GREENAIR NEWSLETTER 10 JULY 2015
This is a text-only version. If you would like to see the full version of any article with images, videos, related articles, comments, etc, then click on the headline of the article.
United becomes second airline investor in US household waste to renewable jet fuel company Fulcrum
Thu 9 Jul 2015 – In what it describes as the single largest investment by a US airline in alternative aviation fuels, United has taken an equity stake valued at $30 million in waste-to-biofuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy. The two have also agreed to jointly develop up to five projects located near United’s hubs that would be expected to produce up to 180 million gallons a year. Subject to availability, United will additionally have the opportunity to purchase at least 90 million gallons of jet biofuel a year for a minimum of 10 years at a price competitive with conventional fuel. This is the second major investment in Fulcrum by an airline, following an agreement signed in August 2014 with Cathay Pacific that included an equity stake and a long-term biofuel supply arrangement.
United Airlines’ interest in alternative aviation fuels goes back to 2009 when it became the first North American carrier to perform a two-engine demonstration flight using sustainable biofuels, which was followed in 2011 by the first US commercial passenger flight to use approved advanced biofuels made from algae. In 2013, United announced an agreement with AltAir Fuels to use biofuels made from non-edible natural oils and agricultural wastes on flights out of its Los Angeles hub, making it the first US airline to enter into a commercial scale agreement for aviation biofuels (see article). The carrier says it expects to begin using AltAir fuel on regular flights later this year.
“We know alternative fuels is an emerging industry that is vital to the future of aviation and this is just one of our initiatives to help make these fuels saleable and scalable,” said United EVP and General Counsel Brett Hart. “Investing in alternative fuels is not only good for the environment, it’s a smart move for our company as biofuels have the potential to hedge against future oil price volatility and carbon regulations.”
Fulcrum’s technology converts household waste, known as municipal solid waste (MSW), into renewable jet fuel and benefits from the low cost of the feedstock and an expected 80% reduction in life-cycle carbon emissions when compared to conventional jet fuel. The company claims to have successfully developed and proven its thermochemical process and has already received support from the US Air Force and US Navy for future production of fuel that meets military specifications.
In May 2013, Fulcrum was awarded a $4.7 million grant by the US Defense Department towards the engineering and development of its first MSW plant. This was followed in September 2014 by a $105 million loan guarantee from the US Department of Agriculture to help finance the construction of the $266 million Sierra facility in Nevada that is expected to produce 11 million gallons of fuel annually. Fulcrum has since awarded a $200 million fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction contract to Abengoa.
Details of the equity deal with Cathay Pacific have not been disclosed beyond being described by the Hong Kong-based airline as “significant” and carries an option for a future bigger shareholding. The agreement also includes the purchase of an initial 375 million gallons of jet biofuel over a 10-year period (see article).
United Airlines – Eco-Skies , Fulcrum BioEnergy
Airports Commission recommends third runway at Heathrow but with environmental conditions attached
Thu 2 Jul 2015 — The UK Government-appointed Airports Commission has come down in favour of a new third northwest runway at London’s Heathrow Airport as providing the best option in terms of benefiting the national economy and international air transport connectivity. However, the Commission recommends a number of measures, some legally enforced, to address Heathrow’s impacts on the local environment and communities. These include a night-time ban on scheduled flights between 2330 and 0600, a ‘noise envelope’ that stipulates no overall increase above current levels, a new aviation noise charge or levy used to compensate local communities, the formation of a community engagement board and an independent aviation noise authority.
After considering more than 50 proposals to increase the UK’s aviation capacity, including a new airport in the Thames Estuary to the east of London, the Commission shortlisted three options: an additional northwest runway at Heathrow and an extension to an existing runway, and a second runway at Gatwick Airport. The Commission’s final report submitted yesterday considers all three to be operationally and commercially viable. However, it has concluded “the environmental impacts of expansion at Heathrow, once effective mitigations and generous provision for compensation are in place, do not outweigh its very significant national and local benefits.”
The Commission says the Heathrow runway extension scheme would cost less to build and cause the loss of fewer homes than a new runway but would deliver a lower capacity, a higher number of people within the highest noise contours close to the airport and greater air quality challenges.
It considers that over the coming decades the noise impacts of Heathrow are likely to reduce considerably as newer and quieter aircraft come into service and as flight paths are redesigned and improved.
