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Transport & Environment
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Latest news stories:
Angry Heathrow residents disrupt Minister’s speech at Chatham House
Airport residents resort to direct action techniques for the first time, which marks a new phase in resistance to Heathrow airport expansion. They stormed the stage at an aviation industry conference and disrupted an address being made by the Transport Minister, Douglas Alexander.
WDM say scrap airport expansion and raise aviation taxes
Commenting on today’s cross-party Commons Environmental Audit Committee report that the EU emissions trading scheme will have little effect on the growth in aviation’s contribution to climate change, the World Development Movement said the government must scrap its plans for airport expansion and introduce proper environmental taxes on the aviation industry. The government still fully supports a doubling of the number of air passengers between 2002 and 2020 and a doubling of air freight between 2002 and 2010.
HACAN calls for a cut in Heathrow short haul flights
Campaign group HACAN ClearSkies has called for a cut in short haul flights at Heathrow to improve air quality in London. It comes a day after the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, admitted that his ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions in the Capital by 60% within 20 years will be scuppered by the growth in pollution from aircraft. If Heathrow and City airports expand as the Governments wants, London’s overall emissions could only fall by 20% over the next 20 years.
ROAD AND RAIL ISSUES RELATING TO A SECOND STANSTED RUNWAY
A Press Statement, issued by Stop Stansted Expansion, says the announcement by BAA, the Spanish-owned operator of Stansted Airport, regarding the road and rail improvements necessary to support its 2nd runway proposal utterly fails to grasp the scale of the problems that would arise if Stansted were, as proposed, to become bigger than today's Heathrow.
Oldest bird reserve threatened by plan to expand airport
Plans for a huge airport expansion on the south-eastern tip of Kent are threatening the oldest reserve under the management of the RSPB. Businessman, Sheikh Fahad al-Athel, is proposing a huge expansion of the small airport near the village of Lydd. The airport is close to the ecologically unusual Dungeness nature reserve. In winter it hosts about 60 species of birds such as goldeneye, smew and bittern.
North Somerset Council raises big concerns about Bristol airport
Airport expansion plans by Bristol International Airport, which says that by 2015 it will be handling 9 million passengers a year, suffered a temporary setback at the hands of North Somerset Council. Airport bosses want to double the size of the terminal, build a 180-bedroom hotel, and increase the number of car parking spaces by a third. North Somerset councillors complained about night flights, problems with roads to the airport, and the level of CO2 emissions.
All EU nations must back proposals to cut harmful emissions by 30% by 2020 or risk jeopardising the global effort to curb climate change, warn ministers. The call for unity among the 27-nation bloc was made by the UK Environment Secretary, David Miliband, and his Spanish and Slovenian counterparts. Failure to act would threaten efforts to get nations such as the US and China to agree to cap emissions. "We all know that the current Kyoto deal does not go far enough."
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International Development Secretary Hilary Benn asked consumers to aid "social justice" on Valentine's Day. Importing African flowers is better for the environment as they are not grown in heated greenhouses, he said. Almost a third of the UK's imported flowers come from Kenya, with about 70,000 people, most of them women, working on the country's flower farms. Producing and transporting any flowers, other than those that grow seasonally in Britain in spring and summer, is a high energy process.
Supreme Court reserves judgement on ruling about UK air quality
On 6th March there was a one-day hearing in the Supreme Court in London on the UK's failure to meet legal limits for air quality. In parts of London the air pollution standards are regularly breached, putting the health of thousands of Londoners is at risk. It is not only in London that there are air pollution problems but in 16 UK regions. It is thought there are some 29,000 early deaths per year in the UK caused by air pollution, a higher number than those from obesity and alcohol combined. The UK government has not met the EU standards on nitrogen dioxide emissions and in London it is unlikely that clean air targets will be met until 2025, 15 years late. The environment charity, ClientEarth, argued in the Supreme Court that the national courts must enforce EU environment law in the UK. It is understood that the European Commission is encouraging the Supreme Court case because it would prefer to avoid a direct confrontation with the UK, which is objecting to other EU environmental rules. However, If the Supreme Court does not require action, the European Commission must. After the 6th March hearing, the court reserved judgement. However, Client Earth hopes this will be handed down before Easter.
