The True Cost of Heathrow’s 3rd Runway

A fresh examination of the economic case for a third, north west runway at London’s Heathrow airport finds it eroded to the point where it is no longer viable. Now, using the Government’s own formula for assessing the value for money of transport schemes, Heathrow expansion along proposed lines would be rated as either ‘poor’ or ‘low’ value.

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Homebuyers Say Noise Levels Matter!


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Overflown communities demand government action to reduce aircraft noise


With the General Election less than one month away, nearly 40 community groups (including Englefield Green Action Group who are AEF members) representing hundreds of thousands of people, including many AEF members, today delivered a statement to Number 10 warning the next novernment that it must prioritise introducing tougher regulation to deal with the adverse impacts of aircraft noise.

Charles Lloyd of the Aviation Communities Forum, who co-ordinated the statement, said:

“Anyone who lives near an airport expects some noise.  But the changes caused by new concentrated routes – motorways in the sky – and the growth in flight numbers are having unacceptable affects on people’s lives, up and down the country.”

“For far too long the aviation industry has been unaccountable and able to do virtually what it wants in the skies.  The industry has little interest in its impact on people on the ground and there’s no proper regulation to hold it to account. The Government’s hands-off attitude needs to change: communities near airports and under flight paths are no longer willing to be ignored.”

“Frustration is reaching a boiling point: people can’t sue the industry because its exempt from noise laws, there’s no noise regulator to turn to, the industry plays pass-the-parcel if you try to get things changed and they don’t even have to pay compensation if they destroy your health or the value of your house.”

Despite the election, the government consultation on the design and use of airspace policy, which makes no pretence of its ambition to ‘upgrade’ UK airspace in order to ‘unlock the national and social economic benefits which a thriving aviation sector offers’, remains open until the 25th May.

Today’s community statement calls on the next government to:

  1. Set ambitious noise reduction targets. These should be in line with those recommended by WHO. Any growth in flight numbers should be conditional on the achievement of these targets.
  2. Create a regulatory body that will require and enforce achievement of these policy goals.
  3. Provide full compensation in the cases where aviation noise cannot be brought within acceptable thresholds, in line with the polluter pays principle.

A full copy of the statement can be read here.



15 MAY 2017

Ten reasons why international offsetting won’t solve Heathrow’s climate change problem

According to the UK Government’s own modelling, its plan to build a new runway at Heathrow Airport will increase carbon emissions from UK aviation 15% over the 2050 limit advised by the Committee on Climate Change.

The Department for Transport says these extra emissions can be offset under the new global Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation. This new scheme is an important step forward for tackling aviation emissions, but it is far from job done. Our new report Grounded explains ten reasons why the Government cannot just rely on carbon offsetting to tackle aviation emissions.

We are urging the next Government to come forward with a credible plan for aviation emissions before deciding on any new runways. If you agree the Government shouldn’t build any new runways without a proper plan for aviation emissions, you have until 25 May to make your voice heard.

What you can do

  1. Fill out this online consultation response form, or if you prefer, download a version you can print and post. Answer nine questions about the new runway to encourage the Government to reconsider its plans – you don’t have to answer all of them, just the ones that matter to you.
  2. Question 5 is about environmental impacts, such as air pollution, noise and climate change. Please mention our Groundedreport in response to this question. Question 8 also asks for additional comments and supporting documents. Here you can include the link to download our Grounded report.
  3. Make sure you submit your response before the deadline at quarter to midnight on Thursday 25 May!

Any questions? Get in touch with WWF’s Climate Change Specialist James Beard:
[email protected]

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