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NEWS 2007

Manchester Airport opens new public nature trail around Runway 2
Fri 28 Dec 2007 - The UK's Manchester Airport has opened a new public nature trail that takes walkers through some of the 75 hectares of new woodlands and grasslands created as part of Runway 2, as well as 97 wildlife ponds, three bat barns and the new River Bolin tunnel. Read more ...

Environment campaigners claim agreement by EU ministers on aviation will fail to curb emissions and could derail international climate targets
Fri 21 Dec 2007 - The European Federation for Transport and Environment, the principal environmental organization campaigning on transport at EU level, has called the decisions taken by EU environment ministers on aviation's inclusion in the ETS "shameful" and accuses the EU of being "two-faced" in its approach to the industry. Read more ...

European airlines offer a cautious welcome to EU Environment Ministers' ETS agreement
Fri 21 Dec 2007 - Associations representing many of Europe's airlines have given a guarded welcome to the decisions reached by EU Council of Environment Ministers regarding the inclusion of aviation into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme but say a number of issues still need addressing. Read more ...

MEPs criticise "weak decision" on emissions trading taken by European environment ministers and pledge further modifications
Fri 21 Dec 2007 - The amendments by the EU's Council of Environment Ministers on December 20 over the inclusion of aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme have come in for heavy criticism from Members of the European Parliament, whose earlier proposals were subsequently watered down by the Council. Read more ...

EU environment ministers unanimously vote to include aviation emissions in EU ETS from 2012
Thu 20 Dec 2007 - In a unanimous vote of all 27 member states, EU environment ministers have agreed to include aviation emissions in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme but have watered down several key proposals put forward by MEPs last month, which will disappoint the environmental lobby. Read more ...

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair become first airlines in Asia to launch a carbon offset scheme
Wed 19 Dec 2007 - Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways and its sister airline Dragonair have launched 'FLY Greener', a voluntary carbon offset scheme for passengers that is a first in Asia. The programme will help fund projects primarily in Asian countries, particularly China, where the two airlines have routes. Read more ...

BAA starts work at Heathrow on world's first low-energy, battery-powered Personal Rapid Transit System
Tue 18 Dec 2007 - Work on the first phase of a revolutionary new "cutting edge, green transport" Personal Rapid Transit System has begun at London's Heathrow Airport. An 18-strong fleet of low-energy, battery-powered, driverless vehicles capable of carrying up to four passengers and their luggage will connect the new Terminal 5 with the business car park.  Read more ...

OAG reports a record number of scheduled airline flights took place worldwide during 2007
Mon 17 Dec 2007 - In its annual review, OAG (Official Airline Guide) reports a record number of scheduled airline flights will have taken place worldwide in 2007, representing an increase of 4.7% on the previous year and the biggest growth since 2004, when the sector was emerging from the effects of 9/11 and SARS. Read more ...

IATA predicts financial downturn for airlines in 2008 on the back of higher fuel costs and the growing credit crunch
12 Dec 2007 - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revised downwards its outlook for 2008, predicting airlines will achieve profits of $5 billion, having previously forecasted $7.8 billion before the spike in aviation fuel prices and the broadening impact of the credit squeeze took effect. It expects system-wide fuel costs for commercial aviation to reach $135 billion for 2007 and climb to $149 billion in 2008, accounting for 30% of all expenses. Read more ...

Scandinavian Airlines carries out Europe's first transatlantic green approach flight
Sat 8 Dec 2007 - A SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A330 on a flight from New York's Newark Airport has made a 'green approach' landing at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, a first for both a transatlantic crossing and an Airbus aircraft. The procedure is estimated to save around 150kg of aviation fuel and 470kg of CO2, as well as reduce surrounding noise levels. Read more ...

Budapest Airport publishes its first Environmental Report
Fri 7 Dec 2007 - Budapest Airport has published its first Environmental Report that looks at its green activities during 2006 and those planned for the future, covering noise protection, the improvement of air quality, water protection and waste management. Read more ...

US airlines and pilots join forces to oppose Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Bill
Thu 6 Dec 2007 - Various groupings representing airlines and pilots across the United States have condemned the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act 2007 that was approved by the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on December 5. The bill calls for a reduction in US greenhouse gas emissions through a cap-and-trade programme which airlines fear will lead to "unprecedented" increases in jet fuel costs. Read more ...

Coalition of US environmental groups, states and regional governments file petitions urging EPA into action over aviation pollution
Wed 5 Dec 2007 - A coalition of environmental groups, states and regional governments have filed petitions to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging it to address the effects of global warming pollution from the world's aircraft fleet. The petitions are the first step in a process that requires the EPA to evaluate the current impacts of aircraft emissions, seek public comment and then develop rules to reduce emissions or explain why it will not act. Read more ...