Why Manston is in the wrong place
Why Manston is not in the right place to be a larger passenger, or even freight, airport
New plan revealed for flight-path Britain
Labour wants to cut CO2 emissions but it is also pursuing a dramatic expansion of Britain’s airways. Can the circle be squared? The National Air Traffic Services, has plans for many new flight paths and stacking areas, as well as heavier use on existing flight paths.
Expansion plans for Battersea heliport
London's Battersea Heliport will become the focal point for a major commercial development following the £50m purchase of the site by von Essen Hotels, the country-house hotel chain founded by Andrew Davis. The redevelopment programme includes proposals for a new terminal for the heliport, to make the facility more attractive for business users. There are also plans for a new reception and business-meeting rooms.
Environmentally aware bishop pledges not to fly for a year
The Bishop of London, who was criticised last year when he suggested that flying to go on holiday was sinful, has agreed not to fly for a year to prove his point. The Right Rev Richard Chartres, one of the Church of England's leading spokesmen on environmental issues, said he would not fly to meetings nor, since he took family breaks in Devon, to go on holidays.
Sir Montgomery Cecil urges us to do our patriotic duty – and fly
Sir Montgomery has again, in his inimitable way, taken out advertising space as a reminder that - next time you hear someone whinge about global warming, tell them to stop being so miserable. "Remember what we at SPURT say: SOD THEM.LET’S FLY".
Birmingham Airport to submit runway extension plans
Birmingham airport announced that it will be submitting a planning application to extend its runway by 400 metres to the south to handle an extra 40,000 flights a year. The £120 million extension would allow the airport to handle fully laden jumbo jets and increase capacity to 20 million passengers a year, double the number handled last year. Birmingham Airport is in line to receive a £25m grant as part of plans to extend its main runway.
Proportions of business passengers at UK’s main airports – showing decline over past decade
In 2010, the proportion of business passengers (as compared to leisure, including visiting friends and family) was 29.9% at Heathrow, 20.4% at Gatwick, 29.5% at Manchester, 19.6% at Luton and 17.7% at Stansted. Data from the Health Protection Agency shows the proportion of business passengers has been falling steadily since 2000.
Stansted – flight path to destruction of woodland
Nearly 25 hectares of irreplaceable ancient woodland will be lost if BAA’s plans to build a second runway at Stansted come to fruition, and 3 ancient woods will be lost. Less than 2% of Britain is covered with ancient woodland, our richest habitat for wildlife.
Birmingham – BIA runway plan takes off
Birmingham International Airport will proceed with a £120 million runway extension, 12 years after the ambitious scheme was first proposed. A planning application to add 400 metres to the southern end of the existing runway is expected to be lodged with Solihull Borough Council by the summer.
BAA plans £2.45bn second runway for Stansted
BAA plans to build a second runway at Stansted airport in a £2.45bn project with the first phase to be ready by 2015. Present capacity would more than double to 68m passengers a year by 2030, the same number of passengers handled by London Heathrow last year. The latest scheme is expected to run into fierce opposition.
Devastating Heathrow noise map
Noise created by a third runway at Heathrow would be "devastating" to thousands of Londoners. Maps show that aircraft approaching the runway at Heathrow would use flight paths over north and south London before beginning their final descent over Kensington, Chelsea and Hammersmith.
Heathrow – noise fears over ‘third runway’
A campaign group, 2M (2 Million voices - against Heathrow expansion) has published maps showing the effect it claims a third runway at Heathrow would have on thousands of people. 2M says residents living under new flight paths would suffer extra noise pollution if expansion went ahead.
World’s leading scientific experts to deliver stark findings on climate change
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) begins its release of the long anticipated Fourth Assessment Report in Paris on 2 February 2007, which is set to provide the most credible evidence yet of the human link to climate change and its devastating impacts.
Airlines face blitz on noisy planes flying over Glasgow
Airlines face massive fines in a noise crackdown at Glasgow Airport. A new hotline has been set up for residents affected by the noise from planes flying in and out of Glasgow Airport. The complaints line will log calls from members of the public and will help air traffic control crack down on carriers who deviate from established flight paths.
