their names to the request that the proceedings are live-streamed, so far more people can watch, and really understand what is going on.  Plan B will present the evidence of the numbers who want to watch the hearings, live-streamed, to the judge, Mr Justice Holgate. It is hoped that he will allow this. Plan B need to know the numbers before the first procedural hearing on 15th January. So please sign before the 14th January

You can sign here   It only takes a few seconds. Please encourage others to also sign, if that is appropriate.  More details here about the legal challenges


See earlier:

Heathrow Airport expansion: Transport secretary dismisses warning that climate change targets will be smashed

Independent committee is poised to warn that soaring emissions from third runway will destroy Britain’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments

Rob Merrick Deputy Political Editor  (Independent)

@Rob_Merrick
Monday 25 June 2018

The transport secretary is on a collision course with climate change experts after denying the expansion of Heathrow Airport will smash the UK’s legal commitments.

An independent committee is poised to warn that the controversial third runway will – through soaring emissions – destroy hopes that Britain can meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) will say that UK aviation must not exceed its pre-recession peak of emitting 37.5m tonnes of CO2 in 2005, if the targets are to be hit.

Yet a report published on the department for transport website last week said aviation emissions would hit 43m tonnes of CO2 by 2030 if Heathrow expansion goes ahead.

However, Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, rejected the fears – insisting modern planes were “breaking new frontiers” by cutting fuel use, emissions and noise.

“The Airports Commission came to a very clear view that we could expand Heathrow airport and still meet our climate change obligations,” Mr Grayling claimed.

They gave it the thumbs up, they did lots of detailed analysis on this and they said ‘yes we can do this’.”

Challenged, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, on the likelihood that CO2 emissions would rise, Mr Grayling replied: “I think technology, over the next 20 or 30 years, is going to make a big difference in aviation.

“It’s happening already, if you look at the new aircraft. That’s going to make a huge difference to fuel consumption and emissions and noise at airports.”

Ministers are facing accusations that they are “fixing” the Heathrow vote, by staging it three days before the climate change committee’s report is published.

It is expected to warn that aviation and other emissions are growing so fast that homeowners and businesses may have to sacrifice gas cookers, central heating boilers and petrol cars for Britain to meet its targets.

The UK emitted 800m tonnes of CO2 in 1990 and ha pledged to cut this to 344m tonnes by 2030 and 160m tonnes by 2050 – an 80 per cent reduction.

Lord Deben, the CCC’s chairman and a former Tory minister, has written to Mr Grayling, warning of the perils of expanding aviation, The Sunday Times reported.

Labour has condemned the timing of the vote tonight, Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, calling it “outrageous”.

“MPs will be voting in ignorance of the key facts about emissions from aviation. It’s a free vote but I am recommending all Labour MPs oppose Heathrow expansion,” he said.

Environmental groups warn that expanding aviation will in effect take Britain out of the Paris agreement on climate change.

James Beard, a climate specialist at the World Wide Fund for Nature, said: “We can live up to our commitments to tackle climate change or we can build a third runway. It’s almost impossible to do both.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/heathrow-airport-expansion-vote-chris-grayling-climate-change-third-runway-transport-secretary-a8415326.html

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Danish newspaper to tackle journalists’ air travel, and promote only lower-carbon holidays in its travel section

Major Danish newspaper Politken is reported to be planning to refocus its travel section to destinations easily reachable without flying. The holidays it will write about will be domestic, Nordic, and northern European destinations which are easily reachable by public transport.  Politiken is also to try to stop its journalists taking domestic flights, for news stories within Denmark.  More significant still, it is hoping to put restrictions on the staff’s international air travel, so this would be permitted only when absolutely necessary and if such journeys are offset by contributions to “credible climate initiatives”.  The paper has also recently launched its own online climate calculator enabling users to work out the average carbon impact of their air and road travel.  In the UK, even newspapers like the Guardian, which do excellent and extensive coverage of climate change topics, also take numerous adverts for flights and holidays by air. They also have a travel section that encourages people to take more holidays, many to destinations only reachable by plane. 

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Danish newspaper tackles journalists’ air travel in bid to cut CO2

Politken is reportedly planning to refocus its travel section to destinations easily reachable without flying

Journalists at major Danish newspaper Politken will no longer be able to travel by plane for domestic assignments in an effort to reduce the broadsheet’s climate impact, according to reports.

