Campaigners call for temporarily moratorium on airport expansion until there is new UK policy on aviation carbon

There is currently no UK government policy on aviation carbon emissions, or airport expansion policy across the country. While the Committee on Climate Change says there should be no NET increase in airport capacity, it is unclear how this is to work. Meanwhile many airports are trying to push through expansion plans, to get them approved by local authorities as soon as possible. In the absence of proper UK policy, local decision are just being made by local councils, with no over-arching big picture logic.  The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) is asking for a temporary moratorium on airport expansion plan decisions. Cait Hewitt of AEF said local airport applications show “the climate impact of airport expansion is not something that can be easily determined at a local level. The government really needs to get its act together in terms of setting out how the aviation sector in the UK is going to play its part in delivering net zero … We would support a moratorium on airport expansions until the government has figured out what its policy is on aviation and net zero.”  AEF research showed that if all expansion plans put forward by UK airports were to proceed, it would cause an additional 9 MtCO2 to be emitted each year by 2050.
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Government urged to halt regional airport expansion after Southampton given green light to extend runway

UK’s climate advisers say there should be no new net airport expansion if country is to meet net-zero 2050 target

Bt Daisy Dunne, Climate Correspondent (The Independent)   @daisydunnesci

12.4.2021

UK’s climate advisers have said there should be no new net airport expansion if the country is to meet its target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050

Campaigners have called for regional airport expansion to be suspended after Southampton was given the green light to extend its runway in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The decision to expand Southampton Airport’s runway was made by Eastleigh Borough Council following 19 hours of fraught deliberations.

Proponents said the expansion would create 1,000 jobs and “boost the local economy”, but climate scientists and campaigners have warned that further regional airport expansion could threaten efforts to reach the country’s goal of hitting net-zero emissions by 2050.

The decision on Southampton’s runway came just days after the government delayed plans for a major extension to Leeds Bradford Airport. The government is also currently considering whether to allow expansions to Heathrow and Manston airports.

Cait Hewitt, deputy director of the Aviation Environment Federation, an NGO campaigning on the impacts of air travel, told The Independent: “We’re seeing lots of applications for airport expansion at the moment despite the fact the industry has taken a hammering from the coronavirus pandemic.

“What these plans show is that the climate impact of airport expansion is not something that can be easily determined at a local level. The government really needs to get its act together in terms of setting out how the aviation sector in the UK is going to play its part in delivering net zero.”

At present, local authorities have been left to make decisions on individual airport expansion projects without any guidance on how to consider the cumulative impact on emissions that could occur if many airports decide to expand, she said.

Analysis by AEF found that, if all expansion plans put forward by UK airports were to proceed, it would cause an additional 9 million tons of CO2 to be emitted each year by 2050.

In a landmark report released in December, the UK’s climate advisers said there should be no new net airport expansion if the country is to meet its target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

AEF is calling for the government to bring in a temporary suspension on regional airport expansion until it can set out a plan for how it intends to address emissions from aviation.

“We would support a moratorium on airport expansions until the government has figured out what its policy is on aviation and net zero,” she said.

“When it comes to aviation, the government likes to talk about new technologies and new funding initiatives. But the fundamental question of how you can make aviation fit with net zero plans is one they really need to face up to this year.”

Before the pandemic, aviation accounted for about 3 per cent of global CO2 emissions – and some 7 per cent of the UK’s emissions.

Flying is a particularly “carbon intensive” form of transport for two main reasons. First, the burning of jet fuel causes the release of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2. Second, aircraft also produce other climate-warming substances, such as water vapour, soot and nitrogen oxides.

Eastleigh Borough Council’s decision to allow an extension to Southampton Airport came on the same day that lawmakers in France voted to approve a ban on domestic flights on routes that could be completed by train in two and a half hours.

Greenpeace UK’s head of climate, Kate Blagojevic, called for the government to intervene in the decision to allow expansion at Southampton Airport.

“Now that Eastleigh Borough Council has decided to approve this runway expansion – the climate-wrecking consequences of which are of international significance – the government must make a swift and decisive decision to stop the plans,” she said.

“No dithering, no delays. We need a coherent strategy to reduce aviation emissions, which is compatible with our international obligations.

“We’re just months away from hosting pivotal global climate talks, yet eyebrows are already being raised at many of the government’s bewildering policy decisions on climate action recently. Our climate credibility, essential for effectively leading these critical talks, is clearly at stake. The government must claw back some dignity by making the correct decision from the off.”

The Independent approached a government spokesperson for comment.

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/southampton-airport-expansion-approval-b1830148.html?r=84341

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See AEF website at 

https://www.aef.org.uk/campaigns/challenging-airport-expansion/ 

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See earlier:

Southampton Airport runway extension plans approved by Eastleigh Council

Eastleigh Borough Council has voted (finally at 2.15am!) to agree to allow Southampton Airport to extend its runway by 164 metres. This will lead to larger planes using the airport, and thus flights to more distant destinations, more passengers and higher carbon emissions. 22 councillors voted in favour of the proposals; 13 councillors voted against the plans and 1 abstained. This followed 19 hours of debate. Opponents have fought against the plans not only due to the carbon emissions, but also the extra noise for surrounding areas, and air pollution.  The standard justification for these expansions are local economic benefit, and more jobs – even though the net impact is to encourage more local people to fly abroad on holiday, spending their holiday money there.  It is likely that the number of people affected by noise would go from 11,450 in 2020 to 46,050 in 2033, if the expansion happens.  Officers hoped that increased home noise insulation would help, but that has no impact if windows are open, or when outdoors. There are claims of “1,000 new jobs” – based on experience at other airports, that is very unlikely indeed. The CCC advice is that there should be no net airport expansion; so if one expands, another should contract.  Likely?

Click here to view full story…

Climate campaigners call for halt to regional UK airports expansion, to avoid aviation CO2 growth

The Aviation Environment Federation says the UK government must intervene to stop the planned expansion of a number of small airports around the country if it is to meet legally binding environmental targets and avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Seven regional airports have devised plans to expand their operations, despite fierce opposition from climate scientists and local people, who argue the proposals are incompatible with UK efforts to address the climate and ecological crisis.  The decision on whether to allow a new terminal at Leeds Bradford has been delayed. The AEF says the government must go further and intervene to halt the other schemes which, taken together, would release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The expansions are against the recommendations fo the government’s climate advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, who say there should be no net airport expansion.  ie. if one expands, another has to contract (there are no volunteers).  The time is well overdue for government take a proper strategic overview of the climate impact of airport expansion proposals rather than leave it up to individual local authorities. There needs to be proper policy for aviation carbon, which is sadly lacking.

Click here to view full story…

Plans for expansion of Leeds Bradford airport put on hold – after government direction – giving time for a decision to “call in”

The government has issued a direction to Leeds City Council, preventing councillors from granting planning permission for Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) expansion, without special authorisation. This means the expansion of LBA is now on hold.  The direction preventing councillors from granting planning permission – set out in section 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 – will give further time to Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, (MHCLG) to consider whether to formally “call in” the planning application for a public inquiry. The plans to build a new terminal building on the green belt had been given conditional approval by Leeds City Council in February, despite widespread opposition from local MPs, residents and environmental groups. Campaigners argued the expansion would make a mockery of efforts to tackle the climate crisis and undermine the government’s credibility ahead of a key climate conference later this year. The issue is of more than local importance, and a full public inquiry – chaired by a planning inspector, or lawyer – would mean all the evidence being properly considered. The inquiry would then make its recommendation to Robert Jenrick, to make the final decision.

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow owners divided about plan to raise £2.8bn by higher charges (due to Covid losses)

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Heathrow risks boardroom split over plan to raise £2.8bn

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, which owns the country’s airline, is also one of Heathrow’s biggest investors

Heathrow is facing the spectre of a divided boardroom over its plan to raise billions of pounds from airlines and customers by increasing airport prices.

State-backed Qatar Airways, whose owner is also Heathrow’s second-biggest shareholder, said Heathrow’s plans to recoup £2.8bn is “unreasonable, not in the consumer interest and should be rejected”.

The airline’s boss, Akbar Al Baker, is a representative for the state of Qatar on Heathrow’s board of directors. Heathrow said that the airline itself is not one of its shareholders.

The airport has been hit hard by the pandemic with travel restrictions crippling its finances. However, its bosses have insisted that it holds sufficient cash reserves to see it through the rest of the year despite passenger numbers falling to levels last seen in the 1960s.

Nonetheless, Heathrow claims it is entitled to recoup losses suffered because of the pandemic, and wants to adjust a complex regulatory framework accordingly. The demands have been rejected by the aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, but are subject to an industry consultation. Heathrow has threatened legal action if the watchdog does not back down.

Industry sources said that the CAA, led by Richard Moriarty, met to finalise their decision on the matter in the middle of last week. An announcement is expected soon.

Qatar Airways said: “Granting an increase now, will create the perception that the CAA is allowing HAL [Heathrow] to unfairly shift the risk created by the pandemic on to the consumer.”

A spokesman for Heathrow said: “The [regulatory] adjustment that we’ve proposed lowers prices for consumers – without it, passengers will pay more and get less when travelling through the airport.

“The devastating impacts of Covid-19 could never have been imagined. We’re simply asking the CAA to fulfil its duties and do the same. As evidenced by the submission, Qatar Airways is not a Heathrow shareholder.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/04/10/heathrow-risks-boardroom-split-plan-raise-28bn/

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See earlier:

Heathrow adding a new £8.90 per passenger pandemic tax from April

Heathrow has added a new charge on all outbound flights from April.  It will charge £8.90 extra in what the airport is calling a United Kingdom Exceptional Regulatory Charge. It may only last for a year, and Heathrow says the CAA has approved it.  Other major UK airports have said they will not be implementing a similar fee. Paul McGuinness, chair of the No Third Runway Coalition, criticised the airport for adding on the extra charge. “Yes, aviation has dipped during the pandemic, but it’s the shambolic financial management of Heathrow – the massive borrowing, the large dividends payments to its foreign owners and the total lack of reserves – that is forcing the airport’s management into trying, by stealth, to raise these passenger tariffs.”  A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Heathrow makes absolutely zero profit from these services [sic]. The price is calculated purely to cover the cost of operating and maintaining the infrastructure that supports them.” Airlines say the reason for the increase is the amount it charges them for baggage handling, water, electricity and other services. It is possible the tiny extra charge will make some people choose another airport to fly from (but it is probably too low to do that).

