No New UK Runways Until 2050?

A NEW report published by the UK Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) has set out several options for reducing the carbon footprint of aviation, one of which is to delay building any new runways until beyond 2050.  The report follows a recent downward revision of the expected growth in air passenger figures between now and 2030 by almost one quarter from 455 million to 335 million.  The new figure has been adjusted to take account of several factors, including the recent decision to rule out new runways at London/Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.  The report suggests that the revised passenger growth figure, which represents a considerable reduction from the previous forecast made under the Labour Government in 2009, is achievable using existing runway capacity and improved infrastructure.
The report has attracted criticism from the aviation sector, which reportedly accounts for just 6% of the country’s carbon emissions.  However, this percentage is expected to increase as other sectors introduce steps to reduce their respective carbon emissions.