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Meetings with Government and industry, campaigning for safety around airports, and a new website on aviation’s tax breaks

The past fortnight has seen us working on a range of UK policy issues, including tax, public safety, and high speed rail.

Nic has been continuing to work on air tax issues, briefing a Channel 4 reporter on AEF’s views following the launch of industry campaigning for the Government to drop plans for further increases to Air Passenger Duty. A website, supported by AEF and setting out the justification for the Duty in light of the industry’s current tax breaks, has just been launched.

Tim attended a meeting of the DfT’s External Advisory Group, which focussed on the Government’s launch of its consultation on high speed rail; AEF’s current intern, Katie, has since been working on a summary of the proposals and how they might impact aviation policy. Tim also met with BAA to discuss how the company plans to tackle noise and climate change issues, and attended the launch of a report by WWF-UK on how businesses are reducing their air travel as part of WWF’s One in Five campaign. The report was introduced by Norman Baker MP, who is responsible for developing alternatives to travel, such as videoconferencing and ‘telepresence’, at DfT.

Finally, Roger has been advising and supporting Fight the Flights (the local campaign group at London City Airport) and a local Friends of the Earth group in highlighting safety concerns associated with plans for the London Cable Car, which would run across the Thames from near the O2 to near the ExCeL exhibition centre. Though environmental groups would generally support sustainable public transport links, the proposed route would run through London City Airport’s Public Safety Zone – an area around the airport within which there is an increased risk of an aircraft crash. Building a new tourist attraction within this zone would greatly increase the number of people exposed to significant risk.