19th July was the deadline for airports and others to make submissions to the Airports Commission on long term expansion proposals, and with many of these publicised in the media, AEF responded by making the argument for no new runways to a number of outlets as well as providing same-day comment on our website.Nic spoke on behalf of the AirportWatch coalition on BBC News 24, the World at One (BBC Radio 4), and ITV Wales, and we had a letter in the London Evening Standard. We’ve also, in July, continued our engagement with the Airports Commission and been working on various noise-related consultations.
AEF, represented by Tim and Cait, was one of just 3 organisations invited to give evidence to the Airports Commission on aviation and climate change at a public hearing in Manchester Town Hall, arguing that in contrast to the industry’s optimistic projections about technology improvements and low-carbon fuels, official forecasts suggest that new runways should be ruled out if the UK is to have a chance of meeting its climate objectives. Both our slides and a full transcript are now available here.
The Commission is now consulting on the last of its current series of issues papers, with the latest one focussing on noise, and we’ve begun preparing our response. We’ve also been working on a Government consultation on guidance to the industry’s regulator, the CAA, on how to balance concerns about noise (as a result of overflying densely populated areas, or special areas of tranquillity) with those about fuel efficiency (leading to calls for the most direct routing possible).
The CAA is developing its environment programme in various ways, though within the constraints that the organisation is funded largely through charges to the industry, which will always want to minimise cost, and that it has a legal duty to protect the interests of air travel consumers. Tim took part in a meeting of the CAA’s environmental stakeholder panel, and Cait in a workshop on how the CAA proposes to discharge its duties to provide environmental information under the Civil Aviation Act 2012.
Finally, we’ve been recruiting for our one-year paid internship post . After a huge number of very strong applications, we’re hoping that our new recruit will be starting as soon as the middle of August.