Click here to view full story…

Heathrow makes £2bn loss in 2020 due to the pandemic – warning on continuing to be a “going concern”

Heathrow lost £2 billion in 2020 because of the fall in passenger numbers due to the Covid pandemic. The numbers are lower than for perhaps 50 years, and the airport is issuing a warning about its future.  Its pre-tax loss was £2.01bn for its full-year compared to a £546m profit in 2019.  Revenues fell 62% £1.18bn, with passenger were at 22.1 million, 73% less than in 2019.  This led the airport to issue a warning, that the “existence of a material uncertainty… could cast significant doubt upon the group and the company’s ability to continue as a going concern”. Nobody knows how much air travel will happen this year.  Heathrow desperately wants relief on all its business rates, an extended furlough scheme for its staff, and a revival of VAT-free airport shopping for tourists to the UK. John Holland-Kaye makes his usual statements about how vital Heathrow is to Britain … Since the start of the pandemic, the airport has cut operating costs by nearly £400m, reduced capital expenditure by £700m and raised £2.5bn in funding. And it says it ended 2020 with £3.9bn of liquidity, which it says is enough to last until April 2033 even if there is no recovery in passenger numbers. Which begs the question of why it needs more government support now.

Click here to view full story…

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Heathrow may be able to persuade the CAA to let it get back some money, in higher charges, due to huge Covid losses

The Civil Aviation Authority has been considering whether to allow Heathrow to increase its airport charges, in order to recoup the £2.8 billion that it says it had lost due to Covid (a few months ago). The CAA had rejected Heathrow’s revised request to hike charges by £2.8bn, labelling it “disproportionate”. But it now concedes that there has been “a further material deterioration in the outlook for the aviation industry” – due to further Covid travel restrictions – since it launched a consultation on the rises in October 2020. CAA director Paul Smith said: “In these exceptional circumstances we are persuaded that there are real issues we need to address to protect Heathrow’s consumers. However, in our view Heathrow’s proposals are not in the best interests of consumers.”  Heathrow has been threatening legal action against the CAA.  The airport already has over £15bn of debts.  The CAA has added two new options, for the H7 period, which starts on 1 January 2022, and will consult on them until 5th March. They are: Package 1 No intervention before H7, but consider interventions at H7  and Package 2 Targeted intervention now and consider further intervention at H7. The largest airline at Heathrow, IAG, has always opposed the CAA allowing higher charges.

Click here to view full story…

CAA website on this:

https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?appid=11&mode=detail&id=10142


CAA consultation: 

https://consultations.caa.co.uk/economic-regulation/hal-covid-related-rab-adjustment-update/

Economic regulation of Heathrow Airport Limited: Response to its request for a covid-19 related RAB adjustment – Updated consultation

In October 2020, we published a consultation document in response to the request made by Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) in July 2020 for the CAA to change its approach to the calculation of HAL’s regulatory asset base (RAB) to take account of the impact of the covid-19 pandemic.

Closes 5 March 2021


CAA may very soon announce its decision on whether Heathrow can charge £1.7 bn more

The Telegraph believes the CAA may announce this week that it will reject Heathrow’s demand to be allowed to raise £1.7bn in increased future passenger and airline levies. The airport wants to be get back some of its losses caused by the pandemic. But the CAA is expected to confirm the rejection that it consulted on in October – the consultation ended on 5th November.  The CAA said in October that Heathrow had not “demonstrated its request is a proportionate measure” and was seeking further evidence. Heathrow finance chief Javier Echave threatened legal action unless the CAA backed down and accused the regulator of sending a “terrible” message to foreign investors (who have made immense profits out of Heathrow in recent years).  Industry insiders cautioned that the CAA is “playing its cards very close to its chest” over its decision and “could offer concessions to break the deadlock.” Heathrow claims it will have to raise consumer prices, after the immense losses caused by having very few passengers over the past year.

Click here to view full story…

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Southampton Airport runway extension plans approved by Eastleigh Council

Eastleigh Borough Council has voted (finally at 2.15am!) to agree to allow Southampton Airport to extend its runway by 164 metres. This will lead to larger planes using the airport, and thus flights to more distant destinations, more passengers and higher carbon emissions. 22 councillors voted in favour of the proposals; 13 councillors voted against the plans and 1 abstained.This followed 19 hours of debate. Opponents have fought against the plans not only due to the carbon emissions, but also the extra noise for surrounding areas, and air pollution.  The standard justification for these expansions are local economic benefit, and more jobs – even though the net impact is to encourage more local people to fly abroad on holiday, spending their holiday money there.  It is likely that the number of people affected by noise would go from 11,450 in 2020 to 46,050 in 2033, if the expansion happens.  Officers hoped that increased home noise insulation would help, but that has no impact if windows are open, or when outdoors. There are claims of “1,000 new jobs” – based on experience at other airports, that is very unlikely indeed. The CCC advice is that there should be no net airport expansion; so if one expands, another should contract.  Likely?

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Southampton Airport runway plans approved after three days of debate

By Maria Zaccaro @MariaDailyEcho   (Southampton Daily Echo)

10.4.2021

AFTER 19 hours of deliberations plans to expand the runway at Southampton Airport have been given the green light.

Twenty-two councillors voted in favour of the proposals to expand the runway by 164m.

Thirteen councillors voted against the plans and one abstained.

It comes as all councillors at Eastleigh Borough Council spent 19 hours debating the proposals and listening to both sides of the argument.

Over the past two days hundreds of people watched the online debate over the plans that have literally divided public opinion.

On the one hand, campaigners and some residents called for the plans to be refused on the grounds of climate change, noise and pollution.

The longer runway will mean bigger, noisier planes approaching the airport from the north over villages such as Colden Common and Twyford.

On the other hand, residents and the local business community asked for the plans to be approved saying the move would boost the local economy and create new jobs.

Several residents and councillors raised concerns over the impact the runway extension would have on noise and climate change.

It comes as it was previously revealed that the number of people affected by noise would go from 11,450 in 2020 to 46,050 in 2033, if the expansion went ahead.

But officers said the mitigation measures proposed – including insulation and a cap on vehicles to restrict passengers to 3m per annum  (the airport had 1.78 million passengers in 2019) – would result in a “moderate adverse impact”.

In the 19-hour long debate councillors were also told that the expansion would create more than 1,000 jobs, boost the local economy and result in a £15m investment.

More than 200 people had registered to speak at the meeting and made their point perfectly clear.

Tonight several councillors acknowledged they were faced with a difficult decision.

Cllr Margaret Atkinson, leader of the Conservative Group, said: “The decision the council takes on this application is probably the most important it ever takes as it will shape the future of the borough and of its residents for generations to come.”

Cllr Wayne Irish added: “This has been probably the most difficult planning application for me in all my 39 years as a councillor on this council.”

A number of councillors said they couldn’t support the plans and raised concerns over the impact of the runway expansion on climate change and noise.

Cllr Louise Parker-Jones said: “I am not reassured there are the right mitigation processes in place. I really fear for Eastleigh, I really fear why this has been pushed through so so quickly. There is no planet B.”

Cllr Tina Campbell added: “We are in a climate emergency. We can support people get another job. There isn’t another planet. We have to prioritise climate emergency.”

Southampton Airport bosses said they would have to face difficult decisions if the plans were going to be rejected.

Steve Szalay, operations director at the airport, said: “It’s a very divisive issue. This is our plan to adapt, to make sure we become a viable business again. We cannot sustain loss of £8m a year. There’s no maths that suggest the airport will be ok.

“There’s nobody here denying a climate emergency. With a sound economy we can find a technological solution which would decarbonise the country. Back the airport, back the development of green technology. You tonight hold the keys to thousands of jobs.

“A vote for the runway extension secures our future, it secures current jobs, it creates more jobs.”

During the debate councillors were also told that the airport is a lifeline for residents in the Channel Islands.

Talking at the end of the debate, Cllr Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, asked councillors to approve the proposals.

It was just past 2.15am today (Saturday April 10) when 22 councillors voted in favour of the plans, 13 against and one abstained.

https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/19223841.southampton-airport-runway-plans-approved-three-days-debate/

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See earlier:

Climate campaigners call for halt to regional UK airports expansion, to avoid aviation CO2 growth

The Aviation Environment Federation says the UK government must intervene to stop the planned expansion of a number of small airports around the country if it is to meet legally binding environmental targets and avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Seven regional airports have devised plans to expand their operations, despite fierce opposition from climate scientists and local people, who argue the proposals are incompatible with UK efforts to address the climate and ecological crisis.  The decision on whether to allow a new terminal at Leeds Bradford has been delayed. The AEF says the government must go further and intervene to halt the other schemes which, taken together, would release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The expansions are against the recommendations fo the government’s climate advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, who say there should be no net airport expansion.  ie. if one expands, another has to contract (there are no volunteers).  The time is well overdue for government take a proper strategic overview of the climate impact of airport expansion proposals rather than leave it up to individual local authorities. There needs to be proper policy for aviation carbon, which is sadly lacking.

Click here to view full story…

UK government criticised by prominent scientists and lawyers, for ignoring Paris climate goals in infrastructure decisions

Prominent scientists and lawyers (including Jim Hansen, Sir David King and Prof Jeffrey Sachs) have written to the Supreme Court and ministers, to say the UK government’s decision to ignore the Paris climate agreement when deciding on major infrastructure projects undermines its presidency of UN climate talks this year.  The Heathrow case is a key example, when a 3rd runway was approved in principle by government (2019) and the Supreme Court finally ruled in December 2020 that the government had not needed to take the Paris climate goals into account. The UK is due to host the Cop26 summit in Glasgow in November, regarded as one of the last chances to put the world on track to meet the Paris goals.  It is dangerous for the highest court in the land to set a bad precedent. The letter, signed by over 130 scientists, legal and environmental experts, says that the Supreme Court “set a precedent that major national projects can proceed even where they are inconsistent with maintaining the temperature limit on which our collective survival depends.” And “Indeed, the precedent goes further still. It says that the government is not bound even to consider the goals of an agreement that is near universally agreed.”

