Say no to airport expansion!

More flights mean more emissions, more noise pollution, and more air pollution. In response to the climate crisis, we should be reducing flight levels, for the health of local residents, the wider UK and global community, and for planetary health.

We call on the government to halt all airport expansion.

Action at College Green Bristol

The government’s advisory group, the Climate Change Committee, has said that there should be no increase in airport capacity if we are to achieve net zero by 2050. But across the UK, 20 airports have expansion plans. Current planned and recently approved airport expansions will allow for a 50-70% increase in demand.

We are calling for a moratorium on airport expansion for the next three years, in order to halt aviation’s runaway growth and its contribution to climate change.

The aviation industry claims that so-called ‘sustainable’ aviation fuels (SAFs) will reduce emissions, thereby enabling continued expansion. Other proposed means of reducing emissions are new technology, offsets and carbon capture and removal. But the sustainability claims of SAFs are in doubt, new technology is still in development, offsetting has been proven not to be effective, and carbon capture and storage is still only small scale.

In order to halt aviation’s continued contribution to climate change, we need to halt airport expansion.

Groups including XR, GACC, Safe Landing, Flight Free UK, CAGNE and No Airport Expansion protest the second airport runway at Gatwick

Why does this matter?

Aviation is a significant contributor to climate change emissions, and is set to grow.

Aircraft noise and air pollution has a negative impact on the health of local communities, which will only get worse if airports continue to expand.

Airlines promise carbon neutral growth, but most of their claims are greenwash.

Planning decisions taken at a local level are overridden by central government, which goes against democratic principles. Two recent examples include Bristol and Stansted airports, where the Planning Inspectorate granted permission for the expansions to proceed even though both sets of expansion plans had been rejected by their local councils (North Somerset and Uttlesford respectively).

Planning departments typically assess the expected emissions growth from expansion plans in isolation, rather than take account of cumulative emissions from all UK airport expansion plans.

Airports cite the government’s Jet Zero strategy when they talk about reducing flight emissions. This means they don’t have to consider the climate impact of the flights themselves in their expansion plans. But Jet Zero is heavily reliant on the assumed emissions savings from SAF, developing technology and offsetting, rather than on proven methods of reducing emissions.

Who we are

We are a group of aviation campaigners from across the UK, representing various organisations that work to limit the unsustainable growth of aviation, and who have now come together to demand that there should be no airport expansion across the UK.

We are grateful for financial support from the Aviation Environment Trust, The Environmental Funders’ Network Rapid Response Fund and The Frederick Mulder Foundation.

To find out more, go to the About page.

We are asking MPs and others to support our call for there to be no further airport expansion in the UK.

To find out how you can get involved, go to the Get Involved page.