www.gov.uk/government/consultations/aviation-2050-the-future-of-uk-aviation, was released for consultation in December 2018, detailing the perceived growth of air passenger numbers in the United Kingdom over the stated period.
It is a reference for airports to reply to as how they will meet this forecast, but not assured, demand, whilst staying within environmental parameters on air and noise pollution, and ensuring infrastructure plans do not cause major new disturbance to surrounding communities, and alleviate any existing traffic congestion problems.
It also recommends that any airports that do expand, do so at the cost of the airport operators and passengers travelling through them, but not at the expense of the local taxpayers.
This is the document regularly referenced by Luton Borough Council/London Luton Airport Ltd, as their reasons for pushing ahead with “essential sustainable” airport expansion.
On page 20 of the document, it lists the passenger breakdown for London Luton Airport for 2017, from the Civil Aviation Authority passenger survey.
|Visiting Friends and relations||48%|
So in the eyes of Luton Borough Council, 86% of your passenger throughput based on being able to afford to go and enjoy a break, or see family, is “sustainable”?
Surely with every family finding money for these trips being harder and harder to find, you can by no means call this “sustainable”?
On page 97, the document covers total aviation employment in areas surrounding airports.
Luton Borough Council regularly states that employment growth at the airport is crucial to the wellbeing of the whole town. An alternative view on this, that putting all your eggs in a very fragile basket, which aviation is, also stretches the term “sustainable” to a degree?
The figures shown in this consultation are all predictions, or following trends, and with all such predictions, as well as going up, they can also go down.
Surely the most “sustainable” path for Luton Borough Council, and for the huge sums of money it gets from its airport concession, is to invest it in a broad church of employment opportunities for its residents, so that they have the best and widest choice of employment opportunities possible?