Click here to view full story…

Southampton Airport runway decision put back to 8th April after rejection by Eastleigh’s Local Area Committee

Plans to extend Southampton Airport’s runway have been rejected by Eastleigh’s Local Area Committee, which voted 5 to 3 against the 164m (538ft) extension – which would allow longer-haul flights (and so increase carbon emissions). The matter will now go to a full council meeting on 8 April where the proposals will finally be decided. Eastleigh planning officers recommended to approve the expansion, despite finding the number of people affected by airport noise would go up from 11,450 in 2020 to 46,050 in 2033.  One councillor said: “It’s a matter of balance, it’s balancing the economy, jobs, the future of our planet.”  Another said: “By refusing this application we will not be closing the airport. By voting for refusal we are simply stopping the dramatic impact on carbon emissions.” Campaigners – including naturalist Chris Packham – had objected to the expansion since it was officially proposed in 2019 and there have since been four public consultations.  Local authorities, including Southampton and Winchester city councils, Test Valley Borough Council, four parish councils, as well as Bournemouth Airport, Southern Gas Networks and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, all objected to the plans on the grounds of noise and climate change.

Click here to view full story…

 

Southampton Airport expansion recommended for approval by Eastleigh Council – meeting will be 25th March

18.3.2021  (BBC)

Plans to lengthen the runway at Southampton Airport have been recommended for approval by council officers.  The airport wants to extend the runway by 164m (538ft) to facilitate the use of larger planes for holiday flights.   It has said it is “critical to the airport’s survival” and refusal would put more than 2,000 jobs at risk.  [That claim, of course, needs to be taken with a big pinch of salt].   Eastleigh Borough Council officers recommended councillors approve the plans at a meeting on 25 March 2021.  However, council officers said planning permission would be subject to several conditions, which include restrictions on night-time flying, air quality and noise monitoring, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.  The council said the project was “inevitably controversial” and said officers had “carefully considered” the “high numbers of comments received both in favour and against”.   Southampton City Council and local campaigners have previously objected on the grounds of climate change and noise. Action group Airport Expansion Opposition (AXO) previously said more than 60,000 people would be exposed to increased noise from flights.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-56430416

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Climate campaigners call for halt to regional UK airports expansion, to avoid aviation CO2 growth

The Aviation Environment Federation says the UK government must intervene to stop the planned expansion of a number of small airports around the country if it is to meet legally binding environmental targets and avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Seven regional airports have devised plans to expand their operations, despite fierce opposition from climate scientists and local people, who argue the proposals are incompatible with UK efforts to address the climate and ecological crisis.  The decision on whether to allow a new terminal at Leeds Bradford has been delayed. The AEF says the government must go further and intervene to halt the other schemes which, taken together, would release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The expansions are against the recommendations fo the government’s climate advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, who say there should be no net airport expansion.  ie. if one expands, another has to contract (there are no volunteers).  The time is well overdue for government take a proper strategic overview of the climate impact of airport expansion proposals rather than leave it up to individual local authorities. There needs to be proper policy for aviation carbon, which is sadly lacking.
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Click here for a full list of the airports with live planning applications that would have significant CO2 impact if approved. 


Climate campaigners call for halt to regional UK airports expansion

Ministers must consider cumulative impact of proposals ‘likely to compromise’ emissions targets

By Matthew Taylor (The Guardian)
Thu 8 Apr 2021

The government must intervene to stop the planned expansion of a number of small airports around the country if it is to meet legally binding environmental targets and avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, campaigners have said.

Seven regional hubs have devised plans to expand their operations despite fierce opposition from climate scientists and locals who argue the proposals are incompatible with efforts to address the ecological crisis.

This week, the expansion of Leeds Bradford airport was put on hold after the government paused plans to build a new terminal building on the green belt. Ministers are still deciding whether to “call in” the decision – a process that would allow the national and international climate ramifications of granting permission for the airport to be considered by ministers.

Now campaigners say the government must go further and intervene to halt the other schemes which, taken together, would release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Tim Johnson from the Aviation Environment Federation, said the UK’s airport expansion plans would contravene the most recent recommendations from the Climate Change Committee, the government’s climate advisers.

He said the government must take a strategic overview of the climate impact of the proposals rather than leave it up to individual local authorities. “If you look at the cumulative impact of all these regional airports it is very likely to compromise the government’s ability to reach net zero.”

Johnson said decisions on expansion plans at four airports – Leeds Bradford, Bristol, Stansted and Manston – would be “piling up” on ministers’ desks in the coming months and that other proposals at Southampton, Luton and Gatwick could well end up being decided by the national government.

“The government needs to take control of the situation, look at the cumulative impacts of all these airports and the compatibility of that with our net zero commitments.”

Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, issued a direction to Leeds city council this week preventing councillors from granting planning permission without special authorisation. This gives him more time to decide whether to “call in” in the planning application.

Jenrick recently used the same powers to intervene in plans to build a new coalmine in Cumbria amid international condemnation of the proposals and there is growing scrutiny of other high carbon projects in the UK prior to a key global climate summit being held in Glasgow in November.A spokesperson for the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Planning decisions should be made at a local level wherever possible. The power to call-in is used very selectively and when requests to call in an application are made ministers will consider the case individually, in line with our published policy.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/08/climate-campaigners-call-for-halt-to-regional-uk-airports-expansion

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The Government must set the Sixth Carbon Budget by the end of June 2021

Following this advice, the Government must set the Sixth Carbon Budget in law by the end of June 2021. This must be followed, as soon as is practicable, by a set of policies and proposals to meet the budget. We recommend that both these steps are taken without delay, in the first half of 2021.

P.31  https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/The-Sixth-Carbon-Budget-The-UKs-path-to-Net-Zero.pdf

This requires international aviation and shipping to be included in the carbon budget.  That means aviation carbon is properly included in UK totals, and so cannot be allowed to expand more than very slightly.

See more at

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2020/12/committee-on-climate-change-recommendations-to-government-lots-on-aviation-carbon-policies-needed/


On the news that the government had postponed a decision on Leeds Bradford Airport,

GOVERNMENT PUTS LEEDS BRADFORD EXPANSION DECISION ON HOLD: AEF REACTION

7th April, 2021

In response to the announcement that the Government has put Leeds Bradford Airport’s expansion plans on hold,AEF Deputy Director Cait Hewitt said:

This is the latest airport expansion proposal to run into difficulty over its likely impacts on climate change. While we welcome the fact that the Government has put the brakes on the Leeds Bradford proposal while it considers the application for a call-in, the underlying problem is that the Government has no plan in place for bringing aviation into line with the UK’s net zero emissions commitment.

So far, the Government has tried to duck responsibility for assessing the CO2 impacts of all but the largest airport growth applications, leaving it to local authorities to have to weigh up the likely environmental impacts of a proposal. But there’s no mechanism for ensuring that the cumulative impact of schemes such as airport expansion or new roads doesn’t bust our carbon targets.

We’ve estimated that if all the expansions currently hoped for by UK airports were to proceed they could result in an extra 9MtCO2 per annum by 2050, on top of what the Government has already forecast.

Aviation currently has no clear path to decarbonisation. We won’t be able to achieve net zero if we keep expanding our airports.

Click here for a full list of the airports with live planning applications that would have significant CO2 impact if approved.

https://www.aef.org.uk/2021/04/07/government-puts-leeds-bradford-expansion-decision-on-hold-aef-reaction/

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Plans for expansion of Leeds Bradford airport put on hold – after government direction – giving time for a decision to “call in”

The government has issued a direction to Leeds City Council, preventing councillors from granting planning permission for Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) expansion, without special authorisation. This means the expansion of LBA is now on hold.  The direction  – set out in section 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 – will give further time to Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, (MHCLG) to consider whether to formally “call in” the planning application for a public inquiry. The plans to build a new terminal building on the green belt had been given conditional approval by Leeds City Council in February, despite widespread opposition from local MPs, residents and environmental groups. Campaigners argued the expansion would make a mockery of efforts to tackle the climate crisis and undermine the government’s credibility ahead of a key climate conference later this year. The issue is of more than local importance, and a full public inquiry – chaired by a planning inspector, or lawyer – would mean all the evidence being properly considered. The inquiry would then make its recommendation to Robert Jenrick, to make the final decision.
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Decision on whether to hold a public inquiry into Leeds Bradford Airport expansion – delayed

6th April 2021  (By GALBA)

A decision by Secretary of State Robert Jenrick on whether to ‘call in’ the proposed expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport was expected today. However the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) was told by the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government that the decision has been delayed for an unspecified amount of time.

Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “Over the last few weeks we have seen environmental groups, community groups, MPs, scientists and literally thousands of people, writing directly to the Secretary of State asking for a public inquiry. Thousands more have signed our petition. We hope that the delay is a sign that Mr Jenrick is taking those requests very seriously.”

He added: “Leeds City Council has refused to accept responsibility to safeguard the health of our communities, our climate and future generations. As a consequence the ball is in Mr Jenrick’s court. We urge him to take that responsibility and order a public inquiry.”

ENDS

Notes for editor

  1. For information about GALBA (Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport): contact Chris Foren, GALBA Chair 07810 546727  or Chrisforen@virginmedia.com (contact details NOT for publication) and see the GALBA website: www.galba.uk

  1. Public inquiry request: GALBA’s letter to Robert Jenrick requesting a public inquiry can be found here.

  1. Petition: you can see GALBA’s petition here.

  1. Photo: a high resolution photo of a giant projection onto Leeds Civic Hall of the words ‘Stop Leeds Bradford Airport expansion’ is attached. The photo is owned by GALBA and we freely give it for publication but please credit the photographer, Neil Terry.

  1. Climate science and LBA expansion: the Leeds Climate Commission and experts in climate science from the University of Leeds have calculated that LBA’s proposals mean greenhouse gas emissions from the airport would double in the next 10 years and exceed the amount allowed for the whole of Leeds, as set out in the Leeds Carbon Reduction Roadmap, from 2026 onwards. See the report here.

https://www.galba.uk/why-oppose-expansion

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Plans for expansion of Leeds Bradford airport put on hold

Climate campaigners say they have been told government is preventing the granting of planning permission

By Helen Pidd  (The Guardian)
Tue 6 Apr 2021

The expansion of Leeds Bradford airport has been put on hold after the government paused plans to build a new terminal building on the green belt.

The plans were given conditional approval by Leeds city council in February despite widespread opposition from local MPs, residents and environmental groups.

Campaigners argued the expansion would make a mockery of efforts to tackle the climate crisis and undermine the government’s credibility ahead of a key climate conference later this year.

On Tuesday the government issued a direction to Leeds city council preventing councillors from granting planning permission without special authorisation.