In addition, restrictions are being placed on the company’s international air travel, with the paper’s staff permitted to travel by plane outside Denmark’s borders only when absolutely necessary and if such journeys are offset by contributions to credible climate initiatives, reports the Associated Press.

Politiken’s editor-in-chief Christian Jensen made the announcement on Sunday, explaining the paper’s travel section is also being revamped to focus on domestic, Nordic, and northern European destinations which are easily reachable by public transport.

The paper has recently launched its own online climate calculator enabling users to work out the average carbon impact of their air and road travel.

Headquartered in Copenhagen and founded in 1884, Politiken is one of Denmark’s three main newspapers along with Berlingske and Jyllands-Posten.

In comments reported by AP, Jensen said opinion polls in the country showed climate change was now the top issue for voters ahead of the upcoming general election in Denmark, which is set to take place in June.

Last year the Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen set out plans to ban the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars from 2030

It follows moves in neighbouring Norway to tackle aviation’s impact on the climate, with the government aiming for all domestic flights to be undertaken by electric aircraft by 2040, in addition to minimum biofuel requirements on airlines from 2020.

https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3069176/reports-danish-newspaper-restricts-journalists-air-travel-to-cut-co2

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Danish newspaper to cut carbon footprint, drops most flying

January 6, 2019  (Associated Press)

HELSINKI (AP) — One of Denmark’s main newspapers is pledging to reduce to its carbon footprint by ceasing domestic air travel and reducing international flights for assignments to a bare minimum.

Christian Jensen, editor-in-chief of Politiken, said Sunday that from now on all international flights by the paper’s staff, only when absolutely necessary, should be offset by contributions to climate initiatives.

The paper’s travel section will be refocused to cover domestic, Nordic and northern European destinations easily reachable by public transportation.

Jensen said opinion polls in the environmentally-conscious Nordic country showed that climate change has emerged as the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds before Denmark’s upcoming general election later this year.

Politiken, founded in 1884, is one of Denmark’s three main newspapers along with Berlingske and Jyllands-Posten.

https://www.apnews.com/b31a0e98d1134f8b94ae8db5f5d0d2b8

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Tahir Latif (PCS Union): Trade Unions must demand jobs that protect our planet, not destroy it

The Trade Unions are divided on whether to support a 3rd Heathrow runway. Unfortunately many have been led to believe, by the airport and its backers, that there will be wonderful jobs in future with expansion. And without it the jobs are in danger. The reality of airport jobs is somewhat different.  In a new blog, Tahir Latif, President of the PCS Aviation Group, and NEC member, discusses the sorts of jobs that Trade Unions should be supporting, if we are to have a habitable planet in future. He comments: “Too often, trade unions are seen as part of the problem, desperate for jobs and therefore willing to support employers who are intent on blindly taking us towards disaster in the name of further profits. … But that does raise two important questions: (1) does our survival as a species trump the jobs argument and (2) does the jobs argument stand up to scrutiny anyway. … The impact of climate change can’t be underestimated. …The IPCC report puts us on notice: we HAVE to change. And if industries like aviation (and oil, coal, gas etc.) cannot continue their unchecked growth, then unions are NOT looking after their members long term interests by clinging to them. When change comes or is forced upon us, workers in those industries will be stranded in obsolete jobs without the skills or any plan for an alternative.”
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Trade Unions must demand jobs that protect our planet, not destroy it

By Tahir Latif,  Public and Commercial Services union,  NEC Member

President of the PCS Aviation Group.

5th January 2019

The Heathrow third runway has – along with fracking – become emblematic of the dilemma we face, as a country, a planet and a species. With the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) setting the countdown at twelve years from now, are we going to do the work needed to avoid an existential catastrophe or not?Too often, trade unions are seen as part of the problem, desperate for jobs and therefore willing to support employers who are intent on blindly taking us towards disaster in the name of further profits.This is an unfair characterisation. Many unions, including the so-called ‘polluting’ unions, are active in the struggle for environmental justice and the protection of local communities.

But where the issue involves the current employment of its members, short-sightedness can set in as much as for any profit-fixated Chief Executive. Such is the case with trade union support for the third runway.

No one is disputing that a union’s fundamental objective is to protect the jobs of its members. Nor do we fail to understand how that might lead you to defend airport expansion, fracking, oil drilling etc.

