Government tells airlines to get greener

Hotel News - 31/03/2011

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Saying it is in favour of a bigger aviation industry but not at all costs, the Government has called on airlines to get ‘greener’. Philip Hammond, the Secretary for Transport, said airlines would need to improve their performance in terms of both noise and emissions levels.

In a major change to policy under the previous Labour administration, the Government has already said it will not allow Heathrow to build a third runway. The LibDem-Conservative coalition also opposes having any more runways at Stansted or Gatwick.

The Transport Secretary was speaking at the launch of a ‘scoping document’ intended to review perspectives on the creation of a new aviation policy. The Secretary said the government is anti-carbon rather than simply anti-aviation.

He continued to say that this administration is very much focusing on how aviation can benefit the UK, especially in terms of a stronger economy. He added, however, that the government is not going to support that growth at any price.

Mr Hammond said the aviation industry would need to invest more effort in addressing not just carbon emissions but also other aspects of the industry’s effects on the environment. He singled out noise as the primary of those other concerns.

Mr Hammond added that technological development is not happing quickly enough to allow recent levels of growth without impeding the UK’s ability to meet climate change targets. With regards to some airports, Mr Hammond said the government was worried about local environmental impacts.

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