On the highly contentious issue of air quality, the Commission believes there will be future improvements around Heathrow, even with additional runway capacity. However, it calls for firm action by the airport operator to ensure emissions associated with the airport are minimised, along with national action on air quality related to road transport. “Any new capacity should only be released when it is clear that air quality around the airport will not delay compliance with EU limits,” says the report.
Expansion at Heathrow, it contends, should be treated as a unique opportunity to change the way the airport operates and be taken forward as a broader package that addresses environmental, social and economic impacts. This would include a legally binding ‘noise envelope’ that could stipulate the total number of people affected by noise under expansion should be no higher than it is today. “Capping noise levels ensures that the airport and the airlines must become more noise efficient if the airport is to grow,” suggests the Commission.
As well as a ban on scheduled night flights, the Government is encouraged to introduce a noise charge or levy to ensure that airport users pay more to compensate local communities, following the examples followed in France and the USA. The suggested independent aviation noise authority should advise on the design of the charge and local people should be able to see how funds are used. These measures should be accompanied by a community engagement board based on a model adopted at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to oversee issues such as compensation schemes. The Government should also firmly commit to rule out any fourth runway at Heathrow, “for which there is no operational or environmental case,” it adds.
On aviation’s impact on climate change, the Commission is less clear in its justification for expansion and appears not to offer a view on whether the sector can expect to meet reduction targets. The report says it has developed two sets of forecasts based on recommendations by the UK Government’s climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which specifies a planning assumption for the aviation sector that requires gross CO2 emissions to total no more than 37.5 million tonnes by 2050. One forecast assumes an international carbon trading mechanism will be introduced and the other a firm cap is put in place.
“Our new plans have been designed around the needs of local communities and will meet carbon, air quality and noise targets, and provides the greatest benefit to the UK’s connectivity and its long term economic growth,” claimed John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow Airport. “We will create the world’s best connected, most efficient and most environmentally responsible hub airport at the heart of an integrated transport system.”
The Commission’s unequivocal backing for a new third Heathrow runway is supported by business interests, trade unions and most airlines.
Although the Commission’s report says Heathrow’s benefits were “significantly greater” than Gatwick’s, the latter’s “plausible case for expansion” was cause for its CEO, Stewart Wingate, to claim Gatwick was “still very much in the race” and the Government would choose his airport for expansion as the only deliverable option. “The report underplays the massive environmental challenges of air quality and noise at Heathrow,” he said. “They are huge.”
His view was shared by John Stewart of HACAN, which has long campaigned against expansion of Heathrow. “This is far from the end of the story,” he said. “It will be the Government that makes the final decision and given the strong opposition in the cabinet to Heathrow, the final chapter may come out in favour of Gatwick.”
A number of prominent Government MPs and some ministers have constituencies around both airports and expansion at either is highly uncertain, despite the nearly three years of work carried out by the Commission at a cost of £20 million ($30m). The Mayor of London and a major political player, Boris Johnson, whose own plan for a new airport in the Thames Estuary was rejected by the Commission, said expanding Heathrow was “too environmentally damaging.”
National aviation environmental campaign organisation AEF urged the Government to reject the Commission’s recommendation and all runway expansion as the options would breach CO2 limits and have unacceptable local environmental impacts.
“The recommendation to expand Heathrow will be fiercely resisted by local authorities, MPs, Communities and environmental organisations,” said Cait Hewitt, AEF Deputy Director. “Every government that has ever considered Heathrow expansion has ruled it out once the full scale of the environmental impacts has become clear.”
The Government’s transport minister said yesterday a formal response to the recommendation would be made in the autumn.
Airports Commission — Final report
Virgin Atlantic’s carbon emissions continue to decline as new aircraft make impact on fuel efficiency
Fri 26 Jun 2015 – Virgin Atlantic says it is on course to meet its 2020 target of reducing carbon emissions per revenue tonne kilometre (RTK) by 30% from a 2007 baseline. Largely as a result of heavy investment in new, more fuel-efficient Airbus 330-300 and Boeing 787-9 aircraft, the reduction in CO2 per RTK to 2014 stands at 10%. The airline acknowledges it is halfway through the target period and only a third of the way in reaching the goal but believes the additional 787-9 Dreamliners about to join the fleet and other fuel efficiency initiatives will pay off. Despite operating more flights and carrying more passengers than any year since 2007, absolute emissions in 2014 were 12% below the baseline. Virgin Atlantic’s latest ‘Change is in the Air’ sustainability report also reveals the carrier, the first to set itself noise reduction targets, managed to lower its average noise output per aircraft movement by over 2dB last year.