The direction – set out in section 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 – will give further time to Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, to consider whether to formally “call in” the planning application.

As secretary of state, he has powers to take the decision-making power on a planning application out of the hands of the local planning authority by calling it in for his own determination.

If a planning application is called in, there will be a public inquiry chaired by a planning inspector, or lawyer, who would make a recommendation to the secretary of state. Jenrick can reject these recommendations if he wishes and would take the final decision.

Jenrick recently used the powers to intervene in plans to build a new coalmine off the Cumbrian coast.

The same lawyers who took on the government over the mine wrote to Jenrick asking him to do the same with the Leeds Bradford airport

“[The] expansion would commit the UK to decades of increased carbon emissions, against the Climate Change Committee’s advice,” barrister Estelle Dehon argued earlier this year, acting on behalf of the Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (Galba). “As with the proposed Cumbrian coalmine, allowing this in the year we host Cop26 undermines the UK’s ambition to lead on the climate crisis.”

In a statement, Galba said: “Over the last few weeks we have had environmental groups, community groups, MPs, scientists and literally thousands of local people, writing directly to [Jenrick] asking for a public inquiry, and many more thousands have signed a petition. We hope that the delay is a sign that [he] is taking those requests very seriously. Leeds city council has refused to accept the responsibility to safeguard the health of the planet and future generations and a consequence the ball is in [Jenrick’s] court. He must take that responsibility and order a public inquiry.”

Supporters of the project say the airport expansion would boost the local economy by hundreds of millions of pounds and support thousands of new jobs.

They argue the contested proposal is not about expansion but delivering a cleaner, greener terminal building to support a hoped-for increase in passengers from 4 million to 7 million people a year by 2030.

A spokesperson for Leeds Bradford airport, said: “We acknowledge the deadline extension and hope that the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government will uphold Leeds city council’s approval for our replacement terminal, which will deliver thousands of new jobs and support the region’s economy. Our proposals will deliver the UK’s most efficient terminal building, enabling us to become a net zero airport, building back better and enhancing connectivity within the UK and internationally.”

A spokesperson for Leeds city council said: “We have been informed today by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that the secretary of state will take some additional time to consider the Leeds Bradford airport planning application.

“The application is a complex one and has generated a significant amount of interest at both a local and national level. We await the secretary of state’s decision in due course.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/apr/06/plans-for-expansion-of-leeds-bradford-airport-put-on-hold?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

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Leeds Bradford Airport expansion decision delayed by communities secretary Robert Jenrick

Plans for the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) face a delay after the Government said it needed more time to decide whether to ‘call in’ the application.

By Joe Cooper  (Yorkshire Evening Post)
Tuesday, 6th April 2021

Secretary of State Robert Jenrick has decided his department needs longer to investigate whether to review the decision to build a new terminal building.

The “state of the art” £150m building was given the go-ahead by Leeds city councillors in February.

The outcome paved the way for the new terminal, an increase in passengers from four million to seven million a year and the expansion of daylight flying hours from 6am to 11.30pm.

But campaigners, academics and environmentalists have warned flights in and out of Leeds needed to dramatically reduce in order to help humanity avert climate catastrophe in the coming years.

As secretary of state for the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Mr Jenrick has the power to take the decision on the planning application out of the hands of Leeds City Council by calling it in for a review.

It was referred to his department as it would constitute significant development on green belt land.

Chris Foren, chair of GALBA (Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport), said: “Over the last few weeks we have seen environmental groups, community groups, MPs, scientists and literally thousands of people, writing directly to the Secretary of State asking for a public inquiry. Thousands more have signed our petition.

“We hope that the delay is a sign that Mr Jenrick is taking those requests very seriously.”

He added: “Leeds City Council has refused to accept responsibility to safeguard the health of our communities, our climate and future generations.

“As a consequence the ball is in Mr Jenrick’s court.

“We urge him to take that responsibility and order a public inquiry.”

In February LBA chairman Andy Clarke told the YEP his team would “work with whatever is thrown at us” to get their new terminal building over the line.

The airport insists the new terminal is not an expansion, as it can already expand passenger numbers with its existing facilities, and that the replacement building will help it achieve its carbon net-zero goals.

A spokesperson for LBA said: “We acknowledge the deadline extension and hope that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government will uphold Leeds City Council’s approval for our replacement terminal, which will deliver thousands of new jobs and support the region’s economy.

“Our proposals will deliver the UK’s most efficient terminal building, enabling us to become a net zero airport, building back better and enhancing connectivity within the UK and internationally.”

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “We have been informed today by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government that the Secretary of State will take some additional time to consider the Leeds Bradford Airport planning application.

“The application is a complex one and has generated a significant amount of interest at both a local and national level.

“We await the Secretary of State’s decision in due course.”

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “The Secretary of State would be misguided to pull the plug on a shovel-ready project which has the potential to unlock huge connectivity benefits for Yorkshire businesses and communities.

“It would give the North a fairer share of flights, lowering the number of travellers forced to drive down to Heathrow.

“By keeping benefits of aviation concentrated in only London and the South East, protestors are risking Northern jobs and livelihoods – just as the recovery could be about to kickstart genuine economic rebalancing by allowing businesses to better distribute their talented people across the UKs city regions.”

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/environment/leeds-bradford-airport-expansion-decision-delayed-by-communities-secretary-robert-jenrick-3191314

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See earlier:

Letter from nearly 80 organisations and groups urges Leeds Bradford Airport decision be ‘called in’

Nearly 80 West Yorkshire community groups, environmental organisations and councillors from all parties have urged the decision on Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) to be ‘called in’. Signatories of the letter to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, include Bradford councillors, Shipley Constituency Labour Party, Thornton, Allerton and Sandy Lane Branch Labour Party, Keighley and Ilkley Green Party, Bradford Green Party, Clean Air Bradford, Bradford Green New Deal, Baildon and Shipley Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion Bradford, Shipley Town Council and more. The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has asked the Secretary of State to hold a public inquiry because they say “there are significant effects beyond LBA’s immediate locality and there is substantial cross-boundary and national controversy; these issues have not been adequately addressed by Leeds City Council; and airport expansion conflicts with national policies on important matters”. The UK needs a proper national policy on airports, airport expansion, and carbon emissions. The CCC has said there must be no net airport growth, but many airports plan to expand – none plan to contract.

Click here to view full story…

Alex Sobel MP tells government to stop Leeds Bradford Airport’s new £150m terminal

The MP for Leeds North West, Alex Sobel, has told the government it needs to dramatically intervene to stop the building of a new terminal at Leeds Bradford Airport.  The airport is in his constituency. He has asked the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, to call in the decision made by Leeds City Councillors to approve plans for a new terminal.  The expansion plans are intended to increase the number of flights and passengers, and therefore the amount of noise and carbon emissions.  Mr Sobel has been a long-time critic of the airport’s plans.  He has pointed out that the expansion plans are not in keeping with the advice of the Committee on Climate Change, to limit aviation expansion, in order to reach UK carbon targets.  He said:  “I do not believe that a local plans panel of 14 councillors is in any way a competent body to be making a decision of this significance. Applications which significantly affect the carbon budget must be made nationally. We need a national aviation plan and significant measures to reduce net emissions from UK flights. I look forward to seeing these in the Government’s response to the Committee on Climate Change’s Sixth Carbon Budget Report.”

Click here to view full story…

GALBA’s Response to Leeds City Council Plans Panel’s Confirmation of LBA Expansion Approval

11.3.2021 (Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport)

Despite councillor after councillor expressing unhappiness at the conditions offered by LBA, it looks like threat of an appeal by the airport was the reason why Leeds City Council’s Plans Panel confirmed its approval of Leeds Bradford Airport’s planning application. We are disappointed but not surprised by that decision. GALBA remains committed to protecting the health of our climate and our communities by stopping airport expansion. We believe the decision should be considered at a public inquiry where the climate, noise, health and economic impacts can be properly and thoroughly investigated. Alternatively, we will challenge the Council’s decision in the courts. We have the resources and the determination to continue our campaign for as long as necessary.

https://www.galba.uk/post/galba-s-response-to-leeds-city-council-plans-panel-s-confirmation-of-lba-expansion-approval


Leeds Bradford Airport terminal recommended for final approval – but old building could remain standing

A new document has shown Leeds Bradford Airport may not be able to demolish its old terminal building if/when a replacement is built, as it contains much of the site’s crucial infrastructure.  As part of a Leeds City Council’s recent in-principle acceptance of the rebuild last month, members wanted the ageing terminal building to be demolished as soon as possible once the new one was built.  But a document set to go before the panel next week claims the airport cannot do this, as it currently contains the airport’s air traffic control tower, fire station, IT, communications, security, safety and mechanical infrastructure These are needed for the airport to maintain its aerodrome licence, but the airport says it has committed to creating a “masterplan” to get rid of the site in the longer term. The report, set to go before the Council’s plans panel on 11th March. It said: “The existing terminal will not be used by passengers which is restricted in the proposed (planning) agreement….[it] houses some of the Airports critical operations…”  The airport’s management offices are also included in the terminal building, as well as Jet2’s staff offices.

Click here to view full story…

Open letter from 246 University of Leeds academics, to Robert Jenrick, asking him to “call in” the Leeds Bradford decision

246 University of Leeds staff (including 46 professors and associate professors) ,and postgraduate researchers have signed an open letter, asking Robert Jenrick (Sec of State) to ‘call in’ the decision on Leeds Bradford Airport. The government should take responsibility for the decision, which is of national importance because of the increased carbon emissions and their impact on UK carbon commitments. The academics say expanding LBA’s passenger numbers by 75% exceeds the maximum rate of growth that the Climate Change Committee considers compatible with the UK’s legally adopted net-zero target. It would make it much more difficult – and more costly – for the UK to achieve its climate targets and would require reductions in passenger numbers elsewhere in the UK. “In the year that the UK is hosting the COP26 conference, it is vital that we show leadership on climate change and take the necessary actions to secure a safe, zero-carbon future. We therefore urge you [Robert Jenrick] to call in this application so that the issues highlighted are considered in light of national and international climate targets and associated guidance.” The alleged economic benefits of the expansion, or jobs created, would be unlikely to materialise.

