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|Aircraft emissions: "shocking wake-up call"|
|Thursday, 30 March 2006 14:52|
The average passenger leaving a flight from Gatwick airport is responsible for 310 kg of CO2 emissions — in everyday terms the equivalent of 85 kilo bags of soot being thrown out of the plane window, according to a new report.
London night-flight fight won - for now
Cheap flights lead to shortage of pilots
The average passenger leaving a flight from Gatwick airport is responsible for 310 kg of CO2 emissions — in everyday terms the equivalent of 85 kilo bags of soot being thrown out of the aeroplane window, according to a new report.
A plane carrying 200 passengers would produce some 17,000 bags of soot, according to ‘Gatwick — Climate Change Culprit', produced by the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, available to download here.
And because CO2 emissions are nearly three times as damaging when released into the upper atmosphere, the average flight is responsible for the equivalent of 46,000 bags of soot dumped at ground level.
Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MEP representing the South-East of England, is drafting a report on the aviation industry's impact on climate change for debate in the European Parliament later this year.
“This report should be a shocking wake-up call for the airlines and the Government,” she said.
“It can be very difficult to visualize the amounts of pollutants generated by aircraft, but by describing CO2 emissions in terms we can all understand - bags of soot - this report makes clear our collective responsibility to reduce the relative size of the aviation sector.”
“The industry itself claims new technology will help reduce its emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, but the reality is that any such cuts will be negated by the projected rise in air traffic.
“The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change research has calculated that by 2040 — if the industry continues to expand as forecast — aviation will be responsible for 100 per cent of total permissible EU emissions. This is patently absurd, and we must take measures at both national and EU level to cut subsidies and require airlines to reduce their emissions — and that means reducing the number of flights.”
She added: “Whatever measures the Government and EU agree by which to deliver it, we simply must reduce demand for flying — or face climate disaster. If the Government is serious about tackling climate change, as it maintains, it must halt all runway building and rule out any further expansion of capacity at Gatwick and other airports.”
Liberal Democrats' petition
Locally Liberal Democrats are asking residents to complete and return a petition recently distributed door-to-door with their 'Focus - incorporating Bitterne Park News' publication. It calls on the Government to review its Aviation White paper, which required airport operators such as BAA, which runs Southampton, as well as Heathrow, Gatwick and various other UK airports, to outline its 'vision for growth' up to 2030.
There is also an online petition against the expansion of Southampton Airport at the Friends of the Earth website here.
Government plans to remove cap on night-flights defeated - for now
On March 8 the House of Lords passed the ‘Night Flights’ amendment to the Civil Aviation Bill, aimed at stopping Government plans to remove the cap on night-flights in London. However the Aircraft Environment Federation says the Government has informed it that it will seek to overturn the Lords’ decision when the Bill returns to the Commons.
Meanwhile the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign's website reports that they are "appalled to see the responses to the night flight consultation submitted by BAA, and by Gatwick Scheduling Committee (ie the Gatwick airlines). Both are urging the Government to allow substantial increases in the number of night flights, and in the amount of noise permitted at night - compared to the present situation and compared to the proposals put forward by the Department for Transport."
Further information and the GACC's detailed rebuttal are accessible from here.
Peers battle over Heathrow noise: BBC
Tory peers win night-flight fight - BBC
The Daily Telegraph has reported that cheap flights are leading to a shortage of pilots, and that Easyjet has slashed its flying experience requirement
FlyBe pilot incapacitated — Observer
Campaigners around the UK object to aviation growth — Guardian
The government and the airlines want to turn the country into Airstrip One — George Monbiot in The Guardian
How to influence airport expansion - BBC Action Network