Saturday, November 18, 2006

Campaign Against Climate Change (Scotland)

Campaign Against Climate Change (Scotland)


BAA's application to extend the runway in Aberdeen was debated by the Planning Committee on 16th November. Although the vast majority of members of the committee wanted to grant the application there and then, three Councillors got it referred to the full Council instead. It will now be considered on 13th December, and Aberdeen Campaign Against Climate Change will be able to give oral evidence.

Councillors referred to the large number of emails which they had received from people concerned about the climate change impacts. Those Councillors who were unhappy to grant the application there and then spoke very movingly of their misgivings about making a decision which will make global warming worse, and one of them spoke of his fears for his grandchildren and said he doubted that they would look back and be thankful, just because all the right boxes had been ticked at the time.

Many Councillors, however, felt that Aberdeen City Council had no competency to refuse the application on grounds of global warming, due to the government's planning guidelines. One of them suggested raising concerns about the disconnect between government policies on climate change and those on airport expansion in a letter to the central government. This may well be something we might want to remind them of.

Disappointingly, a lot of Councillors appeared to accept BAA's assurances that runway expansion would help to get quieter and more efficient aircraft to use our airport, and that noise levels and emissions would therefore reduce. We fear that they are being misled by BAA: The Outline Masterplan makes it clear that the aim is a considerable increase in the overall number of flights. Furthermore, a parliamentary question was recently asked of Tavish Scott who replied that there was no evidence that the increase in direct flights from Scotland had replaced a single flight from the south-east of England - even though such a replacement is part of the rationale behind the Rural Development Fund's subsidies for aviation in Scotland.

Meantime, it is more important than ever that members support the Airport Watch Rethink campaign ( ). We will hold a meeting to discuss airport expansion on Thursday, 30th November, 7.30 pm, New Kings Building (corner or Regent Walk and High Street).