Press release

Airports Commission seeks evidence on aviation and climate change

Aviation and Climate Change document published.


The Airports Commission has today (5 April 2013) published ‘Aviation and climate change’, the third in a series of discussion papers to build the evidence base to inform its assessment of the UK’s airport capacity needs.

The paper explores the science and policy around aviation and climate change that the Commission will need to consider when making its assessment of the nature, scale and timing of the UK’s aviation capacity and connectivity needs. It discusses approaches to forecasting aviation emissions and the potential carbon implications of airport capacity constraints. It also considers the climate change adaptation issues that the Commission will need to consider when making recommendations on future airport capacity.

Sir Howard Davies, the Chair of the Airports Commission, said:

Understanding this issue is a priority for the Commission. The climate change debate has moved on significantly since the government’s last review of airport capacity in its 2003 white paper. The Climate Change Act, Aviation EU ETS, and developments in climate science are all things that we will need to take into account in the course of our work . This paper attempts to summarise our current state of knowledge and invites responses to help us to develop our understanding.

The paper further demonstrates the Commission’s evidence based approach to deciding on the scale, nature and timing on any need for additional capacity. Parties are invited to submit evidence to the Commission on the issues raised in the paper, by 17 May 2013.

Notes to editors

The Airports Commission was launched on 2 November 2012. Its terms of reference require that it should report no later than the end of 2013 on:

  • its assessment of the evidence on the nature, scale and timing of the steps needed to maintain the UK’s global hub status
  • its recommendation(s) for immediate actions to improve the use of existing runway capacity in the next 5 years – consistent with credible long term options

Its terms of reference also require that it should report no later than summer 2015 on:

  • its assessment of the options for meeting the UK’s international connectivity needs, including their economic, social and environmental impact
  • its recommendation(s) for the optimum approach to meeting any needs
  • its recommendation(s) for ensuring that the need is met as expeditiously as practicable within the required timescale

For interview requests or other media enquiries relating to the work of the Airports Commission please call 0207 944 3118.

Published 5 April 2013