The Government has published plans for a massive expansion in airports, not just at Manchester but at every airport in the country and with some new ones thrown in for good luck. They expect the number of people flying will increase to over 500 million a year by 2030, up from 180M now. For Manchester this means growth from 18.5M passengers now to at least 40M and more likely 60-65M passengers a year - the present size of Heathrow - the construction of more taxiways and aprons and a fourth terminal by 2015, and then possibly a 3rd runway, built during the decade from 2020. Plus new roads, more noise and air pollution, climate change emissions and general environmental damage.
The consultation on these proposals is happening now, and people have until 30 November to make a noise. The aviation industry is unsustainable environmentally and economically, and is unfairly subsidised. Manchester Friends of the Earth believes it is vital that people take this opportunity to voice disgust at the plans. If the case against expanding aviation is made now at the consultation phrase, it is more likely to be listened to later on. If would prefer not to have yet more planes polluting our skies then go to the group's website to print out a sample letter to send in response to the consultation. Contact MFoE if you'd like more information or want to get involved in media stunts and the like that will be happening during November.
Graeme Sherriff, Manchester Friends of the Earth (0161 834 8221, firstname.lastname@example.org)