New Civil Engineer - Catherine Kennedy

A group of NGOs has written to aviation minister Robert Courts calling on the government to withdraw its policy support for airport expansion.

The group - made up of the Aviation Environment Federation, AirportWatch, Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, Possible and Transport & Environment - wants the government to withdraw support for airport expansion until aviation emissions are actually falling, and wider emissions are substantially below a 1.5oC-compliant trajectory.

The letter points out that neither the ANPS for a new runway at Heathrow nor the MBU policy for other airports – both released in 2018 – have yet been assessed for their compatibility with delivering net zero aviation by 2050.

It also voices concerns that the government’s draft Jet Zero strategy is built around assumptions that increases in sustainable fuels and carbon removals will occur after 2030, but with no clear policy plan to ensure they are delivered.  It argues that limits on airport capacity growth, as advised by the Climate Change Committee, are a lower risk approach.

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