But that does raise two important questions: (1) does our survival as a species trump the jobs argument and (2) does the jobs argument stand up to scrutiny anyway. In reality the answers are inextricably linked. Consider the two choices we have on offer right now…

First, we have an employer whose claimed job numbers have no substantial basis and which have been debunked by a PCS-commissioned report. Why a union would choose to parrot those job numbers and add the comment that all 180,000 will be ‘good, unionised jobs’, let alone co-host events with the employer to promote those claims, is beyond comprehension.

By contrast, Labour is offering to govern ‘with’ the unions, to consult about new (renewable) industries, Just Transition, alternative ownership models, workers’ rights and protections, and eliminating poverty wages. Crucially, Labour has also expressed an intention to create ‘climate jobs’, the jobs (in energy, transport, food production, health and many other areas) that are needed to salvage and restore our environment.

The impact of climate change can’t be underestimated. With more frequent and intense ‘freak’ weather events causing untold catastrophe right now, how can we seriously propose putting 260,000 more flights in the sky every year? As for air quality, Central and West London are air pollution hotspots, responsible for thousands of premature deaths and loss of quality of life.

The IPCC report puts us on notice: we HAVE to change. And if industries like aviation (and oil, coal, gas etc.) cannot continue their unchecked growth, then unions are NOT looking after their members long term interests by clinging to them. When change comes or is forced upon us, workers in those industries will be stranded in obsolete jobs without the skills or any plan for an alternative.

In contrast, taking up the Labour offer would actually protect members through participation in what the future employment structure will look like, securing assurances about workers in polluting industries and establishing how to fill the skills gap.

In no way would engaging in those conversations compromise the protection the unions provide to their members right now; PCS is fully committed to protecting its members at Heathrow, no less than any other union, even while opposing the runway. You can do both.

Finally, unions need to learn the lessons of the past. Less than glorious episodes dot our collective history when women, and ethnic minorities, first entered the labour market, resulting in the worst forms of discrimination born out of protection of (white male) members. We know better now, so why would we want to repeat the same errors when it comes to the climate.

Instead of associating ourselves with the kind of growth that the planet cannot sustain, unions need to DEMAND CLIMATE JOBS NOW.

Tahir Latif

Public and Commercial Services union

NEC Member

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Decreased take-off performance of aircraft due to climate change

With ever rising global temperatures, (not assisted by the amount of carbon emitted by aircraft, and the non-CO2 impacts of their emissions at hight altitude), planes will probably have more difficulty taking off and climbing – due to the thinner air.  Already planes need a greater length of runway to get airborne at airports at higher altitudes, and in hot climates. Some research estimates how this may become a problem in future. Maybe runways will need to be longer, and planes will not climb as fast (making more noise for those on the ground below, perhaps)
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Decreased takeoff performance of aircraft due to climate change

Volume 151, Issue 3–4pp 463–472

Climate change will likely affect aviation; however, it is not well understood.

In particular, the effects of climate change on aircraft’s takeoff performance have seldom been studied. Here, we explore the effects of climate change on the takeoff performance of aircraft, including takeoff distance and climb rate.

Takeoff performance normally decreases as temperature and pressure altitude increase. Our study confirms an increasing trend of temperature at 30 major international airports.

However, the trend of pressure altitude is shown to be either positive or negative at these airports. Such changes of temperature and pressure altitude lead to longer takeoff distance and lower climb rate in the following century.

The average takeoff distance in summer will increase by 0.95–6.5% and 1.6–11% from the historical period (1976–2005) to the mid-century (2021–2050) and from the mid- to late-century (2071–2100).

The climb rate in summer will decrease by 0.68–3.4% and 1.3–5.2% from the history to the mid-century and from the mid- to late-century, respectively.

