Air pollution is likely to increase the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes

Research in 2015 showed that there is a link between air pollution and the development of Type 2 diabetes. [That is the diabetes people generally acquire later in life, that is treated with medication, rather than insulin injection].  The study looked at 102 published studies from various countries. The results stated:  “Air pollution is a leading cause of insulin resistance and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The association between air pollution and diabetes is stronger for traffic associated pollutants, gaseous, nitrogen dioxide, tobacco smoke and particulate matter.” And the conclusions: “Exposure to air pollutants is significantly associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is suggested that, environmental protection officials must take high priority steps to minimize the air pollution, hence to decrease the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus.” There is probably more research needed, to establish details, but it appears that there is definite positive link between the two.  So areas with high levels of particulate and NOX air pollution, such as around Heathrow, are likely to see more ill health, including more diabetes.
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The mechanism for the link between air pollution and various diseases is likely to be a low level of inflammation in many sorts of tissues, which then makes them more vulnerable to other conditions. 

 

Air pollution may be linked to the development of diabetes, new study

21.08.2020

By PIPPA NEILL  (Air Quality News)

Exposure to air pollution may increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

To test the impact that air pollution has on health, researchers from the University of Cardiovascular Research Institute created an environment that mimicked a polluted day in New Delhi or Beijing, by concentrating fine particulate matter pollution (PM2.5).

Using a mouse model study, the researchers observed the health impacts of three groups, a control group receiving clean filtered air, a group exposed to polluted air for 24 weeks and a group fed a high-fat diet.

The researchers found that being exposed to air pollution was comparable to eating a high-fat diet. Both air pollution and the high-fat diet group showed insulin resistance and abnormal metabolism – just like you would see in a pre-diabetic state.

These changes were associated with changes in the epigenome, a layer of control that can turn on and off thousands of genes, representing a critical buffer in response to environmental factors.

The researchers highlighted that if you live in a densely polluted environment, then taking actions such as wearing a mask, using a portable indoor air cleaner, using air conditioning or closing the car windows while commuting can all help to mitigate the impacts.

For the next step of the research, the researchers will meet with a panel of experts, as well as the National Institutes of Health, to discuss conducting clinical trials that compare heart health and the level of air pollution in the environment.

Sanjay Rajagopalan, first author of the study added: ‘The good news is that these effects were reversible, at least in our experiments.

‘Once the air pollution was removed from the environment, the mice appeared healthier and the pre-diabetic state seemed to reverse.’

In related news, last month (July 7), researchers from the University of Lancaster found that toxic metallic air pollutants from industry and vehicle emissions are causing a ‘silent heart disease epidemic.’

In the report, the researchers have said that repeated inhalation of these metallic nanoparticles may account for the well-established association between exposure to particulate matter (PM2.5) and increased cardiovascular disease.

https://airqualitynews.com/2020/08/21/air-pollution-linked-to-diabetes/

 

Effect of environmental air pollution on type 2 diabetes mellitus

Abstract

Objective: Air pollution is a novel risk factor for insulin resistance and occurrence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM),  [that is the diabetes people generally acquire later in life, that is treated with medication, rather than insulin injection] but the evidence is limited and diverse. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of environmental air pollution on incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Methods: In this study, we identified 102 published studies through a systematic data base search including ISI-Web of Science, EMBASE and PubMed. We searched the related literature by using the key terms including diabetes mellitus, air pollution, occupational and environmental pollution, gaseous, NO2, particulate matter pollutants PM2.5, and PM10. Studies in which diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, air pollution, occupational and environmental pollution was discussed were included in the study. No confines on publication status, study design or language of publication were considered. Descriptive and quantitative information were extracted from the selected literature. Finally we included 21 publications and remaining studies were excluded.

Results: Air pollution is a leading cause of insulin resistance and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The association between air pollution and diabetes is stronger for traffic associated pollutants, gaseous, nitrogen dioxide, tobacco smoke and particulate matter.

Conclusions: Exposure to air pollutants is significantly associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is suggested that, environmental protection officials must take high priority steps to minimize the air pollution, hence to decrease the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25635985/#:~:text=Results%3A%20Air%20pollution%20is%20a,tobacco%20smoke%20and%20particulate%20matter.

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Another study in Sept 2019 said:

 

Associations between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis

“The associations between AP [air pollution] exposure and T2DM [diabetes Type 2] prevalence showed no significant difference between high-income countries and low- and middle-incomes countries. However, different associations were identified between PM2.5 exposure and T2DM prevalence in different geographic areas. No significant differences were found in associations of AP and T2DM prevalence/incidence between females and males, except for the effect of NO2 on T2DM incidence. Overall, AP exposure was positively associated with T2DM. There still remains a need for evidence from low- and middle-income countries on the relationships between AP and T2DM.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31252121/

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There is also another study on this at

Particulate matter pollutants and risk of type 2 diabetes: a time for concern?

Jan 2016

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26024974/

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See earlier:

 

New King’s College study on Heathrow ultrafine particle air pollution shows it spreads far into London

In a new study, researchers from King’s College London have measured ultrafine particles (UFP) in European cities and detected emissions from airports. Many studies have examined and quantified the levels of larger particles (e.g.PM2.5 – <2.5μm or PM10 – <10μm), but very few have studied UFP (< 0.1 μm).  The researchers identified, characterised and quantified the sources UFPs in Barcelona, Helsinki, London, and Zurich between 2007 and 2017. They measured particle and gaseous pollutants at different sites and used a statistical model to identify and quantify the contribution of the different sources of ultrafine particles.  They found that London had the highest concentration of UFP compared to other cities. The greatest concentrations of the smallest particles (called nucleation particles) when the wind was blowing from the airport in all cities. This indicates that airports are a major UFP source and that these small particles can travel many kilometres. Traffic emissions contributed the most.  So it is confirmed that Heathrow pollution – with very negative health impacts – spreads far into London, many miles away.

Click here to view full story…

 

 

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Prof Whitelegg: How the aviation sector should be reformed following the Covid-19 crisis

Prof John Whitelegg says the Covid pandemic provides a key opportunity for major reforms to the aviation sector.  The sector is not likely to reduce its carbon emissions to the extent necessary, even for the net zero target for 2050. The Committee on Climate Change has said there will need to be measures to limit demand for air travel, and it “cannot continue to grow unfettered over the long-term.” They say “we still expect the sector to emit more than any other in 2050.” Aviation continues to receive an effective subsidy, due to the absence of VAT and fuel duty that amounts to about £11 billion per year (compared to about £3.8 billion taken in APD). There are well known negative health impacts caused the plane noise, with some of the best researched being cardiovascular.  We need to change the dominant expectation that air travel with continue to grow.  There has to be realisation that air passengers must pay the costs of the environmental damage they cause. Some necessary changes would be charging VAT; taxing frequent fliers; adopting WHO noise standards for health; full internalisation of external costs; fiscal instruments to shift all passenger journeys under 500kms in length from air to rail. And more.
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How the aviation sector should be reformed following the Covid-19 crisis

The aviation sector has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. But its huge environmental impacts mean we should take the opportunity to carry out major reforms, argues Prof John Whitelegg, Liverpool John Moores University, in the second of two blogs on transport issues.
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Responsible Science blog (5th in the Covid-19 series),

From SGR (Scientists for Global Responsibility)

29 June 2020

 

Fuelling climate change

There has been very little sign that the aviation sector will deliver a proportionate contribution to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that is required if the UK is to achieve its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The government’s own advisors – the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) – summarised the situation this way last year:

“Aviation emissions in the UK have more than doubled since 1990, while emissions for the economy as a whole have fallen by around 40%. Achieving aviation emissions at or below 2005 levels in 2050 will require contributions from all parts of the aviation sector, including from new technologies and aircraft design, improved air space management, airlines operation, and use of sustainable fuels. It will also require steps to limit growth in demand. In the absence of a zero-carbon plane, demand cannot continue to grow unfettered over the long-term.” [1]

Aviation internationally has been on a strong growth trajectory supported by national governments and large subsidies. For example, a 2007 study estimated that total transport subsidies within EU countries amounted to 270-295 billion euros per year. Of this total, road transport accounted for 125 billion euros, but support for aviation totalled 27-35 billion euros. [2]

Emissions from international aviation (like shipping) are not included within UK carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act. Flying is exempt from fuel duty and VAT on tickets. The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) estimates that if the aviation sector paid the same level of duty and VAT on its fuel as motorists currently do on theirs, tax revenue would increase to over £11 billion a year compared to the £3.8 billion that Air Passenger Duty raises today. [3]

The special treatment of aviation has recently received another boost. In response to the huge decline in flying as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, government-backed loans in the UK have been extended with no environmental or climate change conditions to British Airways (£300 million), EasyJet (£600 million) and Ryanair (£630 million). [3]

The CCC confirms the failure of aviation to play a full part in delivering Britain’s climate targets: “we still expect the sector to emit more than any other in 2050.” [4]

Meanwhile, the European Union has published its findings on the implications for carbon emissions of the dominant growth ideology in the aviation sector. [5]  Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, global annual international aviation emissions in 2020 were on course to be around 70% higher than in 2005. Especially disturbing were forecasts that, in the absence of additional measures, these emissions could grow by a further 300% by 2050.

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Other environmental pollution

Aviation is also a significant contributor to air pollution and noise pollution.

