DEMAND Campaign

DEMAND is an East Midlands-based campaign, [ [ DEMAND: demand east midlands airport is designated now ] ] founded in 2004, seeking to improve the noise controls at East Midlands Airport. A specific concern is the rising use of cargo aircraft at night and a widening impact affecting Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire.

Because the airport is situated in a rural setting – immediately south of Castle Donington, North West Leicestershire – it is claimed to have a relatively low environmental impact. ["Given its largely rural location, EMA’s noise impact on surrounding communities is modest compared with airports located close to conurbations", 'Master Plan 2006–2030', East Midlands Airport, December 2006, p.62] But a government-instigated report has estimated that the noise impact for a single aircraft departure could affect as many as 126,000 residents. ["“The maximum population affected by night aircraft noise in 2030 would increase to 126,000 people on westerly departures and 66,000 people on easterly departures”", Regional Air Services 3: Midlands Part B–Appraisal Birmingham & East Midlands Airport, Halcrow Group/Department for Transport, July 2002, p.131/Table A3.17] Also, annual night-time aircraft movements have increased from 16,071 in 1997 to 19,888 (2007). [Total number of movements in night period (11.00 pm to 7 am), 'Night Flying: East Midlands' (Question by David Taylor MP, North West Leicestershire), House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 13 Mar 2008 (pt 0002)]

It is claimed that the planning authority, North West Leicestershire District Council, failed to enforce planning legislation requiring an Environmental Statement in 1994 when approving a runway extension, specifically, the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988 (regulations by which the UK implemented EC Directive 85/337/EEC). [Regina v. North West Leicestershire District Council & East Midlands Airport ex parte Moses, Court of Appeal, 12th April 2000] ["“Aviation lawyer Richard Buxton told a recent London School of Economics Environmental Initiatives Network conference on noise: “Environmental impact analysis provisions are a very powerful tool in respect of aircraft noise. But only if they are complied, with, for instance East Midlands Airport's blatant disregard for an environmental impact analysis of its plans is unlawful and a serious human rights issue”", Noise Management, June 2000] There is also an ongoing claim by nearby residents for compensation regarding an alleged loss of property values. ["Sleepless nights and falling house prices are causing home owners to mount a legal case against East Midlands Airport. Residents in Kegworth, Castle Donington and the surrounding villages say they are often disturbed since the airport extended its runway and began running night cargo flights in 2000. They are now mounting a compensation claim, saying their homes are being devalued.", 'Night flights are reducing prices of our houses!', Nottingham Evening Post, 10th February 2007, downloaded 10th February 2007]

The campaign has cross-party support, including MPs: Edward Garnier QC (Harborough), Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC (Rushcliffe), Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell (Charnwood), Alan Duncan (Rutland and Melton), Keith Vaz (Leicester East) and David Taylor (British politician) (North West Leicestershire). ["David Taylor, MP for north west Leicestershire, has backed the campaign. He plans to bring the petition to the attention of the Transport Secretary and Prime Minister.", 'Plea For Limits On Night Flights', Leicester Mercury, 18th July 2008, downloaded 18th July 2008] Other supporters include: AirportWatch, Aviation Environment Federation, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Friends of the Earth, and National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty.

In March 2008, the campaign launched an e-petition to the Prime Minister, to restrict night flights at East Midlands Airport using section 78 of the 1982 Civil Aviation Act for the purpose of introducing noise controls [ [ Petition to: To Restrict Night Flights at East Midlands Airport using section 78 (Designation) of the 1982 Civil Aviation Act to restrict the amount of Night Flights. | Number... ] ] (commonly known as 'Designation', but airports may be designated for other purposes, such as economic regulation).

Designation of the airport is opposed by Manchester MP Graham Stringer – a former board member of Manchester Airports Group prior to its acquisition of East Midlands Airport in 2001 – for economic reasons. ["I congratulate the Minister and the Secretary of State on not giving in to pressure to designate East Midlands airport so that there would be control on its night flights. It is not as well understood as it should be how fundamental the express cargo industry is to industry in this country. Increasing numbers of businesses require widgets and machinery parts within 24 hours and for that, they need to have access to air freight that can get in and out very quickly. There are increasing restrictions on the London airports, and if East Midlands, Edinburgh and other airports are not allowed to have those night flights, businesses will move because if the cargo is not flown at night, they cannot carry out a 24-hour service.", Graham Stringer MP (Manchester, Blackley), 'Air Transport', House of Commons Hansard Debates for 8 Jun 2004 (pt 25)] Digby Jones, Baron Jones of Birmingham, when leader of the Confederation of British Industry – and to which the Manchester Airports Group and some cargo operators at East Midlands Airport belong as members – has lobbied on behalf of the airport for similar reasons. ["Sir Digby Jones praised the achievements of Notts and East Midlands businesses in his final visit to the region as director general of the CBI... He continued: "I have seen the fabulous development of Nottingham East Midlands Airport – it does one's heart good to see that become the capital of freight handling in Britain, and one of the major freight handling centres in Europe. "If you are UPS, TNT, FedEx or DHL, they have invested enormously in the community. "I hope we aren't going to see the planning regime in this country inhibit further growth of development at the airport. We need it, it is a great source of employment. They are jobs for tomorrow and the right sort of jobs in the right place... ", 'Roads Before Toads' – Jones, Nottingham Evening Post, 10th May 2006, downloaded 11th May 2006]

ee also

*Aircraft noise
*Noise health effects
*Air transport and the environment (United Kingdom)
*Environmental Impact Assessment


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