Click here to view full story…

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Sir David Amess (Southend West MP) in plea to Southend Council to get night flights scrapped

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, has said that night flights at Southend Airport must be scrapped, as residents continue to battle sleepless nights. He has written to Southend Council leader Ian Gilbert pleading for his support in getting them banned, for the sake of residents. The Amazon cargo night flights have been the topic of heated debate since they launched in October 2019. The airport has permission for 120 night flights per month, but insists the number of flights is regularly much lower.  Council bosses have admitted it would be “very difficult” to get the flights scrapped, as the airport is acting inside their targets, and and are not breaking the law. The only way to get the night flights stopped is to have the quota removed from the Airport’s Section 106 Licence Agreement, from the council. The airport is desperate to make some money, due to the pandemic, and would not willingly give up night flights, which provide some income.  This is especially frustrating, when there are very few daytime flights, and many of the cargo planes are old and noisier than more modern planes.  There were actually 127 night flights departing the airport in March 2020, compared to just 78 last month.
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Sir David Amess MP in plea to scrap airport night flights

By Toby Emes 
Reporter (Basildon, Canvey, Southend Echo)

7th April 2021

NIGHT flights at Southend Airport must be scrapped, an MP has insisted as residents continue to battle sleepless nights.

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, has written to Southend Council leader Ian Gilbert pleading for his support for the sake of residents.

The controversial Amazon night flights have been the topic of heated debate since they launched in October 2019.

The airport has permission for 120 night flights per month, but insists the number of flights is regularly much lower.

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Council bosses have admitted it would be “very difficult” to get the flights scrapped.

Ron Woodley, deputy leader of Southend Council, said: “The airport are working inside their targets, and are not breaking the law.

“I emphasise with those who live nearby, but if the night flights are banned, there would be next to no flights leaving at the moment. With the financial struggles and tough times they are facing, I don’t see the airport making that move.”

In November, Mr Jones insisted the night flights would remain overnight,despite a lack of departures during the day due to the pandemic.

David Smith, who lives off Manners Way, claims he is woken up roughly four times a night by the The 70-year-old, said: “It’s impossible to sleep. We’re all disturbed along here.

“Some of the aircraft are 27 years old, they’re not set up to make minimum noise.”

But airport bosses insist night flights have decreased since this time last year.

Figures, seen by the Echo, revealed there were 127 night flights departing the airport in March last year, compared to just 78 last month.

Sir David Amess MP added: “I have written to the leader of the council saying that I would be calling for night flights to be banned at Southend Airport and asking the council for their support.”

https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/local_news/19213811.sir-david-amess-mp-plea-scrap-airport-night-flights/

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See earlier:

Southend Airport to pay out £86k due to runway extension noise, under the Land Compensation Act

A court has ordered that Southend Airport should pay a total of £86,500 in compensation to owners of 9 neighbouring homes who say their values were diminished by noise, following the extension of the runway. in 2012  In its ruling, the Upper Tribunal’s Lands Chamber ordered that payments ranging from £4,000 to £17,000 be made in respect of the 9 homes, while a claim for a 10th property was dismissed. The claims for compensation are under the Land Compensation Act 1973. There is more noise, as larger planes land and take off from the airport.  The longer runway enabling the airport to “attract low-cost commercial airlines operating much larger aircraft than had previously flown from it”. The Tribunal agreed that the extra noise had meant depreciation in the value of most of the lead properties.  In 2013, the value of the lead properties ranged from £150,000 to £280,000, and the claimants sought compensation of between £32,200 and £60,100.  The Land Compensation Act says it applies to cases where there have been alterations to runways or aprons.  ie. something physical has been built (not buildings).

Click here to view full story…

Tory councillors want an end to Southend night flights, largely bringing in Amazon packages

Conservative councillors have criticised Southend Airport’s night flights, pledging to “explore every avenue possible” to have them removed. They have made it clear they back “further controlled expansion” but want night flights removed. Some residents say they are being forced to take sleeping tablets because of the sleep disruption caused by night flights. The Conservative councillors said: “We will continue to explore every avenue possible to have the night flight quota removed from the Airport’s Section 106 Licence Agreement.”  Other councillors worry there will be a loss of jobs, and they dare not risk losing them, with so many jobs being lost due to Covid. There are residential roads very close to the airport boundary, with houses must too near the runway. The airport is permitted on average 4 flights per night, but sometimes has fewer.  The airport has cargo flights, bringing in Amazon goods. There are generally 3 pear night between 1am and 5.30am, though there had been an earlier agreement not to have flights between midnight and 6am. This agreement has been abandoned.

Click here to view full story…

 

Stobart job losses due to Covid pandemic and decreased air travel

24.9.2020

More than 60 jobs are at risk at Manchester Airport as part of Stobart Aviation Services’ plans to cut 250 jobs across the UK.

The roles under threat are mainly baggage handlers. In Manchester it is 40% of Stobart Aviation Services’ workforce.

The company is also looking to reduce the number of people it employs at Southend and Stansted Airports by more than 60%.

https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/2066978-airport-jobs-under-threat-as-baggage-handlers-risk-being-left-empty-handed 


Southend Airport Amazon night flights to stay despite meeting with MP

By Matthew Critchell @MattC_Echo (Basildon, Canvey and Southend Echo)

3rd September 2020

Amazon bosses say night flights at Southend Airport will stay and be assessed – as residents and an MP demand action to stop disruption.

Sir David Amess, Tory MP for Southend West met with bosses at the online giant following serious concerns from residents about disruption from the flights. For years residents have spoken of the disruption and called for action to help the issue.

A letter to Sir David following the meeting said: “Our flights schedules are based on the best times to meet our promises to our customers and some of the flights have to occur at night. We always seek to be responsible neighbours and are very strict in following all regulations and laws on aircraft noise, making every effort to reduce any impact on residents.

“We will inform you of any future flight schedule changes and we will continue to assess our schedule going forward with your concerns in mind. The slots we are allocated are agreed with Southend Airport.

“In the meantime we are committed to working with you, the airport and residents to find ways to mitigate flight noise and reduce night disruption.”

https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/18695758.southend-airport-amazon-night-flights-stay-despite-meeting-mp/

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Southend Airport to pay out £86k due to runway extension noise, under the Land Compensation Act

A court has ordered that Southend Airport should pay a total of £86,500 in compensation to owners of 9 neighbouring homes who say their values were diminished by noise, following the extension of the runway in 2012.  In its ruling, the Upper Tribunal’s Lands Chamber ordered that payments ranging from £4,000 to £17,000 be made in respect of the 9 homes, while a claim for a 10th property was dismissed. The claims for compensation are under the Land Compensation Act 1973. There is more noise, as larger planes land and take off from the airport.  The longer runway enabling the airport to “attract low-cost commercial airlines operating much larger aircraft than had previously flown from it”. The Tribunal agreed that the extra noise had meant depreciation in the value of most of the lead properties.  In 2013, the value of the lead properties ranged from £150,000 to £280,000, and the claimants sought compensation of between £32,200 and £60,100.  The Land Compensation Act says it applies to cases where there have been alterations to runways or aprons.  ie. something physical has been built (not buildings). Back in June 2013, over 1,000 claims were made against the airport’s noise.
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London Southend Airport to pay out £86k over runway extension noise

31.3.2021   (BBC)
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Southend Airport’s runway extension opened in 2012
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An airport has been ordered to pay compensation to the owners of neighbouring homes over noise caused by a runway extension.

Dozens of homeowners near London Southend Airport claimed the property values were diminished following the extension which opened in 2012.

The claims were denied by the airport.

But nine were upheld by the Upper Tribunal’s Lands Chamber, which ordered the airport should pay out a total of £86,500.

The court in London considered 10 exemplar cases after 190 current and former owners of houses near the airport made claims under the Land Compensation Act 1973.

Claimants said the value of their homes had been reduced by “physical factors caused by the use of the runway extension, and in particular by the increased noise they experience from the larger aircraft which now take off and land”.

‘A noisy environment got noisier’

The airport denied that the value of any of the lead properties had been “diminished by relevant physical factors resulting from the use of the runway extension and it values each of the claims at nil”.

In its ruling, the tribunal said daytime noise data showed between 2011 and 2014 “what was already quite a noisy environment got noisier”.

It said: “We are satisfied from the evidence of fact, the expert noise evidence and our site inspection that the use of the runway extension has caused depreciation in the value of most of the lead properties due to noise.”

The tribunal ordered payments ranging from £4,000 to £17,000 to be made in respect of nine homes, and a claim for a 10th property was dismissed.

A spokesman for the airport said: “London Southend Airport respects the decision of the independent judicial tribunal.

“The airport takes its role in the community extremely seriously and will continue to engage with residents so that we can all enjoy a sustainable future founded on responsible airport operations and creating long-term job opportunities.”

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Airport development & expansion claims

Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973 provides that compensation can be claimed by residents who own and also occupy property, near an airport, that has been reduced in value by physical factors such as noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke and artificial lighting caused by certain airport developments and expansions.

Claims are made against the company managing the works, usually the airport operator, known as the ‘Responsible Authority’.

https://www.hughjames.com/service/environmental-compensation/runway-development-and-expansion

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The Land Compensation Act 1973

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1973/26/part/I

The change in conditions could be a change in the physical infrastructure (eg. longer runway).

The Act says:

” 3) Subsection (2) above shall not by virtue of any alterations to an aerodrome apply to a claim in respect of physical factors caused by aircraft unless the alterations are runway or apron alterations.”


Southend Airport ordered to pay compensation to home owners over noise

A court ordered a total of £86,000 to be paid to nine households

By Sam Russell  (Independent)
31.3.2021

A court has ordered that London Southend Airport should pay a total of £86,500 in compensation to owners of nine neighbouring homes who say their values were diminished by noise following a runway extension.

In its ruling, the Upper Tribunal’s Lands Chamber ordered that payments ranging from £4,000 to £17,000 be made in respect of the nine homes, while a claim for a 10th property was dismissed.

The court considered 10 exemplar cases after 190 current and former owners of houses in the vicinity of the airport referred claims for compensation under the Land Compensation Act 1973.

The claimants asserted that the value of their homes has been depreciated by “physical factors caused by the use of the runway extension, and in particular by the increased noise they experience from the larger aircraft which now take off and land at the airport“.

An extension to the existing runway was opened in 2012, enabling the airport to “attract low-cost commercial airlines operating much larger aircraft than had previously flown from it”.

The tribunal, led by deputy chamber president Martin Rodger QC and chartered surveyor Andrew Trott, said: “The general impression created by the daytime noise data is that between 2011 and 2014 what was already quite a noisy environment got noisier.”