Recent research suggests that, globally, aviation emissions could cause 16,000 premature deaths per year because of exposure to particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5). Of these, 3,700 premature deaths are estimated to occur in Europe. [6]

Noise exposure is associated with issues such as sleep disturbance, annoyance, nervousness and increased blood pressure, as well as with clinical symptoms such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and cognitive impairment in children. A 10-20% higher risk of stroke, heart and circulatory disease in the areas most exposed to aircraft noise was identified through a survey of 3.6 million residents living near Heathrow Airport. [6]

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Changing direction

The Covid-19 crisis – which, at its peak, led to a drop in international flights by 80% across the world [7] – is pushing many people to reconsider their flying habits. This is potentially very significant. Back in 1995, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution concluded:

“An unquestioning attitude towards future growth in air travel, and an acceptance that the projected demand for additional facilities and services must be met, are incompatible with the aim of sustainable development, just as acceptance that there will be a continuing growth in demand for energy would be incompatible….the demand for air transport might not be growing at the present rate if airlines and their customers had to face the costs of the damage they are causing to the environment.”  [8]

25 years later national governments and international aviation organisations have still not adopted this conclusion as a central principle of planning for the future of flying – but they could as part of ‘green recovery’ plans. If we are serious about tackling the climate emergency, this means reducing carbon emissions faster than current CCC recommendations. [9] It also means there are a number of aviation policy interventions that should be put in place now – including the following. [10]

  • The full internalisation of external costs.
  • A frequent flyer levy to deal specifically with implementing the ‘polluter pays’ principle in a fair and proportionate way. The 15% of the UK population who fly frequently are responsible for 70% of all of our flights, with the 1% most frequent flyers accounting for close to a fifth of all flights by English residents. [10]
  • The adoption of World Health Organisation guidelines on noise levels that should not be exceeded, and the enforcement of these limit values around airports. This would imply a ban on night-time flights in the period 2300-0700.
  • The requirement to reduce all air pollutant emissions from aircraft, airport activities and road traffic to and from the airport so that full conformity with European air quality guidelines and regulations is achieved.
  • Subjecting air tickets to VAT and its equivalent in all EU member states and in the UK after 31st December 2020.
  • The adoption of a clear strategy supported by appropriate fiscal instruments to shift all passenger journeys under 500kms in length from air to rail.
  • The full incorporation of all aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions into national and EU strategies to reduce these emissions by at least the amount of reduction recommended by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). The SEI report evaluated a package of measures to reduce GHG from aviation including behavioural, fiscal, technological and constrained capacity. [11]

 

John Whitelegg is visiting professor of sustainable transport at Liverpool John Moores University. 

https://www.sgr.org.uk/resources/how-aviation-sector-should-be-reformed-following-covid-19-crisis
References

  1. CCC (2019). The future of UK aviation: Letter from Lord Deben to Chris Grayling. 12 February. https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/the-future-of-uk-aviation-letter-from-lord-deben-to-chris-grayling/
  2. European Environment Agency (2007) Size, structure and distribution of transport subsidy in Europe, Technical Report No3/2007
  3. AEF et al (2020). Briefing: Building back better for aviation. https://www.aef.org.uk/uploads/2020/06/Building-back-better-aviation-.docx.pdf
  4. P.264 of: CCC (2019). Net Zero: The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming. https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Net-Zero-The-UKs-contribution-to-stopping-global-warming.pdf#page=264
  5. European Commission (2020). Reducing emissions from aviation. https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/aviation_en
  6. European Environment Agency (2017). Aviation and Shipping: Impacts on Europe’s environment. TERM, 207, Report No 22/2017.
  7. Aislelabs (2020). How Airports Globally are Responding to Coronavirus. 4 May. https://www.aislelabs.com/blog/2020/03/27/how-airports-globally-are-responding-to-coronavirus-updated-frequently/
  8. Para 5.39 of: Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (1995). Transport and the Environment. 18th Report.
  9. Anderson K (2019). Hope from despair: transforming delusion into action on climate change. https://www.sgr.org.uk/resources/hope-despair-transforming-delusion-action-climate-change
  10. Chapter 12 (Aviation) of: Whitelegg, J (2016) Mobility: A new urban design and transport planning philosophy for a sustainable future. ISBN 13:978-1530227877.
  11. Whitelegg J, Haq G, Cambridge H, Vallack H (2010). Towards a Zero Carbon Vision for UK Transport. SEI project report. https://www.sei.org/publications/towards-zero-carbon-vision-uk-transport/

 

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Heathrow air pollution down dramatically during Covid lockdown

With very low numbers of planes using Heathrow (97% down) over the past 3 months, due to the Covid lockdown, this has been an excellent opportunity to get data on air pollution – comparing days with, and without, the planes.  Using data from Air Quality England, local group Stop Heathrow Expansion have found that five air quality monitors around Heathrow which breached the maximum legal limit in March – May 2019 have shown an average 41% improvement in the same period in 2020.  Our current air quality laws state that nitrogen dioxide concentrations must not average more than 40 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3), per year. This level is often exceeded at a range of locations around Heathrow. Readings from a site on the Northern Perimeter Road showed a 50% improvement in air quality. Another site outside Cherry Lane Primary School had a 46% reduction in NO2 emissions, from 44.1µg/m3 in March – May 2019 to a safer 23.9 µg/m3 in the same period in 2020. As well as fewer planes, there were fewer road vehicles. Air pollution figures from inside the airport boundary were substantially lower, showing the source is planes, not only road vehicles, as Heathrow likes to claim.
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HEATHROW AIR POLLUTION DOWN DRAMATICALLY during Covid lockdown

22nd June 2020

From Stop Heathrow Expansion

 

· Local Heathrow air quality improved by 41% since March

· Pollution monitors that regularly breached legal limits now safely within them

· Call for improved local air quality to be maintained as much as possible post-lockdown through Government adopting World Health Organisation guidelines for air pollution in its Environment Bill.

Research by campaigners has found an improvement of over 40% in local air quality around Heathrow Airport in the three months to the end of May 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.

Using data from Air Quality England, Stop Heathrow Expansion have found that five air quality monitors around Heathrow which breached the maximum legal limit in March – May 2019 have shown an average 41% improvement in the same period in 2020.

Our current air quality laws state that nitrogen dioxide concentrations must not average more than 40 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3), per year.

Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 21.42.07.png
The lockdown has seen readings of one monitor, located on Heathrow’s Northern Perimeter Road showing a substantial 50% improvement in local air quality. Another site located outside Cherry Lane Primary School, close to the Heathrow junction of the M4 motorway, saw a 46% reduction in NO2 emissions, from 44.1µg/m3 in March – May 2019 to a safer 23.9 µg/m3 in the same period in 2020.

Of the five sites assessed, the three Hillingdon sites breached legal limits from January – December 2019 (Table 2). The sites in Slough and Hounslow, on major roads linking Heathrow to central London and the Thames Valley, there were recorded breaches throughout the 2019, with readings such as 45.7 µg/m3 recorded at the Hounslow monitor in April 2019 alone.

Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 21.42.13.png
A monitor within the Slough Borough, on a key road linking Heathrow to Langley and Slough, saw a 35% improvement in local air quality – from an illegal reading of 41.2µg/m3 in 2019 to 27.2µg/m3 in 2020.

Similarly, a monitor on the A4 within the London Borough of Hounslow saw a 36% reduction in nitrogen dioxide, from an average of 39.6µg/m3 in 2019 – with individual months such as March and April 2019 showing concentrations of 40.0 and 45.7µg/m3 respectively – to just 25.4µg/m3 in March – May 2020.

https://youtu.be/75_mIjKb1sQ

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This substantial improvement in local air quality around Heathrow is due to the reduced airport operations and a 97% reduction in passenger traffic. This in turn:

· reduced the number of planes polluting the local atmosphere;

· substantially reduced the number of private car journeys;

· reduced the number of cargo-related HGV movements on the local road network.

Despite claims by Heathrow that the poor local air quality is due to non-airport related traffic and their own operations, the reduction in the airport-related workforce has led to reduced private car journeys of employees (50% of airport-related employees travel to work by car). Staff car parks are empty as evidenced by the ‘drive thru’ COVID-19 testing centre at Heathrow.

It is vital that post-lockdown, our air quality is not allowed to exceed the legal limits. Heathrow must take more robust action to ensure its workforce, and the workforce of its partners, uses alternative methods of transport to travel to work and provide greater provision for active travel such as walking and cycling. Passengers must be discouraged, in the strongest possible way, from travelling to the airport by car.

Stop Heathrow Expansion is calling for the Government to adopt into UK law the World Health Organisation guidelines, with a commitment to non-regression. The guidelines state that in order to protect the public from harmful pollutants, nitrogen dioxide concentrations must not average more than 40 micrograms per cubic metre, per year.

The Government’s Environment Bill should provide greater powers for holding large polluters, such as Heathrow, to account, where there is evidence that a breach or severe detriment in local air quality is due to the operations of the organisation. The Bill must include a legally binding commitment to meet WHO guideline limits for NO2 and other harmful pollutants, with a commitment to non-regression.

