Stop Stansted Expansion calls on the CAA to tackle the environmental impacts of aviation
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has called on the CAA, to do much more to tackle the adverse environmental impacts of the industry, particularly for communities near to airports. In its response to an environmental consultation by the Civil Aviation Authority, Stop Stansted Expansion makes clear that fine words will not be enough without measurable targets and timescales to ensure progress towards meaningful goals. Top of SSE’s list for action is reduced aircraft noise during take offs and landing, as well as addressing night noise from both aircraft and airport operations and helicopters. SSE wants the CAA to be far more active on environmental issues and is also pressing for it to become an independent environmental watchdog for the aviation industry.
The Civil Aviation Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 19 January 2012 and received second reading on 30 January 2012. The Bill was considered in a Public Bill Committee between 21 February to 13 March 2012. The report stage took place on 25 April 2012.
A carry over motion was agreed on 30 January 2012 and the Bill will be further considered in the 2012-13 session of Parliament.
DEEDS NOT WORDS SSE TELLS AVIATION REGULATOR
17.4.2012 (Stop Stansted Expansion)
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has called on the aviation regulator, the CAA, to do much more to tackle the adverse environmental impacts of the industry, particularly for communities near to airports.
In its response to an environmental consultation by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) the campaign group makes clear that fine words will not be enough without measurable targets and timescales to ensure progress towards meaningful goals.
Top of SSE’s list for action is reduced aircraft noise during take offs and landing, coupled with a need to address night noise from both aircraft and airport operations. Noise nuisance arising from helicopters also needs to be dealt with say the campaign group.
“The CAA has at last accepted that it must play a greater role in addressing the adverse environmental impacts arising from the aviation industry and we welcome this,” said SSE spokesman Brian Ross. “However, we now want to see the CAA’s words translated into tangible actions. The regulator would do well to learn lessons from international best practice.”
The CAA is the main regulator for the UK aviation industry and at present its key roles relate to aircraft safety, flight paths, consumer protection and economic regulation. It is now aiming to develop an environmental strategy and responses to its “CAA and the Environment” consultation will help to shape this.
SSE wants the CAA to be far more active on environmental issues and is also pressing for it to become an independent environmental watchdog for the aviation industry. SSE notes that there is a lack of public confidence in the present system whereby airports mostly ‘self report’ their own environmental impacts, with little or no independent oversight.
To this end, SSE wants the CAA to take on responsibility for airport consultative committees and introduce some much-needed independence. Under the present system, bodies such as the Stansted Airport Consultative Committee are directly financed and controlled by the airport owner.
Concluding, Brian Ross said: “Airport consultative committees are almost universally viewed by local communities across the UK as ineffectual. If the CAA, rather than airport owners such as BAA, at least had responsibility for appointing and paying the chairmen of these committees, they would become more effective bodies and communities would have some confidence in their independence.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
· The CAA consultation document entitled “CAA and the Environment” is at http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/697/CAA_and_the_Environment_Consultation.pdf
The consultation ended on 12th April.
· SSE’s response to the CAA consultation can be viewed at http://www.stopstanstedexpansion.com/caa.html
Civil Aviation Bill passed 2nd reading and now at Committee stage
31st Jan 2012 On 30th January the Civil Aviation Bill had its 2nd reading in Parliament. It will be in its Committee Stage until 15th March. The Bill’s purpose it to legislate on regulation of operators of dominant airports and determine the powers and functions of the CAA. This includes its remit on aviation security, airport charges, services provided at airports and the service given to air passengers. However, it contains very little on environmental matters, including noise. It is important that there should be an environmental duty in the context of economic regulation, so the CAA is not just focused on the rights of passengers, but also has environmental responsibilities. There also needs to be a more general community duty for the CAA. looking at the welfare of people being overflown or affected by airports, not only the passengers.
The CAA (owned by airlines) produces advice to government to increase capacity in the south east
January 10, 2012 The CAA has now produced the third of its three “Insight Papers” for the DfT. It hopes these will influence the formation of new UK aviation policy, on which a public consultation will start in March. The CAA is not a neutral government agency; its membership is entirely airlines and air travel companies, and all its funding comes from them. It is therefore entirely biased in favour of aviation growth. The latest Insight Note, entitled “Aviation Policy for the Future” wants more airport capacity in the south east. It also wants policies to keep the price of flying cheap, and stresses the importance of aviation growth to the UK’s economic prosperity, while keeping remarkably silent on the impact of air travel in taking UK money out of the country. It includes strange suggestions on noise like introducing a cap and trade system, and increasing the degree of community trust in airports. Click here to view full story…
CAA (whose membership is airlines and travel companies) says London has good connectivity now, but will need more airport capacity in future
December 15, 2011 The CAA, whose membership is air travel companies and operators, has produced an “insight note” to add to its contribution to input into the government’s work on developing a new aviation policy for the UK. There will be another major consultation on this next spring. The CAA says that whereas London has good connectivity now, “We conclude that choice, value and resilience are all likely to be affected in the absence of additional aviation capacity.” ie. The airlines and the tour operators want more airport capacity, and the CAA is lobbying for them. Click here to view full story…
Draft Civil Aviation Bill published putting passengers first and largely ignoring environmental concerns
November 24, 2011 Transport secretary Justine Greening has published a draft version of the new Civil Aviation Bill, which is expected to be introduced by parliament early next year. She said the DfT’s new airports legislation was centred around the experience of the passenger. “This Bill couples our commitment to make our airports better rather than bigger with the Government’s wider agenda on better regulation”. There is almost nothing on environmental impacts of airports or aviation, with the CAA’s responsibilities on noise, emissions etc reduced – it just has to publish environmental information. Click here to view full story…
CAA’s contributions to a Sustainable Aviation Framework
The strategic level: the Government needs to set broad objectives and the outcomes it is seeking to achieve which will deliver those objectives.
The implementation level: the Government then needs to set out steps that it intends to take to bring about the outcomes; ensuring that Government only intervenes where it has the ability to drive forward strategy.
The CAA has committed to publish a series of three Insight Notes to build on this initial contribution:
Aviation Policy for Consumers is the first document in the series. It considers the issue of connectivity from the perspective of current and future consumers. In particular, it addresses the implications of forecast demand growth for the choice and value offered to UK consumers.
Aviation Policy for the Environment considers how UK aviation can grow without unacceptable environmental consequences in terms of climate change, noise and local air quality.
Aviation Policy for the Future considers a number of the challenges that will need to be addressed to ensure that the framework provides both a robust strategic platform for the successful delivery of investment, and the improvements to the UK aviation system required to meet the needs of aviation consumers and the UK economy.
The “Aviation Policy for the Future” report is at http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/589/CAA_InsightNote3_Aviation_Policy_For_The_Future.pdf