Taking Boeing 737-800 aircraft as an example, our results show that it will require additional 3.5–168.7 m takeoff distance in future summers, with variations among different airports.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-018-2335-7

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See also

 

Climate change will lead to more turbulence, more fuel use and more insurance cost

Climate change will lead to bumpier flights caused by increased mid-air turbulence, according to an analysis by scientists, at the University of Reading. This could hit insurers by making plane journeys bumpier, It could also make flights longer, as planes need to fly round areas of turbulence – itself causing higher fuel use and carbon emissions (helping to increase climate change).  Research has shown that planes travelling from Europe to North America could face an increased chance of hitting turbulence by as much as 170% later this century. This is because climate change will strengthen instabilities within the jet stream – a high-altitude wind blowing from west to east across the Atlantic Ocean. The turbulence could also be up to 40% stronger.  The work is part of a wider body of research by University of Reading into the interaction of aviation and atmospheric physics. This includes the extra non-CO2 impacts of aviation due to contrails, formed behind aircraft flying at high altitude, which also adds to global warming by adding to cloud cover, preventing heat from escaping Earth’s atmosphere. The extra problems from turbulence might lead to more passenger injuries, and more damage to planes, affecting the insurance industry.  Longer journeys could increase flight times and delays, an increase ticket prices. 
http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2017/01/turbulence-bumpier/

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New Fellow Travellers report on the potential for electric aircraft to mitigate aviation emissions. Spoiler: it’s very limited.

A new report, “Electric Dreams – the carbon mitigation potential of electric aviation in the UK air travel market” (by Jamie Beevor for Fellow Travellers) looks at how much, realistically, electric planes could cut UK aviation CO2 emissions in the foreseeable future. They conclude that though small electric planes might be able to serve domestic and short haul routes, the cut in CO2 would not be large. The report says: “Delivering this level of emissions reduction before 2050 would require regulation and major market intervention to accelerate product development and fleet turnover industry cycles …Engineering constraints mean larger gains are unlikely in this timeframe, and it is probably not possible for transatlantic-range battery powered craft to be economically viable …There are no electric aircraft currently in development which could compete with the majority of the current global civil aviation fleet on range or capacity”. It concludes: “There is no realistic prospect – and there are no industry plans – for improvements in aircraft technology to bring about large overall reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from passenger flights within a timeframe  that is meaningful to averting catastrophic temperature rises.” This is useful in countering aviation industry techno-greenwash.
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The report, “Electric Dreams – the carbon mitigation potential of electric aviation in
the UK air travel market”

 

Electric planes will not cut pollution sufficiently to justify airport expansion, analysis reveals

‘With the best will in the world, electric flight is only going to be able to shave a few per cent off emissions from air travel between now and 2050’

By Josh Gabbatiss Science Correspondent (Independent)

@josh_gabbatiss
22 December 2018

Electric planes will not be able to compensate for the surge in climate-warming emissions generated by the proposed expansion of Britain’s airports, new analysis has revealed.

The government has justified plans to grow the country’s aviation sector by promising a future of carbon-neutral air travel ushered in by rapid technological advances.

But a new report suggests these claims have been overhyped, with even the best-case electrification scenario resulting in emissions cuts of just 13 per cent over the next few decades.

By 2050, aviation is likely to make up a quarter of Britain’s greenhouse gases as demand increases and other sectors move away from fossil fuels.

Companies both in the UK and abroad have made the first tantalising steps towards electric air travel, but technical challenges and the sluggish rate of industry change mean progress is slow.

Ministers have come under fire for exaggerating the power of innovation to make up for airport expansion, especially to validate the third runway at Heathrow.

Government advisers at the Committee on Climate Change have warned the controversial development will destroy any hope of the UK hitting its climate targets.

Responding to this criticism ahead of the deciding vote on Heathrow expansion, transport secretary Chris Grayling said he was confident technological advances would soon make low-carbon air travel a reality.

“I think technology, over the next 20 or 30 years, is going to make a big difference in aviation,” he said, pointing to predicted reductions in fuel consumption, emissions and noise.

This was echoed in an aviation strategy green paper published on Monday that welcomed electrification as a “significant opportunity for aviation to decarbonise”, while also noting the slow progress in developing plane batteries.

However, despite this optimism the new report by campaign group Fellow Travellers concluded there is no realistic prospect of these planes making a significant dent in emissions within a meaningful timescale to avert “catastrophic temperature rises”.

“Everybody loves the idea of an electric plane, especially as concern grows about the impacts of climate change. But this research should really sober techno-optimists up,” said report co-author Leo Murray.

“With the best will in the world, electric flight is only going to be able to shave a few per cent off emissions from air travel between now and 2050, when we need to be living in a zero-carbon global economy.”

To maximise emissions cuts using electric planes, the authors recommended regulation and major market intervention to accelerate their development, but said even this would only yield limited benefits for short-haul flights.