The Bill presents a unique opportunity for the UK to become a world leader in limiting toxic pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, in the pursuit of cleaner air and to protect the health of local people not just around Heathrow, but around other airports across the UK.

http://stopheathrowexpansion.co.uk/news/2020/6/22/heathrow-air-pollution-down-dramaticallynbsp

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New calls by CAGNE on Grant Shapps and MPs to curb Gatwick expansion plans

Campaign group, CAGNE, against the expansion of Gatwick, are appealing to newly-elected MPs to help curb the airport’s growth plans. They are also urging local residents, along with the MPs, to protest to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps.  CAGNE says Gatwick’s expansion proposals will lead to an extra 55,000 flights per year by 2033 – and that there is insufficient infrastructure to cope with the growth. It will also lead to large increases in noise levels and CO2 emissions, which are environmentally unsustainable. Air quality will also deteriorate. CAGNE is calling on transport secretary Grant Shapps to subject Gatwick’s expansion proposals to more scrutiny by declaring the proposals a ‘National Significant Infrastructure Project’ (NSIP), which requires it to be subject to a different process than a smaller expansion, of under 10 million more annual passengers. A project that qualifies as an NSIP has to go through the Development Consent Order process.  CAGNE  said in their letter to Shapps that Gatwick’s growth plans “are neither compatible with the current climate emergency, nor with achieving the Government‘s net zero carbon target.”
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New calls to curb Gatwick Airport expansion plans

By SARAH PAGE  (West Sussex County Times)
6 January 2020

Campaigners against the expansion of Gatwick Airport are appealing to newly-elected MPs to help curb the airport’s growth plans.

Members of the campaign group Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions – CAGNE – are also urging local residents, along with the MPs, to protest to the Secretary of State for Transport.

They say that Gatwick’s expansion proposals will lead to an extra 55,000 flights a year by 2033.

They maintain there is insufficient infrastructure to cope with the growth and that it will lead to increases in noise levels and carbon emissions.

A spokesman said: “The Gatwick Airport management plans for significant expansion from the main runway is simply unsustainable growth for the planet and us all.”

CAGNE is calling on transport secretary Grant Shapps to subject the airport’s expansion proposals to more scrutiny by declaring the proposals a ‘National Significant Infrastructure Project.’

In a letter to Mr Shapps, CAGNE chairman Sally Pavey says: “We believe that these plans are neither compatible with the current climate emergency, nor with achieving the Government‘s net zero carbon target.

“Gatwick already presents an unprecedented burden on our roads and a single railway line that cannot be expanded.

“The predicted increase in road/freight traffic will inevitably result in a further decline in air quality.”

https://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/people/new-calls-to-curb-gatwick-airport-expansion-plans-1-9192136

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See also:

 

Gatwick’s Big Enough Campaign writes to local authorities to ask that all Gatwick expansion plans should be properly scrutinised

The newly formed coalition of community groups, opposing the expansion of Gatwick airport and the noise made by its flights, has written to all the Leaders and CEOs of all Gatwick’s Host and Neighbouring local authorities. The letter proposes actions that Councils could take to ensure that all Gatwick’s proposed growth is properly scrutinised, as is the case at every other major UK airport. In particular it urges Councils to ask the Secretary of State for Transport to direct that Gatwick’s main runway development should be considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) requiring development consent (a DCO) using his powers under section 35 of the Planning Act 2008. This would ensure that there was proper scrutiny of all proposed growth, of more flights on the existing runway – as well as more flights by using the current emergency runway as a full runway.  As things stand at present, the approximately 60% increase in flights that Gatwick plans would not require any particular planning scrutiny, while the use of the emergency runway (about 40% of the growth) would.  This is an anomaly. The groups are also keen to discuss the issues with the affected councils.

Click here to view full story…

Groups write to Government asking for a moratorium on airport expansion planning applications

Representatives of groups at some of the largest UK airports have written to both the Secretaries of State for Transport, and Housing, Communities and Local Government, to request a halt to airport expansion.  The letter asks them to suspend the determination by all planning authorities of applications to increase the physical capacity of UK airports, or their approved operating caps, until there is a settled UK policy position against which such applications can be judged.  Many UK airports are seeking – or have announced their intention to seek – planning approval to increase their capacity and/or their operating caps. In aggregate it has been estimated that proposals announced by UK airports would increase the country’s airport capacity by over 70% compared to 2017.  There is no settled UK policy on aircraft noise, or  policy on aviation carbon and how the sector will, as the CCC advises,  “limit growth in demand to at most 25% above current levels by 2050”. The letter says: “Until a settled policy with set limits is established for greenhouse gas emissions and noise there should be a moratorium on all airport expansion planning applications.”

Click here to view full story…

Groups write to Government asking for a moratorium on airport expansion planning applications

Representatives of groups at some of the largest UK airports have written to both the Secretaries of State for Transport, and Housing, Communities and Local Government, to request a halt to airport expansion.  The letter asks them to suspend the determination by all planning authorities of applications to increase the physical capacity of UK airports, or their approved operating caps, until there is a settled UK policy position against which such applications can be judged.  Many UK airports are seeking – or have announced their intention to seek – planning approval to increase their capacity and/or their operating caps. In aggregate it has been estimated that proposals announced by UK airports would increase the country’s airport capacity by over 70% compared to 2017.  There is no settled UK policy on aircraft noise, or  policy on aviation carbon and how the sector will, as the CCC advises,  “limit growth in demand to at most 25% above current levels by 2050”. The letter says: “Until a settled policy with set limits is established for greenhouse gas emissions and noise there should be a moratorium on all airport expansion planning applications.”

Click here to view full story…

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New King’s College study on Heathrow ultrafine particle air pollution shows it spreads far into London

In a new study, researchers from King’s College London have measured ultrafine particles (UFP) in European cities and detected emissions from airports. Many studies have examined and quantified the levels of larger particles (e.g.PM2.5 – <2.5μm or PM10 – <10μm), but very few have studied UFP (< 0.1 μm).  The researchers identified, characterised and quantified the sources UFPs in Barcelona, Helsinki, London, and Zurich between 2007 and 2017. They measured particle and gaseous pollutants at different sites and used a statistical model to identify and quantify the contribution of the different sources of ultrafine particles.  They found that London had the highest concentration of UFP compared to other cities. The greatest concentrations of the smallest particles (called nucleation particles) when the wind was blowing from the airport in all cities. This indicates that airports are a major UFP source and that these small particles can travel many kilometres. Traffic emissions contributed the most.  So it is confirmed that Heathrow pollution – with very negative health impacts – spreads far into London, many miles away.
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Pollution from Heathrow detected in central London

People in European cities are breathing particle pollution from nearby airports as well as traffic finds new research.

3 January 2020

From King’s College London news centre

See the research paper at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016041201931832X

Image taken from the research paper showing London with Heathrow pollution

In a study published in Environment International researchers from King’s have, for the first time, measured ultrafine particles (UFP) in European cities and detected emissions from airports.

Many studies have examined and quantified the levels of larger particles (e.g.PM2.5 – <2.5μm or PM10 – <10μm), however very few have studied UFP (< 0.1 μm).

In this study, researchers identified, characterised and quantified the sources UFPs in four European cities (Barcelona, Helsinki, London, and Zurich) between 2007 and 2017. They measured particle and gaseous pollutants at different sites and used a statistical model to identify and quantify the contribution of the different sources of ultrafine particles.

They found that:

London had the highest concentration of UFP compared to other cities.

The greatest concentrations of the smallest particles (called nucleation particles) when the wind was blowing from the airport in all cities. This indicates that airports are a major UFP source and that these small particles can travel many kilometres.

Traffic emissions contributed the most in all four cities ranging from 71% – 94%.
Helsinki was the only city to demonstrate a biogenic source – when particles are formed from emissions from the forests in the region.

The most common sources for pollution particles were traffic and photonucleation for all four cities. Photonucleation is the process of new particles forming from gases in the atmosphere enhanced by the sun’s radiation.

Photonucleation was most prevalent in cities with high solar radiation, such as Barcelona but it was much less in the other cities.

No variation between seasons in London and Zurich however in Barcelona, photonucleation contributed significantly during the summer months.

Dr Ioar Rivas, Research Fellow and author of the study said: “We expected traffic emissions to be an important source of ultrafine particles in cities but we now know that airport emissions, even if located at the outskirts of the city, can travel far enough and reach population on urban areas away from the airport“.

Dr Gary Fuller, Senior Lecturer in Air Pollution Measurement added: “Cities around Europe have policies to reduce airborne particle from the traffic that should also reduce people’s exposure to ultrafine particles, but aircraft emissions are not being addressed in the same way”.

The next steps in this research are to evaluate the effects of the different sources of ultrafine particles on mortality and hospital admissions.

The research team for this project included researchers from: the University of Birmingham, Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, IDAEA-CSIC, University of Helsinki, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority, Clarkson University and King Abdulaziz University.

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/pollution-from-heathrow-detected-in-central-london

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Pollution from Heathrow planes is reaching central London, study shows

By ROSS LYDALL Health Editor  (Evening Standard)

3rd January 2020

Pollution from planes using Heathrow airport has been detected in central London, researchers revealed today.

A breakthrough study by King’s College London is the first to find that airports are a major source of ultra-fine particles that are harmful to health.

Results from air quality monitoring stations in north Kensington and in Marylebone Road — about 14 miles from the airport — were used to estimate levels of the particles in the air.

These were greatest when blown in from the airport on a westerly wind.

Ultra-fine particles are produced by fuel burning and are a subset of PM2.5 particles that are most commonly emitted from traffic brakes and tyres.

The smaller the particle, the deeper they can penetrate into the lungs. Ultra-fine particles have been linked to brain cancer.

