Miscellaneous & Older Briefings

Business Flying:

•  GLA report on Short-haul aviation for business travel (March 2008)



• Friends of the Earth guide on  How to lobby MPs and MEPs

• Campaigning –  AirportWatch has produced a short list of handy hints for airport campaigners, which you can download from the link.   AirportWatch Campaigning Briefing Sheet



Overview of Planning Act – March 2009

Planning guidance handbook from AEF  – a comprehensive guide

• Planning guidance from the CPRE website

“Third Party Risk around airports” Briefing, March 2009



 •  Pre Budget Report (Dec 2006)

The Aviation White Paper  (“The Future of Air Transport”)

•  The Aviation White Paper Progress Report 2006 

•  CPRE briefing on Parliamentary Questions by MPs


Airport Consultative Committees

The Department for Transport has guidelines on how Consultative Committees are run.

Consultative Committees

Guidelines for Airport Consultative Committees



Take off and landing slots at European airports

There is a European Commission page at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air/airports/slots_en.htm

At present it is quite difficult for airlines to sell slots. This means that airlines
often operate planes that are fairly empty simply to keep their slot. The
Commission is proposing to make it easier to sell slots to other airlines.

The EC’s “Better Airports” package was published in December 2011.  On slots it said:

“The Commission proposals introduce market based mechanisms for the trading of slots between airlines in a transparent way, as well as measures to ensure that existing capacity is used by airlines – by raising the threshold on the “use it or lose it rule” from 80%-85%.

The proposed measures on slots would allow the system to handle 24 million more passengers a year by 2025. They will be worth €5 billion to the European economy and create up to 62,000 jobs over the period 2012-2025

Five European airports are currently operating at capacity: Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Milan Linate. On current trends this could increase to nineteen key airports by 2030, including for example Paris CDG – with very significant consequences for delays and congestion.”

More info at  “Better Airports Package launched.”    and at




High Speed Rail 
•  Useful briefing (March 2010) by CPRE on High Speed 2 
•   A new study (Feb 2010) has suggested that investing in high-speed rail can bring various benefits, but should not be marketed as a major part of efforts to combat climate change.
The study, ‘The Future of Interurban Passenger Transport’ by the  by the Swedish transport economist Per Kågeson, calculates the effect on emissions from building a new high speed line connecting two major cities 500 kilometres apart. It says there is no reason to prohibit investment in high-speed rail on environmental grounds as long as the carbon gains outweigh the emissions during construction, but the greenhouse gas savings are sufficiently small that it would be wrong to justify such investment as a solution to climate change.
•  Report (June 2009)  “Rail First”  for AirportWatch Scotland.    Many flights from the county’s two main airports, Glasgow and Edinburgh, are short-haul and could be replaced with fast trains – reducing the need for those airports to expand.  (12 pages, pdf)
•   Fast Train to Nowhere?   George Monbiot article on High Speed Rail  17.5.2010
Before the UK commissions a high speed rail network, we should ask ourselves some big questions. Does high speed rail provide a lower carbon form of transport than its alternatives? How many of its passengers switch from lower carbon forms of travel? How has the DfT calculated the figures? What assumptions has it made? Will high speed rail only increase the numbers travelling, and will the runway slots just be used for long haul instead,


The flying dilemma – should I fly, or not?

Rail times to European destinations

Open Skies

Heathrow consultation background briefing from HACAN

Peak Oil and the future of aviation

• CAA “Airprox” – near miss – reports


Carbon offsetting for  flights

Friends of the Earth report   (32 pages) entitled:
‘A Dangerous Distraction.  Why offsetting is failing the climate and people:  the evidence’

The report exposes carbon offsetting as ineffective and damaging, and is  released to mark the launch of FoE’s   Demand Climate Change Campaign for a strong and fair global climate agreement at UN talks – which culminate in Copenhagen in December.   FoE  exposes carbon offsetting as a
con which is failing to reduce, and in some cases is even increasing, carbon emissions.   The UK Government is actively promoting the increased use of offsetting at the UN climate talks, including proposing a plan to carbon offset by buying up forests – which will not stop deforestation and will cause significant social harm to the people that rely on them.   FoE press release at http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/offsetting_report_02062009.html      2.6.2009

The full report  as well as a summary of key facts from the report, is available at http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefing_notes/dangerous_distraction.pdf   (Executive Summary on pages 4 and 5).

