5th April 2011
New Aviation Policy Consultation
An opportunity to influence Stansted’s future
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has welcomed a new government consultation being held to determine the future of aviation which gives local people an opportunity to make their views about Stansted Airport known ahead of the draft policy which will be published next year.
The scoping document entitled ‘Developing a sustainable framework for UK aviation’ makes clear that the 2003 Air Transport White Paper is now fundamentally out-of-date and, encouragingly, takes as its starting point the premise of no new runways in the south east – including Stansted.
It poses a series of strategic questions around three themes linking aviation to the economy, climate change and the local environment. While seeking a sustainable solution to aviation’s future growth, the consultation’s authors are mindful of the impacts which the industry has on the environment locally and globally. Indeed, local concerns are highlighted as having been a key consideration in the scrapping of the Stansted second runway plans, with night noise as the least acceptable impact of aircraft operations.
Noise comes in for a special focus as the Government seeks to gather views which will be important in a separate consultation on the night flights regime scheduled for later this year, making it doubly important for people to respond if they are currently affected by noise – or who could be affected under anticipated route changes flagged up in the consultation.
The consultation, available on the Department for Transport’s website is being run for an extended period to encourage as wide a response as possible before the closing date of 30 September. It poses a series of questions including a section on local impacts which provide an excellent opportunity for those concerned about the future growth of Stansted to give their views.
Commenting on the consultation, SSE Chairman Peter Sanders said: “SSE will be issuing guidance to those wishing to respond, not least to tackle the ongoing impacts of Stansted’s operations on the community, although our full response will not be completed until after new passenger forecasts and the Government’s reply to the Climate Change Committee’s report on UK aviation are published this July. Nevertheless, at the heart of our response will be renewed pressure for a long-term moratorium on any second runway plans and the need to prevent any future push by Stansted’s owners to exceed the 35 million passenger limit.”
The airport is currently operating at 18 million passengers a year.