HACAN call for moratorium on airport expansion

For Immediate Use

Monday 10 May 2021


HACAN has joined forces with 15 other national and community campaign groups calling on the Government to place a moratorium on airport expansion owing to the UK’s climate change targets.

The Government recently accepted the advice of the Climate Change Committee (CCC) to formally include international aviation emissions in the UK’s climate law. (1) The CCC’s analysis concludes that as well as introducing new aviation fuels and improving aircraft efficiencies, demand for flying will need to be limited. The CCC also advises that there should be no net increase in UK airport capacity as sufficient capacity already exists.

The groups sent a letter (2) to both Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps, and Secretary of State for Communities, Housing and Local Government Robert Jenrick, requesting the moratorium on expansion until the Government sets out its raft of policies that ensure the aviation sector cuts its emissions in line with the UK’s carbon budgets.

A consultation on net zero aviation is long overdue and the groups suggest a moratorium is essential to avoid prejudging the outcome of the consultation.

Paul Beckford, Coordinator, HACAN, said

“The Government commitment to include international aviation emissions in our net zero targets means that all airport expansion plans should be paused until there is a national strategy for both reducing aviation emissions and airport capacity.

Heathrow have long argued that their third runway could be delivered within climate targets by explicitly excluding international emissions from their calculations. The new Government target makes this argument redundant. Government should now amend the Airports National Policy Statement in light of these more robust targets.” 



  1. UK enshrines new target in law to slash emissions by 78% by 2035, April 20th 2021, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-enshrines-new-target-in-law-to-slash-emissions-by-78-by-2035
  2. Airport Expansion Moratorium Letter, 7th May 2021, https://hacan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Airport-expansion-moratorium-letter-May-2021.pdf  


Paul Beckford, paul@hacan.org.uk, 07775593928

One thought on “HACAN call for moratorium on airport expansion”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *