UK airports demand government support to cut noise and emissions

UK airports demand government support to cut noise and emissionsUK airports will demand greater government support for efforts to cut carbon emissions and reduce noise today.

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) will launch a report in the House of Commons detailing the reduction in carbon emissions of the UK’s largest airports between 2010 and 2012.

Ahead of the launch, the AOA said: “The government needs to incentivise the take-up of sustainable aviation fuels, including establishing a clear policy framework to stimulate production and investment.”

On noise, it pointed out developers have worked on or won planning permission for thousands of homes in areas likely to be affected by aircraft noise despite this contravening government policy.

The AOA report, Sustainable Airports: Improving the environmental impact of the UK’s global gateways, details a near 3% reduction in carbon footprint of the UK’s 18 largest airports between 2010 and 2012 – despite an increase in passenger numbers of more than 5%.

It reports 14 of the airports showed a combined 4.3% fall in annual carbon emissions between 2010 and 2013 – a period in which passenger numbers rose 8.9% at the airports.

But on noise, the report states: “In the last three years, over 5,700 homes have been given planning permission or have started or completed construction in areas around airports where the government expects some people will experience annoyance at aircraft noise.”

It notes: “The population size within [airport] noise contours is beyond the control of airports due to a lack of consistency between national aviation policy and planning policy.”

The AOA said: “The government needs to give local authorities national policy guidance, to help them build homes in areas compatible with airports and other infrastructure.

“Government policy asks airports to limit and reduce the number of people inside [airport] noise contours – it should not enable developers to introduce thousands of new households into those contours.”

AOA chief executive Darren Caplan said: “This is an important contribution to the debate around whether our sector can successfully expand without increasing its carbon and noise impacts.

“The report shows airports are keeping their side of the bargain – investing and innovating to reduce their carbon footprints and working to reduce noise.

“We need to see a partnership approach with government to take sustainable airport development to the next level.

“We urge ministers to step up to the plate and do their bit to deliver supportive policy.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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