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Aviation expansion grounded

imc | 04.03.2009 12:07 | Climate Camp 2007 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Globalisation

UPDATE: Lord Peter Mandelson, the unelected Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and key player in the Heathrow expansion plan, attacked with green custard.

Plane Stupid Scotland activists shut down Aberdeen airport by setting up a golf course on the taxiway and surrounding themselves with security fencing whilst another group occupied the roof of the terminal with a banner reading, “Nae Trump Games with Climate Change”. The 3am action prevented the scheduled reopening of the runway at 5am. After almost six hours the protesters voluntarily unlocked themselves when police claimed the taxiway was needed by an emergency helicopter. Eleven people, including local residents, were arrested.

Donald Trump backs Aberdeen airports expansion (where his super-rich pals will arrive to play golf on his controversial golf course). BAA obviously welcome Trump's involvement and need powerful friends right now. They are under presure from the Competition Commision and a down turn in the aviation industry is threatening expansion plans. Plans for a new runway at Stansted (blockaded by Plane Stupid last December) now looks likely to be postponed for at least two years and the airport will be put on the market without planning permission in place.

Despite government rhetoric about cutting CO2 emissions, there are expansion plans for 34 regional airports in the UK. Last month Plane Stupid activists interrupted a public meeting during a speech by Ed Miliband the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, unveiling a banner highlighting the hypocritical actions of the government in relation to aviation and climate change. Back in January Plane Stupid activists chained themselves to the entrance of Southampton airport and erected tents at the main entrance in a bid turn the regional airport into a climate refugee camp (they were in court yesterday and fined between £175 and £600 each).

Links: Greening of Mandelson | Aberdeen action 1 2 | Plane Stupid actions last month Southampton, Brighton | Stansted blockade 2008 | aviation and recession | airport expansion 1 2 | Stansted rumors | previous feature

Plane Stupid Website that aviation is Britain's fastest growing source of emissions, amounting to at least 13% of the UK's climate impact. With plans for new runways across the UK, including at Heathrow and Stansted, experts from the Tyndall Centre for climate research say Labour's aviation policy alone will scupper any chance the UK has of hitting its climate targets.

Previous Plain Stupid coverage: House of Commons | Downing Street glue action | Scotlish Parliament | infiltration attempt foiled | March of the penguins | An interview | travel agents | Heathrow consultation report | Manchester Airport Blockade | Heathrow Residents | Easyjet HQ | 2006 Day of Action

Protests against airport extension in Germany

Campaign Links: Plane Stupid | Airport Watch | Climate Rush | T5Flashmob | HACAN ClearSkies | No Third Runway Action Group | Stop Heathrow Expansion | Campaign for Better Transport | Airport Pledge | Stop Bristol Airport Expansion (video | Concerned residents Against Staverton Expansion (CASE) | Stop Stansted Expansion | Lydd Airport - No Expansion | Rethink! campaign website |



Hide the following 3 comments

Nice action, keep up the pressure

04.03.2009 13:40

Ouch, nasty fines for the Southhampton lot but I guess it beats community service.

I'd like to know how Plane Stupid come up with the figure of 'at least 13%' for greenhouse gas emissions contributed from aviation in this country. It seems a very high figure and I can only assume that (like the government) no account has been taken of the fact that most of this countries emissions take place in the far east since we import most of our manufactured goods (and a substantial proportion of our food).

It really bugs me when I read people saying how there is no point in us cutting emissions in this country because India and China emit far more. Again, they conveniently ignore that fact that those emissions come from producing the shit that we buy in the west since outsourcing our manufacturing and labour to cheaper parts of the world.



05.03.2009 11:41

The 13% stat comes from here:

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the most recent estimate is of the percentage contribution of aviation, based on emissions by all aircraft departing from UK airports, and including the radiative forcing effect, to UK climate change emissions. [134036]

Gillian Merron [holding answer 26 April 2007]: International aviation is not included in the UK’s climate change inventory as there is no internationally agreed method for allocating such emissions among states. In 2005 aviation represented 6.3 per cent. of UK emissions, calculated as a proportion of emissions in the UK inventory plus emissions from international aviation and shipping departing the UK. Detailed data may be viewed at:

As the “Future of Air Transport Progress Report” (December 2006) noted, aviation emissions arising from the combustion of kerosene include carbon dioxide, water vapour, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, particulates and other compounds. These give rise to “radiative forcing” impacts. The total radiative impacts were estimated by the EC TRADEOFF project to be approximately twice those of carbon dioxide (excluding cirrus cloud formation).

Using a radiative forcing multiplier of two, emissions from flights departing the UK contributed approximately 13 per cent. of total UK emissions in 2005. However, the figures for non-aviation sources do not include any radiative forcing attributable to them, as conclusive figures are not available.

Plane Stupid
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Tell the shareholder

06.03.2009 22:25

Well done Plane Stupid.

Despite the government's dumb plans the aviation industry is now in permanent decline. In the unlikely event the economy ever recovers then high oil prices will be back soon after. Last year these took out 25+ airlines and crippled many others. Aviation is in a no win situation. The CEO of Quantas made it clear he understood the implications of peak oil as he tried to reassure in a fairly frank speech he made last year.

If you could somehow explain the implications of peak oil to aviation shareholders that would surely cause a flight of capital from the industry and thus speed up it's inevitable demise.