Citizens’ Initiatives across the EU invited to sign the “Taming Aviation” petition to European Parliament
Some airport campaigners in Austria, who have worked with local citizen initiatives, have put together a website called “Taming Aviation”. It is a Europe-wide movement of citizens and citizen initiatives. It has emerged from concern about aircraft noise, its impacts on health, its impacts on local communities – including the value of homes that are seriously over-flown – and the privileged position of the aviation industry in relation to regulation and tax. Taming Aviation has a petition to the European Parliament, which it welcomes citiizens’ initiatives (not merely individuals) across the EU to sign. The petition asks the EU to ban night flights for an 8 hour period at airports across Europe, to allow an uninterrupted 8 hour period for quiet sleep, for good health. It also asks for an end to zero-rating for VAT of airline tickets, and for an energy tax to be charged on aviation fuel (which is not currently taxed). It also asks for the EU ETS to be reinstated as soon as possible, [that will be decided shortly, depending on the outcome of ICAO negotiations] and for an end to state subsidies of various sorts to European airports.
“Taming Aviation” http://www.tamingaviation.eu/
A European-wide Movement of Citizens aimed at Taming the Aviation Industry
PETITION – to the European Parliament
- to impose an absolute and unconditional ban on night flights (landing and take-off) at all European airports for an uninterrupted eight-hour interval as a minimum standard of protection for human health;
- to impose Energy Tax on aviation fuel within the shortest possible time, in the interim to lift the suspension of EU-ETS for aviation;
- to abolish any form of VAT zero-rating and VAT exemptions of airline tickets and to include aviation into the VAT tax system of the European Union at standard rates;
- to prohibit any form of incentive at European airports, such as subsidies, kick-backs and rebates, and to ensure that infrastructure services of airports have to be provided on the basis of general, comprehensive and transparent tariffs.
In the last two decades pollution caused by civil aviation has increased dramatically. As of today aviation threatens the habitat of human beings, it menaces their health, depreciates their houses and seriously affects their quality of life. This development is also a consequence of tax and political privileges, which lack any socio-economic justification whatsoever. We cannot allow aviation to continue to operate in this predominant and uncontrolled role, aviation must be tamed. It is high time for Taming Aviation.
Take-offs and landings cause significant noise pollution; the effects of aircraft noise on human health are diminished through abstract noise calculations which are far from the real perception of human beings. Even the necessity to sleep, a minimum requirement of any human being, is not respected as such.
Aviation is one of the biggest climate polluters, nevertheless it is specifically exempt from Energy Tax and the EU Emission Trading System has been “suspended” for aviation. Additionally, air passenger transport is exempt from Value Added Tax. Thus aviation does not follow the principle of “true costs” and does not adequately contribute to tax revenues. There is no justification whatsoever for these tax privileges, which lead to a huge shortfall in taxes for the Community.
Airports attract airlines with various types of “incentives”. Such incentives lead to a lack of transparency, create artificial demand for aviation transport services and cause economic distortions.”
- To fill in the petition,
- 1. Please fill in the form “Taming Aviation – Petition to the European Parliament” (in MS-Word (*.doc) format), sign it and send it by conventional mail to
P.O. Box 51
- 2. Please send the information contained in the form per E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. This enables Taming Aviation to copy your details into their database.
Why a Petition to the European Parliament?
We want to bring Citizens’ Initiatives in all of Europe together in a Petition to the European Parliament for the European Parliament to understand that it is time to Tame Aviation.
- Aviation must pay taxes like any other industry.
- Aviation must learn to respect human health and citizens’ rights.
- Aviation must take responsibility for the pollution and damages it causes.
If Citizens’ Initiatives from all of Europe draw the European Parliament’s attention to Taming Aviation, if we approach country by country our national and European Members of Parliament to stand up against the aviation lobby in support of those who suffer the disadvantages of aviation, this Petition will succeed. There will be a new awareness amongst MPs and MEPs, the Commission will have to acknowledge that there is no justification for the privileges of the aviation industry and eventually, even the aviation industry itself might reconsider its attitude towards health and environment and shift to principles of fair play.
We believe that with this Petition we will bring about a change in the politics of aviation.
Initiators of the Petition and their message
Initiator Dr. Susanne Heger
Dr. Susanne Heger is a co-founder of the Citizens’ Initiative against Aircraft Noise in Vienna West; she is a professional attorney at law. In 2006 her law firm filed a complaint with the EU-Commission on behalf of numerous Citizens’ Initiatives in the area of Vienna Airport because of the illegal expansion of the airport. The proceedings lasted over several years and finally came to an end on 12th March 2013 with a resolution of the European Parliament following a special report of the EU-Ombudsman. The resolution confirms that the expansion of Vienna Airport infringed the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. But the EU-Commission did not apply any sanctions and Vienna Airport continues to operate as normal, promoting itself worldwide in order to be able to make full use of its extra (illegal) capacity.
“As an attorney in a democratic legal state I am deeply concerned about the way aviation is developing. The promotion of aviation has risen to the level of a political dogma, the state of law has been subordinated to the aviation industry and the authorities and mass media have largely been brought into line in favour of aviation. The lack of rights of those who have to bear the disadvantages of aviation is inacceptable for me.”
Initiator Dr. Jutta Leth
Dr. Jutta Leth is a specialist in psychiatry, psychotherapy, geriatrics and an expert in environmental medicine. In her home community, which was founded in the year 900 and is located right next to Vienna Airport, she has been fighting for the interests of her fellow neighbours as a member of a Citizens’ Initiative for almost 20 years. This region is one of the most densely populated areas of Austria and is faced with a completely oversized expansion of Vienna Airport. Since 2005, Jutta Leth has been chairperson of an umbrella association of Citizens’ Initiatives of Vienna, Lower Austria and the Burgenland which joined forces in order to prevent the construction of the third runway. In 2012, together with an attorney at law, Jutta Leth filed a lawsuit against the Republic of Austria and Lower Austria on the basis of threatening damages to health and the depreciation of property by this project. After a positive decision by the European Court of Justice the case is again for the Austrian courts to decide.
“As a mother and a doctor, I am shocked by the arbitrary behaviour and the bias of public authorities which recklessly put at risk the physical health of a whole region for the realisation of a project which is neither economically nor ecologically acceptable and against every bit of reason in relation to climate protection and voracious consumption of land. I am therefore fighting for protecting our environment and preserving it for the coming generations in a health promoting manner. I am fighting for competent citizens to organise themselves, to represent their own interests and to adopt an effective defence against current aviation policy which is completely out of date and surrenders to aviation lobbyists.”
More information from Taming Aviation: