Open Letter – MPs, Councillors, Scientists and Community Groups Oppose LBA Expansion
An open letter has been sent to Leeds City Council (LCC) councillors, written by local opposition group GALBA & supported by 114 various groups, councils, organisations, residents’ associations and climate scientists. They ask the council to decide (on 11th February) against allowing expansion of Leeds Bradford airport, by not allowing the building of a new terminal. The work is designed to increase passengers from 4 million a year to 7 million by 2030. The letter says: “Expansion would mean health damaging increases in noise, traffic and air pollution for thousands of people in our local communities. Above all, it would mean a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions exactly when we need to cut them to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. Expansion would be fundamentally wrong. Leeds City Council has declared a Climate Emergency and aims to reach net zero carbon by 2030. Yet from 2030 onwards, aircraft from an expanded airport would pump out more greenhouse gases than the whole of the rest of the city. Allowing LBA to expand would immediately make the Council’s own net zero target impossible.”
On Thursday 11th February, the Leeds City Council planning panel will make a decision whether they will accept or deny the proposal from LBA to rebuild and expand. If accepted, the new airport will have double the flight capacity, and emit over 120% of Leeds City Councils own CO2 targets by 2030.
GALBA have been working tirelessly over the last year to fight the proposal, supported by XR in Leeds and many other environmental groups, activists and concerned citizens.
Open Letter – MPs, Councillors, Scientists and Community Groups Oppose LBA Expansion
The following is an open letter to LCC councillors, written by GALBA & supported by various groups.
In a few days, 13 Leeds councillors will make a decision that will affect the lives of the people of West Yorkshire for generations. These 13 people make up the committee that will say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Leeds Bradford Airport’s planning application – designed to increase passengers from 4 million a year to 7 million by 2030.
Expansion would mean health damaging increases in noise, traffic and air pollution for thousands of people in our local communities. Above all, it would mean a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions exactly when we need to cut them to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. Expansion would be fundamentally wrong. Leeds City Council has declared a Climate Emergency and aims to reach net zero carbon by 2030. Yet from 2030 onwards, aircraft from an expanded airport would pump out more greenhouse gases than the whole of the rest of the city. Allowing LBA to expand would immediately make the Council’s own net zero target impossible.
The Covid crisis has exposed how vulnerable we are as individuals and as a society. The climate crisis will be far worse – unless we make the right decisions now. Rebuilding the local economy matters to us all and we can rebuild a healthy economy with good, sustainable jobs. We can decide not to return to ‘business as usual’. A better, safer and greener future is possible. Leeds City Council can keep its promise to tackle the climate emergency. 13 Leeds councillors can stop the airport doubling its emissions.
We, the undersigned, implore those 13 councillors to follow the example set at Stansted and Bristol airports and reject LBA’s planning application. We call on them to use their legal powers to make the right decision for the future – for the good of our children, grandchildren and future generations.
Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport, supported by:
(Politicians and political parties)
1. Hilary Benn MP (Lab)
2. Alex Sobel MP (Lab)
3. Richard Burgon MP (Lab)
4. Fabian Hamilton MP (Lab) 5. Imran Hussain MP (Lab)
and 34 more councillors, local political parties;
also 3 Town Councils;
and 28 Environmental and climate organisations;
and 13 Residents Associations;
and 8 other organisations;
and 19 Climate and meteorological scientists, most from the university of Leeds.
See the list at:
Last-ditch attempt to stop Leeds Bradford Airport expansion
09 FEB, 2021 (New Civil Engineer)
BY CATHERINE KENNEDY
A group of MPs, councillors and scientists has staged a last-ditch attempt to stop the £150M expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA).
Leeds City Council is due to make a final decision on the proposals on Thursday after council planners last week recommended the plans for a new terminal be approved.
However in an open letter, the group said expansion plans must be halted “for the good of generations”.
According to the letter – which has been signed by 114 people – plans to increase the airport’s size and passenger numbers are “fundamentally wrong”.
It says: “Expansion would mean health-damaging increases in noise, traffic and air pollution for thousands of people in our local communities.
