No action over airport expansion

PUBLISHED: 12:02 12 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:00 06 May 2010

It was disconcerting to discover that the manager of London-Luton Airport s Project 2030 cancelled his meeting with Kimpton Parish Council a few hours before he was due to arrive. Kimpton residents might be forgiven for hoping that they would receive answ

It was disconcerting to discover that the manager of London-Luton Airport's Project 2030 cancelled his meeting with Kimpton Parish Council a few hours before he was due to arrive. Kimpton residents might be forgiven for hoping that they would receive answers to some important questions, such as, "Are 30 million passengers a year a realistic or desirable target in view of what we now know is the massive contribution of aircraft to climate change, growing public demands for a tax on aviation fuel and the increased threats from terrorism?" and "Why has no response yet been given to the carefully thought-out submissions made by residents ahead of last January's deadline?"

Project 2030 gave us three months with Christmas in the middle to reply to the dramatic proposal that the friendly neighbourhood regional airport on our doorstep was to become the second largest international airport in the country, tripling its area by taking green belt land and adding a second runway. During those 10 short weeks, we organised public meetings, established protest organisations, initiated email campaigns and conducted public demonstrations. Soon the airport will have had three times the period it gave us. Is this just part of what we are expected to sit back and accept?

The visit of the project manager to Kimpton has been long delayed and now cancelled with no word of a replacement date. It is true that in reply to some questions for discussion, written answers were received. These are mind-numbing in their blandness and predictability.

This anonymity, impersonality and absence of a real person from the airport is not a surprise, since it is plain that to the airport we do not exist. Otherwise it would not be threatening to heap CO2 on us ("1_ tonnes for every transatlantic passenger" - on the flight path to global meltdown, Guardian, September 21), shatter our days and nights with levels of decibels it refuses to acknowledge, gridlock our roads for miles around and generally wreak havoc on the surrounding environment and habitation.

The airport is used to dealing with numbers of passengers not with real people who live around it. It does not appear to share our concerns about the diminished world we shall be handing down to our children.

PETER LIDDELL, Kimpton


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