They added: “We are satisfied from the evidence of fact, the expert noise evidence and our site inspection that the use of the runway extension has caused depreciation in the value of most of the lead properties due to noise.”

In 2013, the value of the lead properties ranged from £150,000 to £280,000, and the claimants sought compensation of between £32,200 and £60,100.

The airport denied that the value of any of the lead properties has been “diminished by relevant physical factors resulting from the use of the runway extension and it values each of the claims at nil”.

A spokesman for the airport said: “London Southend Airport respects the decision of the independent judicial tribunal.

“The airport takes its role in the community extremely seriously and will continue to engage with residents so that we can all enjoy a sustainable future founded on responsible airport operations and creating long-term job opportunities.”

Press Association

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/airport-pay-compensation-noise-b1825071.html

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See earlier:

Tory councillors want an end to Southend night flights, largely bringing in Amazon packages

Conservative councillors have criticised Southend Airport’s night flights, pledging to “explore every avenue possible” to have them removed. They have made it clear they back “further controlled expansion” but want night flights removed. Some residents say they are being forced to take sleeping tablets because of the sleep disruption caused by night flights. The Conservative councillors said: “We will continue to explore every avenue possible to have the night flight quota removed from the Airport’s Section 106 Licence Agreement.”  Other councillors worry there will be a loss of jobs, and they dare not risk losing them, with so many jobs being lost due to Covid. There are residential roads very close to the airport boundary, with houses must too near the runway. The airport is permitted on average 4 flights per night, but sometimes has fewer.  The airport has cargo flights, bringing in Amazon goods. There are generally 3 pear night between 1am and 5.30am, though there had been an earlier agreement not to have flights between midnight and 6am. This agreement has been abandoned.

Click here to view full story…


Grandmother complains after Southend airport expansion means 50 planes a day taxi at end of her garden

More planes using Southend airport have been causing noise nuisance and distress to local residents. A grandmother has complained as planes now taxi at the end of her garden, and there are 50 jets a day coming within 150ft of her fence. She says the planes going past, sometimes as often as every 20 minutes, with the noise and fumes, have left her and her husband miserable. “You can’t have a conversation in the garden with anyone because you can’t hear them.  When we are inside with the door closed we have to pause the TV until the plane has gone past. We worry about our grandchildren coming around and the enjoyment of having people over for BBQs is ruined. I love my garden and used to do a lot of gardening but now it is all spoilt with the noise and the smell.”  She has complained to the airport numerous times and is concerned the problem could worsen this summer when runways are expected to get busier.  It is very unsatisfactory when residential housing is as close to the taxiways as it is at Southend, and the quality of life of the residents is greatly reduced.

Click here to view full story…

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Lands Tribunal rules that residents near Farnborough can claim if their homes have been devalued by more flights

The Lands Tribunal has ruled that residents impacted by operations at Farnborough Airport, whose homes have been devalued by flights, can claim against the airport operators TAG. Law firm Hugh James is already dealing with 200 claimants and estimates that compensation could run into the millions.  The ruling concerns claims for compensation under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973, which provides a right to compensation where property value has been depreciated by increases in noise and other physical factors caused by the use of certain works including airports. The deputy president of the Lands Tribunal ruled that claims can proceed for any depreciation in property values caused by the addition of the airport’s West One Apron, completed in May 2010. This Apron was considered to be a substantial alteration built with the purpose of providing facilities for a greater number of aircraft. A partner at Hugh James said: “It’s yet to be determined whether any depreciation has been caused to property values and if so by how much, but it will now be the subject of ongoing proceedings.” Any claims for compensation arising out of the decision will need to be brought prior to the expiry of the statutory limitation period in May 2017. Other claims for work done at the airport in 2002 cannot be made, as these are now out of time. 

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/10/lands-tribunal-rules-that-residents-near-farnborough-can-claim-if-their-homes-have-been-devalued-by-more-flights/

 


Over 1,000 claims for compensation from Southend Airport due to loss in value of homes, because of aircraft noise

Southend Airport – which has had a huge and very rapid rise in the number of aircraft using the airport over the past year – has received more than 1,000 claims for compensation over aircraft noise. Homeowners nearby are concerned that the airport is reducing the value of their properties, due to the noise. The airport has said it will honour residents’ compensation claims if it is proven their homes have lost value because of its activities. Jon Fuller, of local group SAEN (Stop Airport Expansion and Noise) said that estate agents are giving strong indications local residents must expect many thousands of pounds less than they expect when they sell their homes. Though house prices in the area are generally fairly buoyant, if houses are close to the airport or on the flight path prices are suppressed. The airport’s CEO, Alistair Welch said people can make a compensation claim up to a year after the new terminal is finished. Surveyors, Michael Marriott, who are helping people submit claims say they can only claim for nuisances arising from the use of the runway extension. Nuisances arising from the use of the airport which do not depend upon the extension will be disregarded.

Claims could only be made after 9th March 2013, for 6 years. So the end of the claim period was March 2019.

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2013/06/huge-opposition-to-southend-airport-expansion-revealed/

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Gatwick Airport: Can Crawley turn away from aviation and go “green”?

Crawley relies on nearby Gatwick Airport for thousands of jobs, but it is now hoping to become less reliant on aviation and instead encourage sustainable business. With future demand for air travel, especially in the next year or two, uncertain, people who lost their jobs want local “quality” jobs soon. Gatwick had employed about 6,000 people from Crawley, and supported many more jobs in industries like hospitality and catering.   With uncertainties about what British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Norwegian will do about keeping flights at Gatwick, it is unlikely numbers of passengers will return to 2019 levels perhaps for another four years. It is unlikely as many people would be employed in aviation then as in 2019, as airlines and airports increase automation of jobs as fast as possible.  In early March the government gave Crawley £21.1m to help achieve what it called “plans to become a modern, vibrant and healthy digital town with a thriving green economy”. The council aims to offer training in areas like insulation and solar power installation, while driving demand by “retrofitting” council homes and ensuring new developments are sustainable.
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Gatwick Airport: Can Crawley turn away from aviation and go green?

By William McLennan (BBC News)
31.3.2021

The economic impact of the pandemic has hit few places as hard as Crawley, which relies on nearby Gatwick Airport for thousands of jobs.

But the West Sussex town is now plotting a route to recovery which it hopes will see it become less reliant on aviation and a haven for sustainable business.

Some of Crawley’s 110,000 residents believe there will be a turbulent future ahead, as the plan does nothing to address the immediate need for ‘quality jobs’ in the local area.

But others have already began to turn their fortunes around on the back of what the town hopes are the first shoots of “green growth”.

Werner Oeder lost his job at a utility company two days after Boris Johnson ordered the nation to stay at home in March 2020. At the age of 50, he was forced to receive unemployment benefit for the first time in his life.

“It was stressful,” he said. “Everything had been shut down and I didn’t think there would be companies out there hiring.”

After a “tough” four months applying for hundreds of jobs in everything from project management to delivery driving, he was hired by Naked Energy, a solar heating and electricity start-up based at an industrial estate in Crawley.

“I was really lucky,” he said. “I wasn’t necessarily qualified for it, but they saw the potential in me.”

The lifeline for Mr Oeder came as Crawley faced an uncertain future.

When the pandemic decimated international travel, airlines began to pull out of Gatwick Airport, which had employed 6,000 people from the town, and supported many more jobs in industries like hospitality and catering.

British Airways suspended all flights on 31 March 2020. Virgin Atlantic quit in May and has no plans to return this year. The company sold its vast training base near the airport for £30m in August.

In January, budget airline Norwegian axed its long-haul network, leading to the loss of 1,100 jobs based at Gatwick. BA resumed some long-haul flights from Gatwick in June, but it is unclear if and when short-haul will return.

Gatwick does not expect passenger numbers to return to “pre-pandemic levels until 2025”, but said airlines were keen to resume flights, with some due to begin operating from the airport for the first time.

In Crawley, the economic impacts of the pandemic are stark.

More than 12,000 people were on furlough in January, or 20% of the workforce – one of the highest proportions in the country. In February, more than 6,400 people were claiming unemployment benefits, an increase of 230% in a year.

But the answer is not simply to get planes in the sky again, Crawley council leader Peter Lamb says.

“Even if it gets back to the same passenger numbers or higher, the total level of the workforce will be lower,” he said.

Falling demand for workers due to automation at the airport was already a “huge risk” before the pandemic, he added.

But Crawley’s solution for long term growth, according to the council’s plans for recovery, will see it undergo a “green transformation” and become a hub for “digital innovation” and green technology companies.

Earlier this month, the government gave the town £21.1m to help achieve what it called “plans to become a modern, vibrant and healthy digital town with a thriving green economy”.

The council aims to offer training in areas like insulation and solar power installation, while driving demand by “retrofitting” council homes and ensuring new developments are sustainable.

The town would also receive support from Gatwick, which said it would “continue to play a significant role supporting Crawley’s economy and local jobs”.

Meanwhile, an innovation centre, utilising the knowledge of companies already in the town, like French defence firm Thales, is expected to build on the “advanced engineering and digital base”.

Naked Energy chief executive Christophe Williams says the company chose Crawley partly because of the number of specialist engineers in the area, many of whom had worked for US firm Applied Materials before it pulled out of nearby Horsham in 2007.

The strong transport links, affordable rents and proximity to London had made it a “very good, cost-effective engineering and innovation hub for us,” he said.

‘I know pilots who are driving for Sainsbury’s now’
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-54480892

BA may not reopen at Gatwick once pandemic passes
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52489013

Airport support scheme to open in England
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55692486

Mr Lamb said Gatwick – and as a result, Crawley – had been “disproportionately harder hit” by the pandemic than other airports partly because Virgin and BA had retreated to Heathrow.

The UK’s busiest airport, in Hounslow, west London, is less reliant on holidaymakers, with a higher proportion of business and transfer flights.

Amar Limbachia agrees with Crawley council that the town’s salvation can not come only from aviation – but he sees a difficult road ahead.

The 33-year-old, who lost his job as an airport security guard in October, began studying at the Open University several years ago after deciding he had little chance of career progression.

But Crawley had become a “black hole” for jobs and many people were struggling to make ends meet, he said.

“The only work available is warehouse and delivery drivers,” he said.

“On my street there’s quite a few people who rent out houses to air hostesses and so forth, a lot of them are empty right now,” he added.