Doug Parr, chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, agreed that while “innovation is always welcome to help tackle climate change … The reality is that these aviation technologies aren’t commercially here yet”.

“In the meantime our government is expanding our polluting aviation industry, which flies in the face of our commitment under the Paris agreement to cut carbon emissions and limit global warming to 1.5C.”

Campaigners expressed dismay upon the release of the government’s latest strategy, fearing the new Heathrow runway would soon be followed by another additional UK runway to accommodate the doubling in passenger numbers over the next 20 years.

Fellow Travellers said other measures would be needed to slash the nation’s growing aviation carbon footprint, including a tax paid by the most frequent flyers in an effort to reduce demand.

Polling conducted by YouGov for climate change organisation 10:10 found the majority of British people – 56 per cent – would support such a levy to replace the air passenger duty currently paid by everyone

The same survey also found that only 28 per cent of people thought the government was taking sufficient action to prevent air travel damage.

Responding to the report, a spokesperson from the Department for Transport said: “Expansion of the UK’s airport capacity will boost the economy, increase international links and create tens of thousands of new jobs”.

“However, we have been clear that all growth in the aviation sector must be sustainable and in line with our emissions targets.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/electric-planes-aviation-carbon-emissions-third-runway-heathrow-expansion-climate-change-chris-a8693476.html
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The report is available for download here:

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/media.afreeride.org/documents/Electric+Dreams.pdf

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and more excellent reports from Fellow Travellers at
http://afreeride.org/wonkery/
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See earlier, bit of Heathrow greenwash about electric planes:

Heathrow electric plane greenwash – tiny subsidy for one plane …years ahead ….

Greenwash warning ….!

Heathrow has made its latest greenwashing attempt. This time it is saying it is to let the first electric hybrid plane have a year’s free landing slots, when in regular service. This is  – quote  -“designed to encourage airlines to pursue clean growth and deploy their cleanest, quietest aircraft at Heathrow.” This is part of the oxymoron, “clean growth” which business is aiming for. (Clean – totally abused word with aviation sector – is probably meant to mean lower carbon, in this context.) So far there is – wait for it – a plane that can carry 2 passengers …. Heathrow is telling the government etc that it is helping to “drive sustainable change across the industry.”  The aviation industry hopes there might be electric aircraft carrying passengers by 2030 (so the Heathrow offer is not exactly imminent …) Here is a Heathrow quote, showing just how much carbon greenwash this is:  “With global air passengers expected to double by 2035, these changes will play a critical role in driving a sustainable future for the aviation sector and will support goals outlined in Heathrow’s own sustainability strategy – Heathrow 2.0.”  Aviation Minister, Liz Sugg, said: “Our Aviation Strategy [consultation soon] will also consider further ways to support the development of cleaner, greener technology in the sector.”    
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How low cost flights killed night trains

There are very few night trains left in Europe. In Europe, the network of slow night trains has largely been dismantled.  Cheap air fares have just about killed them off – and it is hard to see how the trend will be reversed. Night trains are considered a niche market, expensive, nostalgic. Passengers prefer air to rail, which is considered too expensive and too slow. The trend is the same all across Europe, and elsewhere. Even low cost buses are helping to destroy the market for long distance, night, train travel. The trains depend on a railway line whose maintenance has to be paid; the plane, in the sky, is flying on its own – and electricity, which propels trains, is not a cheap fuel. Aviation generally pays no tax for its fuel.  In France, over the past ten years, TGV (high-speed train) traffic has remained sluggish, while the number of air passengers has risen 20%. In Italy, despite the success of TGVs and competition between two operators, the long-distance rail offer has barely developed in twenty years. More than 80% of flights departing from Switzerland serve a European destination and 40% of them travel a distance of less than 800 km, “feasible by train”. But with the continuing availability of ultra-cheap air travel, people are unlikely to choose rail.
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How low cost flights killed night trains

DEC 30, 2018

From the Swiss on-line media Tribune deGèneve we have kindly got this translation (from French)

In the 1990s, since Cornavin (main railway station in Geneve/Geneva trains left for Rome and Barcelona every night. To Yugoslavia via Venice in the wake of the Orient Express. Sleeping cars decorated with a hammer and a sickle carried us to Moscow. Today, nothing like that.