With more people buying carbon offsets to try and compensate for the carbon dioxide produced from their flights, the effectiveness and justification for these offsets is increasingly being questioned.  The Observer article discusses the problems.  The Observer – Carbon offsetting Ripoff?

An article in the Sunday Times reveals that offsetting schemes involving tree planting can take a century to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere, making them very ineffective as a meals of reducing the climate changing effect of emissions.  Offsetting your carbon footprint takes decades

Defra has announced (Jan 2007) new standards for carbon offsetting schemes.  Of the estimated 60 offsetting schemes available, only four meet the government’s new gold standard, and none of these are being run in the UK.   The 4 companies which at present meet the standards are:

Pure    http://www.puretrust.org.uk
Global Cool       http://www.global-cool.com
Equiclimate      http://www.ebico.co.uk
and Carbon Offsets    http://www.carbonoffsets.org

BBC article – Defra ups carbon offset standards

Times of rail journeys to European destinations

More and more journeys are now becoming faster, and more hassle-free, by high speed rail within Europe than the same trip by plane.   To find details of train timetables etc, see  www.raileurope.co.uk  or   http://www.seat61.com

Also the Telegraph article on the new journey times   from 12.5.2007  including the old and new TGV times to a range of destinations.  See the list of new train times below:

New improved TGV rail journey times  – after10th June 2007

 Paris-Reims: from 1 hour 35 minutes to 45 minutes

• Paris-Metz: from 2 hours 45 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes

•  Paris -Nancy: from 2 hours 45 minutes to 1 hour 30

• Paris- Champagne Ardenne: TGV previously unavailable, now 40 minutes

• Paris-Meuse: TGV previously unavailable, now 1 hour

• Paris-Lorraine: TGV previously unavailable, now 1 hour 15

• Paris-Strasbourg: from 4 hours to 2 hours 20

• Paris-Luxembourg: from 3 hours 45 minutes to 2 hours 5 minutes

• Paris-Frankfurt: from 6 hours 15 minutes to 3 hours 50 minutes

• Paris-Stuttgart: from 6 hours to 3 hours 40 minutes

• Paris-Basle: from 4 hours 55 minutes to 3 hours 20 minutes

• Paris-Zurich: from 5 hours 50 minutes to 4 hours 35 minutes

• Paris-Munich: from 8 hours 30 minutes to 6 hours 15 minutes.

For details, contact Rail Europe (08708 304 862; www.raileurope.co.uk), or visit the Rail Europe Travel Centre at 178 Piccadilly, London W1.


The Open Skies agreement

 The new ‘Open Skies’ agreement between the EU and America could double the number of passengers flying the Atlantic. This would mean an extra 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 being emitted every year.  Article by John Stewart, for the Ecologist magazine. 2007   Open Skies article by John Stewart

More on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EU%E2%80%93US_Open_Skies_Agreement

BBC  24 June 2010 article entitled:  “Second open skies deal signed” at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10400176



Some older, almost historic, briefings:


Briefing on the OEF report on aviation’s contribution to the UK economy

 The original OEF study, published in 1999 by the Department for Transport.  It claimed that the aviation industry brought huge benefits to UK economy, but didn’t factor into its calculations the tax-breaks the aviation industry receives through tax-free fuel etc, nor the cost to the country of the environmental damage done by air travel.
AirportWatch OEF Briefing (November 2006)

