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Press Release: Campaigners Against Airport Expansion Welcome Support from Bradford MP, Naz Shah

The Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA) has welcomed support for their campaign to stop airport expansion from the MP for Bradford West. Naz Shah has submitted a formal objection to Leeds City Council against LBA’s controversial planning application. Her opposition is in stark contrast to Bradford Council’s support for expansion, as set out in their August 2020 statement, which made no reference to their own declaration of a Climate Emergency in January 2019.

Chris Foren, chair of GALBA, said: “This new objection must make Leeds Labour councillors realise that airport expansion cannot be allowed. Naz Shah is the latest MP to publicly oppose the plans, joining all five Leeds Labour MPs - Alex Sobel, Hilary Benn, Rachel Reeves, Richard Burgon and Fabian Hamilton. All of them oppose the damage that airport expansion would do to our climate and point out the urgent need to help people move into safe and sustainable jobs.”

Chris added: “It would be plane crazy to allow the airport to double its greenhouse gas emissions in the middle of the climate emergency. Scientists all over the world are warning us that we have to cut emissions as fast as we can. And we have the power to tackle tomorrow’s climate crisis by making the right choices today.”

In her objection, Naz Shah MP said: “I have taken the plans of the expansion into careful consideration, looking at the benefits that it will have towards my constituents, alongside the detriment it will have towards them and especially future generations... The increase in passengers at the airport will inevitably lead to a growth in carbon emissions and therefore… I cannot support the planned expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport.

Naz Shah's constituent Manny McKenzie expressed his gratitude: “Actions must match words. If we claim to tackle the climate crisis by reducing CO2 but then act to increase CO2 massively by expanding the airport, this is not honest! I value Naz's leadership, it's good to have clear thinking and at least one Bradford politician acting to protect our future.”

Additional notes:

1) Naz Shah MP objection to LBA planning application: the full text is attached.

2) Photo: a photo of campaigners against Leeds Bradford Airport outside Bradford City Hall is attached.

3) Bradford Council’s climate emergency declaration: available here.

4) Climate science: the Leeds Climate Commission and other experts in climate science from Leeds University have calculated that LBA’s proposals mean greenhouse gas emissions from the airport would exceed the amount allowed for the whole of Leeds, set out in the Leeds Carbon Reduction Roadmap, from 2030 onwards. Available here.

5) Wealthy minority take majority of flights: Leeds Climate Commission’s ‘Aviation Position Paper’ was published in December 2019. It states that the majority of UK flights are taken by a minority of better off people. 70% of all flights are taken by 20% of the population; 100% of all flights are taken by 52% of people. These ‘frequent flyers’ are on higher incomes - the wealthiest 20% take 40% of all flights. The full report is available here.

6) Decision day: no date has yet been made public for when the City Plans Panel of Leeds City Council will consider LBA’s planning application. However Leeds City Council’s website states that the “agreed expiry date” for LBA’s planning application is 30 November.

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