As he completes his degree course, he has been applying for any job he can find – but has had no positive news.

Both the government and the council needed to “pull their socks up” and do more to help those out of work, he said.

“It does feel like they are saying things, but there’s not much being done.”

Former cabin crew Marcelo Dotta, who was made redundant in August, thinks talk of transferable skills and re-training is missing one key thing.

“I don’t want to find a job that is just a job, I love what I do,” he said.

“I didn’t build my career to do something else,” the 50-year-old said. “I didn’t train every single year just to be on the aircraft to just say: ‘Oh, it’s chicken or beef.'”

He believes that Gatwick Airport will rebound and is confident he will one day return to the job that has been his passion for nearly 30 years.

“Every flight is a new adventure,” he said. “As soon as I put my uniform on [for the first time] I said, oh my god, that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. It’s like putting on a different character, it’s like an actor.”

Like many people in Crawley who are growing anxious over stalling career dreams, he has found work in the warehouse of one of the logistics companies that have boomed during lockdown.

“I’m doing part-time for Amazon and I absolutely hate it”, he said. “But I’ve got to pay my rent. I’ve got to pay my bills.”

The online retail giant recently moved into Manor Royal, the vast business park next to the airport where about 30,000 people work.

The park’s executive director Steve Sawyer said the site is home to innovative manufacturing companies involved in medical technology, pharmaceuticals and hydrogen fuel cells.

Plans to launch a renewable energy co-operative using the park’s 9m square feet of roof space to generate solar power would “drive demand for green jobs,” he said.

“What we are trying to do here is not to say we don’t want the airport, it’s about what can we build alongside aviation to make Manor Royal a little less vulnerable to these shocks in the future.

“Gatwick will always be a big part of Crawley, no question about it.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-56486632

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Crawley to receive £21.1m as part of Towns Fund in Budget

By Harry Bullmore @HarryBullmore   (The Argus)

4th March 2021

CRAWLEY is one of 45 areas set to benefit from the Towns Fund announced by Rishi Sunak yesterday – but there are claims the Chancellor’s Budget favoured places with Tory MPs.

The town will receive £21.1 million, with £1.02 billion invested in total as part of the government’s plan to “level up” regions and help them recover from the coronavirus crisis.

The pandemic has had a huge impact on Crawley, with the the town relying heavily on nearby Gatwick Airport for employment. The airport had to cut more than 40% of staff last year and reported a loss of £465,000,000 as passenger numbers fell by a staggering 78% due to travel restrictions.

But, following the Towns Fund announcement yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak rejected claims that he has concentrated support in his Budget on Tory-supporting areas.

At a Downing Street press conference, he was asked why 40 of the 45 towns to benefit from the Town Fund were represented by Conservative MPs and if this was a case of “naked pork barrel politics”.

Crawley is represented by Conservative MP Henry Smith.

Labour has also urged the government to publish the metrics used to determine areas for priority for the new “levelling up” fund, after Mr Sunak’s constituency and those of four other Cabinet members were prioritised to bid.

These areas are in priority area one, ahead of authorities in Barnsley, Salford and the Wirral, included in the second tier of priority funding, according to research by Labour.

At the Number 10 briefing, Mr Sunak was asked by the Financial Times to reassure the public that the government was using fair criteria to assess the eligibility of areas for the grants.

The Chancellor replied: “The formula for the grant payments for the new fund, to give them some capacity funding to bid for projects, is based on an index of economic need.”

Mr Sunak said this was “transparently published” by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and based on objective measures.

He added that this was areas that have received “capacity funding” to bid and that no area was excluded from bidding, but that some authorities may need “extra help”.

But Labour’s shadow communities secretary Steve Reed said the research raises “big questions marks over the fairness of the Government’s regeneration funding schemes”.

“Just months after the government was criticised for diverting funding away from towns that desperately needed it, we discover that Cabinet ministers’ own constituencies now stand to benefit ahead of more deprived areas,” he said.

The Chancellor said the measures he had announced were benefitting people in “every corner” of the country, referring to the sites for the eight freeports in England which were revealed as part of the Budget.

He told the news conference: “We have announced the location of our eight freeports in England today.

“They are spread in eight English regions – from Southampton to Teesside to Liverpool – across the country. And all of those areas are actually represented by a mix of both MPs and local authorities.

“Because what we are interested in is making sure that wherever you grow up, wherever you happen to live, that this government is helping to provide opportunity for you and creating jobs in your area.

“I firmly believe that whether it is the levelling up fund, or our freeports initiative, or any of the other things we are doing, we are delivering and making good on that promise.”

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/19136445.crawley-receive-21-1m-part-towns-fund-budget/

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See earlier:

Gatwick could lose 600 jobs, and it could take 4-5 years for passengers to return to 2019 levels

Gawick plans to cut a quarter of its workforce due to the impact of coronavirus. So about 600 jobs could be lost following an 80% reduction in the 2019 number of passengers in August. It only has the North Terminal working.  CEO Stewart Wingate said the cuts were a result of the “devastating impacts” coronavirus had on the airline and travel industries.  In March, Gatwick announced 200 jobs would be lost, and it later took out a £300m bank loan. With the collapse in passenger numbers, the company said it was looking to further reduce costs. About 75% of staff are currently on the government’s furlough scheme, which is due to end in October. The DfT says: “If people need financial support quickly they may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Jobseekers Allowance.”  Many staff belong to the union, Unite, which will fight to minimise redundancies.  The airport has said it will take “four to five years” for passenger numbers to return to pre-pandemic levels. Its revenue fell by 61% in the half year, January to June, compared to 2019. While Covid remains a very real issue, and levels are slowly rising in many countries, air passengers have no certainty about from which countries they would need to quarantine themselves for 14 days, on their return.

Click here to view full story…

Coronavirus: Areas reliant on aviation industry ‘to suffer worst’ – especially Crawley, too dependent on Gatwick

The Think Tank, the Centre of Cities, believes jobs in cities and towns which depend on the aviation industry will be most under threat by the coronavirus crisis. They estimate about 20% of jobs in these areas are vulnerable to the economic impacts of Covid-19. The economy of Crawley is likely to be hardest hit, as it is too dependent on Gatwick. More than 53,000 jobs are classed as vulnerable and very vulnerable in Crawley, of about 94,000 in the area. About 18% of jobs in Crawley are in aviation, compared with 1% on average across other big towns and cities. There are a lot of taxi drivers, whose work depends on the airport. People have warned for years about the dangers of areas “having all their eggs in one basket” on jobs, with too high a dependence on one industry. As much of the UK airline sector has almost closed down, with at least a 75% cut in flights at Heathrow, and over 90% cut at Gatwick, almost no flights using Luton, and so on. Luton is another town that is overly dependent on the airport, and now suffering. Also Derby and Aberdeen.  The areas worse affected by job losses due to Covid-19 will be asking for government help, once the lockdowns are lifted.

Click here to view full story…

And many more news stories about Gatwick at 

Gatwick News Stories

Read more »

A few frequent flyers ‘dominate air travel’ (so dominating aviation CO2 emissions) – in all richer countries

Research for the climate campaign group, Possible, shows that a small minority of frequent flyers dominate air travel in almost all countries with high aviation CO2 emissions.  In the UK, 70% of flights are made by a wealthier 15% of the population, with 57% not flying abroad at all, in any one year. The Possible research suggests the frequent flyer trend is mirrored in other wealthy countries.   USA: 12% of people take 66% of flights.  France: 2% of people take 50% of flights. Canada: 22% of the population takes 73% of flights.  The Netherlands: 8% of people takes 42% of flights.  China: 5% of households takes 40% of flights.  India: 1% of households takes 45% of flights.  Indonesia: 3% of households takes 56% of flights. There are calls for a frequent flyer levy – a tax that increases the more you fly each year.  John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace: “Taxing frequent fliers is a good idea – but we also have to do something about air miles, which reward frequent fliers for flying more frequently. This is obscene during a climate crisis – and it should be stopped.” The Treasury take the line that “Frequent flyers already pay more under the current APD (Air Passenger Duty) system” but that misses the point. They pay the same rate of APD on each flight, the first, the fifth or the tenth that year. A tax that ramped up on each successive flight would be a greater deterrent to frequent flying.
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A few frequent flyers ‘dominate air travel’

By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analyst (BBC)

31.3.2021

A small minority of frequent flyers dominate air travel in almost all countries with high aviation emissions, analysis suggests.

In the UK, 70% of flights are made by a wealthy 15% of the population, with 57% not flying abroad at all.

There are calls for a frequent flyer levy – a tax that increases the more you fly each year.

Greenpeace supports the tax and also wants air miles banned because they say it encourages frequent flying.

The UK government said it is reviewing aviation taxes, but insisted that a frequent flier levy would have many problems.

The campaigners believe frequent flyer levies would be broadly popular because they disproportionately affect the rich, who fly the most.

The UK Citizens’ Assembly last year supported the principle that people who fly more should be taxed more.

Research for the climate campaign group Possible says that, in the US, just 12% of people take two-thirds of flights. The government’s advisory Climate Change Committee wants a levy on frequent fliers.

The Possible research suggests the frequent flyer trend is mirrored in other wealthy countries.

  • Canada: 22% of the population takes 73% of flights
  • The Netherlands: 8% of people takes 42% of flights.
  • China: 5% of households takes 40% of flights
  • India: 1% of households takes 45% of flights.
  • Indonesia: 3% of households takes 56% of flights.

Alethea Warrington, from Possible, said: “This report shows the same pattern of inequality around the world – a small minority of frequent flyers take an unfair share of the flights.

“While the poorest communities are already suffering the impacts of a warming climate, the benefits of high-carbon lifestyles are enjoyed only by the few. A lot of people travel. But only the privileged few fly often.”

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, told BBC News: “Taxing frequent fliers is a good idea – but we also have to do something about air miles, which reward frequent fliers for flying more frequently. This is obscene during a climate crisis – and it should be stopped.”

A UK Treasury spokesman told BBC News: “We’re leading the global fight on climate change and will use our hosting of COP26 (the Glasgow climate summit) later this year to galvanise global support for aviation decarbonisation.

“Frequent flyers already pay more under the current APD (Air Passenger Duty) system, but we are currently consulting on aviation tax reform and welcome views.”

He said there were many drawbacks to a frequent flyer levy. These include that it would be complex to administer, could pose data processing and privacy concerns, could be difficult to impose where passengers hold multiple passports and could be a challenge for those who have an essential need to fly frequently.