Total CO2e emissions from Virgin Atlantic’s aircraft operations amounted to just over 4.6 million tonnes in 2014, a reduction of around 3% on the previous year, and down from 5.2 million tonnes in 2007. This was equivalent to 89.0 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometre, compared to 100.7 in 2007. The airline points out the comparable average for new car emissions in the UK last year was 124.8gCO2/km.
2013 marked the first full year of operations for the airline’s 10 new A330-300s and at least 17 Dreamliners are expected to join the fleet by 2018, which will make up about half the total number of aircraft. Used on transatlantic routes, Virgin says initial data shows the 787s are about 30% more fuel efficient than the A340-600s they are replacing.
Average noise output per aircraft movement measured 95.53dB in 2014, a reduction of 2.07dB since the 2012 baseline and is over a third of the way to a 6dB reduction target by 2020. The airline’s Aircraft Noise Management Strategy pledges to continue to implement and, where possible, increase the use of aircraft noise reducing procedures such as continuous descent operations (CDOs) and appropriate noise abatement practices.
The sustainability report notes Virgin Atlantic is planning a proving flight using sustainable jet fuel to be supplied by its partner LanzaTech as part of the fuel certification process currently underway and will mark what it hopes will be a significant step towards commercialisation. The LanzaTech technology converts waste carbon monoxide from industrial complexes such as steel mills into ethanol, which in turn is converted in a separate process to jet fuel. Life-cycle analysis shows the new fuel could have up to 60% lower emissions than conventional kerosene.
On the ground, the airline says it has cut energy use across all its UK sites by 23% since 2008-09, exceeding its target by nearly 12%. Last year, it diverted 92% of ground waste from landfill, including food waste that is now segregated and sent to anaerobic digesters.
Last year also marked a return to profitability for Virgin Atlantic. “Being an environmentally and socially responsible business is absolutely integral to our brand values, our people and our customers,” said Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger, announcing the report. “Our latest sustainability figures show that profitability can be de-coupled from carbon, which is fantastic news for our airline and our industry.”
Virgin Atlantic ‘Change is in the Air’ sustainability report
Schiphol’s switch to alternatively powered vehicles boosted by new fleet of electric passenger buses
Fri 26 Jun 2015 – Schiphol Airport has started operating 35 electric buses to transport passengers between aircraft and gate, with each bus having its own solar-panelled charging point, so making the airport the biggest charging station for electric buses in Europe. The buses, three of which entered service in 2014, are part of the SUBSS (Sustainable Bus System of Schiphol) project and will replace an ageing fleet of conventionally powered vehicles. They were designed especially for and in collaboration with the airport and supplied by Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD, whose European headquarters are in nearby Rotterdam. Schiphol is focusing on stimulating clean transport both airside and in passenger travel to and from the airport, and now boasts the largest fleet of electrically powered taxis of any airport in the world.
Currently, around 20% of passengers are transferred between the aircraft and terminal by bus. The new buses are shorter and narrower than the buses they replace, which should provide a better fit for Schiphol’s airside infrastructure, but still allow for spacious seating and additional baggage space, while also having a smaller battery that is tailored for the required action radius. The BYD proprietary environmentally-friendly iron-phosphate battery contains materials that can be recycled or safely disposed of at end of life.
According to BYD, the fossil-fuel powered engines on the buses being replaced have suffered wear and tear because they rarely reached optimal operating temperatures on the short journeys, which resulted in high maintenance costs and poor emissions performance. At 14 metres long – 2 metres longer than the new e-buses – the old buses proved too big and wide for the infrastructure and resulted in regular accidental damage.
The new buses and chargers will be maintained under a 10-year contract with KLM Equipment Services.
Since last October, passengers travelling to and from Schiphol have been able to opt for electrically powered taxis. Two taxi companies, BBF Schipholtaxi and BIOS-groep, are now operating a fleet of 167 Tesla Model S taxis. The zero-emission taxis will operate at the airport for a period of at least four years, with an optional extension of up to eight years.
