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SDC/IPPR Report: Breaking the Holding Pattern

May 21, 2008

The Sustainable Develoment Commission and the Institute for Public Policy Research have published recommendations for a new approach to aviation policymaking in the UK based on a finding that there is widespread controversy over the basic economic, environmental and technological data on air travel.

Hugh Raven, Commissioner at SDC, said: “Until some basic questions are answered, we cannot be in a position to make decisions about the future of air travel. The government must live up to its commitment to listening to citizens and stakeholders, and act to ensure we make the best possible decisions for everyone involved.”

See http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/pages/aviation.html

AEF Director, Tim Johnson, said: “Today’s recommendations from IPPR/SDC highlight the need for Government to put its aviation expansion plans on hold while fundamental evidence underpinning its policies is both reviewed, discussed with stakeholders, and agreed.

“We support the establishment of a Special Commission to undertake an independent examination of the facts, and would be happy to participate on the understanding that the outcome will be used to review the existing Air Transport white paper published in 2003.

“Specifically, we welcome the recommendation that it is premature for Government to take any decision on airport expansion, including Heathrow, until the review is concluded. Furthermore, the report recognises that any policy needs to be accompanied by clear environmental limits and targets, with an emphasis on reducing the impacts. “