Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Heathrow oil cargo boosted by UK-Saudi agreement

STOP Heathrow Expansion
Originally uploaded by RoseBridger
The announcement of a third runway and sixth terminal at London’s Heathrow Airport appears imminent, in spite of overwhelming opposition by residents, environmental groups and even a considerable proportion of businesses (photo right - just one of many protests). Take a look at HACAN for more info. In addition to passenger numbers, cargo is growing as well. Heathrow handled 1,310,987 tonnes in 2007, mostly carried in the bellyhold of passenger flights.

New growth at Heathrow includes ten British Airways flights per week to Saudi Arabia, which will commence in March. This has been enabled by the UK and Saudi Arabian governments’ June 2008 negotiations to increase oil production, which included an agreement between the two countries allowing for an increase of flights from 13 to 35 per week between the two countries. BA anticipates that most of the bellyhold cargo will be equipment for the oil industry.

The ten flights could add up to between 100 and 130 tonnes of oil equipment cargo from Heathrow to Saudi Arabia per week. This bellyhold cargo is tiny compared to the enormous freighters with capacity of over 100 tonnes carrying oil industry exploration, drilling and production equipment around the world. More freighters laden with oil and gas industry equipment are flying between destinations such as Houston and Calgary, Luxembourg and Doha, London Stansted to Tbilisi, and between Aberdeen and Oslo and Stavanger in Norway. It’s ironic how resource scarcity can trigger even more unsustainable resource use. Diminishing fossil fuel supplies, and anticipation of an overall upward trajectory in the oil price, has led to a boom in oil and gas equipment air freight, showing a willingness to burn vast amounts of aviation fuel in order to secure future oil supplies.

1 comment:

Derek Wall said...

Hi Rose,

hope this is of interest!

Ballot papers going out for Britain's second largest union General Secretary, please spread the word about the one candidate in the race who wants to stop Heathrow expansion

'Backing nuclear power and Heathrow expansion is a disgrace. Wreaking havoc on the environment in the name of jobs is without vision and a falsehood.

An immediate public works programme building schools, hospitals, council houses and raliways would create 100,000 jobs. Renewable energies such as wind, sea and solar can provide a million new jobs', argues Jerry Hicks


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