The King’s study, in Environment International, measured emissions from four European airports — the others were Barcelona, Zurich and Helsinki — between 2007-17.

Heathrow was chosen instead of other airports serving London due to its proximity to the detectors used by the London Air Quality Network.

It had the highest concentration of ultra-fine particles compared with the three continental airports.

Traffic emissions remain the biggest source of ultra-fine particles. At airports, they occur when planes are taxiing into position, flying low and especially when taking off.

While there are EU restrictions on PM2.5 vehicle emissions, the same controls do not exist for aircraft.

Dr Ioar Rivas, author of the study, said: “We expected traffic emissions to be an important source of ultra-fine particles in cities but we now know that airport emissions, even if located at the outskirts of the city, can travel far enough and reach population in urban areas.”

Researchers said PM pollution sources needed to be “disentangled” to create policies to cut emissions. The study will now assess the impact of particles on hospital admissions and mortality.

Dr Gary Fuller, senior lecturer in air pollution measurement at King’s, said: “Cities around Europe have policies to reduce airborne particles from traffic…but aircraft emissions are not being addressed in the same way.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/pollution-from-heathrow-planes-is-reaching-central-london-study-shows-a4325546.html

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See earlier:

Communities around Sea-Tac Airport exposed to a unique mix of air pollution associated with aircraft – more ultra-fine particles are produced by aircraft than road traffic

Seattle-Tacoma Airport, USA had about 438,000 flights in 2018.  Communities under flight paths and downwind of the airport are exposed to air pollution from the aircraft. Now research from the University of Washington shows that this includes a type of ultra-fine particle pollution, less than 0.1 micron in diameter, distinctly associated with aircraft.  A 2-year study  “MOV-UP”) looked at air pollution within 10 miles of the airport, and collected air samples at numerous locations between 2018 and 2019. The researchers developed a new method to distinguish between ultra-fine particle pollution from jet traffic and pollution from other sources such as road vehicles, in the particle size and mixture of particles emitted. They found that communities under the flight paths near the airport are exposed to higher proportions of smaller-sized, ‘ultra-ultrafine’ pollution particles, between 0.01 to 0.02 microns in diameter,  and over a larger area compared to pollution particles associated with roads. The tiny particles get deep into the lungs, and can penetrate tissues around the body, potentially causing illness, including cancers. Knowing the different signature of ultra-fine particles from aviation will enable local authorities to detect the pollution from aircraft themselves.

Click here to view full story…

Air pollution nanoparticles (from road vehicles and aircraft) now linked to higher risk of brain cancer

New research has now linked air pollution nanoparticles to brain cancer. The ultra-fine particles (UFPs) are produced by fuel burning, particularly in diesel vehicles, and higher exposures significantly increase people’s chances of getting the cancer. Previous work has shown that nanoparticles can get into the brain and that they can carry carcinogenic chemicals.  Aircraft also produce nanoparticles that spread downwind of airports, and are also emitted into the atmosphere during flight – especially take-off and landing. Higher levels of the air pollution are related to slightly higher rates of brain cancer. The numbers per 100,000 are not huge, but add up when large populations are exposed to road traffic etc. Brain cancers are hard to treat and often fatal. As nanoparticles are so tiny, they can get into almost every organ. Air pollution has also been linked to other effects on the brain, including reductions in intelligence, more dementia and mental health problems in both adults and children. The WHO says air pollution is a “silent public health emergency”. Airport expansion does not help – due to road transport, plus the planes themselves, and airport vehicles.

Click here to view full story…

Research shows ultrafine particles from aircraft in the vicinity of Schiphol Airport negatively affect health

A thorough study of 191 primary school children who live near Schiphol Airport, in the Netherlands, shows that  high concentrations of ultra-fine particles from aircraft can affect health seriously. The research showed that when the wind blows in the ‘wrong’ direction children with respiratory complaints suffer more and use more medication. Complaints include shortness of breath and wheezing. These are the conclusions of new research by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), in collaboration with Utrecht University and the Academic Medical Centre (AMC). There were 3 sub-studies: a study of 191 primary school children in residential areas near Schiphol, a study of 21 healthy adults immediately adjacent to Schiphol, and a laboratory study with lung cells. Such extensive research on ultrafine particles and health has never been carried out around airports before. The findings should alarm everybody responsible for the tremendous worldwide growth of aviation.  There are no indications that the health effects of air traffic are different from those of road traffic. The study is part of a long-term study of the RIVM.  In 2020 and 2021 they will research the effects of long-term exposure to ultra-fine particles from air traffic.

Click here to view full story…

Read more »

New research shows no safe limit for PM2.5 which would hugely increase with expansion of airports, like Stansted

New research published in the British Medical Journal on 30 November has shown that airborne emissions of fine carbon particles – known as PM2.5 – can have serious health impacts even when the level of concentration is below the World Health Organisation’s guideline limits for air pollution. PM2.5 emanates especially from fuel combustion and transport sources and is one of the major issues associated with airport expansion, not only because of the additional air pollution caused by the increased number of flights but also from the additional road traffic generated by the increase in passenger numbers travelling to and from the airport.  There are links between PM2.5 and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as Parkinson’s and diabetes, and there are now others. The expansion of Stansted Airport is expected to hugely increase air pollution. Its own figures indicate the expansion to 43 mppa would lead to perhaps an extra 25% – 13.6 tonnes – of PM2.5 into the air that local residents, have to breathe.  That is wholly unacceptable, knowing the severe health impacts upon the local population.
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NEW RESEARCH SHOWS NO SAFE LIMIT FOR AIR POLLUTION

16.12.2019   (Stop Stansted Expansion)

New research published in the British Medical Journal on 30 November has shown that airborne emissions of fine carbon particles – known as PM2.5 – can have serious health impacts even when the level of concentration is below the World Health Organisation’s guideline limits for air pollution. [Note 1]

PM2.5 emanates especially from fuel combustion and transport sources and is one of the major issues associated with airport expansion, not only because of the additional air pollution caused by the increased number of flights but also from the additional road traffic generated by the increase in passenger numbers travelling to and from the airport.

The results of the research confirm previously established associations between PM2.5 and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as Parkinson’s and diabetes. [Note 2]  In addition, the study found evidence of health impacts not previously associated with PM2.5 including septicaemia, fluid and electrolyte disorders, skin infections and infections of the urinary tract.

Stansted Airport is already a major source of PM2.5 air pollution and, in connection with its current planning application to increase its permitted throughput from 35 to 43 million passengers per annum (mppa), the airport was required to provide a report on the projected PM2.5 pollution levels.  In summary this report showed as follows: [Note 3]

 

Emissions of PM2.5  (tonnes)

Actual 2016

Projected for 2028

If limited to current cap of 35mppa

If expansion to 43mppa approved

Aircraft

5.5

6.2

6.7

Other airport sources

1.6

2.3

2.5

Airport related road  traffic

3.8

3.7

4.4

Total

10.9

12.2

13.6

 

SSE health adviser, Professor Jangu Banatvala, commented: “Stansted Airport’s own figures show that if its current planning application were to be approved, the airport would be responsible for putting an annual total of 13.6 tonnes of PM2.5 into the air that we all, as local residents, have to breathe.  That’s 25% more than today, which is wholly unacceptable when this new research removes all doubt as to the connection between airborne pollution from fine carbon particles and severe health impacts upon the local population.”   

Professor Jangu Banatvala concluded:  “The paramount duty of Uttlesford District Council is to do all that it can to safeguard the health of its local residents.  In view of this new research it is inconceivable that our local council could permit any further airport expansion until such time as this can be achieved without increasing the risks to the health of the local population.”

ENDS

 

NOTES

Note 1‘The cost of air pollution to Health’, Wei Y, Wang Y, Di Q et al – BMJ, 30 November 2019.  Professor Banatvala adds: “Exposure to noise and air pollution are among environmental factors inducing a broader spectrum of disease than has hitherto been recognised.  Recent research is now unravelling the molecular mechanisms by which tissue damage is induced by such environmental factors”. The WHO guideline limits for PM2.5 are a concentration level of no more than 10 micrograms per cubic metre (annual mean) and 25 micrograms per cubic metre (24-hour mean).

Note 2: A 2016 report from the Royal College of Physicians [‘Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution’] highlighted the links between air pollution and cancer, asthma, stroke, heart disease and diabetes.  The report estimated that around 40,000 deaths a year in the UK are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution, describing it as one of the major health challenges of our day.

Note 3: Stansted Airport Environmental Statement, February 2018, Volume 1, Chapter 10, Table 10.10.

FURTHER INFORMATION AND COMMENT

 


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Experts raise new fears about killer air pollution in UK

Tougher limits on pollutants could cut dangers of heart disease, cancers and poor brain development in children

The UK’s failure to meet World Health Organisation standards limiting the amount of ultra-fine particles in the air represents a major danger to health that is only now being recognised, experts claim.

Studies published this year link the particles to cancers, lung and heart disease, adverse effects on foetal development, and poor lung and brain development in children. They are considered a key threat to health because they go deep into the lungs and then reach other organs, including the brain. But European standards allow the levels of particles in the air to be 2.5 times higher than those stipulated by the WHO.

Professor Annette Peters, director of the Institute of Epidemiology at the Helmholtz Zentrum, Munich, said Europe – and the UK – urgently needs to introduce tougher standards. She said: “Particles are a major and invisible danger to our health, especially in London and our big cities.