British prawns go to China to be shelled
Supermarkets and food producers are taking their products on huge globetrotting journeys, despite pledging to cut their carbon emissions. Scottish prawns are being hand-shelled in China, Atlantic haddock caught off Scotland is being prepared in Poland and Welsh cockles are being sent to Holland to be put in jars before going on sale in Britain. (Sunday Times)
Defra ups carbon offset standards
The UK government is to define criteria for carbon offsetting schemes to bring "greater clarity" to the industry. Environment Secretary David Miliband said offsetting was not "the answer" to climate change, but that the voluntary standards would "raise the bar".
Tim Yeo wants domestic flights to be taxed out of existence – Jan 2007
Flights within the UK should be taxed almost out of existence, a leading Tory MP, said today. Tim Yeo, who chairs the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, said he wanted to see "virtually no" domestic flights taking off within a decade.
Stern stands up to critics of his analysis
Sir Nicholas Stern hit back at critics of his analysis of the economics of climate change. The government-commissioned Stern review, published last October, found the costs of taking action on climate change now were small and the benefits large compared with much heavier penalties for delaying action.
Spurious “Green Apple Environment Awards”. Delightful greenwash!
Ryanair plans to launch transatlantic flights with fares as low as £6 within 4 years. Michael O’Leary said he was looking to serve 6 US cities from European airports where it has bases. Though the cheapest flights for US passengers would be £6, revenues would be increased through the sale of food, duty free goods and in-flight entertainment. With taxes the one-way price would be around £86.
Southampton Airport – more destinations, more flights
The airport master plan was unveiled in November 2006, for huge growth. Meanwhile, Flybe increases Southampton - Amsterdam flights (Sept 2006), to three times per day on weekdays and twice a day at weekends, starting in October. Also Southampton to Nice flights - (Sept 2006), and to Galway, due to begin in December. Flybe flies to more than 30 destinations across the UK and Europe from Southampton, including Malaga, Amsterdam, Faro, Chambery and Glasgow.
BLAIR – I WON’T GIVE UP HOLIDAYS TO SAVE PLANET
Tony Blair said today he would not give up long-haul holiday flights as he argued the fight against climate change did not require unreasonable sacrifices. The Prime Minister rejected the need to set a personal example on greenhouse gases by taking breaks closer to home, insisting that science was the key to tackling global warming.
Exeter airport sell-off nets county £60m
Devon County Council has sold Exeter International Airport for £60m. It was bought by Regional and City Airports Limited (RCA) - part of Balfour Beatty - in a deal described by the authority as good news for the airport and the local economy.
Norway To Tackle Planes’ Greenhouse Gases
Norway plans to join Britain in offsetting greenhouse gases caused by bureaucrats jetting around the world, announcing it will buy emissions quotas to combat global warming.
Budget airlines worldwide
The proliferation of budget airlines across Asia has made air travel affordable for millions, but this week's aircraft disaster in Indonesia has underlined the challenge for governments to ensure safety standards are met.
Eddington Transport Study – December 2006
Eddington Report – in 2005 Gordon Brown asked Rod Eddington, who had just stood down as the Chief Executive of BAA, to carry out a study examining the transport infrastructure the UK economy would need over the next 30 years. This report was published in December 2006.
Lydd Airport Planning Application Submitted
A planning application for a new passenger terminal and extended runway at a Lydd (London Ashford) Airport has been submitted. The plans seek to build capacity at the airport and offer flights further afield than presently. Overall, Lydd Airport is proposing to increase passenger numbers to 2 million per annum in 2011.
Britain’s Dirty Secret – aircraft emissions
The government has been disguising the quantity of greenhouse gases that we create with our flights to and from the UK. The DfT has admitted that it works it out simply by counting the aircraft that take off from Britain. Those that land here are excluded.
‘Progress Report’ on the 2003 Aviation White Paper – December 2006
Office of Fair Trading’s decision on BAA monopoly
The Office of Fair Trading has decided to refer BAA to the Competition Commission. BAA owns 7 UK airports – Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick, Southampton, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The OFT is to hold an eight-week consultation period before it makes the referral.
