Safe Landing co-organise “Future Flightpaths”: UK Aviation Advocacy Afternoon

22 May, 2024

On Wednesday 22nd May 2024, Safe Landing took part in an advocacy event at the UK Houses of Parliament called “Future Flightpaths: Introducing Innovative Policies for Aviation“.

The event brought together charities, campaigners, aviation workers, Members of Parliament (MPs) and peers to discuss novel approaches and policies for decarbonising aviation.

We co-hosted the event with Green Alliance, Possible, and No Airport Expansion.

 

The event

We heard from various MPs including Alex Sobel (Labour MP for Leeds North West, which covers Leeds-Bradford Airport) and Steve Tuckwell (Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, and co-chair of the Airport Communities all party parliamentary group) on why they supported some of the policy proposals. Estelle Dehon KC (a barrister with experience in numerous airport expansion legal cases) and Mike Berners-Lee (professor at Lancaster University, expert on carbon accounting, and author of “There Is No Planet Balso gave short speeches:

 

Innovative Policies for Aviation

Johann Beckford from Green Alliance presented proposals for a jet fuel tax and higher rates of tax for private jet aircraft. Alethea Warrington from Possible outlined proposals for a Frequent Flyer Levy. Steve Clarke from No Airport Expansion described their campaign demands for a moratorium on UK airport expansion, as recommended by the UK Climate Change Committee.

Finlay Asher and Todd Smith from Safe Landing explained why our community of aviation workers support these policies, understand they are inevitable and believe they would fundamentally good for our industry and its workers if introduced through early design, rather than late disaster:

 

Discussions

The second half of the event allowed for mingling and more detailed discussion of the policies amongst attendees. For example, we had in-depth conversations with Carla Denyer (Green Party MP Candidate for Bristol Central) about Aviation Worker’s Assemblies. Carla was particularly interested in our demonstration workshop which we performed with aviation workers in Bristol last year. We also spoke to Henry Smith (Conservative MP for Crawley, which includes Gatwick Airport, and All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation) about our opposition to Gatwick Airport’s current expansion plans and our suggestions for an alternative sustainable transformation of the airport:

About Safe Landing

Safe Landing is a community of aviation industry professionals: pilots, cabin crew, airport staff, aerospace engineers and factory workers. We aim for long-term employment by empowering aviation workers to rapidly reduce the climate impact of air travel. You can join our community here: https://safe-landing.org/sign-up 

The policies we propose 

The policies we advocate for include:

  • Limiting air traffic growth in the near-term — in order to ensure sector stability in the long-term. 
  • Reforming the international CORSIA scheme — CORSIA will prove completely ineffective at reducing aviation emissions, despite being the main policy covering most aviation emissions globally for the next decade. 
  • Higher pricing of aviation CO2 emissions — pricing should ramp up as early as possible to prevent a sudden wall of pricing hitting us in the 2030s. 
  • Proactive regulation and mitigation of aviation non-CO2 emissions — including via cleaner kerosene and contrail avoidance.
  • Reduced financial incentives for most “SAF” production — with UK government aviation funding instead being directed towards R&D for radically efficient aircraft configurations and “zero emissions” propulsion systems. Read our detailed position on “SAF”, which we prefer to call “Alternative Jet Fuel”, here.
  • Pause of business-as-usual airport expansion — in order to transform infrastructure and instead make it compatible with smaller, regional “zero emissions” aircraft with different passenger capacities, ranges and fuels.
  • The use of Aviation Workers’ Assemblies — to develop industrial strategy / decarbonisation plans that incorporate the input, expertise, and long-term view of workers.
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