| DEFINITION OF 'SUSTAINABLE'
The Government has defined sustainable development as 'a better quality of
life for everyone, now and for generations to come', and has identified four
key objectives which have to be met at the same time if it is to be
achieved. These are:
- Social progress which recognises the needs of everyone
- Effective protection of the environment
- Prudent use of natural resources
- Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment
The Consultation Document for the Air Transport White Paper, however,
expressed sustainability in terms of a policy that 'should aim both to
maximise the significant social and economic benefits that growth in
aviation would bring whilst trying to minimise the environmental impacts'
(p. 8, para 1.1). This strongly suggests that 'trying' to minimise the
environmental impacts is subordinate to maximising the significant social
and economic benefits - a suggestion that was fully borne out by the options
set out in the Consultation Document itself.
A more widely accepted view - and one that would be more in accordance with
broader Government thinking - is that aviation, like any other form of
economic activity, should be developed only in such a way as to avoid
prejudicing the quality of life of both this generation and generations to
come. To quote the guidance given by the Department for Transport, Local
Government and the Regions (DTLR) itself to the Civil Aviation Authority,
'Additional capacity should be provide only where this is economically and
 Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Guidance to
the Civil Aviation Authority on Environmental Objectives relating to the
exercise of its air navigation functions (January 2002), p. 7.