The Government has urged airlines to become “greener”, warning them that it supports aviation growth but not “at any price”.
Transport secretary Philip Hammond has called on the aviation industry to cut emissions and noise, while the Government has ruled out adding a third runway at Heathrow and is opposed to additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted.
Mr Hammond made the comments as he launched a document designed to seek views on a new aviation policy. It will replace the Labour’s 2003 aviation White Paper which supported runway expansions at Stansted and Heathrow.
He said: “We are not anti-aviation – we are anti-carbon.
“We are firmly focused on the benefits aviation can bring, particularly in terms of economic growth. But we are not prepared to support growth at any price.
“The aviation industry needs to do more, not just on emissions but also in terms of its other environmental impacts, particularly noise.”
Mr Hammond said that while the industry should be able to grow, it had to “play its part in delivering our environmental goals and protecting the quality of life of local communities”.
He also wants to move beyond the “increasingly polarised” debate on aviation towards “a broader consensus which honestly recognises both the value of air transport and its negative impacts and is prepared to agree the framework within which aviation can develop”.
Of course, holidaymakers can do their bit for the environment by taking the bus to the airport rather than drive. Not only does this help to reduce carbon emission, it also saves money in parking fees.
Copyright © Press Association 2011