CAMPAIGNERS against Leeds Bradford Airport expansion are welcoming government commitment to make massive cuts in greenhouse gases by 2035.

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) says it is cautiously welcoming reports that the government will announce a new commitment to cutting the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 78 per cent.

In particular, GALBA is pleased that the Prime Minister has said that emissions from international aviation will be included in the new 2035 target date. The group says this will very likely mean that there will be a review of all airport expansion plans around the country, including Leeds Bradford Airport.

Chair of GALBA, Chris Foren, said: “From the start, we’ve said the government and local councils need to set much more ambitious targets for cutting emissions and back up these targets with action. Those targets have to include greenhouse gases caused by flying. At last, the government seems to have listened. This may well be why Robert Jenrick postponed his decision on whether to call in LBA’s application and hold a public inquiry. That postponement stopped the airport from extending flying times, causing more noise and climate damage, at least for now.”

He added: “We don’t yet know what the government’s announcement means for LBA expansion in the long run. But we do know that expansion would mean LBA doubles its emissions by 2030 - the opposite of the government’s new commitment to cut over three quarters of our emissions by 2035. We renew our call to the government and Leeds City Council to help workers in aviation switch to safe and sustainable jobs - jobs with a future, for the future.”

The announcement comes a week after a YouGov online survey of business travellers asking about their experience of the changes in business travel during the pandemic. This found that 56 per cent of UK business travellers say they will fly less often as a result of video conference software, even once travel restrictions are lifted. A separate survey last year found that nearly half of UK residents say that they plan to fly less in future.

Earlier this year LBA said it was delighted that its plans for a replacement terminal had been awarded planning consent by Leeds City Council, enabling it to become an "outstanding net zero airport", whilst creating thousands of jobs, and helping to support the region’s recovery.”

Chairman of Leeds Bradford Airport, Andy Clarke, said: “Our scheme will provide significant improvements, benefits to the regional economy and an improved passenger experience.” He promised “stringent noise controls”, and that Leeds Bradford Airport wanted to be “innovative and do things differently”, listing “world class access, state of the art technologies and better facilities”.