SEEFoE is opposed to expansion of flights at Southend Airport because of the increase in carbon dioxide, toxic emissions, noise and disturbance caused by an increase in night flights. We are also concerned about the inevitable increase in road traffic that would be generated by an increase in flights from the airport.
Until such a time as aviation can be conducted without damaging the climate, we feel the industry should be reduced by central government regulation. In the absence of that policy nationally we will work locally to prevent expansion at Southend.
Much has been made locally of the potential to create new jobs at Southend Airport. However, aviation creates a net deficit in UK employment and, by expanding aviation in Southend, the UK economy and employment opportunities will decrease. Between 1995 and 2002, when no-frills flights launched and began to flourish, UK inbound tourism spend dropped by 16%, while the outbound tourism spend increased by 48%. The net trade loss caused by UK aviation is currently £18 billion, but this is set to grow to £25 billion by 2020.
In our response to the Southend Regeneration Plan, we argued that Renaissance Southend should drop plans to increase aviation and focus upon encouraging eco-tourism into South East Essex. This will create jobs in the area, avoid contributing to dangerous climate change and will help to reduce the balance of payments deficit and job losses caused by aviation.
We believe local councillors should not undermine UK tourism by encouraging more cheap flights abroad. We want support for the whole UK economy by playing a part in creating eco-tourism here in the South East. A 10% reduction in the number of overseas flights taken by British tourists by 2020 would create 31,250 jobs in the UK and raise £1 billion for many of its struggling seaside resorts like Southend.
Stop Airport Extension Now
A new campaign group has been set up to fight the planned runway extension. Visit their website at http://saen.org.uk/ for more details.
Recent media coverage
- 19/09/2008 – Echo – Bigger airport means ‘more noise for Leigh’
- 18/09/2008 – BBC Essex – Airport expansion meeting
- 17/09/2008 – BBC Look East – Southend Airport opposition
- 16/09/2008 – Echo – Travel woe delaying £50m sale of airport
- 06/09/2008 – Echo – Airport almost ready for take-off
- 12/08/2008 – Southend Times – Leigh’s No to Airport Plan
- 06/08/2008 – Echo – Public opposed to bigger Southend airport, says councillor
- 26/07/2008 – Echo – Have your say on airport’s future
- 01/07/2008 – What use the Airport after 2012
- 26/06/2008 – Echo – Let’s fly to the Med, says Southend Airport boss
- 25/06/2008 – Echo – Airport’s chance to fly into a brave new future
London Southend Airport Joint Area Action Plan
The consultation itself is available at http://rochford.jdi-consult.net/jaap/index.php