Schiphol recently received the Airports Going Green Award at a green airports conference in Chicago organised by the Chicago Department of Aviation. It was praised for “the incredible sustainability achievements and innovations at Schiphol and in particular the contributions to the aviation industry” and was called a source of inspiration for sustainability initiatives at airports in the United States.
“Schiphol aims to be one of the most sustainable airports in the world. In everything we do we try to be cleaner, smarter, more economical and more social,” said Jos Nijhuis, Schiphol Group CEO.
Schiphol Group – Corporate Responsibility , BYD
NASA signs research agreement with DLR on aircraft noise reduction and funds supersonic flight studies
Thu 25 Jun 2015 – US aerospace agency NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have agreed to collaborate on research into advanced methods for predicting aircraft system noise and establish validation guidelines for comparison between the two institutions. A reduction in aircraft noise without adversely affecting the environment or fuel efficiency is a major challenge, they say, but needs to be solved to enable further growth of air transport in the face of more stringent environmental challenges. Last year, NASA and DLR worked together with the Canadian National Research Council to study the effects of alternative aviation fuels at cruise altitudes on emissions and contrail formation (see article). NASA has also separately announced funding for research into quieter, greener supersonic travel that will address sonic booms and high-altitude emissions from supersonic jets.
Under the NASA/DLR project, each will run high-fidelity noise predictions on two virtual aircraft configurations – a model of an aircraft with overwing turbofans and another with turbofans under the wings. One of the key technologies for reliable noise prediction during new development takes into account all sources of aircraft noise and the impact of their installation, explain the partners. As the basis for noise prediction, acoustic measurement data will be used that was acquired by DLR in previous scientific flights with its now decommissioned Advanced Technologies Testing Aircraft System.
NASA and DLR signed a framework agreement in December 2010 on aeronautical research collaboration and have brought their respective scientific strengths together on several projects, including research into more efficient and environmentally-friendly aircraft, said DLR’s Rolf Henke.
Eight studies have been selected by NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project to receive a total of over $2.3 million in funding for research that the agency says may help overcome barriers to commercial supersonic flight. $1.2 million will go to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is being led by Steven Barrett, on the global environmental impact of supersonic cruise aircraft in the stratosphere. Other studies will look at sonic booms and low noise integration concepts and propulsion technologies.
Sonic booms – the loud report from a shockwave created by an aircraft flying faster than 660mph, the speed of sound at aircraft cruising altitude – were considered to be a public nuisance in the US and the FAA banned civilian supersonic aircraft from flying over land in 1973. The FAA has since been looking at changing this rule in the light of the NASA research, which shows the noise from booms can be significantly reduced. However, it has indicated that a change in policy would only be proposed if any future supersonic plane produced no greater noise impact on a community than a subsonic airplane.
In one of the studies to be funded by NASA, experts at GE’s Global Research Center will focus on reducing supersonic jet engine noise during take-offs and landings. Its engineers say the noise coming from high-speed aircraft, even at the lower take-off and landing speeds is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed.
“GE has developed extensive high-fidelity simulation tools and design concepts for noise reduction in our commercial and military engines, and we now plan to leverage that technology to reduce propulsion noise for this application,” said Kishore Ramakrishnan, principal investigator on the NASA programme and member of the Aerodynamics Lab at GE Global Research.
The sonic boom noise level of the supersonic Concorde was 105 PLdB. The PLdB that researchers believe would be acceptable for unrestricted supersonic flight over land is 75, but NASA wants to eventually beat that and reach 70 PLdB. Peter Coen, NASA’s supersonic project manager, said it was possible that smaller supersonic business jets could enter service sooner as lighter aircraft create weaker shock waves, which makes the low boom design challenge easier to solve.
“The business jet would probably be the first on the market, and that would help introduce some of the technologies that eventually would be used on the supersonic airliner. But such product decisions belong to others outside of NASA,” he said. “Our job is to support the science and technology behind those choices, eventually making supersonic flight available to the travelling public.”
NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate , German Aerospace Center (DLR) – Aeronautics Research
Boeing’s next phase of its ecoDemonstrator 757 programme includes flight using US-sourced green diesel blend
Wed 24 Jun 2015 – The next phase has started of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator programme involving a 757 loaned by leisure airline TUI that is focused on testing two new environment-related technologies and aviation biofuel. Boeing is collaborating with NASA on the programme and last week a test flight took place from Seattle to NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia that was powered using a blended sustainable green diesel fuel. Boeing first carried out a test flight using green diesel last December on the previous ecoDemonstrator 787 programme but this is the first to use a US-sourced supply. The other new technologies being tested involve ‘energy harvesting’ windows and a 3D-printed flight deck component made with excess carbon fibre taken from 787 production. Boeing has also released its latest annual Environmental Report that highlights performance and other technology innovations.
The 757 biofuel flight on June 17 used a blend of 95% petroleum jet fuel and 5% sustainable green diesel, a biofuel used in ground transportation. During the previous ecoDemonstrator 787 programme, a first flight used a blend of 15% green diesel and 85% conventional jet fuel in the left engine and in both engines for nine additional flights.
Boeing is providing data from the flights to support certification for commercial airline use. Also called renewable diesel, and not to be confused with biodiesel, green diesel is chemically similar to HEFA (hydro-processed esters and fatty acids) aviation biofuel that was approved in 2011.
Green diesel for the 787 ecoDemonstrator flights was supplied by Finland’s Neste Oil, whereas the product for the 757 flight came from Louisiana-based Diamond Green Diesel and made up from waste animal fats, inedible corn oil and used cooking oil. It was blended by Epic Aviation.
Boeing says that with a production capacity of 1.2 billion gallons (4.5bn litres) already in the US, Europe and Asia, green diesel could rapidly supply as much as 1% – 800 million gallons as of 2014 – of annual global jet fuel demand. With a cost that tracks with petroleum diesel, inclusive of US government incentives, green diesel approaches price parity with conventional jet kerosene, claims Boeing, and significantly reduces carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel on a life-cycle basis.
Among more than 15 technologies on the 757, Boeing has begun testing solar and thermal ‘energy harvesting’ to power electronic windows as a way to reduce wiring, weight, fuel use and carbon emissions. Boeing has also installed a 3D-printed aisle stand made from excess carbon fibre from its 787 airplane production to re-purpose the high-value material to reduce weight as well as factory waste.
Under contract with NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project, the ecoDemonstrator 757 has recently tested active flow control on the vertical tail and bug-phobic coatings on the right wing. The build-up of bugs and ice on exterior surfaces can add to the drag and weight of an aircraft, so raising fuel consumption and emissions.
“This is not your everyday paint you’d buy in a store,” said Dr Jill Seeburgh of Boeing’s Chemical Technology Group in Boeing’s latest annual Environmental Report. “It takes collaboration across Boeing and with industry and university partners to develop materials that meet stringent aerospace requirements and can deliver the environmental benefits we want.”
The 2014 787 programme tested more than 25 promising technologies that could help improve environmental performance and Boeing says this accelerates innovation by giving engineers access to flight tests sooner than would be possible in the development process.
“Engineers can work for years refining and redesigning a new technology with software and simulators,” said Jennifer Holder, ecoDemonstrator Test Platform Manager. “Getting a chance to test an idea on a flying airplane enables someone to perform engineering tasks and procedures you may not otherwise get the opportunity to do. Our strategy is to learn by doing and inspire innovative thinking.”
Although not yet being tested as part of the ecoDemonstrator programme, the report features another innovative use of environmentally progressive materials being researched by Boeing that is inspired by nature.
“We wanted a sustainable material for the sidewall panels of the passenger cabin, which have lower mechanical requirements than other parts of the airplane,” explained Nieves Lapeña-Rey, leader of the Materials and Fuel Cells team at Boeing Research & Technology Europe in Madrid.
“We start with the fibres of the flax plant and a natural resin as part of a fire-resistant sustainable composite material. It’s a novel solution that can reduce the environmental impact of our products, while meeting stringent requirements for fire resistance, thickness, weight, noise reduction and basic mechanical performance.”
The report also highlights that in 2014, Boeing’s GHG emissions amounted to 1.26 million tonnes, a reduction of 3.2% on an absolute basis from a 2012 baseline, with water intake reduced by 6.8%. During the year, 20,650 tonnes of solid waste was sent to landfills, a 0.2% reduction from the baseline, and Boeing now has six ‘zero waste to landfill’ sites in the United States. This excludes hazardous waste, which generated 8% less in 2014 than in 2012.
