Briefings – July 2015

Below are links to briefings to give information on some of the important issues that need to be resolved – if any new runway in the south east is to be built.

Economics  …  Noise …  Air pollution …  Carbon emissions


1. Background briefing – how before a decision on building a runway is made, much more work is needed

A background briefing, (one page) setting out the key issues, the actions needed by the Government before any runway decision is made. These include work needed on noise, carbon emissions, air quality, health and economics.

The briefing makes the case that the environmental and economic arguments against a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick are so strong that the case for not building a new runway should be re-considered.

Airportwatch introductory briefing


2. Economics briefing – “Aviation economics and a new runway”

This briefing sets out (two pages) the facts and figures about who flies, where and why – and the myths about how much of UK aviation is for business flights. It also explains the tax advantages the aviation industry enjoys, the artificially inflated demand for air travel, the impact of a south east runway on the regions, and the confusion between what benefits the aviation industry with what benefits the UK as a whole.

AirportWatch Economics Briefing  (2 pages)

AirportWatch economics briefing – June 2015 with references


3. Noise briefing – “Aircraft Noise and a new runway.”

This gives background information about why aircraft noise matters, how it is measured and the problems of the averaging metrics used, what the WHO recommendations are on noise in relation to health, how noise affects health, how many people are affected and how many more would be affected if there was a new runway. With the recent changes to the way airspace is managed and routes are narrower and more concentrated, the issue has become especially important and contentious.

AirportWatch Noise Briefing June 2015 Short (2 pages)

AirportWatch Noise Briefing June 2015 Longer (with full references)

4. Air Pollution Briefing – “Air Pollution and a new runway”

This gives background information about what pollutants there are, the effects they have on health, the current situation with Heathrow and Gatwick, and the likely levels of air pollution if a runway was to be built. It also explains the legal position, in relation to complying with the EU Directive, and the attempts airports could try to make in order to stay within legal limits for particulates and NO2.

AirportWatch Air Pollution Briefing. June 2015  (with full references)

5. Climate Briefing – “Carbon Emissions and a new runway”

The briefings set out why CO2 emissions from UK aviation are an issue, what the legal position is in relation to the Climate Change Act, the guidance from the Committee on Climate Change, and the non-CO2 impacts of air travel.  They look at current aviation carbon emissions, and those expected with a new runway. The Airports Commission itself is aware that UK aviation would probably exceed the CO2 limit (37.5 MtCO2 per year) even if no new south east runway is built. The level of CO2 emissions would be even higher with a new runway, putting the UK’s nationwide, legally binding carbon commitments at risk.

Climate briefing. June 2015 Short

Climate briefing. June 2015 Long  (with full references)


Also, a briefing on the impact of non-CO2 emissions from air travel

AirportWatch_Briefing_on_RF__19.6.2015     June 2015


Runway Snakes and Ladders Sept 2015