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Report Card 2009 (part 2) – Aviation and Airport Master Plans – Pies in the Skies

In 2009, the Federal government released both an aviation green and white paper. At the same time airports around Australia published their master plans, all assuming a doubling of air traffic within the next 20 years as shown in the BITRE working paper #72:


Even taking into account that growth in aircraft movements is somewhat lower (60% – 80%), this is hardly realistic if under the most optimistic assumptions of the International Energy Agency (IEA, WEO 2008) crude oil production will stay basically flat over that period:


None of the aviation documents considered physical limits to oil supplies. Nor did any of the airport plans at least formally refer to the energy white paper (EWP), which was under work at the same time but not completed by the end of 2009. This is irrespective of whether EWP related documents published so far deal with peak oil or not. Here is my critique of the EWP process:

Report Card 2009 (part 1) – Energy Policy – Has the Federal Government prepared for declining oil production?

1 Federal aviation policy

The following table shows the interdependencies between different documents relating to the aviation white paper


2 Airport Master Plans

Airport Masterplans have to be prepared according to Division 3 of the Airports Act 1996$file/Airports1996.pdf
and airport regulations. Airport operators must specify the development objectives and the future needs of civil aviation users (clause 71.2) for a planning period of 20 years (clause 72), with review periods of 5 years (clause 77).

However, a resource analysis is not required. This means this Act is now out-dated and has to be amended. The following graph from Prof. Aleklett, president of ASPO, Sweden, shows clearly the emerging gap between demand (need) and production of aviation fuels:


The following table gives an overview of whether and how aviation documents deal with oil supplies, oil prices, economic developments surrounding the global financial crisis and CO2 emissions.


These plans rely on advice given by various consultants. As an example, the British Airport Authority BAA, which participated in the Melbourne Airport planning estimated oil prices in 2030 to be $65


To close on a futuristic note, this is the propsoal of one of the consultants, Airbiz, how to solve congestion problems at airports:


Other posts on aviation and airports:

Aviation White Paper argues debt crisis down, ignores peak oil, means flight path to a stormy future

Sydney doesn’t need a 2nd airport

Keep Badgerys Creek for Sydney’s Food Supplies

Submission Green Paper on Aviation

This article including more details on 8 airports can be downloaded as PDF file: [download id="20"]

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