Continental Airlines partners with Sustainable Travel International to launch a carbon offsetting programme for passengers
Mon 3 Dec 2007 - The world's fifth largest airline, Continental Airlines, has announced the launch of a carbon offsetting programme developed in partnership with US-based non-profit organization Sustainable Travel International. The voluntary programme allows customers worldwide to view the carbon footprint of their journey and make a contribution to help fund the purchase of carbon offsets. Read more ...

BBC investigation reveals some airlines are flying longer, less fuel-efficient routes to save on ATC charges
Mon 3 Dec 2007 - An investigation by the BBC has discovered some airlines are deliberately flying longer routes over the Atlantic to avoid paying extra air traffic control charges but using more fuel and thus producing more CO2 emissions. The BBC singled out Thomas Cook Airlines and Monarch Airlines regarding their flights between the UK and the Canary Islands. Read more ...

Airlines stand to make substantial windfall profits from EU Emissions Trading Scheme allowances, says a UK Government report
Fri 30 Nov 2007 - A report commissioned jointly by the UK's Department for Transport and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs concludes that airlines participating in the EU ETS are likely to pass on the costs of emissions allowances to passengers and freight customers and potentially earn substantial windfall profits. Read more ...

Deutsche Bank report predicts European Commission will reject certain EU ETS aviation proposals voted by MEPs
Wed 28 Nov 2007 - A report published by Deutsche Bank says some of the proposals regarding the inclusion of aviation within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme voted on by MEPs in the European Parliament on November 13 are so radical that they are unlikely to be accepted by the European Commission. Read more ...

Boeing bitten by UK advertising watchdog over CO2 claims in a national press ad for 747-8 Intercontinental
Wed 28 Nov 2007 - The UK's advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, has upheld a complaint made against Boeing UK over an advertisement in the national press that claimed the 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft, due to enter service in 2010, produced less than 75 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometre. Read more ...

Expansion plans for London's Heathrow Airport - those against....
Fri 23 Nov 2007 - Although widely publicised well in advance, yesterday's UK Government announcement of proposals that would enable London's Heathrow Airport to handle a substantial increase in the number of flights has been roundly condemned by environmentalists and local campaigners. Read more ...

Expansion plans for London's Heathrow Airport - those in favour....
Fri 23 Nov 2007 - The plans for a substantial increase in runway capacity and a new terminal at London's Heathrow Airport announced yesterday have been welcomed, unsurprisingly, by business leaders, airlines and unions, who urged the government to take "firm decisions quickly". Read more ...

UK Government unveils proposals to increase Heathrow's capacity and invites public reaction
Thu 22 Nov 2007 - The UK's Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly, today announced the well-trailed proposal for a heavy expansion of Heathrow Airport and invited the public and interested bodies to respond by the end of February. Options under consideration include a new runway, mixed take-off and landing use of the present two runways, and the building of a sixth terminal. Read more ...

US travel services website RezHub.com launches Green Travel for the environmentally responsible
Mon 19 Nov 2007 - A recent survey carried out by the Travel Industry Association that showed whilst more than half of US adults were advocates of environmentally responsibility, only 13 percent would be willing to pay higher rates or fares to use green travel services. Orlando-based website RezHub.com has recognized the quandary by launching the Green Travel Hub. Read more ...

The British Business and General Aviation Association signs up first operator to its Carbon Balancing Scheme
Mon 19 Nov 2007 - The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA), the UK trade body, has signed the first operator to its Carbon Balancing Scheme announced earlier this year, an initiative with the aim of making this sector of the industry carbon neutral. The UK's largest executive aircraft charter operator, London Executive Aviation (LEA), will now offer its clients the opportunity to balance the carbon emissions produced by their flights through the scheme. Read more ...

Qatar Airways aims to be the world's first airline to use synthetic jet fuel
Wed 14 Nov 2007 - Qatar Airways has signed an agreement with aero-engine, airplane, oil and research partners to collaborate on developing a synthetic jet fuel that will enable it to become the world's first commercial airline to fly aircraft powered by a gas-to-liquid kerosene fuel. Read more ...

European Parliament vote is a "massive blow", says Association of European Airlines
Wed 14 Nov 2007 - Yesterday's vote by European MEPs to include aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme has been described by the Association of European Airlines as "a massive blow to the viability and competitiveness of the European airline industry". The International Air Carrier Association said it would "damage the aviation sector beyond repair". Read more ...

Mixed response from environmental groups to European Parliament vote on aviation emissions
Wed 14 Nov 2007 - Whilst the airline industry reacted with dismay to yesterday's vote in the European Parliament for including aviation emissions in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, there was scarcely more enthusiasm from environmental pressure groups, who said the proposals do not go far enough. Read more ...

