Sunday, August 19, 2012

Government consultation on new Aviation Policy Framework

In July 2012, the government launched its consultation on the draft Aviation Policy Framework.  This is intended to replace the 2003 Air Transport White Paper.

Its second paper, asking for evidence on whether more airport capacity, particularly hub capacity, is needed in London and the South East has been postponed until the Autumn.

AirportWatch have posted the following initial response: 

"The consultation is still a document which envisages a lot of growth in air travel.  Whether that level of growth is compatible with climate change and noise concerns is highly debatable. But the consultation document is more honest than we have seen from previous governments.  It recognises that there is a tourism deficit, due to air travel, and that the UK is already about the best connected country in the world, contrary to the aviation industry’s spin.  It also recognises that landing slots need to be sorted out, as they are a major hindrance to efficient use of airport capacity. However, the document is weak on climate."

For an initial assessment on the draft Framework in terms of climate, noise and other issues see John Stewart's comment on the AirportWatch website.  

The deadline for responses to this consultation is 31 October 2012.  Response forms are available on the Department for Transport (DfT) website.  

The following quotes are taken from the draft Aviation Policy Framework:

On aviation and the Climate Change Act.....
"3.20 The Climate Change Act (2008) commits the UK to reducing its net GHG emissions by at least 80 per cent below the 1990 baseline by 2050 (the target), and requires the Government to set five-yearly carbon budgets, establishing a path towards meeting that target.   Emissions from international aviation (and shipping) are currently not included in the Act's definition of "emissions" and therefore do not form part of the target. However, the Government is required to set out the circumstances and extent to which emissions from international aviation should be included before the end of 2012, or explain to Parliament why it has not done so."

"3.21 In April 2012, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published its advice to the Government that the UK's national carbon budgets and targets should include aviation (and shipping) emissions. Given the practical complexities, the Government is carefully analysing the evidence and options presented. The Government intends to make clear its position later this year."

On possible plans to link High Speed 2 to Manchester Airport......
"2.92 HS2 Ltd has also now submitted to the Government detailed route options for a spur from the main HS2 line to serve Heathrow Airport. This would provide improved links from the Midlands and the North, and enable HS2 passengers to travel directly to Heathrow without having to change trains. HS2 Ltd is also assessing the options and case for serving Manchester airport by high speed rail."

"2.93 The Government will publish its initial preferred route and station options for Phase 2 in autumn 2012, and launch a consultation in 2013/14."

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