The countryside champions

Press Release: 17th February 2011

CPRE dismayed at decision to allow more business flights at Farnborough Airport

Farnborough airport
Photo credit: Hugh Sheppard, CPRE Hampshire

Further to a Planning Appeal, the Secretaries of State for Communities (Eric Pickles) and Aviation (Philip Hammond) have decided to allow business flights at Farnborough Airport to nearly double, including at weekends. This decision over-rides Rushmoor Borough Council's refusal of expansion proposals and will result in an enormous increase in carbon emissions.

CPRE Hampshire is dismayed that this was the recommendation of a planning appeal, particularly when its spokesperson, Hugh Sheppard, had used the applicant's own figures to show that the increase in CO2 emissions will be equivalent to those of a new town of 30,000 inhabitants. The charity argued that responsibility for emissions generated by aircraft in flight could not be disassociated from the planning proposal to increase aircraft movements, as had been claimed by the applicant, TAG Aviation Ltd.

CPRE Hampshire holds that the Inspector's report failed to get to grips with business aircraft in-flight emissions by all but ignoring up-to-date climate change policies and the Judicial Review of 2010 that led government to back down on the 3rd runway at Heathrow.

Hugh Sheppard, Chairman of CPRE North-East Hampshire said:

"Planning policies set great store by sustainable development, together with climate change legislation, which has moved on a lot since 2003. Most people will surely not agree with this being overridden so that in future, all aircraft emissions might be treated as irrelevant to consideration of local planning applications."

In evidence to the appeal, Hugh said that the UK annual emissions per person average some 12 tonnes. The Inspector's report noted that this compared with some 15-18 tonnes of CO2 per passenger for a typical Geneva day-trip, thanks to an average business aviation payload of only 2.5 passengers. The report also noted this as some 10 to 20 times the emissions generated by someone on a comparable commercial flight.

The Inspector accepted that business aviation is a carbon intensive activity. However, while he acknowledged that the proposal for 22,000 extra movements each year should be dealt with under the planning system, he opted to use aviation legislation of 2003 as the framework for dealing with in-flight emissions. This embodies mitigation under the unproven EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), due to be implemented in 2012.

Please contact CPRE Hampshire for further information on 01962 779185. A longer summary will appear in due course on the website

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Notes to editors

CPRE Hampshire strives to promote the beauty, tranquility and diversity of the countryside of Hampshire by the sustainable use of land and other resources in town and country, and encouraging the biodiversity and well-being of rural communities.

For all media enquiries, please contact:
Keren Burney, media & communications officer, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01730 894123   Mobile: 07876 780065

For information on CPRE, please contact:
Anthony McEwen, Director, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01962 779185   Mobile: 07717 296025