Press Release: Contact Joe Peacock 0121 6326909 campaigns@birminghamfoe.org

aviationemissions

Following the recent bold predictions of growth by Birmingham Airport, local environmentalists are pointing out that this means a second runway must be in their sights.

Having defeated plans for a second runway, which was achieved with a massive outcry from local residents, environmental campaigners now fear that the region could be sleepwalking towards a massive increase in noise and pollution with ever more expansion.

Joe Peacock of Birmingham Friends of the Earth said:

“The insatiable demand of this over-subsidised industry to expand is all too clear to see.

“Having received millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to move the A45 for this runway extension, how long will it be before they return for more public money for a second runway?

“As we understand it, the increases in passenger numbers they are predicting could not be handled on a single runway, even with the extension, so there are obviously plans to revisit building the second one.

Campaigners also cast doubts over the possibility of achieving such increases due to the expected continuing rises in oil prices, uncertainty over the economy and likely increasing efforts to tax carbon.

Peacock continued: “There are not unlimited supplies of oil on our finite planet and as fuel is the biggest overhead for airlines already struggling to break even, further price rises are likely to drive more out of business.

“We really cannot see how the industry can possibly predict such rises in passenger numbers when we have seen the end of cheap oil and most sensible businesses understand the need to reduce dependency on it.

“We have legally binding targets for reducing CO2 emissions which cannot possibly be met when aviation is planning to increase theirs by nearly a third.”

The government has already delayed the long-awaited consultation into a sustainable future for aviation [1] which should provide more clarity over its view on expansion.

ENDS

Notes for editors

  1. The DfT consultation on the scoping document for a sustainable framework for aviation took place earlier this year with a full document due out in March but then postponed after the budget announcement: http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2011-09/ http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=1583

  2. Birmingham Friends of the Earth’s response to the consultation is available online: http://www.birminghamfoe.org.uk/bfoe-on-flying/developing-a-sustainable-framework-for-uk-aviation

  3. Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigns on many environmental issues on a local, national and international level. They hold regular campaigns meetings on Monday evenings at 7.30pm: http://www.birminghamfoe.org.uk/

  4. This is a response to the statements Birmingham Airport released recently to coincide with their new advertising campaign: http://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/meta/news/2012/06/birmingham-airport-launches-david-and-goliath-advertising-campaign.aspx