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AEF meets with the new transport minister and enters the fray in a high court legal battle over climate policy

28th May, 2010

With the new government having begun to set out plans in more detail, AEF has contacted the Secretaries of State at Defra, DECC and DfT, and has already met – together with colleagues working in other NGOs – with the Transport Minister, Phillip Hammond, and Parliamentary Under Secretary Norman Baker. Baker has been appointed to a new post within the Department for Transport promoting alternatives to travel such as videoconferencing. Discussion focussed on the government’s approach to aviation and climate change, and how this may affect airports policy. AEF also hosted meetings of the AirportWatch coalition and of the AirportWatch economics group, both of which discussed what approach the new government is likely to take on aviation.

Continuing on the climate theme, AEF formed part of the NGO group that was this week granted permission by the UK High Court to intervene in support of EU climate policy in a case being brought by three US airlines and their trade association. The airlines are seeking to oppose extension of the EU’s emissions trading scheme to cover all aircraft arriving at or departing from the EU.

Tim represented AEF as part of a Challenge Team that was brought together to review an early draft of the CAA’s Future Airspace Strategy – a plan for the management and routing of UK air traffic over the next 20 years – and participated in a video-conference meeting with the newly appointed Head of Sustainability for Project Icarus, which supports businesses in reducing their air travel.

Inquiries in the past fortnight have included questions on the proposed new tax regime for aviation, on monitoring light aircraft, and on the impact of military aircraft noise on farm animals. And finally, we’ve been very happy to welcome a new intern, Jason, who will be working on our communication with newly elected MPs.