Airport expansion in Europe – Emissions consequences

Copenhagen Airport Expansion

I have written about the issues regarding the third runway at Heathrow. But the same issues apply to European airports and as I’ve pointed out if one expansion does not go ahead but another does more emissions result.

The following is from the Airports Council international website:

“Airport capacity is one of the most pressing issues facing European mobility today. As competing global hubs in the Middle East and other emerging economies power ahead with their own infrastructure roll-outs, European air traffic is set to be heavily congested in the coming decades. EUROCONTROL estimates that by 2040 up to 1.5 million flights will not be accommodated, meaning 160 million passengers unable to fly. Yet expansion of airport capacity in Europe faces a range of obstacles, from economic regulation and planning rules to political intervention and financing challenges. There is a need to both invest in new airport capacity and to make the best use of existing capacity. This should be achieved through integrated operations and collaborative decision-making, as well as through the airport slot allocation system. Airports need to see their capacity enhanced and allocated so as to develop air connectivity to the socio-economic benefit of the regions they serve, while limiting environmental impacts.” 

The question is do we need those 1.5 million extra flights? Those 160 million passengers “unable to fly” would create an extra 80 million tonnes of carbon on their 1.5 million flights.

Its interesting that there is no indication how environmental impacts are limited by ACI. An extra 80 million tonnes of carbon a year doesn’t appear to be a limited environmental impact.

To put this in perspective, these additional emissions are over twice Denmark’s annual emissions, being added every year, when the aim is to reduce emissions to zero. More flying means more emissions, so how can this be described as “limiting environmental impacts”?

Helsinki Airport expansion gets 230m euro loan from European Investment Bank

And why does the European Investment Bank fund this?

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