Heathrow wants the £4 bn APD revenue (paid because aviation pays no VAT or fuel duty) to boost ‘green’ aviation fuels
Heathrow’s avarice and self-interest appear to know no bounds. Aside from the immense cost to public health from the increased noise and air pollution of its plans for a 3rd runway (equivalent to bolting another large UK airport onto the Heathrow site….) the huge cost to the taxpayer for the necessary improvements to surface access infrastructure, if it expands, and so many other costs – like destroying villages, Heathrow wants yet more. The Treasury has repeatedly said that the aviation industry in the UK pays Air Passenger Duty (APD) BECAUSE that makes up, to a small extent, for the income lost to the Treasury each year, because the aviation sector pays NO fuel duty and NO VAT. The money is NOT there to give the aviation industry a boost. But Heathrow wants the approximately £4 billion raised each year from APD to be given back to the industry, so it can try to find a way to produce jet fuels that are allegedly “sustainable” and “lower carbon” that convention jet fuel. The problem for the aviation industry is that, other than worthy-sounding pronouncements about “the ambition of a net-zero carbon aviation industry by 2050” etc, they have no actual plans of any means by which to do that. APD funds should NOT be given back to aviation.
Heathrow urges £4bn APD revenue to boost ‘green’ aviation fuels
by Phil Davies (Travel Weekly)
August 21st 2019
Heathrow is once again urging the government to invest £4 billion annual intake from Air Passenger Duty to raise production of ‘green’ aviation fuels.
The revenue generated from the air tax could help to accelerate the production of biofuels and support the ambition of a net-zero carbon aviation industry by 2050.
The airport first made the demand for a reform of APD last month.
Heathrow sustainability director Matt Gorman said: “Having won an overwhelming majority in Parliament supporting expansion at Heathrow we are getting on with delivering a project that will connect the whole country to economic growth in a way that is sustainable and responsible.
“We understand the responsibility our sector has to help tackle climate change and ensure we protect a world worth travelling, which is why we’re calling on government to invest the revenue generated from Air Passenger Duty in sustainable fuels.
“This move will help to drive a much needed change in our sector and make travel more sustainable.”
More: Industry should stop bleating about carbon tax
APD should be reformed to support sustainable aviation fuels
The call came as the London hub revealed that SAS took the top spot in its ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ airline sustainability league table in the second quarter of the year.
The result came as the Scandinavian flag carrier reduced early and late flights.
The airline also scored well for its operational performance by improving its ‘track keeping’ – following preferential noise route flight paths precisely and using a quieter landing method known as continuous descent approach.
The league table compiles the results of the airport’s top 50 busiest airlines from April to June, rating how each airline scores for operational factors such as punctuality, track keeping, continuous decent approach, and monitors the fleet upgrades that help to reduce emissions.
Both 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A350s are among the top environmental performers, helping airlines to rise in the rankings.
Qantas jumped 28 spots to sixth place, earning the title of most improved airline, after achieving 100% compliance for track keeping and running its schedule without late or early flights.
The announcement coincided with Heathrow’s 12-week expansion consultation, which details measures the airport will be putting in place to reduce emissions and provide respite for local communities as part of its plans for a third runway. The consultation runs until September 13.
£125 million more UK public money going to fund aviation research to (possibly, eventually) minimally cut CO2 emissions
The aviation industry repeatedly gets money from the UK government, to help it try to find new technologies, or new fuels, that might slightly cut the carbon emissions of flights. Instead of the industry funding this research itself, it always wants public money to help – money from taxpayers that could be better used. If the aviation sector really wanted to cut its carbon emissions significantly, it would stop attempting to grow as fast as possible. If the government was serious about cutting aviation CO2, it would introduce measures to make flying more expensive and less attractive, in order to cut demand. But instead, money is spent on technologies that just – basically – involve continuing with “business as usual” and carrying on flying as much as possible. Hopes of magical future technologies, or fuels, just postpone the day when they have to “bite the bullet” and reduce aviation growth. Now the UK government is spending another “£125 million in the Future of Flight Challenge, supported by an industry co-investment of £175 million, to fund development of technologies including cargo drones, urban air taxis and larger electric passenger aircraft.” Fiddling while Rome burns….