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Frequently Asked Questions


Q) Is GALBA taking the government to court?


A) Yes. The government’s Jet Zero strategy, published in July 2022, allows a huge expansion of flying and airports across the country. That means a massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions, noise and air pollution. And that’s why GALBA is taking a judicial review challenge against Jet Zero. We need your help! Please make a donation and join the campaign today Read more about Jet Zero and our campaign here.

Q) Did LBA break the rules on night time flying in summer 2022?

A) Yes. There’s a limit on the number of planes allowed to land and take-off during the night, which is defined as 11pm to 7am. During summer 2022, there were 747 more flights than allowed by the rules. GALBA monitored the number of night flights and complained to the Council who issued a ‘planning enforcement notice’ against LBA. If they break the rules again, they could face criminal prosecution. GALBA continues to monitor night time flying.

Q) Has LBA withdrawn its planning application?

A) Yes. On 10 March 2022, the Chief Exec announced he had withdrawn LBA’s planning application.

Q) What does this mean?

A) This means the airport cannot start unrestricted flying at 6am, nor carry on till 11.30 pm, nor remove the limit on the number of night time flights. These are all changes that LBA wanted in order to allow them to make 16,000 more flights per year. This cannot happen now because the existing rules on daytime and night time flying will stay in place. This is a victory for our climate and our communities and it was won by people power!


Q) So is it all over now?

A) Not yet. LBA’s bosses have claimed they can still increase the number of day and night time flights. So we're keeping a close eye on what they try next. We will continue the campaign and get legal advice that will incur costs. We will also continue working with other campaigns in the UK aiming to limit airport expansion, as well as supporting legal moves to ensure the government takes its climate commitments seriously by not allowing unrestricted aviation growth.


Q) Why shouldn’t I believe what LBA’s bosses say about being able to expand anyway? 

A) Withdrawing their planning application was humiliating for them so they needed something to tell the press. There are legal and practical reasons why LBA cannot expand to 7 million passengers per year. See more on our mythbuster pages.

Q) But didn’t Leeds City Council give permission for LBA to expand?

A) Yes. Despite having declared a Climate Emergency in March 2019, in March 2021 Leeds City Council approved Leeds Bradford Airport’s planning application. But GALBA kept campaigning and LBA has now accepted defeat.

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Q) Why does GALBA oppose the expansion of LBA?

A) Expansion would mean that LBA massively increases its greenhouse gas emissions in the middle of the climate crisis. It would cause much more noise for communities under the flight path, as well as increased air pollution and traffic congestion near the airport. We need to build a healthy economy in Leeds. We don’t need an unsustainable development like this. Read more here and please make a donation today



Q) Hasn’t the Council declared a climate emergency?

A) Yes. In 2019 Leeds City Council declared a climate emergency. So did every other council in West Yorkshire. In Leeds, the council has committed to making the city carbon net zero by 2030. Research published by the Leeds Climate Commission and by climate scientists at Leeds University has shown that if expansion goes ahead, LBA would pump out more emissions than allowed in the carbon budget for the entire city by 2026. You can read the report here. If expansion goes ahead, LBA would pump out more emissions than allowed in the carbon budget for the entire city by 2026. You can read the report here.


Q) What do the people of Leeds think?

A) The Leeds Climate Change Citizens Jury was a group of 21 local residents - a representative sample of Leeds as a whole - who met in autumn 2019. Most of them knew little about the climate emergency or airport expansion at the start. After attending sessions with scientists and other experts, one of the Jury’s key recommendations was that airport expansion should be stopped. They called on Leeds to lead an ‘environmental revolution’. Over 2,000 people objected to LBA’s planning application on Leeds City Council’s website.

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Q) What about electric aircraft and other new technologies?

A) The government’s own Committee on Climate Change has stated that there are no prospects of commercially available zero-carbon planes for decades. While there is some scope for technological change, there’s no prospect of this becoming widely adopted across the aviation sector in the short to medium term. Even if planes with new technologies became viable in the next decade, it would take many years for existing fleets of aircraft to transition to these new technologies. To prevent climate breakdown, we need to make radical reductions in emissions during the next decade.



Q) Can’t we offset carbon to reach net zero?

A: Offsetting – such as planting trees to soak up carbon – will not solve the climate emergency on its own. Scientists warn that we have to reduce our emissions as fast and as much as we possibly can as well as planting trees. The picture that airlines would like to paint is of a guilt-free flight from London to Tenerife because the 860kg per person of climate-damaging carbon emitted would be drawn down by extra trees being planted in countries far away. But, assuming the trees survive, it would take decades for them to absorb 860kg of carbon. Until they do, that extra carbon remains in the atmosphere and heats up the planet. And we have to cut all emissions in half by 2030 to prevent climate breakdown.


Q) Why do you want to stop people going on holiday?

A) We don’t. The main problem is the small number of frequent flyers. Just 10% of people in England were responsible for more than half of all international flights in 2018. And 48% of the population did not take a single flight abroad in that year.


Q) Why do you want to stop people getting jobs?


A) We don’t. We want people who work in aviation to get help to move into safe and sustainable jobs - jobs with a future for the future. LBA wants to automate as many jobs as possible - machines are cheaper than people so they make more money for the airport’s owners. To avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis, we have to help workers move out of high carbon industries (like aviation) and into good quality jobs that tackle climate change and cut energy bills (like super-insulating peoples’ homes).


Q) What is GALBA?

A) The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) is a group of concerned citizens in West Yorkshire. We come from a range of backgrounds and from across the political spectrum. We've come together to stop any expansion of LBA for a number of reasons - see why oppose expansion? We believe that the expansion is wrong and must be stopped, for the sake of the current generation and the generations to come. If you support us, please join the campaign and make a donation.

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