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Aviation - A Threat To Tranquillity

The number of flights in our region has increased three-fold over the last few years. In our area major expansions are planned for Bournemouth and Southampton, and many small airfields such as Farnbrough have ambitious plans. Expansion is everywhere. For example, Bournemouth Airport expects its number of flights to increase from 13,000 in 2005/6 to 39,000 in 2029/30.

We need a more environmentally sustainable air transport policy and airport plans more integrated into other planning activities.

Battlemap Hotspots

The Issues

  • Increased traffic movements disturb the tranquillity of the countryside
  • As airstrips, small airfield and airports expand, there is more associated building, increased traffic and pressures on the local infrastructure
  • Air travel is the area of transport with the fastest growth in CO2 emissions

Our Position

CPRE believes that air travel has a role as part of an integrated transport system. As such, policies for its development should be governed by the same principles which currently apply to other modes of travel (such as road and rail) and which need to manage the demand for travel in relation to environmental constraints, measures such as:

  • Addition of VAT on all transport transactions
  • Increase in Air Passenger Duty
  • Better measures to monitor and control the noise from aircraft, including reduction of night time flights, recongising the societal impact of noisy aircraft over rural areas
  • Increase support for air travel susbstitues such as high speed rail and video-conferencing
  • Airstrip and airport planning should be explicitly addressed in Local Development Frameworks and Local Transport Plans.

What We Are Doing

Some of our activities have included:

  • Hosting transport symposia, which bring together policy makers and CPRE members, and in which topics such as the expansion of Southampton Airport have been discussed. See Transport Policy page
  • Raising well argued objections to the major expansion of Farnborough Airport. See Farnborough Airport Update
  • Identifying the need for a central register that details flight movements and flying activity in a given area.

Can You Help Us?

get involved

If you know or have heard about an airstrip near you we would like to hear from you. Perhaps you could find out about its planning status or monitor activity if you live very near by. This will help us to build a national database of all rural airfields. Already we have volunteers working in other counties in the South East gathering information.

Contact our Transport Group for further details


This page last updated 21st February 2011.

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