Letter to the Times, 11th December, from leading MPs and Environmental Groups
Letter to the Times of 11th December 2006 - from leading MPs and Environmental Groups
Sustainable Aviation Progress Report 2006
"Sustainable Aviation Progress Report 2006" - by the aviation industry. This is the first progress report after its launch in June 2006
Michael McCarthy: Low-carbon consumerism – a new ethical choice
Virtually everything we wear, sit on, clean with, heat with or eat contains embedded carbon - which can be reduced if the manufacturing companies concerned try hard enough. Looking at the emissions from the goods we buy, and services we use, shows just how much a part we as individuals could play in cutting emissions by the purchasing choices we make. Out of the approx 11 tonnes CO2 produced by each person in the UK each year, aviation is about 0.68 tonnes.
Chancellor’s Pre Budget Report 2006
The Chancellor announced that the doubling APD will be effective from 1st February 2007.
OEF (Oxford Economic Forecasting) – The Economic Contribution of the Aviation Industry in the UK
This is a follow-up study, commissioned by the aviation industry, assessing the contribution of aviation to the economy. It claims the aviation industry brings huge benefits to UK economy.
The Eddington Report on Transport
The Eddington report says that aviation makes a big contribution to the UK economy and that international airports such as Heathrow need to expand. However, it highlights the importance of reflecting the external costs of transport in the price paid by users. The section on aviation, in the Summary, can be found on Page 48.
Stansted expansion plan refused
Expansion plans for Stansted Airport which could boost passenger numbers have been rejected, amid objections including the effect on climate change
Air travel from Bristol Airport produces record losses for South West
The rapid growth in cheap leisure flights is now losing the South West over £60 million each year due to flights from Bristol International Airport (BIA), according to Stop Bristol Airport Expansion campaign
Short-Haul Flights: Clogging up Heathrow’s Runways
The number of flights using Heathrow could be cut by around 100,000 a year if there were no flights to and from the destinations where there already is a good rail alternative. Research by HACAN ClearSkies shows that Paris, with 60 flights a day, is Heathrow’s top destination.
A clutch of reports
Four important new reports have been published this autumn:
* Pie in the Sky - Why the costs of airport expansion outweigh the benefits
* The future starts here – the route to a low carbon economy
* Predict and Decide – Aviation, climate change and UK policy
* The Stern report - 'The Economics of Climate Change'
The Independent: PM’s vow to tackle global warming hit by plans to treble flights
Airport expansion will treble flights by 2030, flying in the face of vows to cut global warming.
Bishop of London – Sin to Fly
The Bishop of London has declared it sinful for people to contribute to climate change by flying on holiday, driving a "gas-guzzling" car or failing to use energy-saving measures in the home
Poll reveals public support for curbing the growth in air travel
A new MORI poll commissioned by the Airfields Environment Trust shows conclusively that the public back action to slow the growth of air travel, and explicitly support taxing flights to do so.
European ‘Day Of Action’
A European ‘Day of Action’ on aviation happened across Europe on 10 June 2006.
New night flying restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted
The government has announced the new ‘Night Flying Restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted’. These will apply from winter 2006/07 to summer 2012.
Report reveals the “Two Faces” of BAA
2006: Decision Time for Aviation in White Paper Review
2006: The Year of the Aviation Review
Rarely has a Government White Paper received such constant criticism as the Aviation White Paper. AirportWatch looks at the evidence that has mounted up which proves it is time for the Government to change course when it reviews its White Paper at the end of this year.
Leap in aviation emissions
Figures released by Defra show that while the UK's overall carbon emission have more or less stabilised, emissions from international aviation are spiralling out of control - they grew by a staggering 12% in 2004.
Air freight – some unbelievably heavy things that have been flown
Some truly bizarre things have been air freighted. A ferry that once operated on Loch Ness in Scotland was shipped to Kazakhstan by air (August 2007) so the president could tour a copper mine in style. A 42 tonne tram was transport ted from Pisa to Los Angeles by Volga-Dnepr Airlines (August 2005)
Dedham Vale – Campaigners celebrate flightpath victory
(20.12.2005 East Anglian Daily Times) CAMPAIGNERS fighting to protect the peace and tranquillity of Constable Country by changing controversial aircraft flight patterns celebrated after winning their battle against aviation bosses. A legal action brought by the residents of Dedham Vale against the CA over the nuisance caused by over-flying aircraft was settled in […]
Nights Flights Rally
A large rally against night flights took place at Westminster Central Hall on 24th Oct. It was timed to coincide with the government's deliberations on the night flights regime at the three London airports.
EU Consults on Aviation and Climate Change
On Friday 11 March 2004, the European Commission launched a consultation on "Reducing the Climate Change Impact of Aviation." See article for more information and link to Commission web page.
aaaaaEurope will not suspend emissions tax despite pressure
Ferrovial, the Spanish owner of BAA, thought it made a safe bet when its consortium paid £10.3bn for Britain's largest airport owner 18 months ago. Yesterday's confirmation that its relationship with staff has broken down adds another group to the list of aggrieved parties who lay the blame for BAA's woes firmly at the door of Ferrovial. (Guardian)
Manston Night Flights consultation – ends 2nd March
Thanet District Council is holding a public consultation, lasting for 28 days and ending on 2nd March. Its aim is to find out what the public think about Manston’s recent night flying proposal. All local residents in the area are encouraged to respond and send in their views. The consultation is not question-based, it simply asks […]
aaa Southend West MP attacks Boris Johnson’s Thames Estuary airport plan
15th February 2012 in PLANS for an airport in the Thames Estuary have been dismissed as “absolutely barking mad” by Tory MP David Amess. Mr Amess, MP for Southend West, was one of a handful of speakers at a public meeting in Leigh which discussed the idea of a new airport in the […]
EU DIRECTIVE 2002/30/EC – Noise Related Operating Restrictions
There is a DfT consultation asking for views on the use of the Directive in the UK and on the EC's review of its operation to date, as a basis for a possible revision. They are asking about the application of the Directive, possible ways to improve it and key elements which should not be lost. Deadline for comment - 19th September 2008.
118 killed in worst UK air disaster – 1972 BEA Trident crash at Staines shortly after take-off
In June 1972 a BEA Trident aircraft took off from Heathrow, and crashed two minutes later into a field close to Staines. All on board were killed, though nobody on the ground. The reason is thought to be a stall, to which the Trident was prone unless the flaps were operated correctly. There were suggestions of poor relations between flight crew, and that the crash was influence by recent strike action. Recommendations from the inquiry led to the mandatory installation of cockpit voice recorders in British-registered airliners. Another recommendation was for greater caution before allowing off-duty crew members to occupy flight deck seats.
Cushman & Wakefield 2011 European Cities Monitor shows London best business city
More companies look to expand in Moscow 11 Oct, 2011, London Cushman & Wakefield European Cities Monitor · London retains number one position for best European business city overall · Paris and Frankfurt hold second and third rankings · Amsterdam and Berlin move into the top five cities in which to do […]
Protest to mark the end of the NATS Terminal Control North consultation
A small protest in London against the NATS proposed changes to airspace north of London
IATA international passenger figures
IATA international passenger data
CAA air passenger statistics for March 2009
CAA air passenger statistics for March 2009
CAA terminal and transit passenger data for January 2009
CAA terminal and transit passenger data for January 2009
CAA passenger numbers for February 2009
CAA air passenger statistics for Feb 2009
The complete rail guide to Europe
Planning rail journeys in Europe has never been so popular, or so easy. There is plenty of advice around, and this selection is from the Times.
The London Southend Airport Joint Area Action Plan (June 2008)
Details of the June 2008 first round of consultation on the Southend JAAP
How to locate older articles on aviation and airport issues, month by month
Find old news stories on airports and aviation
Publications on Economics and Employment
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Date: 12 July 2012 IATA Welcomes ICAO Progress on a CO2 Standard for Aircraft Important Milestone in a Comprehensive Global Solution for Aviation Emissions Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed an agreement by the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) environment committee on a metric to define a CO2 standard for new […]