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Meetings with community activists, the UK Government and Rolls Royce

March 12, 2010

We’ve been involved with a series of events and meetings over the past two weeks, with communities, governments and industry. AEF director, Tim Johnson, presented to a climate change working group of the European Commission and member states and attended a meeting of the UK Department for Transport’s external advisory group, which considered, among other matters, the Department for Transport’s current consultation on a possible environmental duty for the CAA. He also met with Rolls Royce to discuss its corporate environmental reporting and took part in a meeting of stakeholder panel for industry coalition Sustainable Aviation, to discuss the 2010 work programme.

We’ve been keeping in touch with developments in the USA, with Cait attending a talk organised by the Global Climate Network on whether a US climate bill is still possible, and Tim meeting with a number of US community groups at an aircraft noise symposium. Cait also attended a Green Alliance event hosting Vince Cable, shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Liberal Democrats, at which he announced his party’s plans to push in its election campaign the benefits of a per plane tax to include transfer passengers and cargo transport and replace the Air Passenger Duty (a policy proposed at one time by the government and supported by AEF). And Cait attended a seminar on aviation’s introduction to the EU emissions trading scheme, put on by law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, at which she challenged some airlines’ claims about their carbon reduction targets.

Inquiries in the last fortnight have covered, among other issues, how noise from general aviation could be addressed by noise action plans, how climate change arguments should be presented in the context of a local planning inquiry, how business jets could be taxed on their fuel use, and what research has been undertaken on health risks near airports, (following the publication in an Italian newspaper of research linking Rome’s Fiumicino airport with increased cancer rates among citizens and workers in the area). New on the website has been a story on expansion at Lydd airport as well as AEF’s report for HACAN on how concentration of approach paths at Heathrow have brought misery for those under noise corridors.