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Meeting US regulators, engaging in EU noise discussion, and preparing for the UK aviation policy consultation

June 29, 2012

Following the Jubilee bank holiday, AEF has been busy on UK, EU and international issues. Tim has been preparing for an important meeting of the environment committee at ICAO – the UN body currently working on possible global solutions to tackle rising aviation emissions – and met with representatives of the US Federal Aviation Administration to exchange views.

At EU level, draft legislation on noise measures has passed from the Council of Ministers to the European Parliament for consideration. AEF has been engaging with both the UK Government and European representatives about the proposed Regulation, and our view of the amendments recently put forward by the ENVI committee (which addresses Environment, Public Health and Food Safety).

In relation to our UK work, as we await a final date for publication of the draft aviation policy, airports have been keen over recent weeks to advance their own – often conflicting – interests in the media. The assumed backdrop is almost always one of an airport capacity crisis, in which only relevant question is how the UK will cope with rapidly rising passenger demand. The Government’s passenger forecasts, however, tell a very different story. AEF has been preparing a detailed analysis of the forecasts, to be published next week on our website, which will conclude that even the latest figures – dramatically reduced from the previous forecast in 2009 – are likely to be too high.

While the detail of the draft policy in terms of specific runway and airport issues remains a mystery, noise management is sure to feature as an important topic, and Tim recently took part in the Civil Aviation Authority’s “tranquillity noise group” that brings together interested parties concerned with the protection of quiet areas.