Below are links to stories of general interest in relation to aviation and airports.
Binge-flying culture is just beginning. The only way to stop it is a severe tax (Max Hastings)
Almost all of us are hypocrites on climate change. We will not quit our aviation habit until it really hurts our pockets. Mark Ellingham now declares that "binge flying" constitutes a huge threat to the global environment. "If the travel industry rosily goes ahead as it is doing, ignoring the effect that carbon emissions from flying are having on climate change, we are putting ourselves in a very similar position to the tobacco industry."
Air France is considering launching a rival service to Eurostar on the London-to-Paris high-speed route. From 2010, foreign train operators will be entitled to operate international services within Europe and the French airline has signalled already that it may seek to recoup some of the traffic lost through the Channel Tunnel.
Plans to change airspace over East Anglia revealed
Airspace above East Anglia could see significant changes to allow for expansion at Stansted and Luton airports, BBC Look East has discovered. New holding stacks are proposed close to the airports and over built-up areas although National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has said no plans are finalised.
Swedish airport runway seized by climate activists
On 14 April, activists broke into Bromma Airport in Stockholm to occupy the runway for half an hour. A scheduled flight to Gothenburg was delayed, and some planes had to divert their landing. The 10 activists, linked by chains and carrying a huge banner which read "Stop domestic flights", managed to enter the airport and runway without being detected.
Low-cost flights herald age of ‘hypermobility’
The spread of low-cost air travel has created a phenomenon of "hypermobility" that has changed the leisure and career options for millions of people, according to an Oxford academic, and flying is no longer the preserve of the rich. Much of the growth in aviation within Europe had been triggered by the fall of the Iron Curtain and the enlargement of the European Union to include former members of the Warsaw Pact.
Middle Eastern billionaire signs up for ultimate toy – an A380
A mystery Middle Eastern client has signed a letter of intent for the ultimate boys' toy - a VIP version of the double-decker Airbus A380 superjumbo. The client, whose identity remains a closely guarded secret, has asked Airbus for the first available manufacturing slot for an aircraft that executives have dubbed internally as "The Flying Palace".
European Parliament set to back tough rules on aircraft emissions
In December 2006, the Commission tabled a legislative proposal to include aviation in the emissions-trading system (ETS). If approved by Parliament and Council, the scheme would enter into force as of 2011 for all intra-EU flights and one year later for all flights using EU airports. The contentious issues are: 1). the Commission's decision not to include international flights in the scheme until one year after intra-EU flights (in 2011), and; 2). the level of the cap that airlines will be subject to and the system for distributing allowances.
Sir Montgomery’s recognition of the few who fly for the many
Sir Montgomery Cecil, Chairman of spurt-aviation.com, is placing a huge motivational 96 sheet billboard en-route from Paddington to Heathrow Airport, so passengenrs aboard the Heathrow Express train, on the way to catch their plane, can ponder the magnificent contribution they are making.
WDM say scrap airport expansion and raise aviation taxes
Commenting on today’s cross-party Commons Environmental Audit Committee report that the EU emissions trading scheme will have little effect on the growth in aviation’s contribution to climate change, the World Development Movement said the government must scrap its plans for airport expansion and introduce proper environmental taxes on the aviation industry. The government still fully supports a doubling of the number of air passengers between 2002 and 2020 and a doubling of air freight between 2002 and 2010.
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International Development Secretary Hilary Benn asked consumers to aid "social justice" on Valentine's Day. Importing African flowers is better for the environment as they are not grown in heated greenhouses, he said. Almost a third of the UK's imported flowers come from Kenya, with about 70,000 people, most of them women, working on the country's flower farms. Producing and transporting any flowers, other than those that grow seasonally in Britain in spring and summer, is a high energy process.