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Key points for responding to the Airports Commission’s runway consultation

28th January, 2015

We have produced a guidance note to provide people responding to the Airports Commission’s consultation with our main concerns. You can download it here.

The document focuses on arguments that apply to both Heathrow and Gatwick, particularly gaps in the Airports Commissions analysis to date.

Our overall view is that despite producing thousands of pages of analysis, much of the Airports Commission’s work is still incomplete, particularly the components investigating the likely negative impacts of expansion.

Three issues we view as not having been fully addressed by the Airports Commission to date are:

  • climate change – the Commission has not carried out the analysis called for by the Committee on Climate Change
  • Public Safety Zones (PSZs) – no maps of what future PSZs would look like have been produced to date
  • Health – the collective health impacts from poor air quality and noise are not presented and neither has a health impact assessment been carried out

We have significant concerns with the Airports Commission’s analysis to date on:

  • economy – while carrying significant uncertainties and not including potential negative impacts, the wider benefits figures produced by the Airports Commission are being used as a basis for justifying expansion
  • noise – the sensitivity of the Commission’s finding to the assumptions made for flight paths and future fleet mix are not presented and so we cannot fully evaluate the findings
  • carbon – no commentary is provided of why emissions forecasts produced by the Airports Commission are considerably lower than the DfT’s most recent forecast in 2013
  • air quality – the local dispersal modelling has not been carried out to date by the Airports Commission which prevents a detailed assessment of whether or not a new runway would breach legal air quality limits

Other help for responding to the consultaton

Hillingdon Council has published the response it will be sending to the Airports Commission which goes into detail about the flaws in Heathrow’s expansion plans and how they have been assessed. the submission draws attention to the lack of consideration of the health impacts that would follow Heathrow expansion due to increased noise and air pollution. The submission is available to download here.

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, GACC, has produced a detailed assessment of the likely impacts of Gatwick expansion, Gatwick Unzipped, and councils around Gatwick appear to have woken up to concerns with several voting to oppose expansion, including Crawley, West Sussex and Tumbridge Wells in recent weeks.

Download: AEF Note to members on the Airports Commission consultation

Image Credit: Konstantinos Kazantzoglou via Flickr