Aviation: previous campaign actions

Aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions: in the 1990s alone, emissions from flights doubled. It is responsible for around 13 per cent of the UK's impact on the climate. Although plans to build a third runway at Heathrow were defeated, airports around the country are planning expansion. As well as halting aviation expansion, we want to see an end to mainland domestic flights, and tax breaks for aviation. Find out more about aviation and climate change.



Demo against "Boris Island" airport  proposal

Friday 11th May at 9.30 am

London: City Hall, 110 Queen’s Walk, nearest tube/rail: London Bridge. Map here.

Boris Johnson’s plans for an airport in the Thames Estuary spell disaster for our climate. 150 million passengers per year would use the airport, increasing our emissions at alarming rate - we are struggling as it is to meet the weak climate target of reducing our emissions by 80% by 2050, the introduction of new airport will only further hinder our attempts to achieve it.

As if the climate implications are not enough the location of his proposed airport and its cost, £50 billion, are mind boggling. The location would mean the disruption of a fragile ecosystem, that exists in the estuary, including endangering protected species of birds. As well as being in the heart of the convergence of four existing major flight paths used for arrivals and departures, leading to even more congestion in the skies and higher CO2 emissions as planes spend more time circling in the air waiting to land.

Also the proposed site is very near to the sunken SS Richard Montgomery, a munitions ship which contains enough unexploded material to send a metre-high tidal wave hurtling towards the banks of the River Thames.

We cannot allow Boris to proceed with this hugely damaging vanity project - the cost of Boris Island is just too great.

So come and join us to tell the newly re-elected mayor that just because he’s back in office does not mean we’ll let him slip this past us!

Speakers are to be confirmed and will be listed at https://www.facebook.com/events/223059497804342/ in the near future.

This event is supported by: No Estuary Airport, AirportWatch, and Campaign against Climate Change.

Contact number: 07580 414 173


There is currently a petition against the the building of an airport in the Thames Estuary, Boris Island: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/dont-build-an-airport-on-the-thames-estuary/

Please take action and sign it. We simply cannot allow this to happen.

Local campaigns

Campaigners at Southend have been refused a Judicial Review of Southend Council’s grant of planning permission for a runway extension at Southend Airport. They say their legal team "are exploring other options". With just 3,948 passengers in 2009, numbers are projected to rise to two million by the end of the decade. The airport is owned by Stobart, a freight company, and local people are concerned not just about an increase in passenger flights but also night freight flights.

Following public opposition, a request to extend the opening hours of Biggin Hill airport for the London Olympics has been rejected.

For the latest information on which airports are targeted for expansion and links to all the campaign groups around the country see the Airport Watch website.

Latest news

25 August: The Department for Transport has responded to the Committee on Climate Change report on reducing aviation emissions from aviation. Significantly, this suggests that new runways in the UK may be not be allowed in future, and the estimates for aviation growth are significantly downgraded. However, Passenger numbers are expected to grow from 211 million per year to 300-380 million per year by 2030. Flights from regional airports in particular are expected to increase.

Their analysis contains some serious flaws:

  • Radiative forcing (increased greenhouse gas impact of CO2 when emitted at high altitude) is ignored in DfT's CO2 calculations.
  • The role of taxation in influencing passenger demand is also ignored.
  • Biofuels are seen as having an important role in cutting aviation CO2 emissions, despite strong evidence that they can be counterproductive in tackling climate change. (see our biofuels page)

More detail available from AirportWatch. You can respond to DfT's consultation until 20 October.

End Domestic Flights Now!
4 September 2010

An end to domestic flights is one of the Campaign against Climate Change's Emergency Demands - one of the actions we should be taking now to cut carbon emissions, reflecting the urgency of our destabilising climate. To highlight this issue the Campaign against Climate Change organised consecutive demonstrations at London City Airport and Manchester Airport.


A few weeks before the demonstration, there was thoughtful debate at our public meeting: 'Why we should end domestic flights: Aviation in an era of climate emergency.'

Victory on Heathrow Third Runway

The Campaign against Climate Change played a key role in the alliance that eventually led to BAA's plans for a third Heathrow runway being defeated.


Following the government's decision in January 2009 to approve a third runway at Heathrow, the Campaign against Climate Change brought opponents together for a demonstration outside Downing Street. Hundreds crammed into the police pen on Whitehall to listen to speakers Jean Lambert (Green MEP for London), Susan Kramer (Lib-Dem MP for Richmond) and John McDonnell (Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington where the 3rd runway would be built).

Taking the message to Heathrow: thousands join together to say NO to the third runway -in May 2008.

Read more about how the Heathrow campaign was won (John Stewart)