The US has a standard of 12 micrograms of ultra-fine particles per cubic metre, while the WHO standard is 10 micrograms.

“We [the UK and EU’s limits] are currently at 25 micrograms per cubic metre – double the US standards,” said Peters, who warned that scientific evidence confirming the threat they pose to human health “has really strengthened this year”.

“We initially had evidence of the effect on the lungs and heart, but now we also have evidence that it alters the metabolism as well as impacting the brain.”

“Colleagues of mine have been able to show that ultra-fine particles are able to reactivate the herpes virus which lies dormant among carriers.” She said urgent studies were needed to look at the impact of fine particles on cognitive development, especially in children. Studies have documented that adverse health effects are observed even at concentrations well below the recommended WHO levels.

According to a paper, written by Peters and published in the Lancet, ambient air pollution now ranks among the top 10 major risk factors for attributable death worldwide and leads to an average loss of life expectancy of approximately one year in Europe.

Peters said ultra-fine particles could carry several thousand kilometres. “In most times you don’t see or smell it, the pollution, so it’s clear, if you look to India or the far east, the pollution is very visible. Here, we have blue skies but that doesn’t mean we have truly clean air.”

Studies in London confirm wide geographical variations in the amount of fine particles in the air. While Oxford Street suffers major concentrations, nearby Hyde Park is considered far cleaner.

Professor Jon Bennett, consultant respiratory physician and chair of the British Thoracic Society’s Board, described the particles as “a real and present health danger to society”.

“It is really concerning that babies and children are particularly susceptible as air pollution can impair immune-system development in the womb and adversely affect children’s cognitive development,” he said.

A WHO report estimated that in 2016 air pollution contributed to more than half a million deaths from respiratory tract infections in children under five years of age.

“Everyone should have the right to breathe clean air,” Bennett said. “We must have a harder-hitting and better-funded national strategy that really tackles this issue across the board – including fast-tracking the delivery of more clean air zones in our most polluted cities and areas.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/14/uk-must-limit-killer-ultra-fine-air-pollutants?

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Read more »

Communities around Sea-Tac Airport exposed to a unique mix of air pollution associated with aircraft

Seattle-Tacoma Airport, USA had about 438,000 flights in 2018.  Communities under flight paths and downwind of the airport are exposed to air pollution from the aircraft. Now research from the University of Washington shows that this includes a type of ultra-fine particle pollution, less than 0.1 micron in diameter, distinctly associated with aircraft.  A 2-year study “MOV-UP“) looked at air pollution within 10 miles of the airport, and collected air samples at numerous locations between 2018 and 2019. The researchers developed a new method to distinguish between ultra-fine particle pollution from jet traffic and pollution from other sources such as road vehicles, in the particle size and mixture of particles emitted. They found that communities under the flight paths near the airport are exposed to higher proportions of smaller-sized, ‘ultra-ultrafine’ pollution particles, between 0.01 to 0.02 microns in diameter,  and over a larger area compared to pollution particles associated with roads. The tiny particles get deep into the lungs, and can penetrate tissues around the body, potentially causing illness, including cancers. Knowing the different signature of ultra-fine particles from aviation will enable local authorities to detect the pollution from aircraft themselves.

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Communities around Sea-Tac Airport exposed to a unique mix of air pollution associated with aircraft

December 3, 2019
University of Washington News
Study at  https://deohs.washington.edu/sites/default/files/Mov-Up%20Report.pdf

Sea-Tac Airport is the eighth busiest U.S. airport. In 2018, the airport served nearly 50 million passengers and saw 438,391 takeoffs and landings.

Communities underneath and downwind of jets landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are exposed to a type of ultrafine particle pollution that is distinctly associated with aircraft, according to a new University of Washington study, the first to identify the unique signature of aircraft emissions in the state of Washington.

The finding comes from the two-year Mobile ObserVations of Ultrafine Particles or “MOV-UP” study funded by the Washington State Legislature to examine the air-quality impacts of aircraft traffic on communities located within 10 miles of Sea-Tac Airport.

Researchers at the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering collected air samples at numerous locations around Sea-Tac Airport over the course of a year between 2018 and 2019.

The research team then developed a new method to distinguish between pollution from jet traffic and pollution from other sources such as roadway traffic. Ultrafine pollution particles are emitted from both sources, but the research team found key differences in the particle size and mixture of particles they emit.

The researchers then mapped each type of emission mixture to show its specific geographic footprint around the airport.

Read the full Mobile ObserVations of Ultrafine Particles or “MOV-UP” report.

“We found that communities under the flight paths near the airport are exposed to higher proportions of smaller-sized, ‘ultra-ultrafine’ pollution particles and over a larger area compared to pollution particles associated with roadways,” said Edmund Seto, co-principal investigator and associate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences in the UW School of Public Health.

Ultrafine particles are less than 0.1 micron in diameter — 700 times thinner than the width of a single human hair. The research team coined the term “ultra-ultrafine” particles to refer to the proportion of smaller ultrafine particles between 0.01 to 0.02 microns in diameter.

Although this study did not consider the health effects of exposure to roadway or aircraft-related pollution, previous studies suggest smaller pollution particles are more likely to be inhaled and to penetrate the body than larger particles.

Other studies have linked exposure to ultrafine particles to breast cancer, heart disease, prostate cancer and a variety of lung conditions. The Washington State Department of Health is currently preparing a comprehensive literature review of the potential health effects associated with ultrafine particles.

The discovery of the unique signature of aircraft pollution opens up opportunities for follow-up studies, said Michael Yost, professor and chair of the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences.

“We can now study the specific health effects of aircraft-related pollution, how different neighborhoods may be affected by it and specific interventions that could reduce human exposure to these pollutants,” said Yost, who is also a co-investigator on the study. “We hope to work with state and local policymakers as well as affected communities to pursue these questions.”

The team gathered air samples from fixed locations, including a former elementary school south of the airport and SeaTac Community Center north of the airport. Researchers also collected air samples through mobile monitors mounted on hybrid vehicles that were driven on 11 routes north and south of the airport in time periods that covered all four seasons of the year.

The researchers used data from the Federal Aviation Administration and other sources to track the number and direction of flights, their altitudes and the wind speed and direction, temperature and relative humidity at the airport.

Their analysis showed that roadway air pollution particles consist of relatively larger particle sizes and higher black carbon concentrations. These particles tend to disperse over relatively short distances downwind of major roadways such as Interstate 5 and SR 99, affecting a narrow swath of near-roadway residences and buildings.

In contrast, emissions associated with aircraft consist of the relatively smaller ultra-ultrafine particle sizes and lower black carbon concentrations. Areas exposed to higher levels of aircraft-related particles tend to be larger, meaning more people are potentially affected.

The research team coordinated closely with local governments, community groups and state and federal agencies throughout the two-year project, soliciting feedback on the study design, analysis and next steps.

Sea-Tac Airport is the eighth busiest U.S. airport. In 2018, the airport served nearly 50 million passengers and saw 438,391 takeoffs and landings.

Co-authors include Elena Austin, Jianbang Xiang and Jeffry Shirai of UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences; Tim Gould and Sukyong Yun from UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; and co-senior author Timothy Larson, a professor in both departments. This research was funded by the Washington State Legislature.

This release was written by Jolayne Houtz, director of communications for the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences


Statement from the Port of Seattle:

“We are pleased to see the UW MOV-UP Study completed and turned into the Legislature. The Port strongly supports this effort and helped fund this study which we see as critical to advancing the science needed to understand and reduce fine particulate emissions. Our Commission remains committed to reducing the emissions associated with using fossil fuels, and one way to reduce emissions is through the use of lower-carbon transportation fuels. Many of these fuels including renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel reduce ultra-fine particulate in addition to greenhouse gases, the pollution that causes global warming. For this reason, we continue to urge the Washington State Legislature to move quickly towards statewide progressive carbon policy that encourages the adoption of low-carbon transportation fuels. That kind of policy framework could generate real progress on the full-scale implementation of sustainable fuels at the state’s airports and seaports.”

Statement from the Washington State Department of Health:

“Our comprehensive literature review of the potential health effects of ultrafine particle pollution is being completed alongside the UW study. Together, these studies will provide state policymakers and communities with evidence about where and how this type of traffic-related pollution affects people and inform future steps to protect public health,” said Julie Fox, environmental epidemiologist, Washington State Department of Health. 

https://www.washington.edu/news/2019/12/03/communities-around-sea-tac-airport-exposed-to-a-unique-mix-of-air-pollution-associated-with-aircraft/

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See also:

Mobile ObserVations of Ultrafine Particles: The MOV-UP study

The Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) at the University of Washington

The Mobile ObserVations of Ultrafine Particles (MOV-UP) study analyzed the potential air quality impacts of ultrafine pollution particles from aircraft traffic on communities near and underneath Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) flight paths.

This two-year study, which ended in December 2019, was funded by the Washington State Legislature to assess ultrafine pollution particles within 10 miles of the airport in the direction of aircraft flight. The study was led by the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

UW researchers collected air samples at numerous locations around Sea-Tac Airport over the course of one year between 2018 and 2019.

They found that communities underneath and downwind of jets landing at Sea-Tac Airport are exposed to a type of ultrafine particle pollution that is distinctly associated with aircraft. The study is the first to identify the unique “signature” of aircraft emissions in Washington.