“In facilities worldwide, the people of Boeing are working towards a target of zero growth by 2017 in greenhouse gas emissions, water intake, hazardous waste generation – normalised to revenue – and solid waste sent to landfills,” write Boeing’s CEO Jim McNerney and VP Environment, Health & Safety, Ursula English in the introduction to the report.
“This is a significant goal – and one we are on target to achieve even as we increase commercial airplane production rates by 50%. We are succeeding by addressing all areas of stewardship, from enhanced recycling in our facilities to designing buildings that meet LEED standards.”
Boeing ecoDemonstrator , Boeing 2015 Environmental Report , NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project , TUI – Sustainability , Diamond Green Diesel
New London runway would allow aviation emissions to soar beyond UK carbon target, argues AEF report
Mon 19 Jun 2015 – With its imminent recommendation to the UK Government on whether a new London runway should be built at Heathrow or Gatwick, the Airports Commission has drawn criticism for not fully explaining how a growth in aviation carbon emissions can be constrained within national climate targets. According to a report by aviation environmental campaign group AEF, the Commission has so far failed to come up with a credible policy for curtailing emissions and calls on the Government to reject the recommendation pending a proper analysis. AEF says that expansion at either of the two airports would require a scaling back of growth plans at UK regional airports in order to meet the carbon cap. The aviation industry contends that substantial growth in traffic can take place and still meet long-term reduction targets through new technology.
The Government’s climate adviser, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), has stipulated that annual carbon emissions from aviation should not exceed 37.5 million tonnes by 2050. The target is equivalent to a 120% increase on emissions in 1990 as against the 80% cut on 1990 emissions levels required from the UK economy overall, and takes no account of aviation’s non-CO2 impacts, points out AEF.
It contends that beyond a conclusion that meeting the target would require demand constraint, the CCC “has remained fiercely silent” on what policies should be adopted to deliver this as it argues these are for the Government to address. “In practice, however, public and political debate has been taking place without the climate change constraint on growth being well understood.”
AEF believes the Commission will compound the problem by recommending expansion at either of the two airports without explaining how the additional emissions can be squared with national climate policy. The only way to make emissions fit with the binding climate legislation, said AEF Deputy Director Cait Hewitt, would be to limit growth in other regions, “which would contradict Government policy for regional airport growth and be impossible in practice to deliver.”
In making its case for the economic case of expansion, the Commission had not factored in the national or regional costs of capping aviation emissions in line with the Climate Change Act, despite being specifically requested to do so by the CCC, claims AEF, and other sectors such as agriculture would therefore be left to shoulder tougher cuts.
AEF maintains independent studies have found that technological and operational measures have limited potential to reduce emissions and only marginal improvements in aircraft efficiency will be possible, with just 2.5% of aviation fuels like to come from alternative sources by 2050, according to Government estimates.
Unsurprisingly, the industry takes a different view. A CO2 roadmap report published in 2012 by coalition group Sustainable Aviation concluded that UK aviation was able to accommodate significant growth to 2050 without a substantial increase in absolute carbon emissions through the deployment of technology, operational measures and sustainable alternative fuels. It also supported a reduction of net CO2 emissions to 50% of 2005 levels through carbon trading. The report stated that sustainable fuels could potentially account for 40% of aviation fuel by airlines operating out of the UK by 2050, and with a 60% improvement in life-cycle emissions, CO2 emissions would therefore be reduced by up to 24% as a result.
AEF argues that a permitted growth in UK air passenger numbers of 60%, which is consistent with CCC advice on keeping emissions at or below 2005 levels by 2050, can be achieved without new runways in the UK, although it recommends additional measures such as raising aviation taxes, support for alternative means of connectivity and the formal inclusion of international aviation emissions in national carbon budgets.
The organisation has also called for expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick to be ruled out on air quality grounds, with air pollution – particularly around Heathrow – becoming a serious enough concern for the Airports Commission to call a late consultation on the issue.
“As with its last-minute, three-week long consultation on air quality, the Commission just hasn’t taken seriously enough the climate change challenge to expansion and will be handing back an incomplete and ill-thought through piece of work to Government,” said Hewitt.
Aviation Environment Federation report