The government’s consultation on aviation tax reform closes on 14 June.

The spokesman did not comment on the proposal to make air miles programmes illegal.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-56582094

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Elite Status: How a small minority around the world take an unfair share of flights.

By Possible

31.3.2021

Emissions from flying are threatening to crash the climate – but not everyone is equally responsible. Our latest report, ‘Elite Status: global inequalities in flying’, reveals that in almost all of the countries with the highest aviation emissions, a small minority of people take up a huge share of the flights.

Download Full Report

The numbers

In the USA just 12% of people take a massive 66% of flights.

In France 50% of flights are taken by a tiny 2% of the population.

And here in the UK, a mere 15% of the population take 70% of all flights. 

This pattern is repeated across the world, in countries including Canada, India, China and the Netherlands – as was the tendency for frequent flyers to have higher incomes.  This means that wealthier people  are disproportionately responsible for emissions that are already causing harm to people around the world, with impacts falling most heavily on poorer communities. Meanwhile, in almost all these countries, less than half the population fly each year.

What can we do?

We’re calling for a Frequent Flyer Levy, a progressive tax which goes up as someone takes more flights, or flies greater distances, every year. This means that people who save for an annual holiday or to visit family won’t be unfairly impacted, but the minority who fly multiple times each year will pay more. This would allow us to tackle climate change in a fair way which reduces inequality, and shares access to flying more equitably.

For more information, download our full report here:

Read Full Elite Status Report

https://www.wearepossible.org/s/Elite-Status-Global-inequalities-in-flying.pdf

https://www.wearepossible.org/latest-news/elite-status-how-a-small-minority-around-the-world-take-an-unfair-share-of-flights

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For more details on the frequent flyer levy check out our previous reports, ‘managing aviation passenger demand with a frequent flyer levy’ and ‘proposal for a frequent flyer levy’:

Frequent Flyer Levy Info

Implementation report

 

 

Read more »

Letter from nearly 80 organisations and groups urges Leeds Bradford Airport decision be ‘called in’

Nearly 80 West Yorkshire community groups, environmental organisations and councillors from all parties have urged the decision on Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) to be ‘called in’. Signatories of the letter to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, include Bradford councillors, Shipley Constituency Labour Party, Thornton, Allerton and Sandy Lane Branch Labour Party, Keighley and Ilkley Green Party, Bradford Green Party, Clean Air Bradford, Bradford Green New Deal, Baildon and Shipley Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion Bradford, Shipley Town Council and more. The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has asked the Secretary of State to hold a public inquiry because they say “there are significant effects beyond LBA’s immediate locality and there is substantial cross-boundary and national controversy; these issues have not been adequately addressed by Leeds City Council; and airport expansion conflicts with national policies on important matters”. The UK needs a proper national policy on airports, airport expansion, and carbon emissions. The CCC has said there must be no net airport growth, but many airports plan to expand – none plan to contract. 
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Letter urges Leeds Bradford Airport decision be ‘called in’

24th March 2021

By Felicity Macnamara  @FelicityM_TandA (Telegraph & Argus)

NEARLY 80 West Yorkshire community groups, environmental organisations and councillors from all parties have urged the decision on Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) to be ‘called in’.

Signatories of the letter to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, include Bradford councillors, Shipley Constituency Labour Party, Thornton, Allerton and Sandy Lane Branch Labour Party, Keighley and Ilkley Green Party, Bradford Green Party, Clean Air Bradford, Bradford Green New Deal, Baildon and Shipley Friends of the Earth, Extinction Rebellion Bradford, Shipley Town Council and more.

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has asked the Secretary of State to hold a public inquiry because they say “there are significant effects beyond LBA’s immediate locality and there is substantial cross-boundary and national controversy; these issues have not been adequately addressed by Leeds City Council; and airport expansion conflicts with national policies on important matters”.

Chris Foren, Chair of GALBA, said it is right to call in the decision on LBA.

“The extra pollution and noise from LBA expansion would hurt climate and our communities,” he said.

Earlier this month, Alex Sobel, who represents Leeds Northwest, where the airport is based, asked Whitehall to call in the decision made by Leeds City Councillors this month to approve the £150m new facility due to huge concerns about the effect of extra flights on the environment.

In response to the letter to the Secretary of State, an LBA spokesperson said: “Approval by Leeds City Council for LBA’s replacement terminal was made on the basis of detailed economic and environmental reports, with members recognising the value of the thousands of jobs that will be created and the substantial impact on our region’s economy, contributing significantly to the Government’s levelling up agenda and plans for improved connectivity.

“This application is not about expansion, but about achieving what we already have consent to do in a more sustainable way, building cleaner and greener infrastructure for the future and making use of regional runway capacity.”

The spokesperson added: “Development will make LBA an outstanding net zero airport with a much-improved passenger experience, connecting Yorkshire with other parts of the country and the world for business and tourism.”

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said the authority would not be making a comment at this time.

https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/19182044.letter-urges-leeds-bradford-airport-decision-called-in/

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See earlier:

Alex Sobel MP tells government to stop Leeds Bradford Airport’s new £150m terminal

The MP for Leeds North West, Alex Sobel, has told the government it needs to dramatically intervene to stop the building of a new terminal at Leeds Bradford Airport.  The airport is in his constituency. He has asked the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, to call in the decision made by Leeds City Councillors to approve plans for a new terminal.  The expansion plans are intended to increase the number of flights and passengers, and therefore the amount of noise and carbon emissions.  Mr Sobel has been a long-time critic of the airport’s plans.  He has pointed out that the expansion plans are not in keeping with the advice of the Committee on Climate Change, to limit aviation expansion, in order to reach UK carbon targets.  He said:  “I do not believe that a local plans panel of 14 councillors is in any way a competent body to be making a decision of this significance. Applications which significantly affect the carbon budget must be made nationally. We need a national aviation plan and significant measures to reduce net emissions from UK flights. I look forward to seeing these in the Government’s response to the Committee on Climate Change’s Sixth Carbon Budget Report.”

Click here to view full story…

GALBA’s Response to Leeds City Council Plans Panel’s Confirmation of LBA Expansion Approval

11.3.2021 (Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport)

Despite councillor after councillor expressing unhappiness at the conditions offered by LBA, it looks like threat of an appeal by the airport was the reason why Leeds City Council’s Plans Panel confirmed its approval of Leeds Bradford Airport’s planning application. We are disappointed but not surprised by that decision. GALBA remains committed to protecting the health of our climate and our communities by stopping airport expansion. We believe the decision should be considered at a public inquiry where the climate, noise, health and economic impacts can be properly and thoroughly investigated. Alternatively, we will challenge the Council’s decision in the courts. We have the resources and the determination to continue our campaign for as long as necessary.

https://www.galba.uk/post/galba-s-response-to-leeds-city-council-plans-panel-s-confirmation-of-lba-expansion-approval


Leeds Bradford Airport terminal recommended for final approval – but old building could remain standing

A new document has shown Leeds Bradford Airport may not be able to demolish its old terminal building if/when a replacement is built, as it contains much of the site’s crucial infrastructure.  As part of a Leeds City Council’s recent in-principle acceptance of the rebuild last month, members wanted the ageing terminal building to be demolished as soon as possible once the new one was built.  But a document set to go before the panel next week claims the airport cannot do this, as it currently contains the airport’s air traffic control tower, fire station, IT, communications, security, safety and mechanical infrastructure These are needed for the airport to maintain its aerodrome licence, but the airport says it has committed to creating a “masterplan” to get rid of the site in the longer term. The report, set to go before the Council’s plans panel on 11th March. It said: “The existing terminal will not be used by passengers which is restricted in the proposed (planning) agreement….[it] houses some of the Airports critical operations…”  The airport’s management offices are also included in the terminal building, as well as Jet2’s staff offices.

Click here to view full story…

Open letter from 246 University of Leeds academics, to Robert Jenrick, asking him to “call in” the Leeds Bradford decision

246 University of Leeds staff (including 46 professors and associate professors) ,and postgraduate researchers have signed an open letter, asking Robert Jenrick (Sec of State) to ‘call in’ the decision on Leeds Bradford Airport. The government should take responsibility for the decision, which is of national importance because of the increased carbon emissions and their impact on UK carbon commitmentsThe academics say expanding LBA’s passenger numbers by 75% exceeds the maximum rate of growth that the Climate Change Committee considers compatible with the UK’s legally adopted net-zero target. It would make it much more difficult – and more costly – for the UK to achieve its climate targets and would require reductions in passenger numbers elsewhere in the UK. “In the year that the UK is hosting the COP26 conference, it is vital that we show leadership on climate change and take the necessary actions to secure a safe, zero-carbon future. We therefore urge you [Robert Jenrick] to call in this application so that the issues highlighted are considered in light of national and international climate targets and associated guidance.” The alleged economic benefits of the expansion, or jobs created, would be unlikely to materialise.

Click here to view full story…

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Committee on Climate Change – recommendations to government – lots on aviation carbon changes and policies needed

The Committee on Climate Change has published its guidance for the UK government on its Sixth Carbon Budget, for the period 2033 – 37, and how to reach net-zero by 2050.  There is a great deal of detail, many documents, many recommendations – with plenty on aviation. The intention is for UK aviation to be net-zero by 2050, though the CCC note there are not yet proper aviation policies by the UK government to achieve this. International aviation must be included in the Sixth Carbon budget. If the overall aviation CO2 emissions can be reduced enough, it might be possible to have 25% more air passengers in 2050 than in 2018. The amount of low-carbon fuels for aviation has been increased from the CCC’s earlier maximum realistic estimates of 5-10%, up to perhaps 25% by 2050, with “just over two-thirds of this coming from biofuels and the remainder from carbon-neutral synthetic jet fuel …” Residual CO2 emissions will need to be removed from the air, and international carbon offsets are not permitted. There is an assumption of 1.4% efficiency improvement per year, or at the most 2.1%. There “should be no net expansion of UK airport capacity unless the sector is on track to sufficiently outperform its net emissions trajectory.”  The role of non-CO2 is recognised, but not included in carbon budgets; its heating effect must not increase after 2050.  And lots more …    

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2020/12/committee-on-climate-change-recommendations-to-government-lots-on-aviation-carbon-policies-needed/

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See the CCC advice on Aviation for the Sixth Carbon Budget at 

https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Sector-summary-Aviation.pdf

 

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