The research team developed a new method to distinguish between pollution from jet traffic and pollution from other sources such as roadway traffic. Ultrafine pollution particles are emitted from both sources, but the research team found key differences in the particle size and mixture of particles they emitted.

The team then mapped each type of emission mixture to show its specific geographic footprint around the airport.

Although this study did not consider the health effects of exposure to roadway or aircraft-related pollution, other studies have linked exposure to ultrafine particles to breast cancer, heart disease, prostate cancer and a variety of lung conditions.

What’s next

We identified three knowledge gaps in the process of analyzing results from this study. These were prioritized as follows by the Study Advisory Board:

Gap 1: What are the health effects of aircraft ultrafine particles?

The potential health effects from aircraft-related particle exposure still need major research. Questions include:

  • What are the chemical differences between ultrafine particles from roadway traffic and aircraft sources?
  • Are short-term health responses to roadway traffic and aircraft particles different? We could conduct a study of short-term health impacts on sensitive populations, such as pregnant women,
  • children, older adults or individuals with pre-existing diseases such as asthma, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Are there long-term health impacts of exposure to traffic and aircraft ultrafine particles?

Gap 2: What can we do to reduce human exposures to ultrafine particles?

Our study suggests that some neighborhoods may have more exposure to ultrafine particles than others due to proximity to roadway traffic and/or overlap with the plumes from aircraft emissions. Questions include:

  • How much ultrafine particle pollution infiltrates indoor spaces, particularly schools, daycares, elder care facilities and medical centers where it could potentially expose vulnerable populations?
  • What interventions are effective in reducing exposures in these settings? We could design a study that considers the effectiveness of HEPA filtration, whether noise mitigations might alter infiltration or whether LEED buildings or HVAC choices could alter infiltration.

Gap 3: How are exposures to ultrafine particles changing over time?

Roadway and aircraft traffic have changed in volume, travel patterns and per-unit emissions over time and will likely continue to change. Questions include: Are there important daily, seasonal and time trends in exposures? We could design a study to systematically monitor and model the impacts of changing roadway and aircraft traffic on ultrafine particle exposures.

Read the full report about the study’s methodology and findings: Download now

About the partners

Representatives from government agencies, cities and community organisations served on an external Study Advisory Board to provide feedback on the study design, methods and findings. The board included representatives from the following organisations:

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
US EPA Region X
Washington State Department of Ecology
Public Health—Seattle & King County
Port of Seattle
FAA Northwest Mountain Region
Washington State Department of Health
Quiet and Healthy Skies Task Force
Beacon Hill CHAC
Washington State Department of Commerce
Cities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila
Offices of Representatives Tina Orwall and Mike Pellicciotti, Washington State House of Representatives
Office of US Congressman Adam Smith
Office of US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

Contact us

Edmund Seto, PhD, Principal Investigator and Associate Professor, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS). eseto@uw.edu

Timothy Larson, PhD, Principal Investigator and Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and DEOHS. tlarson@uw.edu

Elena Austin, ScD, Research Scientist, DEOHS. elaustin@uw.edu

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https://deohs.washington.edu/mov-up

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Local campaigners, AXO, encourage local residents to respond to the Southampton airport expansion consultation

There is a planning application consultation by Southampton Airport, that closes on 23rd December. The airport has published plans for a 164-metre runway extension.  The planning application, lodged with Eastleigh Borough Council, is the first phase of its growth set out in its “masterplan” which it charmingly calls (oxymoron) “A Vision For Sustainable Growth.”  The application is likely to be considered by the council on 21st January 2020.  Local opposition group, AXO (Airport Expansion Opposition) Southampton is urging people to read the application, and submit their comments. There are serious concerns about road congestion, and increases in air pollution – as well as the inevitable increase in noise. The longer runway would mean larger aircraft could use it. AXO warns that the application should not be decided before the CAA’s Airspace Change consultation process is completed, as this may change significantly the impact on residents under or near the flight path. It also should not be decided until the government has finalised its Aviation Strategy, for all UK aviation, expected in early-mid 2020, when it has taken into account the new legal situation for aviation carbon emissions, with a net-zero target for 2050.

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  • Airport expansion needs to be considered on a regional/national level rather than at local level – expansion of Heathrow would draw custom away from regional airports, and the impact of expansion at other regional airports will impact on passenger flows through Southampton Airport
  • The expansion would lead to increased traffic generation with associated congestion and air pollution as well as air pollution from the flights themselves. The airport makes some very optimistic assumptions about its ability to increase use of public transport as a means of getting to the airport. In reality, rail cannot take much increase so it is likely the majority of traffic arriving at the airport will be on our already congested roads. The policy of Eastleigh BC to prioritise the Chickenhall Road link and effectively dismiss the ‘Eastleigh Railway Chord’ [to link the airport to Portsmouth and the East with greater ease] makes a mockery of the airport MD’s advertising of its rail links.
  • There will be increased noise for those under the flight path. At present over 5600 local people experience noise levels of 55dB and above – this is twice the loudness of 45dB recommended by the World Health Organisation. The number of people affected will increase with airport expansion.
  • Decision on this application should be delayed until after the Airspace Change consultation process is completed, as this may change significantly the impact on residents under or near the flight path.
  • Eastleigh Borough Council has declared a climate and environmental emergency. Airport expansion will lead to increased carbon dioxide emissions and is simply incompatible with addressing this climate emergency. The Airport’s own estimate is that carbon emissions will rise on average by 350,000 tonnes per year. For comparison, homes, industry and road traffic in the entire Borough of Eastleigh is responsible for 610,000t per year. No amount of presumed economic benefit can justify this level of increase in carbon emissions. There is no way of offsetting this level of emissions, and the airport is proposing mitigation for only the (already small) carbon emissions during the construction phase and for its own operations (current plans are for only 6,000 tonne reduction.
  • Neil Garwood (airport MD) has stated that only 2% of CO2 emissions were due to aviation. This is an absolute minimum figure that applies to global emissions. The UK government itself acknowledges that the current UK aviation emissions are 7% and set to go to 25% by 2050 – when aviation CO2 emissions are likely to be the single greatest offender in the UK. You should know this, because it has been reported extensively on the BBC – as have the recommendations by Lord Deben (the Chair of the Government Committee on Climate Change) that everyone’s appetite for air travel should be curbed and that airport expansion needs to be curtailed.
  • The expansion would lead to increased traffic generation with associated congestion and air pollution as well as air pollution from the flights themselves. The airport makes some very optimistic assumptions about its ability to increase use of public transport as a means of getting to the airport. In reality, rail cannot take much increase so it is likely the majority of traffic arriving at the airport will be on our already congested roads. The policy of Eastleigh BC to prioritise the Chickenhall Road link and effectively dismiss the ‘Eastleigh Railway Chord’ [to link the airport to Portsmouth and the East with greater ease] makes a mockery of the airport MD’s advertising of its rail links.
  • The economic benefits are overstated. The Airport promises 500 new jobs on the site, yet its last masterplan in 2004 promised an extra 391 jobs by 2015 – in fact there were 54 fewer. Its own figures show that nearly 80% of passengers are local people, so the effect on tourism from incoming visitors is limited. The percentage of flights taken for business has fallen. Moreover, in a time of climate emergency we should not be basing our economy on expansion of a sector that needs to be reduced.
  • Aviation expansion is a national issue, as we have a climate. Airport expansion therefore needs to be considered on a regional/national level rather than at local level for example, expansion of Heathrow would draw custom away from regional airports, and the impact of expansion at other regional airports will impact on passenger flows through Southampton Airport. These decisions should not be made locally on a case by case basis by the local authority that each airport happens to be located in, but should be decided nationally.
  • Decision on this application should be delayed until after the Airspace Change consultation process is completed, as this may change significantly the impact on residents under or near the flight path.

For more details from AXO, see

https://axosouthampton.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/reasons-for-objection-eastleigh/

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AXO say:

Why we’re campaigning

Whilst accepting the need for a small regional airport at Southampton, we acknowledge that the Climate Crisis means we must all fly less.


What can you do?

1) Object to Eastleigh Council

The planning application for airport expansion has been submitted [application number F/19/86707] (If this link doesn’t work you enter the number on the planning register ‘simple search’ box).

The consultation period ends on the 23/12/19 so time for reading the application, the associated documents (the devil is in the detail) and commenting is limited. The application is likely to be considered by the Eastleigh Local Area Committee (ELAC) at its meeting on 21st January 2020 (7pm).

Don’t have time to read the planning application? We have! Read our summary of concerns that you may wish to use in your objection.

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See earlier:

Southampton airport submits runway extension plans

Southampton airport has published plans for a 164-metre extension to its runway.

The planning application, lodged with Eastleigh Borough Council, is the first phase of growth outlined in the airport’s masterplan – recently re-named A Vision For Sustainable Growth.

The airport says extending the runway by 164 metres within its existing boundaries will allow it to increase passenger numbers from two to three million per year, “significantly” increase route choices and allow aircraft to reach further-afield destinations.

It would bring destinations in Scandinavia, the Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe within reach, Southampton airport said.

Managing director Neil Garwood said: “Our plans will make the airport resilient to changes in the aviation market as the longer runway permits year-round viability for an increased number of airlines.

“The longer runway will enable the airport to increase its financial contribution from £160 million to £400 million per year, create over 500 new jobs, and bring huge gains in connectivity and choice for our region.

