DfT / aviation industry meetings

A Freedom of Information request published in July 2007 reveals just how close BAA and the DfT have become over the years.

Between July 2002 and April 2007, BAA met with the DfT no less than 117 times, including 24 meetings with the Secretary of State and at least 33 meetings with the Head of Airports Policy, Jonathan Sharrock.

All in all, the DfT met with airlines and airport operators 342 times between 2002 and April 2007. Unfortunately the FOI request doesn't tell us how many times the environment came up - but I'm willing to bet it wasn't a top priority.

Greens and aviation industry clash at Labour Party conference

Earlier this week I spoke at the Climate Clinic. This report is from DeHavilland:

Representatives of environmental groups and the aviation industry have clashed over the need to restrict access to air travel.

Speaking at the Labour conference at a fringe event 'Does business need bigger airports?' were Brian Wilson, chairman of flying matters, Richard Brown, chief executive of Eurostar, Roger Wiltshire, director general of the British Air Transport Association, Dr Doug Parr of Greenpeace, Joss Garman of Plane Stupid and Charles Secrett of the Mayor of London's Office.

Ex-aviation minister slams industry

Ex-aviation minister Gillian Merron, now at the Cabinet Office, spent last week chatting with her European peers in Lisbon.

In an unexpected development she waded into the climate change debate, denouncing an industry that "is responsible for about 1 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions each year - that's between 2 and 4% of global energy."

Clearly something must be done! Thanks, Gillian, for recognising that despite only emitting a fraction globally, this industry must still be tackled. It's what Plane Stupid has been saying all along!

[Edit: turns out the industry in question is IT...]

Help BAA test Terminal 5

BAA's been having a bad run of it lately, what with their Chairman getting sued for corruption, lying to their staff over Stansted expansion, and getting accused of conspiring with the Government over nitrous oxide levels.

So when we heard they needed 15,000 volunteers to test Terminal 5, we jumped at the chance to help out. But one hundred Plane Stupid volunteers isn't going to make that much of a difference. To help BAA hit their 15,000 target, we needed to think bigger. And then it hit us: there's probably a few thousand people from the Camp for Climate Action who would love to pay BAA back for the hospitality they showed us during the week.

Want to join us? Click here to register.

Camp for Climate Action - 1,727 stop and searches

Camp for Climate Action

Anyone visiting the Camp for Climate Action last month might be forgiven for calling the policing a little 'over the top'.

Called to account by the Green Party's Jenny Jones, Sir Ian Blair, head honcho of the Metropolitan Police, wrote a letter which manages to avoid answering any of the difficult questions about police brutality, unlawful detention, or just why 'Operation Hargood' cost £7 million.

He does, however, reveal that the total number of searches during the week was 1,727, of which 230 were conducted under anti-terrorism legislation. Quite what the unlucky 13% were up to that made them so specially terror-istic remains to be seen, as does whether those frisked by over-eager Bobbies felt it was "entirely reasonable" to use such legislation against peaceful protesters...

BAA Chairman named in BAE corruption lawsuit


Just when BAA thought it was safe to return to the business of destroying communities and the climate, their new 'troubleshooter' Chairman, Sir Nigel Rudd, gets named in a BAE bribery lawsuit.

After the UK Serious Farce Office decided to drop the investigation (in return for Saudi Arabia buying lots of new Eurofighters), the American Department for Justice began investigating the dodgy dealings and bribery allegations. Now shareholders in the States have launched a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the directors of BAE, including Rudd, claiming that they have wrecked the company's reputation with "improper and/or illegal bribes, kickbacks and other payments" to the Saudi regime.