Hello Atmoz. Here’s my quick reply to your post on Heathrow expansion

January 26, 2008 at 4:04 am | Posted in Aviation, Climate change, Climate change bill, Emissions, Flights, Greenhouse gases, Heathrow, Heathrow expansion, Reports, Stop Heathrow Expansion, Tyndall Centre | 1 Comment

Dear atmoz,

Thanks for highlighting my post in your A View of the Proposed Heathrow Expansion from the Other Side.

Heathrow expansion does not entail merely the addition of a runway.

By capacity, this is the equivalent of adding an airport the size of Gatwick to Heathrow.

ATMs (air transport movements, which most people simply call ‘flights’) will rise at LHR from 460,000 to 720,000 by 2020, under different scenarios listed in DfT proposals for Adding Capacity at Heathrow airport Annex C.

The UK is the first country to introduce a national Climate Change Bill.

DfT proposals make a mockery of that Climate Change Bill.

The DfT proposals for Adding Capacity at Heathrow airport ignore climate change, except where emissions can be traded away, by aviation over-emitters paying other industries to reduce their emissions further. This is totally unrealistic (dare I go so far as to say unfair?) in view of our current climate challenge.

Government-blessed expansion of greenhouse gas emissions by the aviation industry flies in the face of the latest assessments from the IPCC and shows disrespect to the work of thousands of world-class scientists who continue to call for significant cuts in emissions.

The UK cannot be considered, let alone be respected, as a leader on the world stage on climate matters if our government supports expansion of airports. Period.

Unrestrained growth in demand for air travel is what BAA are basing their ATM projections on.

At some point many systems burst through incessant expansion. Enough’s enough.

The Tyndall Centre produced a report for Friends of the Earth on ‘Aviation in a low-carbon EU’ and called for strengthening of the EU ETS. The Tyndall servers are down until Monday, but FOE have press release with links to summary and full report if you want to check out their considered advice this weekend.

Some of our local arguments may well be criticised for appearing wrong to anyone who does not live under the flight path.

Needless to say, despite living under the current plane-a-minute scenario, I am more concerned at the climate change implications. The two-faced nature of a government that on the one hand says, through Defra, each of us must do our little bit to combat climate change and every little helps, while every little bit we do is completely swamped and swept away by grand plans announced by DfT, with BAA grandstanding its fabulous “Future Heathrow” “Heathrow Project” “Heathrow City” and “New airport for London” campaigns and ideas to attract and keep stakeholders happy.

By the way, in addition to a third runway, sixth terminal, near-doubling of flights and doubling of passengers and traffic in the Heathrow area, …

… BAA states that it plans to remodel the entire Heathrow site in the next few years …

and BAA this week refused to rule out plans for further expansion, including a fourth runway (they have identified which villages to destroy for that one already) and a seventh terminal.

We need to draw a line in the sand now.

This is it:


Hence my call to all students to help spread the word online. This is not just a local issue. Airport expansion is symptomatic of the forces around the world that require incessant growth to survive and oppose actions to combat climate change.


1 Comment »

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  1. Heathrow should consider the Split-Runway concept
    which provides about the same benefit as the third
    runway would.

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