“Above all, it would mean a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions exactly when we need to cut them to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. Expansion would be fundamentally wrong.”
The letter adds that the climate crisis will be “far worse” if the “right decisions” aren’t made now.
Plans for the replacement terminal, submitted to Leeds City Council in May 2020, involve the construction of a modern, three floor, 34,000m2 building on an alternative site within the airport’s boundary. Images of the proposed terminal were released in September last year.
LBA says it would be the most environmentally efficient airport building in the UK and deliver a passenger experience beyond what is achievable in the existing terminal, which has a legacy of several piecemeal extensions over the course of its 55-year history.
However, the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has claimed that the plans directly contradict Leeds City Council’s climate emergency policy, as the increase in flights and traffic would add to CO2 emissions and noise in the area.
An LBA spokesperson emphasised that replacing the current terminal “will create a more sustainable airport for Yorkshire”.
The spokesperson added: “Our environmental and economic reports were compiled by leading specialists and have been verified by independent third party experts.
“If approved, our proposals mean that LBA will become a modern, net zero airport, putting us in pole position to benefit from the latest aviation technology such as sustainably produced synthetic fuel and hydrogen powered electric aircraft.
“We look forward to hearing the determination of the plans panel, based on the factual information in the officer’s report, this week.”
A Leeds City Council spokesperson added: “This is a significant planning application and the council recognises that it has generated a considerable amount of public attention.
“Taking into account the material submitted on both sides and balancing all the considerations, planning officers have recommended that the application be approved, subject to a section 106 agreement and referral to the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government.”
Meet the new CEO of Leeds Bradford Airport
Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) has announced the appointment of Vincent Hodder as its new CEO, bringing a wealth of global aviation expertise to the role.
By Ismail Mulla
20th January 2021,
Mr Hodder, most recently CEO of airline group IAG’s low-cost brand LEVEL, will take over the post on February 1, focusing on developing passenger experience, short term recovery from the global pandemic and the longer-term vision for the airport, including the terminal replacement planning application.
With more than 20 years in the industry, his experience spans organisations including Flybe, Jetstar Airways and VivaAerobus.
As a consultant and an operator, Mr Hodder has worked across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and Australasia and across all different models of airline from regional and low cost to long haul and network operations.
Mr Hodder said: “Our success at delivering excellence in customer service will be crucial in giving passengers the confidence to travel and to choose LBA, as well as in attracting new airlines that operate the most modern and efficient aircraft.
“I’m looking forward to leading the business as we face the short-term challenges of Covid and towards a sustainable long-term future, working collaboratively with businesses and stakeholders across the region, while continuing to progress the terminal replacement scheme through planning.”
Andy Clarke, chairman of Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “As we look ahead to a post-Covid world, we remain fundamentally committed to improving customer experience, continuing to develop the airport to deliver a wider economic impact in the region and ensuring a sustainable future for LBA.
“I’m delighted to welcome Vincent into the role.
“His experience at low-cost players and network players, across business and leisure travel, brings a varied perspective as we seek to develop new relationships with airlines that share our vision for a responsible and efficient future, ensuring that we are ready for the return of demand in travel when the time is right.
“Hywel has been instrumental in developing the longer-term vision for LBA and has helped the airport to navigate through a challenging year for the aviation sector.
“I know Vincent shares my aspirations for the future of LBA and I’m excited to see how he will shape this.”
During his tenure, Mr Rees initiated the planning application for the development of a replacement terminal to support future demand for the airport, while overseeing a number of enhancements to the existing operation to improve customer service and offer.
LBA’s plans for a replacement terminal, submitted to Leeds City Council in May, propose the construction of a modern, three floor, 34,000 sq m building on an alternative site within the airport’s boundary.
The airport says if approved, the new terminal building would deliver a passenger experience beyond what is achievable in the existing terminal, built in 1965 and which has a legacy of several piecemeal extensions over the course of its 55-year history.
It added that the development will protect and create new, high-skilled jobs, supporting 12,650 permanent positions, and increase the airport’s contribution to the region’s economy from £377m in 2019 to £869m.
Mr Rees will be leaving to pursue other projects a spokesman for the airport said.