“Our development plans have been carefully prepared by a project team including ecologists and technical experts, sensitive to the needs of the local community, including comprehensive noise and air quality management plans.

“The airport has nearly four million people in its catchment area, and we firmly believe enabling them to fly from their local airport and taking tens of thousands of needless car journeys off of our already congested roads is the most sustainable way to fly.

“In construction terms, the runway extension is relatively small, but the benefit it will make to our region’s connectivity is significant.”

Southampton airport has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, for “emissions within the airport’s control” and has owed to invest in the latest technology to maximise the use of sustainable power sources and developments such as electric aircraft.

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/350446/southampton-airport-submits-runway-extension-plans

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Almost 2,000 people sign petition against Southampton Airport expansion plans

About 1,900 people have signed a petition opposing the expansion of Southampton Airport. The local opposition campaign, Airport eXpansion Opposition (AXO), will be asking Southampton Councillors not to back plans to extend the airport’s runway by 164 metres.  AXO members will present the petition to councillors at a full council meeting. The plans to extend the runway and increase the number of flights will increase carbon emissions, and are contrary to the council’s plans to cut CO2 locally.  The airport will submit its expansion planning application to Eastleigh Borough Council. AXO said that if Southampton is serious about declaring a climate emergency, the airport expansion should not be permitted. Airports and their backers try to use the argument that it is better for people to fly (as they assume people will continue to do, in growing numbers….) from a local airport, citing the carbon emissions of their trip to/from another larger airport. Those emissions are generally small compared to those of the flight itself. And the aim of having a local airport is to get people to fly more, as it is more convenient.  Net effect – more flights, more carbon. And more noise and local impacts around the airport.

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Local opposition growing to expansion plans by Southampton airport

A group within Southampton Friends of the Earth has set up a campaign to oppose Southampton Airport expansion. Despite the Government’s recent commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there are many airport expansion applications across the UK. This expansion cannot enable the aviation sector to meet even its current, easy, carbon target – let alone the much more stringent one required for a zero-carbon Britain by 2050. The airport will probably submit its planning application to extend the runway by 170 metres to Eastleigh Borough Council in the next few weeks. The scoping report and Master Plan have received approval in principle from Southampton City Council. Twyford Parish Council has objected, due to a proposed increase of flights over the village. Eastleigh Greens are likely to be objecting as well.  Friends of the Earth Southampton are currently putting together a petition to Southampton City Council to ask them to re-think their support for airport expansion, given that the Government is asking for net zero carbon by 2050. Campaigners started a group here to oppose the proposed expansion but it has not got a name yet. People interested can get in touch via the local FoE group foesoton@gmail.com

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Heathrow growth – election briefing (one page) from the No 3rd Runway Coalition – check your candidates’ views

The No 3rd Runway Coalition has put together a simple one-page briefing on Heathrow and its proposed new runway, to help people quiz their parliamentary candidates, and check they know the real facts. The Coalition says: “Supporting Heathrow Expansion comes at the expense of the regions and to the UK as a whole.  Here’ s why it should be opposed.” The briefing deals with the Economic costs, the carbon implications, noise, air pollution, transport impacts, and connectivity. Lots of key points, including on economics:  ” The Government’ s own economic analysis found that once all negative impacts are monetised, a third runway could bring net NEGATIVE economic benefits to the UK overall in the long term.  There is no explicit job model and no clear job creation analysis included in the Airports National Policy Statement. Many of the few jobs created will be low-skilled and short term.  The costs of the project are now expected to rise to over £31bn, increasing Heathrow’s debt from £11bn (2014) to over £40bn in 2028. This could still increase further.” On noise: “Data from the CAA reveals that 2.2 MILLION people would experience an increase in noise from an expanded Heathrow.”

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GENERAL ELECTION 2019 BRIEFING – Heathrow 3rd runway

Supporting Heathrow Expansion comes at the expense of the regions and to the UK as a whole.  Here’ s why it should be opposed.

ECONOMIC COSTS

  • The Government’ s own economic analysis found that once all negative impacts are monetised, a third runway could bring net NEGATIVE economic benefits to the UK overall in the long term.
  • There is no explicit job model and no clear job creation analysis included in the Airports National Policy Statement. Many of the few jobs created will be low-skilled and short term.
  • The costs of the project are now expected to rise to over £31bn, increasing Heathrow’s debt from £11bn (2014) to over £40bn in 2028. This could still increase further.

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Heathrow is already the biggest single source of carbon emissions in the UK and expansion will add an extra 8-9 megatonnes of CO2 per year. Thus, a third runway is not compatible with the UK’ s legally binding climate targets.
  • The Committee on Climate Change has advised the Government to limit growth in passenger demand to 25% between now and 2050. The Government currently anticipates twice this level of passenger growth.
  • While the CCC model assumes 31 megatonnes of CO2 by 2050 from aviation, the Government’ s forecasts are that with Heathrow expansion, UK aviation emissions would be as high as 40 megatonnes annually by 2050.
  • Consequently, growth would need to be curbed at all other UK airports if a third runway is built in order for the UK not to breach its carbon targets.

AIR POLLUTION

  • The Government accepts Heathrow expansion would have a “ significant negative ” effect on Air Quality.
  • Government has provided no evidence to show how Heathrow can expand and comply with legal limits and there are currently no enforcement methods should Heathrow not meet legal requirements.
  • The area around Heathrow is the second major hot spot for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in London, with breaches of legal limits having been recorded close to the airport for many years.

NOISE

  • Expansion would result in an additional 285,000 flights each year or over 700 extra flights per day.
  • Data from the Civil Aviation Authority reveals that 2.2 MILLION people experience an increase in noise from an expanded Heathrow.
  • Transport Select Committee concluded that 323,684 people will be newly affected by noise from Heathrow.
  • Hundreds of thousands of school children across the South East are already exposed to aircraft noise above 54 decibels, the sound level threshold which has a negative effect on children ’ s behaviour, memory and learning.

TRANSPORT IMPACTS

  • Expansion would result in a total of 175,000 additional daily trips on local transport networks.
  • Heathrow has to increase the proportion of passengers accessing the airport by public transport from 40% today to 50% in 2030 and 55% in 2040. However, it has only increased this figure by 1% since 2009.
  • It is unclear what the cost to the taxpayer of the road and rail infrastructure will be. Estimates of these are up to £18bn, which could easily overrun. Heathrow has only committed to contributing £1bn.

CONNECTIVITY

  • Regional Airports will lose 17 million passengers by 2050 if Heathrow expands.
  • Transport Select Committee found that expansion at Heathrow would result in 170,000 fewer flights at regional airports by 2050.
  • The UK Government currently funds three Public Service Obligations (PSOs) into London airports.
  • The total annual subsidy in 2017 for PSO’ s was £10,564,194. The average annual cost of existing PSOs in 2017 was £480,191. 50% of this cost is met by local authorities.

 

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300th Frankfurt Monday demo against aircraft noise – 1,000 people -.  “Only when no one comes, is it over!”

Back in October 2011 the Frankfurt airport 3rd runway opened. It was greeted with huge anger, because residents had not been informed how much new noise there would be, and that there would be noise where there previously was none. Huge protests started on Monday evenings (airports are public property in Germany, so protests can happen). These carried on with often as many as 1,000 people each week. People were devastated by the noise battering they were being subjected to. Now, 8 years later, the protesters have had their 300th protest, again with perhaps almost 1,000 people present. They say they will not give up, until there are no more protesters. “Only when no one comes, is it over.” Their complaints have not been addressed, about noise or particulate air pollution, or the health issues people are suffering – including depression. The airport is continuing to expand, with a new terminal. Its opponents now hope the increasing awareness of carbon emissions from aviation, with campaigns like Fridays for Future, will help put pressure on Frankfurt airport. There is a new campaign against domestic flights. 
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Slightly odd Google Translate version of this German story:

300th Frankfurt Monday demonstration against aircraft noise.  “Only when no one comes, it is over!”

11.11.19

“Deutschland fliegt nicht” means  “Germany does not fly”

Giving up is out of the question for the aircraft noise opponents: About eight years after the first protest, their 300th Monday demonstration took place at Frankfurt Airport. There are plenty of unfulfilled demands.

The participants would like to have spared the anniversary: Monday, people are coming to the Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport with posters for about eight years. They protest against the aircraft noise, ultrafine dust and the further expansion of the airport. Now the aircraft noise opponents demonstrated for the 300th time. Around 550 people counted the police. Thomas Scheffler, spokesman for the Alliance of Citizens’ Initiatives (BBI), spoke of more than 1,000 participants.

Frankfurt Airport is located in the center of the Rhine-Main conurbation, with hundreds of aircraft taking off and landing daily. This is felt by many people in the surrounding area whose houses are located in particular in the entry lanes. The circle of those concerned extends far beyond Frankfurt and Offenbach out to the neighboring Rhineland-Palatinate around Mainz. From there, cabaret artist Lars Reichow traveled to the demo on Monday evening and addressed the participants.

Demo was already bigger

At the end of 2011, when the new northwest runway went into operation, resistance had “increased explosively,” says Scheffler. At times even several thousand people came to the demos. Then it was a little quieter. The recently started construction of Terminal 3 caused new displeasure , the opponents fear thereby a further increase of the aircraft noise.

Lately, according to Scheffler, around 250 people have regularly come to the airport for the Monday demonstration. The demonstrators outraged because the new runway had led to an even greater aircraft noise. Not only the ultrafine dust endangers the health , but also the noise. He could cause cardiovascular problems and even depression.

