LADACAN has submitted its response to the DfT’s Aviation 2050 consultation on future airspace policy. The response can be downloaded from this link >> Aviation 2050
We participated in a series of workshops last year in preparation for the consultation, and consistently made the point that the early drafts did not balance aviation growth with adequate mitigation measures to offset noise, environmental and health impacts. The word “sustainable” was in our opinion being hijacked to mean “sustaining growth in aviation” rather than “sustaining the ecology”. And when the final consultation emerged it still appeared to be very pro-growth.
This does not play well given the increasing concerns about the climate emergency. People and governments are being challenged to think about flying responsibly and flying less, rather than flying more. We have brought this point out in our response, and there are hopeful suggestions that the government will have to re-think its strategy. Signals are mixed though, because the High Court has ruled against a bid to oppose the Heathrow third runway expansion. Chris Grayling came out in support of the plan which campaigners claim will create a “new airport” in an already massively noise-impacted area.
If people themselves decide to fly more responsibly and cut down on the flights they take for the sake of the environment and the future of the planet, then this could in itself remove the perception of ever-increasing demand for growth in one of the significant sources of carbon emissions. And that, more than anything else, would help to shift the policymakers into taking a more balanced view.