24th September, 2012
With Cabinet changes ousting one of the Government’s strongest opponents of a third Heathrow runway, Justine Greening, from her position as Transport Secretary, and Tim Yeo having, over the August Bank Holiday, challenged David Cameron to show whether he was a man or a mouse by performing a U-turn on the runway under pressure from industry, Nic appeared on ITV’s London Tonight to respond.
In all the media furore over where new runways should go, few are remembering to ask for evidence on whether we really need more airport capacity. A letter in the Independent quotes our research on this, echoing a Guardian letter the previous week. AEF was also quoted in a Guardian blog piece about the fact that Coop Travel, which has built a reputation as a market leader in terms of ethical and environmental policies, is sponsoring an industry campaign against air tax, which AEF believes is in fact too low.
The AEF’s Executive Council met in the second week of September and, concerned about the importance of a balance of views in the new commission being created to assess airport capacity needs, has since written to the Government recommending that environmental and community interests be transparently represented in the commission’s make-up.
As we await further details about the commission’s terms of reference, the ongoing media and political interest in airports policy helped to ensure a packed room and a lively audience at the Green party’s fringe event on aviation, at which AEF spoke. We also took part in a workshop at Essex University to consider the politics of the UK’s approach to aviation in recent decades, and how the public might be more effectively engaged in the decision making process over the next few years.