Here are just a few examples of substantive research and reports, good in-depth studies that stand the test of time.
Stressed and Fatigued on the Ground and in the Sky: Changes from 2000 - 2007 in civil aviation workers' conditions of work
International Transport Workers Federation, Civil Aviation Section, 2009
This report documents the decline in working conditions for civil aviation workers, due to deregulation, cost reduction, cut throat competition and the use of new technological innovations. A severe level of stress and fatigue among cabin crew, ground staff and air traffic service workers is widespread, it has become a global pandemic.
Predict and decide: Aviation, climate change and UK policy
Sally Cairns & Carey Newson, Environmental Change Institute, 2006
This report assesses the climate change impacts of UK aviation, and the implications of government policy that presumes, and supports, major expansion. Policies, including economic instruments, for mitigating aviation impacts and constraining growth are recommended.
Plane Truths: Do the economic arguments for aviation growth really fly?
New Economics Foundation & World Development Movement, 2008
This report challenges the economic arguments for continued growth of UK aviation. Taking into account subsidies to aviation, the industry's economic contribution to the UK is negligible. Analysis of the relationships between aviation, tourism and development in poorer countries reveals that the vast majority of tourism income 'leaks' out of the host country to foreign owned firms. Increased fuel efficiency is overstated and dwarfed by aviation growth.
Flying in the Face of Fairness: Intergenerational Inequities in the Taxation of Air Travel
Peter Lockley and Simon Dresner, Intergenerational Foundation, October 2012
This report analyses the intergenerational implications of aviation subsidies in the UK, in particular tax free fuel and exemption from VAT. The subsidies disproportionately benefit older people, who are wealthier and fly more. A disproportionate proportion of the burden of the economic and environmental costs is borne by younger people. An even higher share of the disbenefits will fall on future generations. It presents a compelling case for phasing out subsidies, which would constrain the growth of air travel and reduce the pressure for building new runways.
Flying in the face of facts: Greenwashing the aviation industry with biofuels
Friends of the Earth Europe with Hannah Griffiths and Robbie Blake, June 2011
This report shows that use of biofuels, made from plants, is a false solution to aviation's dependence on fossil fuels and high level of greenhouse gas emissions. Life cycle analysis, taking into account the energy used in growing and producing biofuels, shows that greenhouse gas emissions can be even higher than conventional kerosene made from oil. Plantations displace food crops, contributing to rising food pries and hunger. Biofuels serve to present a green image, but are a mere diversion from the urgent need to reduce aviation's fuel use, which means curbing expansion.
Eco-Skies: The global rush for aviation biofuel
Lukas Ross, Oakland Institute, 2013
Airlines' rush to procure biofuels, to supplement the supply of conventional kerosene derived from oil, comes at great expense to people and the environment. Enormous areas of land are diverted from food production to supply the biofuel crops, contributing to a global land-grabbing crisis that is destroying food security land rights. The report examines several biofuel feedstocks and the role of government mandates in driving demand for biofuels. In spite of a high level of subsidies, it is likely that aviation biofuels will not be economically viable.
Biokerosene: Taking off in the wrong direction
Geert Ritsema, WALHI - Friends of the Earth Indonesia & Milieu Defensie, 2012
Lufthansa conducted a trial of aviation biofuel - biokerosene - made from jatropha, an inedible shrub. This report examines the terrible impact on farmers in Central Java, Indonesia, who cultivated jatropha for the project. The government promoted jatropha as a lucrative 'money tree', but there was an erosion of food security as it was planted in the place of food crops, and farmers suffered severe economic losses. Negative environmental impacts of biokerosene include emormous land requirements, deforestation and a high level of greenhouse gas emissions.
Flights of fancy: A case study on aviation and EU funds in Poland
Przemek Kalinka, Polish Green Network, CEE Bankwatch, 2012
In spite of austerity a substantial amount of European Union funds has been spent on small regional airports in Poland, which also depend on funding from regional and state budgets. The report also looks at allocation of public funds to rail connections for regional airports, and makes the case that this would be better spent on improving regional mobility.
Grounded: A new approach to evaluating runway 3
New Economics Foundation, 2010
An authoratitive study showing the flaws in the case for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. The proponents' arguments are based on over-optimistic forecasts and impact assessments based on a narrow set of assumptions. A Social Return on Investment analysis is used to develop a more comprehensive picture of the costs and benefits of the proposed third runway, factoring in a range of social and environmental impacts. In addiition, economic factors such as the growth rate, exchange rates and the carbon price were considered. NEF's analysis concluded that, in contrast with government assessment that the net benefit for society would be £5.5 billion, the new runway would result in a net cost, of between £5-7.5 billion.
Victory Against All The Odds: The story of how the campaign to stop a third runway at Heathrow was won
John Stewart, December 2010
Communities opposing expansion of an existing airport can learn a great deal from the story of how a diverse coalition stopped a third runway at Heathrow in its tracks. People living under flightpath facing increased pollution and noise united with a wide range of environmental organisations, challenged the economic case for a new runways, and even found a few friends within the government. Unfortunately, plans lay dormant rather than dead; the UK government backtracked on pre-election commitments not to build a third runway. But the campaign has been resurrected and the powerful lobby for Heathrow expansion faces formidable opposition.
A Sea of Protest across Europe: A HACAN publication exposing the myth that it is only in the UK that there is effective opposition to airport expansion
John Stewart, HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise), 2012
There are lots of groups opposing unsustainable aviation expansion all over Europe, with notable victories in Italy, Germany and the UK. Many thousands of people have participated in a 'sea of protest' that belies UK expansion proponents argument that communities in other countries are not opposed to airport expansion. When democratic processes fail people have reacted with occupations, marches, and hunger strikes by people who could lose farmland for a new airport in Nantes, France. In recent years groups throughout Europe have begun to collaborate more closely.
Andal Aerotropolis: A Fact-Finding Report
Sanhati, May 2010
Acquisition of agricultural land for an 'aerotropolis' (an airport surrounded by new urban development including shopping malls, business premises,hotels, housing etc.) in Andal, Bengal has been met with resistance by farmers. This is a report from a visit to the project area to gauge the reactions of villagers. The majority of affected people were ill-informed about the project and doubtful that they would benefit, fearing low compensation for land acquisition and lack of employment at the aerotropolis. Farm labourers who did not own land faced loss of livelihood from farms they had tended, with no compensation.
Global Deal or No Deal? Your free guide to ICAO's 38th Triennial Assembly
Transport & Environment, September 2013
Under the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) is obliged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation. Yet the ICAO, heavily influenced by powerful industry bodies and riven by tensions between regions, has failed to commit to a process for achieving emissions reduction. The report also proposes a way forward for a MBM (market based mechanism) for emissions reduction and suggests further measures such as encouraging states and regions to take action in advance of global measures, a CO2 standard for new aircraft and accelerating improvements to air traffic control systems.
From Planes To Trains: Realising the potential for shifting short-haul flights to rail
Aviation Environment Federation for Friends of the Earth, 2000
Greenhouse gas emissions from transport can be reduced by replacing flights with surface travel, by road, rail and ship. This is most feasible for short-haul flights and this report examines the potential for transferring short haul flights to and from the UK within Europe, including domestic flights, onto rail. Lines with the greatest scope for cutting large volumes of air traffic are identified and the potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions is quantified.