In 2012, the TGV Lyria linked three times a day Geneva to the south of France. Today, the services to Montpellier and Nice have been stopped, only one remains for Marseille. A symbolic threshold has recently been crossed for TGV Lyria. Less than half of the travelers to Paris are using them now. Absorbed by the sky.

From Geneva, to go to Moscow or Belgrade, aviation offers unbeatable rates. They also make salivate over short distances. Easyjet carries a bewildering number of additional passengers every year. Since Cointrin in November (the month when air traffic is the least loaded), a good dozen planes fly daily to Paris. About twenty to London. Not to mention the business jets.

Difficult not to see a link between the increase of air services, even that of low-cost buses, and the disintegration of the international rail offer. Especially since, everywhere in Europe, the trend is similar.

Expensive infrastructure

In France, over the past ten years, TGV (high-speed train) traffic has remained sluggish, while air transport has received 20% more passengers, according to the Ministry of Transport.

In Italy, despite the success of TGVs and competition between two operators, the long-distance rail offer has barely developed in twenty years. In Europe, the network of slow night trains, not necessarily comfortable, has largely been dismantled.

The explanation is simple, according to Yves Crozet, professor at Sciences Po Lyon: the train (even its low cost variants) is more expensive than the plane, which allows to go faster and further. From Lyon to Paris, it takes 10 to 15 cents per passenger and per kilometer for the train, against 5 to 6 cents for the plane, according to his calculations.

“The trains depend on a railway line whose maintenance has to be paid; the plane, in the sky, is flying on its own, believes Yves Crozet. And electricity, which propels trains, is not a cheap fuel. “

International aviation benefits from tax-free access to kerosene, but in Europe, despite subsidies for rail, the train has less room for maneuver to adjust its costs, according to Yves Crozet.

“The competition with the train is not direct since most often the air routes have no railway equivalent. But the universe of choices being changed, young and old are choosing more and more the mode of transport (the plane) before choosing the destination “, adds the specialist of the transport economy.

“The trains have dug their own grave”

Observers worried about the planet want to believe that the offer of night trains, less polluting, resurfaces.

In Austria, a new overnight intercity network runs from Hamburg to Rome – with departures in Basel and Zurich – and additional lines are to be inaugurated.

In France, the Minister of Transport said this autumn that “yes night trains have a future.” A petition is circulating to relaunch them. Its authors argue that if bicycles and streetcars are back on the scene, night trains can do the same.

But the experts consulted in the context of this article see a niche market, expensive, nostalgic. Nothing, according to them, that will reverse the trend.

“The railway did not wait for the rise of low cost air to collapse,” says Vincent Kaufmann. EPFL’s transport specialist estimates that the railways are back on their national markets, as they did twenty years ago, when low-cost airlines made their appearance.

“Railway equipment is less unified than in the past. This makes it incompatible to use a train from one country to another. The trains have dug their own grave, the plane is engulfed in the gap, “according to Vincent Kaufmann.

New rules?

A report by the European Court of Auditors, published this summer, evokes a “fragmented and inefficient” European high-speed rail network and calls for the creation of a unified space.

Voices propose to harden the rules. More than 80% of flights departing from Switzerland serve a European destination and 40% of them travel a distance of less than 800 km, “feasible by train”, indicated this spring in our columns Florian Egli, Vice President of Foraus think tank.

“If we removed all flights from Geneva with a service of less than three hours, to Milan, Paris, Zurich, Marseille for example, it would quickly 40 fewer flights per day,” said Vincent Kaufmann.

Utopian? Not for the University of Basel, which has just banned its employees to use a plane for trips of less than 1000 kilometers.

Original French version at

https://m.tdg.ch/articles/5c1cf4cbab5c37639c000001

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See earlier for a lot more information:

 

End of the line for European over-night sleep trains, with the relentless rise of low cost air travel

It used to be possible to make a number of longer journeys between cities in Europe by sleeper train. Though not always the most comfortable night’s sleep, and with the added interest of sometimes needing to share a couchette, they were a relatively low carbon way to travel a long way, without the need or expense of a hotel for the night. But now more and more of these night services are being terminated, and those that remain don’t have enough investment to keep them up to modern standards of comfort. As the price of air travel is so low, due to subsidy (air travel in Europe pays no fuel duty, and no VAT; the highest tax is APD from the UK at €13 per return trip), over-night rail journeys cannot compete on price.  In an article in Passenger Transport, Jonathan Bray bemoans the sad decline of these train routes, which made longer trips around Europe possible, by a low carbon route.  It is short sighted of governments to cut these routes, and to focus instead on every cheaper air travel, and the more sexy (and higher carbon) high speed rail schemes. The rail routes may be needed in future, as a less carbon intensive form of travel.  Governments and the rail companies need to be ambitious about the contribution over-night train services can make to decarbonising travel.   

