BAA on airlines’ side – for once?

With the environment, and in particular aviation’s effect on it, on the lips of everyone from Richard Branson to David Cameron in the past few weeks, UK airport operator BAA has waded into the fray. Despite the recent months of hostilities with the airline industry BAA has come down firmly in favour of aviation joining an carbon emissions trading scheme rather than the imposition of an aviation tax.

Speaking at a fringe meeting of the UK’s Conservative party conference, BAA chief executive Stephen Nelson said: “A tax to price people out of flying would not deliver the desired environmental result and would also damage people’s quality of life. The best solution is an emissions trading scheme, which would be both effective and popular.”

The UK government has yet to reveal which measure it favours to tackle aviation’s contribution to global pollution, and is awaiting the publication of a review of transport policy being undertaken by former British Airways chief executive Rod Eddington, which is due later this year.

Air transport is currently estimated to contribute 2% to global greenhouse gas emissions, with 1kg (2.2lb) of jet fuel causing 3kg of CO2 to be released into the atmosphere.


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