14 MARCH 2016
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An Independent Transport Commission (ITC) report, ‘The sustainability of UK aviation: Trends in the mitigation of noise and emissions’, has established that concerns around noise, carbon emissions (CO2) and local air quality from aviation operations should not affect capacity enhancements at either Gatwick or Heathrow.
The Government announced in December that it would be conducting further work on noise and local air quality, before it takes a decision on airport expansion.
The ITC agreed that these are areas worthy of further attention and commissioned a report in order to explore the trajectory of improvements in aviation sustainability and to reach an assessment on whether these will continue.
The findings note that over the last 30 years there has been significant reduction in the noise and pollution emitted by aircraft and says the evidence suggests that progress is likely to continue. It notes that the use of continuous descent approaches and displaced runway thresholds will reduce noise and likewise carbon emissions with the use of more efficient aircraft. With larger planes now the norm, hub operations emit up to 24% fewer carbon emissions than if that same connectivity were provided through point-to-point services.
It states that pollutants to poor air quality are caused principally by surface transport requiring separate measures from Government. www.theitc.org.uk
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