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/07/27294/

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No 3rd Runway Coalition comment on DfT’s Aviation Strategy: IT UNDERMINES GOVERNMENT CREDIBILITY ON ENVIRONMENT

The Aviation Strategy Green Paper published today is seeking to deliver sustainable growth of the aviation sector to 2050. It fails to set out how continued aviation growth is compatible with existing environmental commitments, with the Government appearing content to let action on CO2 to be delivered at an international level This attitude is in stark contrast to the advice from the Committee on Climate Change, which the DfT has ignored, warning recently as June 2018 that that higher levels of aviation emissions in 2050 “must not be planned for” and raised a series of concerns about how one additional runway would be compatible with efforts to reduce emissions, let alone two. They also warned that expansion of Heathrow will require significant operational restrictions on all other UK airports. The paper will also consult on the decision-making process for delivering a further runway in the UK by 2050. The DfT claims that the need for exploring another runway is due to higher growth than was predicted in the 2015 forecasts.  Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition said: “The Green Paper simply contains no strategy, either for delivering on existing environmental commitments or for addressing the significant negative impacts of airport operations on local communities.”

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AVIATION STRATEGY UNDERMINES GOVERNMENT CREDIBILITY ON ENVIRONMENT

17.12.2018 (No 3rd Runway Coalition press release) 

The Aviation Strategy Green Paper published today is seeking to deliver sustainable growth of the aviation sector to 2050. Yet the paper fails to set out how continued aviation growth is compatible with existing environmental commitments, with the Government appearing content to let action be delivered at an international level, thereby missing an opportunity for the UK to lead the world in delivering a low carbon economy.

This attitude is in stark contrast to the advice from the Committee on Climate Change, who warned as recently as June 2018 that that higher levels of aviation emissions in 2050 “must not be planned for” and raised a series of concerns about how one additional runway would be compatible with efforts to reduce emissions, let alone two (1). They also warned that expansion of Heathrow will require significant operational restrictions on all other UK airports. The Government appear to have completely ignored that advice.

The Government commits to new guidance on surface access to airports that will aim to deliver sustainable journeys rather than just focusing on mode share to meet environmental targets.

The paper will also consult on the decision-making process for delivering a further runway in the UK by 2050. The DfT claims that the need for exploring another runway comes as a result of higher growth than was predicted in the 2015 forecasts.

The DfT also admitted that this is only based on demand forecasts (which have historically proven unreliable) and that they have not modelled the environmental case for another runway nor considered the impact on climate targets.

Yet it sets out no plans on how Government seek to address increased road traffic associated with airport expansion, who should pay for improvements to public transport networks, nor any commitment to new aviation taxes with revenues hypothecated for public transport projects.

Paul McGuinness, Chair of the No 3rd Runway Coalition said:

“It comes as no surprise that the Government appears, not only determined to push ahead with the unsustainable expansion of Heathrow, but to now dangle the carrot of growth in front of the rest the UK’s airports, with no robust plan to address the environmental damage this would cause. It makes a laughing stock of the UKs commitment to the environment.

“The Green Paper simply contains no strategy, either for delivering on existing environmental commitments or for addressing the significant negative impacts of airport operations on local communities.”

ENDS.

Notes:

  1. Committee on Climate Change letter to Chris Grayling, 14 June 2018  https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/CCC-letter-to-DfT-on-Airports-National-Policy-Statement.pdf
  2. Interviews available with the No 3rd Runway Coalition on request
  3. Briefing from the No 3rd Runway Coalition attached to this email

For more information:

Rob Barnstone, 07806947050, robert.barnstone@outlook.com

https://www.no3rdrunwaycoalition.co.uk/ 

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See also the Coalition’s new briefing on the Aviation Strategy 

Aviation Strategy Green Paper Briefing

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