Flightpath campaigners join coalition lobbying European Parliament

Anti-airport expanision protesters take their campaign to the European Parliament: (L-R) Salley Pavey of CAGNE, Keith Taylor MEP host, Susanne Heger Austrian founder of Taming Aviation, Sarah Clayton of Airport Watch and John Stewart of HACAN (Heathrow group) - picture submitted
Anti-airport expanision protesters take their campaign to the European Parliament: (L-R) Salley Pavey of CAGNE, Keith Taylor MEP host, Susanne Heger Austrian founder of Taming Aviation, Sarah Clayton of Airport Watch and John Stewart of HACAN (Heathrow group) - picture submitted
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A Warnham resident against flightpath changes at Gatwick Airport took her air travel campaign to the European Parliament last week.

Chairman of the Campaign Against Gatwick Airport Noise (CAGNE) Sally Pavey went to Brussels with members of the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) to join a coalition of 140 groups from across Europe.

The Taming Aviation Coalition, made up of people from ten countries, presented a petition calling on the EU to end commercial airlines’ tax exemptions and subsidies. It also asked for night flights to be phased out.

Mrs Pavey said: “The petition calls for an end to the absurd situation where European governments miss out on €40 billion every year because commercial airlines pay no tax on fuel and are exempt from VAT. Cash-strapped EU governments are missing out on this important revenue source, so European taxpayers must step in to fill the deficit.”

Campaigners say the subsidies are fuelling air traffic growth, which impacts on greenhouse gas emissions.

The petition also demands action to reduce aircraft noise - a topic which has caused much debate in the Horsham district recently after Gatwiick Airport carried out trial of a flightpath of Warnham.

It is part of a National Air Travel Service (NATS) shake-up of airspace to program flights to fly over areas of lowest population.

However campaigners say it exposes many people previously unaffected by aircraft noise to constant disruption.