Airport noise and pollution

By | Category: Travel rumblings
passenger flight delay compensation

Silent planes may be the only answer

The Davies Commission report on airport capacity in the south east of England has been issued and arguments were trotted out about noise and pollution.

Whichever way you look at it, there will be extra noise and additional pollution but it is how that is handled that will make the difference. If we had quieter planes – and they have been getting that way, and if planes emitted less fumes as would the vehicles and trains that will get the extra passengers there, then maybe targets could be met.

On the face of it then, some environmental questions have been answered with a legally binding restrictions that could be enforced by the courts.

But that isn’t the way life works.

Suppose the airport goes ahead and those legal binding restrictions that the Davies Commission wants are breached. You can warn the airport to mend its ways. You can fine the airport but will that will not resolve the issue because the pollution will still affect those nearby until the emission levels relating to either noise or air quality are met.

What is the alternative? Reduce the number of flights until the emissions drop. Ban diesel vehicles (the largest emitters) or put limits on the number of trains or cars entering the airport zone? Close the airport until the emissions levels are met?

Practically, that isn’t going to happen; you can’t tell a hundred airlines that they cannot fly into London for an unspecified time. You can’t tell people that there will be no parking at the airport and that everyone must travel by train just as you can’t tell all those living in homes nearby never to open their windows or go outside because the pollution is too injurious for their health.

You either accept that pollution will exist and that eventually it will drop and drop as technology improves or you place an airport where the pollution problem will cause fewer problems because fewer people will be affect ted. Any other arguments are probably just a blind to improve one side’s chances over another.

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