The latest edition of Exchange has been published. I brings news of the lobbing and campaigning activities of aviation campaigners across Europe: Exchange 16
The launch of Taming Aviation in the European Parliament – see post http://www.airportwatcheurope.com/?p=243 – was well covered by the media across Europe. At the end of the post you will find the original press release that was issued by Taming Aviation in conjunction with T & E (Transport and the Environment)
ENDS Europe: Best of the web link to our release: http://www.endseurope.com/home
T&E distributed this release on behalf of Taming Aviation coalition
A ground-breaking coalition of 140 groups representing 250,000 citizens from 10 European countries has, for the first time, called on the EU to end commercial airlines’ tax exemptions and subsidies and phase out night flights. The Taming Aviation coalition formally presented its demands in a petition to the European Parliament in Brussels today.
The petition, presented to the Parliament Petitions Committee chair Cecilia Wikström and Green MEP Keith Taylor, calls for an end to the absurd situation where European governments miss out on €40 billion every year because commercial airlines pay no tax on fuel and are exempt from VAT.  It also demands action to reduce aircraft noise, which poses serious health risks to people living under flight paths including increasing the risk of dying of a heart attack by up to 50%. 
25 national delegates from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and the UK were present at the event. The citizens’ coalition has highlighted the disparity where consumers, small businesses and hauliers pay an average of 48 cent in tax per litre  while commercial airlines in the EU don’t pay a cent in tax to fuel their planes.
Cash-strapped EU governments are missing out on this important revenue source, so European taxpayers must step in to fill the deficit. This subsidising is fuelling air traffic growth, with aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions expected to increase 300% by 2050. 
Dr Susanne Heger, initiator of the Taming Aviation coalition, said: “With air passenger numbers set to grow 4% a year for the next 20 years, the aviation sector can well afford to pay its way. EU governments continuing to allow commercial airlines to free ride to the tune of €40 billion a year with tax exemptions while their night flights pose serious health risks is nothing short of a scandal.” 
The petition is also in response to growing recognition of the health risks posed by night flights. Citizens living under certain flight paths are exposed to daily average noise levels of at least 60 decibels and consequently are up to 50% more at risk of dying of a heart attack, according to a study by the University of Bern.  Up to 200,000 people living under London’s Heathrow flight paths are exposed to this increased risk as they experience noise averaging over 60 decibels.
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, said: “Why should aviation be excused from paying tax, especially in view of its environmental damage? It should pay VAT and excise duty just like all other transport methods, so that all the costs of flying are properly accounted for.”
Notes to editors:
 CE Delft, Estimated revenues of VAT and fuel tax on aviation (2013).http://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/publications/CE_Delft_7B52_Estimated_revenues_of_VAT_and_fuel_tax_on_aviation_def.pdf
 Huss, Spoerri, Egger, Röösli, Aircraft Noise, Air Pollution, and Mortality from Myocardial Infarction, Epidemiology (2010).
 Transport & Environment, Does aviation pay its way? (2013). http://transenv.eu/1xd4CEc
 ICAO, Global Aviation CO2 Emissions Projections to 2050 (2012), slide 8. Based on ICAO’s most optimistic projection. http://www.icao.int/environmental-protection/GIACC/Giacc-4/CENV_GIACC4_IP1_IP2%20IP3.pdf
 Growth projections from IATA’s 20-Year Passenger Forecast (2014).
 Huss, Spoerri, Egger, Röösli (2010).
Over 250,000 people from across Europe have called for an end to the tax subsidies the aviation receives. Airlines pay no tax on their fuel and there is no VAT paid on tickets.
At the launch of Taming Aviation in the European Parliament on 18th November, chaired by Green MEP Keith Taylor, a petition was presented to Cecilia Wikstrom, the chair of the Parliament’s Petitions Committee, signed by over 140 citizens groups, representing more than 250 million people, calling for aviation to be properly taxed. The petition also called for an end to night flights.
The petition was the brainchild of two Austrian campaigners Dr Susanne Heger and Dr Jutta Leth. It will now be considered by the Petitions Committee. It will also act as a focus for a wider grassroots campaign calling on governments to use fiscal measures to manage the soaring demand for aviation.
Taming Aviation will continue to work closely with T & E (Transport and the Environment) who helped organised the launch. Both the Energy Directive (which deals with taxation of fuel) and the VAT Directive will be revised over the next few years. They provide the opportunity to end the tax subsidies to the aviation industry.