More than a demand

For years, the BBI has called for a stop to the expansion of the airport and an extension of the no-fly ban. Currently, this is between 23.00 and 5.00 clock, which was then set in the construction of the Northwest runway. In addition, the Alliance wants the flight movements to be reduced every year and the Northwest runway to be shut down. The aircraft noise opponents are now hoping for an upswing through the climate debate. A new action, which was presented in the evening, is aimed at short-haul flights.

The initiators of the “Germany-flies-not” campaign are calling on people to refrain from private and professional domestic flights during the week from 10 to 16 February 2020. A photo campaign in Terminal 1 is planned – on a “do-nothing-do” sofa. A photo will be displayed on one of the world’s largest screens in Times Square, New York. Afterwards, the sofa, which is over two meters wide, travels through Germany. At the beginning of December there will be a sofa concert at Frankfurt Airport.

Minister is impressed

The operator of the Frankfurt airport does not disturb actions like these. “We take our responsibility for passive and active noise control in the vicinity of the airport very seriously,” said a Fraport spokesman. Hesse Transport Minister Tarek Al-Wazir (Greens) is impressed by the persistent commitment of the activists. “We’re ultimately pursuing the same goal,” he said. Hesse was able to do a lot within its capabilities – for example, with the seven-hour noise break, during which individual railways are temporarily not used, thus temporarily relieving neighboring municipalities of noise or the upper limit of noise.

For critics like Scheffler that’s not enough. The years of resistance had not been in vain, even if the construction of the new terminal, for instance, was a shadow over Monday’s demos. The most important success was that the subject of aircraft noise and particulate matter pollution is firmly anchored in public discourse today. And climate change movements such as “Fridays for Future” rekindled the debate surrounding the effects of air traffic. And the Monday demos? “Only when no one comes, it’s over.”

https://www.hessenschau.de/wirtschaft/fluglaermgegner-geben-nicht-auf-die-300-frankfurter-montagsdemo,fluglaerm-demo-frankfurt-100.html

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Video:

https://vimeo.com/374703530/4ab1c50783  video of part of the protest.

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There was also the launch of the “Germany does not fly” …”Deutschland fliegt nicht” campaign

 

DEMONSTRATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

Germany does not fly?

Photo: © Gegenwind 2011 Rhein-Main eV / PR Newswire New York

Photo: © Gegenwind 2011 Rhein-Main eV / PR Newswire New York
With the new campaign “Germany does not fly”, a nationwide campaign to waive domestic flights will be launched in February 2020. Campaign start is already next Monday at the Frankfurt airport.

“Germany Grounded”, freely translated “Germany does not fly”, “Deutschland fliegt nicht” was the message that flickered in New York’s Times Square on October 31 in big letters on the Reuters scoreboard and was seen by thousands of people in the world metropolis. This was the highly ambitious starting signal for the initiative launched by aviation noise opponents from the Rhine-Main area “Germany is not flying”, which will cause a sensation nationwide from February 2020. The aim of the campaign is to get as many people as possible to refrain from flying.

At least since the world-wide Fridays for Future protests, a debate about travel behaviour in Germany has flared up. Frequent flying is becoming more and more in the focus, because air travel damages the climate much more than bus or train travel. Although only about ten percent of the earth’s population has access to the luxury of flying, it accounts for five percent of global CO2 emissions. At nitrogen and water vapour emissions, the proportion is even higher. Germany’s largest airport also plays an important role: it handles 35 percent of domestic flights. Overall, Frankfurt Airport is one of the 15 largest airports in the world, transporting around 70 million passengers a year. Before the construction of Terminal 3 began, the last big step towards the airport extension was the opening of the Northwest Runway in 2011.

He also called the initiators of the campaign “Germany does not fly” on the plan, eight years ago the non-profit associations Stop-Fluglärm.de, headwind 2011 Rhein-Main and the initiative climate, environmental and noise protection in aviation founded and since then demonstrating with great perseverance on Monday evenings at Frankfurt Airport. After demonstrating 6,000 participants on 4 February 2012, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) tested to what extent higher departure angles for noise avoidance are possible and made an adjustment from 3 to 3.2 degrees.

Next Monday the 11.11. the aviation noise opponents propose a new chapter. During the 300th Monday demonstration in Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport, as part of the “Germany does not fly” “Deutschland fliegt nicht”  campaign, flying people are to be convinced that they will be able to forego their private and business domestic flights at the latest in the action week in February.

Furthermore, it will be presented on Monday evening “when, where and how the action will reach Germany’s airports and cities by February 2020,” said Rolf Fritsch von Gegenwind 2011. In order to generate as much attention as possible, not only companies, associations, institutions and politics but also prominent “opinion leaders” should be convinced.

Thus television presenter Joko Winterscheidt and former Olympic champion Britta Steffen have publicly commented on their flight renouncement. On 11.11. The Monday demo also receives support from cabaret artist Lars Reichow, whose performance rounds off the program.

Unlike, for example, Extinction Rebellion, which was planning to block the airspace at Heathrow Airport in London with a drone blockade, [it never happened] the aviation noise activists resort to more lenient persuasive methods: “Our appeal is directed to human reason, it should encourage thought and help “Habits change,” it says in the call.

“Flying sustainably does not mean flying,” says Hans-Peter Huppert von Gegenwind in 2011, and sees himself strengthened in Chinese philosophy: “Since Confucius, “do-nothing-together “has been a strong, non-partisan and well-tested instrument.” the “Do-Nothing-together” sofa will be revealed on which the first non-fliers will be presented. This will be photographed in January 2020, among others, before the Chancellery. The initiators are expressing their disappointment at the (not yet) made changes by the politicians. Their concept: putting responsibility in the hands of individuals rather than waiting for prohibitions, ordinances and laws.

>> Official campaign start, 11.11., Frankfurt Airport, Terminal 1, from 18 o’clock Demonstration, from 18.15 Performance cabaret artist Lars Reichow, 18.40 Presentation of the campaign and online-circuit of www.deutschland-fliegt-nicht.de

https://www.journal-frankfurt.de/journal_news/Panorama-2/Demonstration-gegen-den-Klimawandel-Deutschland-fliegt-nicht-34883.html
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See earlier:

The 200th Frankfurt airport Monday Demo (Montagsdemo) against the noise will be on 30th January

The 4th runway at Frankfurt was opened in October 2011. Due to re-alignment of flight paths, with thousands of people either newly overflown, or with more flights than before, there was uproar. The airport had not felt it necessary to warn people, or consult about the noise. Several thousand people started to congregate in the airport terminal every Monday evening, for a protest demo. (The airport buildings are public property, so the airport cannot prevent people gathering.). The 100th Monday demo was on 20th May 2014, when a group from the UK attended. Now the 200th Monday demo will take place on Monday 30th January, and a large crowd is expected. Politicians from the local area and from the region, as well as for Berlin, will be attending. The demands of the protesters are ultimately that the runway is closed down (though that is an ambitious, or unrealistic hope….) but they want no night flights from 10pm to 6am, no further airport expansion, and no 3rd terminal. Work to build the 3rd terminal started in October 2015, and the airport hopes it will open (first phase) in 2022. It is an astonishing achievement that Frankfurt residents have organised 200 Monday protests, all attended by many hundreds of people – sometimes several thousand. The demos are possible because people are so upset and angry about the noise burden that has been inflicted on them, reducing their quality of life.

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The 3rd terminal

In 2009, the German government decided to create third terminals for both Frankfurt Airport and Munich Airport, in order to handle expected passenger flows of 90 million in Frankfurt by 2020 and 50 million in Munich by 2017.

The new terminal is scheduled to be built by Fraport, south of the existing terminals on the grounds of the former Rhein-Main Air Base. The new Terminal 3 is to accommodate up to 25 million passengers and will feature 75 new aircraft positions when completely constructed. An extension of the SkyLine people mover system is planned to connect the new terminal to Terminals 1 and 2 and the airport train stations.

In August 2014, the city of Frankfurt granted building permission for the first phase of Terminal 3. The groundbreaking for the new Terminal took place on 5 October 2015. Its first phase, consisting of the main building and two of the planned four piers, is planned to open by 2022 and will be able to handle 15 million additional passengers per year. Total costs are estimated at €3 billion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_Airport#The_new_main_terminal


Residents around Frankfurt hold their 150th huge Monday evening protest against aircraft noise

On Monday 28th September, the 150th Monday evening protest against aircraft noise, due to the new runway, took place at Frankfurt airport. The new 4th runway was opened in October 2011, to the north west of the airport, and caused not only new flight paths but changes to existing flight paths. People had not been expecting the noise problem to be so bad. As soon as the runway opened, residents starting protesting against the noise – that was stopping them sleeping, reducing their quality of life, preventing them enjoying relaxing outside under flight paths, and reducing the prices of their homes. They started protests in the airport Terminal 1 (almost) every Monday evening. These are attended by between about 600 and 3,000 people. That is an astonishing achievement, and manifestation of real anger and determination by the thousands affected by plane noise. They are concerned now that the protests are seen to be becoming routine, and there is some appetite for more radical action, especially now that work is due to start very soon on a deeply opposed 3rd airport terminal. The style of protesting may perhaps now change. In German airport buildings are public property, so protesters are entitled to congregate in the terminal.

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