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Coalition commitments on runways and aviation tax welcomed by environmental campaigners

May 21, 2010

PRESS RELEASE  21.05.10

The Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) has welcomed the Con-Lib coalition statement which confirms that there will be no new runway at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. AEF also welcomes the change in how aviation will be taxed. [note]

Tim Johnson, Director of AEF said “These commitments on aviation are very positive, and we are pleased that the coalition shares the AEF’s view that aviation’s contribution to UK carbon emissions needs to be urgently tackled. Including transport commitments under ‘energy and climate’ correctly identifies that the issue is about how much aviation we can afford to have in order to reach our climate change goals, rather than simply allowing the industry to grow and mitigating the impacts as far as practical.”

He added “But we’re concerned that the noise impacts of aviation have not been recognised. Indeed, the issue is not mentioned at all in the coalition statement. Since we know that noise annoyance from aircraft is increasing, we very much hope that the new government will recognise the need to protect communities already badly affected by airports, as promised by opposition parties prior to the election.” 

AEF has also been arguing for a change to the basis of taxation.

Tim said “Replacement of Air Passenger Duty (APD) by a per-plane tax is a real improvement.  It removes the anomaly that the pollution caused by flying empty seats is not taxed and plugs the loophole whereby transfer passengers, freight and business jets are exempted. If correctly structured, this change will help motivate the take-up of cleaner, quieter aircraft.”�

Note

The coalition statement says:
* We will cancel the third runway at Heathrow.
* We will refuse permission for additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted
* We will replace Air Passenger Duty with a per-flight duty.