Home Page Link Thaxted - under the present flightpath and threatened with quadrupled activity Takeley's 12th century parish church, close to proposed second runway Harcamlow Way, Bamber's Green - much of the long distance path and village would disappear under Runway 2 Clavering - typical of the Uttlesford villages threatened by urbanisation
Campaigning against proposals to expand Stansted Airport

image 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 environmentally justified.[1]


[1] 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.