The December 2006 OEF report took the same line.  A study, carried out for AirportWatch in February 2007, found that the claimed economic benefits of air travel in the Government’s Progress Report on the Future of Air Transport published in December were largely based on a consultant’s report paid for by the aviation industry.  Despite growing concern about the impact of aviation growth on climate change, the Progress Report confirmed the government’s determination to press ahead with airport expansion, justifying this on the grounds of economic benefit.
AirportWatch study on OEF report (Feb 2007)



 Briefing on the Pre Budget Report 2006 – rise in APD

 The Chancellor announced that the doubling APD will be effective from 1st February 2007 . The intra-EU economy rate will rise from £5 to £10 and the non-economy rate from £10 to £20.  The long-haul economy rate will rise from £20 to £40 and the non-economy rate from £40 to £80.    AirportWatch’s Air Passenger Duty Briefing



Friends of the Earth briefing on the Aviation White Paper review (Nov 2006)

 Friends of the Earth produced a media briefing paper which examined the growing impact of aviation on the environment and the need for urgent Government action to tackle it through a variety of measures, including abandoning plans to allow a huge expansion in UK airports.  It also comments on a variety of issues surrounding aviation and climate change, such as plans to include aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme, the use of bio fuels and carbon offsetting proposals.    Friends of the Earth briefing on the Aviation White Paper review 

Including Aviation in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme

While the overall strategy has received backing from the Commission, Council and Parliament, the details of the text still need to be hammered out by EU lawmakers.  The contentious issues in the proposal are:
• The Commission’s decision not to include international flights in the scheme until one year after intra-EU flights (in 2011), and;
• the level of the cap that airlines will be subject to and the system for distributing allowances.
• 12 September 2007: Parliament report scheduled for adoption in committee.
• 23 October 2007: Probable first reading vote on Parliament’s report in the plenary.
• 2008: Commission to table proposal on aircraft NOx emissions.
European Parliament set to back tough rules on aircraft emissions

Briefing on “Including Aviation in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)”   – December 2006  and November 2007 update

Briefing on “Including Aviation in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)” – December 2006 by T & E  – European Federation for Transport and Environment
“Including Aviation in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme” – by T & E  (Dec 2006)


How and airport can damage a local community:

 Stop Stansted Expansion have produced a response, presented to Uttlesford District Council in August 2006, about the very severe impacts which the airport’s operations were already having on the community and on the lives of the people who live there, as a result of growth at the airport.  It describes stress, anxiety, noise pollution, light pollution, traffic problems and breakdown in community life. Erosion of the Community – from the SSE website

Air quality around airports

Air pollution continues to be a significant threat to human health and the environment in Europe, especially in airport adjacent regions, from both planes and local surface transport.  Local air pollution is regulated by several legislative documents on EU level.  This briefing gives information about air pollution and possible solutions.Briefing on Air Quality around airports



Flight Path to Destruction – Woodland Trust  paper on the effect of UK airport expansion plans on ancient woodland

The Government is proposing large-scale expansion of airports, which are often surrounded by significant areas of ancient woodland.  If the proposals were to go ahead in areas such as Stansted, Manchester, Rugby or Swansea then we would be facing a massive loss of ancient woodland.
Woodland Trust paper on loss of ancient woodland

Who’s Who at the Department for Transport (DfT)

The politicians and civil servants, and the organogram showing who does what, and who reports to whom.Department for Transport –   Organisation Chart  – Organisation Chart –  January 2012The DfT Ministerial Team  – May 2012

How do planes compare to other means of travel – for CO2 emissions

Just how damaging to the climate is air travel?  Is it really much worse than going by trian?  Or by car?  And just how much carbon dioxide does my flight to Paris, or to New York, or to Rome produce, relative to my car use, or gas and electricity comsumption?   Good figures are hard to find, but we try and throw some light on the subject.

How does air travel compare to other means of travel
Wikipedia  webpage of the fuel efficiency of different modes of transport