Stop London Luton Airport Expansion

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Luton Airport plans to nearly double its capacity from 18 million passengers per year to 32 million. We are facing a climate emergency and should be reducing the number of flights from airports in the UK, not considerably increasing them. 

Flying produces 2.4% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use. [1] By 2050, commercial aircraft emissions could triple given the projected growth of passenger air travel and freight. [2] These expansion plans will be hugely detrimental to thousands of local residents in the surrounding towns and villages.

• The climate impact of flights is two to three times larger than their CO₂ emissions alone, due to the release of nitrogen oxides [3] sulphate, and soot.

• Airplanes could generate 43 gigatonnes of planet-warming pollution through 2050, consuming almost 5 percent of the world's remaining carbon budget. [4]

• In Europe alone, pollution from aviation has increased by an alarming 10% between 2014 and 2017, demonstrating that what has been done until now to tackle this problem is nowhere near enough. The aviation sector is out of control. [5]

• The Royal College of Physicians has reported that 'the situation of air pollution in the UK has now deteriorated to a point where it is contributing to 40,000 excess deaths each year.' [6] 

• Air pollution can have a damaging effect from when a baby is in the womb and continue throughout life to older age, playing a role in many chronic conditions such as cancer, asthma, heart disease, and neurological changes linked to dementia. [7]

• London Luton Airport Ltd contracts out as much work as possible to other companies and awards contracts on the lowest tender. The winning company then has to trim staff costs to the bone to try to operate the contract at a profit.  This often means zero hour contracts and part time work where – due to the hours worked – some employees get no holiday pay or National Insurance contributions. [8]

• The current hype around electric aircraft is known in the trade as the ‘peak of
inflated expectations.’ They will come, but it will take a long time to arrive. [9]

• Andrew Lambourne, of Luton and District Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, said the expansion was "unethical" with the owners "driven to maximise capacity for Luton regardless of the environmental impact". [10]

• Luton and the surrounding countryside would see a significant increase in both noise and air pollution. [11]

The impact of London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) expansion plans not only contradicts the UK governments plans for net zero carbon emissions by 2050 but will be devastating to thousands of people living in local communities. 

"Everybody is painfully aware of how congested the local roads and rail services already are. There is only one reason Luton Borough Council wants more airport expansion – to make more money, at the expense of the environment and quality of life for us all.” [12]

“The only way to stabilise the climate is to achieve net zero emissions,” said Prof Simon Lewis at University College London. “[The CCC] shows that it is possible. The question now is if the political will is there to take on the vested interests that will try to stop it.” [13]

Lets send a clear message to the UK government: Stop the expansion of Luton Airport, this will be a huge step back in honouring our carbon zero goals. 

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