April 23, 2012
Ever since the 2008 Climate Act was first drafted, AEF has called for aviation to be part of the UK’s carbon budgets. Just before the Easter break, the Government’s official climate change advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, formally made the same recommendation. AEF responded the same day.
While we await publication of the draft aviation strategy in early summer, speculation about the Government’s airports policy continues. AEF responded to a request for information from Keith Taylor, MEP for SE Engand, in relation to constituents’ concerns about Gatwick expansion, and separately advised a journalist writing about Gatwick noise. We also attended the Integrated Transport Commission symposium on UK aviation strategy, and gave an interview to Radio Surrey, after Dunsfold Park lost an appeal against the local council’s decision to impose limits on the frequency and times of flights from the airfield.
The significance of aviation emissions for UK airports policy has recently had some media attention. AEF board member Jeff Gazzard had a letter published in the Guardian in response to claims from air traffic management company NATS that a third runway at Heathrow would improve the sector’s CO2 performance. And while continuing to fully support aviation’s inclusion in the EU ETS, AEF challenged the claim by Tim Yeo MP that the extension of the policy to airlines from January this year means that UK airports can expand without any concern about emissions growth. Finally, as aviation emissions need to be tackled at global as well as national levels, Tim attended an expert group meeting of the UN’s ICAO looking at possible market-based measures to address the sector’s emissions.
We have also been continuing to engage with issues relating to the CAA’s environmental work. As well as submitting a written response to the CAA’s consultation on its environmental programme, we met with CAA to discuss the relationship between this work and the proposed changes to the aviation regulation that would be introduced by the Civil Aviation Bill. We also met with an MP interested in the possibility of the CAA being given formal environmental duties by the Government.