Congestion toll on air travellers
Airline passengers are facing congestion charges to ease crowding in the skies and cut pollution from planes.
The charge is being considered to raise and extra £600million to offest the damage aircraft cause to the environment.
Congestion charging is being proposed by the Goverment-funded think-tank Commision for Integrated Transport. It warns the number of flights is growing by five percent annually from the present figure of 162million a year.
Ten years ago, planes caused 3.5 per cent of the man-made grehouse gases in the world. By 2050, the figure will rise to 15 per cent.
Commision chairman Prof David Begg said it was ‘nothing short of a radical reform to make operators and passengers confront the environmental consequences of their actions’.
But British Airways said: ‘The way to relieve congestion is to meet demand and that means extra runways.’ – Metro, Monday, September 1, 2003
Well you might not have known this but airlines in Britain pay NO TAX on aviation fuel, surely that’s the obvious place to get back some cash to fight pollution, tax it at the actual source of pollution, the damn kerosene.
We live in a country where people argue about whether pensioners should pay tax on their fuel bill or not while the airlines are getting off scott free!
Okay, yes taxing aviation fuel will be a cost that is passed onto the passengers, but as opposed to charging people for flying at a certain time it seems rather less removed from the cause of the pollution.
And as for adding more runways, I’m sure that will eventually prove to be just as futile as widening and adding roads has always proved to be.
Even as far back as ~100AD the Emperor Harian wisely noted the contradictory phenomenon we think of as modern: “This luxury of speed destroys it’s own aim; a pedestrian makes more headway than a hundred conveyences jammed end to end along the twists and turns of the Sacred Way”