Government has to change course on airport expansion, says advisor

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has warned the government that its gung-ho attitude to aviation and airport expansion must change if it is to meet the  ‘Net Zero’ target which it has announced.

CCC, in its understated way, makes it clear that international aviation must be included in the targets that are set as part of the Climate Act. (Government and Heathrow Airport want it to be left out.)

CCC also says that if aviation were to grow at the rate the government forecasts (and seems to be encouraging) then it would be impossible to meet the Net Zero target by 2050. Let alone by 2030, the date which most scientists and commentators think is necessary.

If a third runway at Heathrow were to go ahead, this would mean severe constraint on other airports in order to meet carbon targets.

CCC also rejects the ‘greenwash’ being put about by the aviation industry; for example that electric planes, biofuels and ‘carbon offsets’ such as planting trees would solve the problem.

More at Aviation Environment Federation.

Heathrow 3rd runway consultation closed 13th Sep

This is a ‘statutory consultation’ which Heathrow has to carry out as part of its planning application and the ‘Development Consent Order’ (DCO) process.  The consultation is, as one would expect from Heathrow, biased and misleading. But the responses will not just be evaluated by Heathrow – they can be taken to an Inspectorate which has to evaluate the proposals and recommend acceptance or otherwise of the plan and changes that are required.

See response that West London Friends of the Earth (WLFOE) has made.

The No Third Runway Coalition has produced a very short summary of the issues and points it and its member groups have made. See below.

  • Expansion will increase flight numbers to 756,000 flights, an increase of over 280,000 flights each year.

  • Destruction of 756 homes.

  • 3,000 homes rendered unliveable.

  • Destruction of Harmondsworth Primary School.

  • Diversions of the M25, A4 and A3044 including changes to junctions, roundabouts and new link roads.

  • 2 new massive car parks for 24,000 and 22,000 cars and new multi-storey car park near T4 – increasing total number of parking spaces by over 3,000.

  • 2.2 million people impacted by increases in aircraft noise.

  • 324,000 people impacted by aircraft noise for the first time.

  • Significant negative effects are predicted on the Wraysbury River, River Colne, Longford River and Duke of Northumberland’s River – all will be diverted.

  • Loss of multiple habitats in Colne Valley Regional Park, Staines Moor and a number of Local Wildlife Sites.

  • According to DfT, negligible economic benefit (Net Present Value of between -£2.5 bn to +£2.9 bn in the UK, and that excludes costs for climate change)
  • No  evidence that it would reduce unemployment (creating some jobs is expected to increase population and cause overcrowding, not reduce unemployment for those who live in the area)