Sharp reaction from IATA on European Parliament vote to include aviation in ETS
Tue 13 Nov - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reacted strongly to the vote today by European Union MEPs to include commercial aviation in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, calling it counterproductive and a clear breach of the Chicago Convention. Read more ...

European Parliament votes to include commercial aviation in EU ETS
Tue 13 Nov 2007 - Europe's MEPs have voted by a large majority to include the commercial aviation industry in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). While the European Commission, the EU's policy-making body, had proposed capping ETS allowances for CO2 emissions at 100% of aircraft operators' average annual emissions during 2004-6, the European Parliament went even further, reducing the number of ETS-authorised emissions for aviation down to 90%. Read more ...

Virgin Atlantic launches first ever onboard carbon offset scheme for passengers
Wed 7 Nov 2007 - Virgin Atlantic has launched what it claims to be the first ever onboard carbon offset scheme. The airline has partnered with Swiss-based charity myclimate to offer a Gold Standard Carbon Offset Scheme which is now available to passengers in flight as well as online. Read more ...

IATA appoints former WWF COO to raise the profile of its environment programme
Tue 6 Nov 2007 - The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents some 240 airlines, has selected Paul Steele as Director Aviation Environment. He previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of WWF International. Announcing the appointment, IATA Director General, Giovanni Bisignani, said: "The $132 billion fuel bill that airlines pay is the biggest green incentive of any industry to reduce its carbon footprint. Last year, IATA's efforts to reduce this yielded up to 15 million tonnes in CO2 savings. I am counting on Paul to challenge us to produce even better results and to broaden our environmental perspective to all areas of the industry - from better ground facilities to more effective air traffic management. Green business is good business." Read more ...

Public tolerance to aircraft noise has decreased, reports new UK study
Fri 2 Nov 2007 - An independent study of public attitudes to aircraft noise was published today by the UK's Department for Transport (DfT). The Attitudes to Noise from Aviation Sources in England (ANASE) study revealed the public is more annoyed by all levels of aircraft noise than was the case in 1985, when the last major study in this field was carried out. Read more ...

British Airways' mounting annual fuel bill tops 2 billion pounds
Fri 2 Nov 2007 - British Airways' chief executive, Willie Walsh, has announced the airline will for the first time spend 2 billion pounds this year on aircraft fuel. Although presenting a "major challenge", he is confident that the recent order for B787 and A380 longhaul aircraft will help improve fuel efficiency by 25% within 18 years. Walsh also stressed a commitment to environmental practices and has appointed a new Head of Corporate Social Responsibility. Read more ...

Mixed reaction from FoE to UK Government's climate change bill announcement
Tue 30 Oct 2007 - Responding to UK Environment Secretary Hilary Benn's announcement yesterday on the Climate Change Bill, Friends of the Earth Director Tony Juniper said: "We are pleased the Government is looking again at the overall target for cutting emissions, which it agrees is inadequate, and at whether emissions from shipping and aviation should be included in the Bill. However it's disappointing that we will have to wait two years for these obvious wrongs to be put right." Read more ...

UK Government proposes a tougher climate bill that could impact on aviation
Mon 29 Oct 2007 - The UK's Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, has announced details of a tougher government response to climate change that could have implications for international aviation.  Read more ...

Association of Corporate Travel Executives hits out at government green taxes
Mon 29 Oct 2007 - The concept of imposing green taxes on the travel industry has been vigorously attacked by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). Speaking at its Global Education Conference in Hamburg, its president also criticised government failure to tackle an "antiquated" air traffic control system that "penalized even the most fuel-efficient carriers". Read more ...

US Air Force eyes alternative fuel, slashing CO2
Fri 26 Oct 2007 - The world's most powerful air force, reports Reuters, is seeking to wean itself from foreign oil and nearly zero out its carbon dioxide output as part of a sweeping alternative energy drive. Read more ...

The A380 finally takes to the commercial skies
Thu 25 Oct 2007 - The Airbus A380 entered commercial service today, with its first flight - Singapore Airline's SQ380 - from Singapore to Sydney, Australia. The delivery of subsequent aircraft will allow for the introduction of the A380 between Singapore and London's Heathrow Airport from the first quarter of 2008. Read more ...

IATA takes a swipe at EU states as it calls on governments to join with the aviation industry in delivering "real results" on carbon emission targets
Thu 18 Oct 2007 - Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), challenged governments to "put aside politics" and join his industry in delivering an environmental performance benchmark for other industries to follow. In a speech at the World Air Transport Forum, he was also scathing about the European approach to aviation emissions, accusing it of being both irresponsible and hypocritical. Read more ...

Virgin Atlantic to conduct biofuel demo flight in early 2008
Mon 15 Oct 2007 - In a speech in Boston, Sir Richard Branson told delegates that his Virgin Group is to conduct a Virgin Atlantic 747 passenger-less demonstration flight using renewable fuel early next year. Read more ...