In the full page spread on Farnborough Airport expansion plans (Herald, Page 11, September 7), the airport owners claimed to “understand that we need to find a balance between safeguarding and increasing the economic benefit of the airport versus its environmental impact”.

But what they are suggesting is to more than double the climate and environmental destruction that the airport produces for the benefit of just a few thousand ultra rich individuals. 

Don’t be fooled by their accompanying greenwash. Instead, fact-based information may be of more interest to readers to understand the impact this expansion will have on the local area. We all know that flying is bad for the climate – but how bad are private jets? The numbers are even worse than we thought!

  1. Average of 2.5 passengers per plane (Farnborough Airport Ltd (FAL) recent comment at Farnborough Aerodrome Consultative Committee (FACC) and 2014 consultation documentation).
  2. 40 per cent fly empty (FAL and widely used in industry).
  3. Most flights are for leisure – not business, even though the airport only has a permit for business flights (flight tracking data).
  4. Most polluting and highest emission form of travel apart from space travel – up to 40 time more emissions than using a commercial flight (per passenger mile flown) (BEIS data and various reports by Transport & Environment and specific journey data/manufacturer fuel burn data).
  5. Rural areas around the airport that used to have about five flights a day over them now have up to 18 an hour (pre-consultation data from CAA, WebTrack flight data from airport).
  6. Climate Change Commission says there should be no more airport expansion until there is a way of mitigating aviation’s emissions.
  7. The most dangerous form of pollution from the airport (ultrafine particles) is not being measured (Rushmoor Borough Council pollution monitoring data).
  8. Review of the new flightpaths implemented in 2020 has not been concluded yet (called the Post Implementation Review – PIR) and the airport did not measure aircraft noise, even though the Civil Aviation Authority committed to MPs that it would (letter from CEO of CAA, Richard Moriarty, to Jeremy Hunt).
  9. Airport claims it supports thousands of jobs and generates significant revenue.  However, most of the airport businesses have nothing to do with flight operations according to the recent Lichfields Economic Impact Assessment (  (6.9, 6.11, Table 6.3)
  10. Farnborough Airport is owned by Macquarie – the Australian firm whose business practices have caused so much harm at Thames Water.  The environmental impact is not their prime concern.

To protect our air quality and environment, please go to the consultation events in Farnborough, Farnham, Aldershot, Fleet and Frimley Green to make your views known. 

Then contact your local councillors and write to your MP. If our skies are not to be overrun with planes, pollution and noise we must fight for our right to have clean air now and in the future.

Clive Teague

Extinction Rebellion Waverley & Borders

Sign Farnborough Noise’s ‘Stop expansion of Farnborough Airport‘ petition here: